I grew up in a Roman Catholic environment. We went to church every Sunday, my parents were catholic school teachers and at one point, I was even an alter boy. So, when I found out there was a specific genre called Nunsploitation, I was all over that like a priest all over a..., um, never mind. Apparently, this subgenre of film peaked in Europe during the 1970's, along with women's prison movies and Nazisploitation. The films looked into the religious oppression and the hypocrisy of the church. Usually set in the middle ages, they would show the sexual suppression of the women, lecherous priests and the brutal punishment of the church. Most have scenes of secret love affairs between nuns, violent whippings and other torture scenes that I was really surprised to see.
I tried to keep the films in a horror genre because there are a ton of dramas within this sub genre, so...
Here are 5 films where Nuns Go Wild:
5. Flavia, The Heretic (1974) - A young nun, Flavia is forced into a convent by her father. There she must except the rigid lifestyle these nuns have been forced to accept. She witnesses a nobleman raping a peasant girl in a near by village and the killing of her friend from the convent as a punishment for disobeying the lord, which leads her into questioning her faith and trying to escape. After her escape had been thwarted and being whipped, she hooks up with Muslims and attacks the convent to get revenge. This was an interesting movie and apparently based around real events in Italy during the 1400's. The pacing for the film is rather slow and I didn't find Flavia a very sympathetic character. There is a lot of man bashing, questioning of regilious authority and it really is more dramatic than what I was expecting it to be. There is some good battle scenes when the Muslims arrive and there are some crazy as shit scenes, like Flavia hanging out in a cow carcass in a dream sequence or the punishment at the end. Unfortunately, it doesn't really work as a horror, even though there are horrific scenes, but if you're looking for an exploratory feminist type film with a lot of gory scenes of castration, rape and other weird shit, this may be for you.
4. Nude Nuns with Big Guns (2010) -After a drug deal goes bad, Sister Sarah is drugged and sent to work at a whorehouse. After she escapes, she arms herself and goes out to get her revenge on the church and Chavo, the leader of the biker gang, who does the dirty work of the church. This film was a lot more fun than I thought it was going to be. After you get through, the Kill Bill style of names and places popping up every 10 seconds and the use of every different colour treatments on every scene, there is actually a good story underneath all that shit. There is lots of blood, guts and gore and this rolls as a Tarantino-esque action film. I was hoping to see Danny Trejo, but I guess he was busy working on every other film like this. Fun flick, totally recommend it.
3. Satanico Pandemonium (La Sexorcista) (1975) - Satan finds Sister Maria walking through the forest on a sunny day. She runs away but you know the devil, he will stop at nothing! Throughout the film, he torments Sister Maria into breaking her vows of celibacy, acts of lesbianism and even murder! This film was fun, pacing again slow but there are some silly thing that will make you chuckle. There aren't really to many gory scenes, but its cool to watch the way the devil torments the nun into his submission and how easy it seems to be. Nice twist at the end of the film and the name of the film is super cool. Couldn't find a trailer, so here's a clip.
2. School of the Holy Beast (aka Seiju gakuen) (1974) - After growing up an orphan, Maya Takigawa returns to the Sacred Heart Convent to find out what happened to her mother. Once there she discovers a lesbian Mother Superior, a lecherous priest and a coven of cackling nuns with a lust for tormenting one another. It's unbelievable how many crazy scenes there are in this film and all the bizarre twist it takes. Like any good Japanese gore film, it is all about revenge(!) and punishment is handed down like rain. Half naked women whipping each other with rose thorn vines, self flagellation and anything else you'd expect from a good sploitation film. Story is a little hard to follow at first but it catches up near the end. Totally worth seeing.
1. Alucarda, La Hija de La Tinieblas (1977) - After the death of her parents, Justine is brought to the local convent to live. She makes a new best friend, Alucarda and they go off frolicking in the fields. One day, while frolicking they run into a gypsy, who wants to give them candy or something, anyway they follow him back to his trailer, have they're fortunes read and then go home to the convent. That night, Alucarda thinks it would awesome if they became blood BFF's, a storm brews outside and surprise the gypsy was Satan! Now Alucarda and Justine are under Satan's spell and must cause evil where ever they go. The nuns at the school and a random doctor must help them and remove them from Satan's foul hand! I was a bit apprehensive when this film when it started but as it continued on, it snowballed into one bizarre tale and ended up being my favourite of the bunch. The girl who played Alucarda is so creepy and really drives the film. In the end sequence there is tons of gore and the set dec for this film is crazy, with crucified men hanging in the background. The dialogue is awful, if you had to take a drink ever someone said "I'm frightened" or "I'm scared", you be drunk in the first 20 minutes. This is one of the nuttiest exorcism films I have ever seen and should totally be on your list.
Although these days, I'm on a different end of the spectrum from when I was growing up, I can still appreciate the idea of this eternal fight of God versus the Devil or even the noble idea of sacrificing your body and soul for the ideals of the church but I couldn't see myself in that position and that's probably why these films are so tasty and sacrallious.