1577. The Mother Superior at the convent of Archangel is seriously ill. The determined and calculating Mother Giulia plots to become the next Mother Superior. She receives tough competition... See full summary »
1577. The Mother Superior at the convent of Archangel is seriously ill. The determined and calculating Mother Giulia plots to become the next Mother Superior. She receives tough competition from tormented lesbian Sister Chiara and the lusty Sister Carmela. Written by
Not very exploitative, but definitely worth seeing
If you follow the "nuns-ploitation" genre at all, uh, religiously (sorry) you know these films generally fall into three categories. First, are the films that are more or less serious and are meant to criticize the more or less real historical crimes of the Catholic Church. These include both the earliest films like "The Nun of St. Monza", but also some of the more violent and lurid 70's films like "Flavia, the Heretic" (a personal favorite of mine). Then there are the straight-out lesbian-nun sex romps like Walerian Borozyx "Behind Convent Walls" or Joe D'Amato's "Images from a Convent". Finally, there are the post-"Exorcist", mostly Hispanic films that veer into the supernatural and full-tilt delerium like Franco's "Love Letters of a Portugese Nun" or the Mexican neo-surrealist masterpiece "Alucarda".
This film falls mostly into the first catgerory, but it does veer a little bit into the second. The plot revolves around the campaign to choose a new Mother Superior for the Convent of St. Archangel. One Machiavellian sister (Anne Heywood) tries to get the edge on her two rivals, who have more wealthy and influential family connections on the outside, by slowly poisoning one and arranging for the other (Martine Brochard) to be caught with her male lover (which she easily manages since this bisexual nun is also HER lesbian lover). She also forms an alliance with an unscrupulous nobleman by promising to deliver her virginal niece (Ornella Muti) to him. All of these machinations eventually bring down the corrupt, patriarchal church authorities on the convent. Without giving away too much, the ending is both moralistic and extremely cynical with some evil character getting more than their just desserts while many other, even more wicked characters get off scot free.
This movie may disappoint somewhat as sexploitation. Martine Brochard has a lot of nudes scenes, but Anne Heywood's could best be described as subliminal. Perhaps most regrettably, Ornella Muti keeps her clothes on, even when the older nuns are "inspecting" her virginity. The two semi-official sequels to this, "Story of a Cloistered Nun" and "The Sinful Nuns of St. Valentine's", feature much more copious sex and nudity,including scenes of the young acolytes (Eleanora Giorgi and Jenny Tamburi respectively) getting very naked (and tied-up and whipped, etc.). But for the few fans of these films out there who AREN'T lecherous perverts, this one is probably the most realistic and hard-hitting of the trilogy. It's definitely worth seeing anyway.
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