Director: Giulio Berruti
Cast: Anita Ekberg, Paola Morra, Alida Valli
Review by Brian M. Sammons
I must admit, I’ve never been a fan of nunsploitation flicks. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t raised Catholic and didn’t attend a Catholic school, so I didn’t have my budding sexual tastes as a child get mixed up with strange feelings towards women in power, who wear black, and spank your bottom if you’re naughty. I mean, that’s got to be the reason someone would think nuns are sexy, right? So yeah, nuns, be they traditional, nude, naughty, satanic, evil, or in this case killer, just never did anything for me. But if nuns, drugs, murder, lesbians, and torture are your kind of things, keep on reading. If they’re not, well I’ll guess I just see you next time.
Still here? Ok, good, let’s get on with it … you pervert.
This flick starts off by saying that it’s based on real life events. Yeah sure, Texas Chainsaw Massacre said the same thing. Anyway, here we get Sister Gertrude, the head nun at a hospital, who is addicted to morphine. Her bad little habit starts her down the road to crazyville. Poor Gertrude thinks drugs are a replacement for the God she no longer feels any link to, and in her quest for Holy Communion, she tortures and slaughters the patients in her care as she goes more and more insane. She’s also a bit man-hater, but she still enjoys sex. Unfortunately it’s fully clothed sex. Yeah while she may be killer, this nun obviously had a no nudity clause in her contract. She does have a smoking hot, young, lesbian roommate, although sadly, nothing comes of that, at least not on screen. What the hell, movie, talk about a tease.
The killer nun starts killing off old people, sort of as an angel of death kind of thing, but then quickly moves on to anyone she can. All the while the clueless staff at the hospital just sort of stand around being … well, clueless. There are shades of an Italian giallo in here, with pink rubber gloves standing in for the more usual black, although the mystery here is lukewarm at best and the ending can be guessed at far too quickly. And speaking of lukewarm, that sadly sums up this movie in a single word. Despite a sensational title and a naughty nun premise, this exploitation flick isn’t actually all that exploitative. Not compared to many similar movies made around the same time. There is some full frontal nudity, both male and female, but what little sex there is in this movie is rather tame. Unfortunately the same can be said for the murders and gore. There is one rather effective needles-in-the-face torture scene, but really that’s it. A lot of the violence is very tepid or happens off screen. Hell, one guy dies by getting lightly kicked in the face about three or four times. Oh, how brutal. And this is the uncut and uncensored version? Man, was the cut version aired after Saturday morning cartoons? Because I’m betting it could have been with what I seen here.
Now while I thought the movie was only so-so at best, Blue Underground does their usual good job with the Blu-ray release, at least as far as how it looks. For a seventies Italian exploitation flick, it looked really good here. No, not perfect, but a damn sight better than it ought to of had. As for the special features, there is 13 minute interview with co-writer and director Giulio Berruti. It’s in Italian but it is subtitled. Other than that, there’s the usual trailer and poster gallery and … well that’s it, that’s all the extras on this disc. Not bad for what is only a cult film, but it still felt somewhat lacking.
I’ve got to admit, I was a bit disappointed that this slice of Eurosleaze wasn’t all that sleazy. That doesn’t mean that the movie as a whole was bad. On the contrary, it was well made for the most part and the acting and story was competent, if somewhat boring at times. It’s just that I was expecting so much more from this movie, so it was a bit of a letdown. That said, if you are a fan of nunsploitation movies, well now you have a great looking Blu-ray to add to your library of sin.