Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Flavia The Heretic

Flavia The Heretic, Directed By Gianfranco Mingozzi. Starring Florinda Bolkan. (1974).
      Florinda Bolkan( Don't Torture a Duckling, Machine Gun Mccain) plays Flavia The Heretic, a nun looking for something better than religious oppression. The historical aspect is all over the place and it's not healthy to count on a nunsploitation flick for accuracy. It seems to take place during the Crusades and there is political strife between Christians and Muslims. Flavia's father beheads a knight and it all takes place in Southern Italy. The nuns all pray flat on their bellies like reptiles as Flavia fantasizes about the beheaded knight. The Tarantula Cult arrives (they wildly dance and speak in tongues like Snake Handlers)! They climb the walls and floors for awhile. Flavia whips out her unusually pointy nipples and aims them at a saint (possibly Constantine who points his sword towards her). She leaves the convent and visits Abraham, who her father took out of a Jewish ghetto and set him up in a nice cottage. He tells her about Lillith (who apparently was created by God out of shit & garbage). Now I know why they used her for Lillith Fair!! There are boundaries set up in this film concerning Jews being ostracized by Christians and Nuns locked in convents, they both seek control and freedom from oppression. These are valuable lessons for such a Eurotrash flick which is part Fulci/ part Fiddler on The Roof/ Olivia Hussey Romeo & Juliet! 
Abraham's sweet black light poster
Flavia sees all kinds of horrible shit on the farm by the convent (people screwing in a pig pen), a real horse being castrated. Flavia starts to resent men (Father, Son & Holy Ghost), who she considers all men and there are themes of denied human emotions, shame, sin of pride.The nuns act like the ones in The Devils but not as cryptic. A nun's breasts and belly are scarred and then sliced off as Flavia looks down below from a stone pit. She starts to realize that the confessors and priests only want to be in control of a women's freewill and also control her. Abraham (The Jewish hermit) is Flavia's only companion and they run away together. Her attachment to him could be considered cavorting with a heretic (during the Spanish ReconQuista, but that's never mentioned).The music sounds like Romeo & Juliet and Mark of The Devil. This is less a horror film and more of a character study of social taboos found in a repressed Catholic setting. Flavia stops wearing her nun habit and accepts Abraham's friendship. 
        They both pay as Flavia is whipped and brought back into the fold. Constantine keeps visiting her and is told that men are afraid their power will be usurped by nuns. One nun pees on the ground then tries to force Flavia into a lesbian encounter (why she peed first is anyone's guess)? The nun that Flavia hangs out with is insane and calls the Madonna a Pagan venus? At one point she grabs a random kid's balls and yells that Christians are shitting their pants over the Muslim/ Christian war. Muslims represent the other world to these nuns trapped on this hellish island. Why they would go against Christ is the same theme as The Devils, that they really worship order and power and lust for men. The knight with a pig sex fetish impales Flavia's deranged nun friend. He is later captured and forced to reenact the sex in the pig pen (He looks sort of like Al Lettieri from Mr. Majestik, The Get Away). The same uninhibited nature of destruction during the Middle Ages is a long running theme (found in Flesh + Blood too). Flavia finally gives in and sheds her pesky virginity with the future villain in Young Sherlock Holmes (played by a young Anthony Higgins). The foul mouthed ball grabbing nun rises from the dead and the walls begin to bleed. Other scary shit that occurs; a full bushed naked woman steps off a cross is then eaten by others and starts a chain reaction orgy, while in the background a girl feeds inside the carcass of a cow. I mean this is starting to look like a Deicide/ Morbid Angel wet dream! Uck! This film takes a lot of patience to get through, but has enough madness to sustain any atheist, gorehound or historical nerd (Although they may get pissed from all the inaccuracies). 

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