Thursday, September 11, 2014

Killer Nun

Killer Nun Directed by Giulio Berruti, Starring Anita Eckberg (1978).

It begins with that famous song from The Shining, which I did a little research and found that Wendy Carlos took "Dies Irae", an old Latin Hymn from the 13th century and reinterpreted it for the Stanley Kubrick masterpiece. And here I thought, why didn't they steal Jerry Goldsmith's track from The Omen (since we're in that purgatory region). Actually the Killer Nun tune sounds like a mash-up of Ave Satani and The Shining song. It turns out however that Giulio Berruti was more clever than I would imagine, because "Dies Irae" is about the day of judgement used in Roman Catholic Requiem Mass. See there's that Humanities degree being put to the test finally! 

   Skunkape warned me over and over, never to watch Killer Nun because it, to quote him "sucks balls"! Nunsploitation is a subgenre I may actually detest more than Naziploitation--at least with that, you're shocked or appalled as well as entertained. In these religious hysterical dramas I get the feeling there's some kind of underlying philosophy of oppression in league with the "Witch burning films". The fanatical hysteria is almost always driven by lust or greed, this time it's lack of medication. 

Fellini said it was cool if I steal these cookies

   This one stars Anita Ekberg, who most famously starred in Fellini films, so it gets that stink of classiness missing from other nunsploits like Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun or Flavia The Heretic. I did enjoy those two films very much and it's the main reason I'm sticking my neck out this time around. Fingers crossed it doesn't come back to bite me in the ass! 

That's it keep praying, nobody will suspect anything

   My favorite Fulci voice actor Ed Mannix is always music to my ears--here he dubs a priest in a confessional. Sister Gertrude (Anita Eckberg) is the unhinged, deranged nun who works at a mental hospital. One of the patients is Lou Castel (from A Bullet for the General and most likely Neil Patrick Harris' natural birth father, he looks uncomfortably like him). 

I knew it would all go downhill after they canceled How I Met Your Mother!

   The "Killer" Nun is afraid that if she doesn't get more medication, she will snap and start killing all of the patients. The Doctor refuses to administer the nun's morphine and her flock tries to remind her that suffering is what a nun is born to do. 
   She takes comfort in reading the most barbaric torture passages from her bible at dinner and stomps an old ladies false teeth into gummy splinters. 

   Paola Morra, a busty lesbian nun and former Miss Feb. in Italian Playboy 1978, will do anything to get in Sister Gertrude's habit. Speaking of habits, this white penguin has got a monkey on her back in the form of morphine and plans to sell a precious ring to earn enough money, outside the church.

   Skunkape kept telling me how ugly Eckberg was, and for a semi-erotic Skin-a-max style flick, Killer Nun doesn't really work. It can be enjoyed on a level of cheesiness that's missing from most other nunsploits however. Gertrude ventures out into the big bad city on the prowl for some hardcore sex. The jaunty piano song they play during her exploits is laughable, making it all more embarrassing than it should be.

Bravo, now we know how you both really feel, so what!

   Also--I don't find Eckberg attractive--so it doesn't work on an enjoyably sleazy level. 
I do feel happy that she's able to escape the self imposed Catholic prison and get some casual sex. 

These brains would taste better with some prosciutto and melon

   There's an odd psychedelic brain surgery freakout with some mild necrophilia tacked on. While that was going on in her mind, she goes into a trance and commits her first murder.

   Sister Mathieu (Morra) is there for moral support but it skeeves out Sister Gertrude.
The drug crazed psycho nun gets the other psychiatrist fired for not supplying her and guess who shows up as the new Doctor? None other then Andy Warhol's resident New Yawk street hustler/actor Joe Dallesandro. It's a shame that he's dubbed though, because in other Eurotrash films, his heavy Bronx accent sticks out like a sore thumb, here he sounds like any other schmuck!

That's right, Warhol paid me in soup cans and handjobs, big deal!

   In the rain, as the nun hangs outside, she watches a disgusting sex scene with a young girl and an elderly man in a wheelchair. Gertrude turns the tables on Sister Mathieu and can only feel aroused when she's abusing her, Morra has a nice body and its a shame they hardly ever show it.  
   Toward the end the "sister of perpetual suffering" breaks out the acupuncture needles and sticks them in a poor old woman's face! She gleefully jabs a scalpel in and out of her skin and hangs the victim upside down, it's pretty gross!

   In the catalog Chas referred to this as "nearly good as D'Amato". I've enjoyed D'Amato's work better than this film, it's not terrible, just a little too silly for its own good. It doesn't deliver the sadism all the way thru and sort of pulls its punches. I slightly recommend it, 2 out of 4 on the Cult-O-Meter. Blue Underground has this out on Blu-Ray and DVD if you wanna pick up a copy.


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