Heavy metal bands... maybe. Italian Video Nasties? No problem! Nuns in bondage, nuns in asylums, nuns in vicious homicidal rampages, nuns involved in torture rituals, nuns tormenting cripples, nuns addicted to opeiates, nuns in lesbian sexual frenzies... and nuns in nothing at all.
Did you get all that? Yeah, well that's just the tip of the iceberg in Giulio Berruti's Suor Omicidi, or, as it was known when banned as a VIDEO NASTY in the UK: The Killer Nun! Yes, yes. It's no wonder why this flick was banned as a Video Nasty, nor is it any wonder why Killer Nun was banned by the Vatican while it was still in theatres. According to director/ co-writer Berruti, it was banned while it was "No. 2 at the box office..."
Well, it was Number Two at the Box Office alright! Hell, it's Number Two in your DVD player too! Am I a bad Catholic for even watching this thing? I hope not.
Berruti claims that he and co-writer Alberto Tarallo ripped their story from the headlines when papers reported a series of deaths under the care of a nun. Yeah, yeah, yeah. As sensational as that paper might have been, I can't imagine it also featured details about the reported on Killer Nun rooming with a naked Lesbian who was also a Nun. Somehow I'm thinking they might have made that one up.
Shall we to the plot? Well, why not? Model and former "Miss Sweden" Anita Ekberg is Sister Gertrude (42-27-38). Things aren't going well for poor Gertrude. She's tormented by memories of abuse from her childhood, she's stressed out taking care of a bunch of gassy old people along with an ungrateful-ass doctor (Joe Dallesandro's Dr. Patrick Roland) and the closest she ever gets to receiving flowers is shooting up a certain extract from opium poppies into her veins. The stress of all this is threatening to drive her crazy. About the time she takes an elderly patient's dentures away and smashes them to toothy bits on the floor she starts to think she might be losing it. But, hey, that's okay, right? She sleeps in the nude and so does her mega-hot Nun roommate Sister Mathieu (played by 18 year old Paola Morra, who was Italian Playboy's playmate of the month the year this was released... and showed up again in the same mag the following February). The better news for Gertrude is that Sister Mathieu is more than ready to comfort her while fully in the nude because... she's in love with her.
Somehow that stresses Gertrude out more. I don't get it.
So instead she travels into the city, drinks cognac and smokes cigarettes just before picking up a random dude for some cold, mechanical sex. Okay, so I got offended a little, especially when she said "Sister Gertrude's just DYING to make love to you!"
I tell you what, no Nuns looked or acted like that when I was in Catholic School. Thank goodness.
So when vices somehow fail to improve Sista G's virtues, "our lady of perpetual self fulfilling titles" goes one gruesome step further and starts killing people. Some of you Catholic School kids might imagine your teachers weren't all that far away from doing just that. The rest of "Nun of the Below's" actions... well, I'm hoping you didn't imagine those. You pervs.
Killer Nun seems simply calculated to disturb in many parts. The idea of nuns having sex in the first place is about as hard to swallow as a Quarter, especially if you're Catholic. Actually, the very idea of nuns louging around their cloisters completely in the nude is a bit bothersome. The fact that they're looking THAT good under the habit is really a problem, actually. Killer Nun doesn't stop there. This Nunsploitation romp features a drug induced celebration of the Mass, a Nun covered in blood, open skull brain surgery, hand mutilation with a rosary, full frontal female nudity, full frontal male nudity and virtually every single Exploitation experiment just quantified to fill those international grindhouse seats and hopefully sell some videos in England. OOOH BURN! It's the BBFC, baby!
Sadly, Killer Nun isn't a Killer Movie. It isn't the worst piece of scabby scum out there, but hey, that's all relative. When you watch as many bad movies as I do, you end up being thankful for the ones that weren't as bad as they could have been. Seriously, she could've been walking around killing people with one of those knuckle-rapping rulers and making them finish their asparagus or something. Even so, Killer Nun is pretty bad. From Alessandro Alessandroni's screeching score (that repeats ad nauseum the only riff that was any good) to the dialogue, which would have been laughable if it wasn't so intentionally offensive to the obviously rubber and plastic infused special effects, this wasn't exactly what you'd call a contender for Best Foreign Film Oscar 1978. And to think, this featured the star of La Dolce Vita.
I'll give it this, the surprise twist ending is pretty hard hitting... if you last that long. It's not that surprising, but it's twisted as fuck. Yep, this is one twisted sister film. Sigh. This one is bad. So bad, I'm giving it a Dog! What a Dog! What a Bad, Bad, DOG! Damn!
I'm gonna watch it again.
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What do you mean you don't want Nun?