Wednesday, 10 June 2015
The Killer Nun (1979, Giulio Berruti)
Is there any finer subgenre in the field of the horror and exploitation film than that of 'Nunsploitation'? (Well, yeah, maybe 'Giallo' but let's try and concentrate here) From Ken Russell's seminal (ooh-err!) The Devils (1971) and Jess Franco's quite wonderful copycat / homage The Demons (1973), through Sergio Grieco's The Sinful Nuns of Saint Valentine (1974). Gianfranco Mingozzi's classic of the genre Flavia the Heretic (1974) to Franco's decrepit Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun (1977), there has always been something about nuns and sex that go hand in glove with the depraved mind of the cineaste of the unusual.
This particular Twisted Sister, though, decides that to feed her constant need for poppy derivatives, she should start offing some of the elderly and infirm patients in her charge, in order to sell off their jewellery for drugs, booze and sex on her days off. A nun with a bad habit indeed. Ha.
Gertrude is also torn betwixt her fleshly cravings for new doctor about town Joe Dallesandro (of many a '70s Eurosleaze flick, especially Blood for Dracula and Flesh for Frankenstein, to say nothing of his early Warholian work in stuff such as Trash), and her lesbian lust for co-habitee Sister Mathieu (Paola Morra).
Solidly, if slightly stolidly, made, with some effective murder scenes and hallucinatory sequences for Sister Gertrude's heroin-induced voyages to Trip-Out City.