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a very, very silly film. not once will you feel horror or revulsion (unless you are the sensitive type or a nun) but you may smirk, and you may laugh and you may even find yourself cheering on dear old sister gertrude as she goes on her rampage of false teeth destruction, morphine addiction, random sex and abuse and an extreme misuse of stockings. somehow this all ties together in a film which is somewhat cohesive, quite impressively directed for the most part, beautifully scored, very well acted and just generally entertaining. certainly not for everybody though, you do have to have a slightly bent idea of entertainment or at least enjoy cinema on the edge, on the edge of what, im not quite sure. over all, an enjoyable psychodrama with a touch of taboo.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
From Ken Russell's 'The Devils' to Jesus Franco's 'Love Letters Of A
Portuguese Nun,' from Sergio Grieco's 'Sinful Nuns Of St. Valentine' to
Gianfranco Mingozzi's classic 'Flavia The Heretic' and everything in
between, I am a self-confessed nunsploitation freak. I wanted to embrace
Killer Nun uncritically. I also like to check out any film featuring Joe
Dallesandro, who is always interesting. Except, maybe, in this movie. But
would be unfair to ask Joe to save a failure like Killer Nun. The basic
problem with this movie is the misleading title. With a title like Killer
Nun, you are compelled to either deliver the goods, or condemned to
disillusioning your audience. As a viewer, I haven't felt so disillusioned
since I saw 'Blow Up' and not a single cast member exploded. I actually
asleep the first time I tried to watch this film, right after Anita Ekberg
stomped on the old lady's dentures. I did not pass out from tiredness but
from the surprise agony of boredom this film inflicted upon my vulnerable
brain. I trustingly placed my fragile psyche in the hands of cruel and
insensitive filmmakers who betrayed me! By the time I fell asleep on the
initial viewing attempt, I had long wearied of chanting "Kill, Nun, Kill!"
every time a nun appeared on screen. Maybe if the film had been marketed
under the title "Horny Junkie Nun" or "Nun With Occasional Psychotic
Episodes" I wouldn't have felt so ripped off.
The second time I settled down to inflict Killer Nun upon myself I was prepared. I sat through it with steely determination, thankful for my preternaturally high pain threshold.
There's some soft sex and nudity, but only one scene between Sister Gertrude (Ekberg) and her younger lesbian nun lover contains any hint of eroticism or interest. Sister Gertrude humiliates her submissive girlfriend, Sister Mathilde (Paola Morra, an Italian Playboy Playmate who also had a small role in the nunsploitation flick 'Sex Life In A Convent'). Ekberg forces her to dress in silk stockings to satisfy her admitted fetish, and demands that she repeat the words, "I am the worst kind of prostitute!" Unfortunately this is a case of too little too late. This scene could have been deliciously lascivious... another opportunity to deliver the prurient goods utterly wasted.
The same can be said of the gore. Yeah, people die in this movie but the first outright killing occurs nearly halfway through the film. The gore, such as it is, is almost entirely implied, and will only irritate fans of graphic violence FX. Another killing carries genuine potential for thrills and terror, as the victim is sadistically tortured with pins. Somehow the filmmakers actually succeed in making scenes like this boring. Doesn't cut it with a film called Killer Nun, babe.
As for the other half of the reason I was looking forward with some pleasurable anticipation to watching this movie. Joe Dallesandro. His role is negligible. Aside from a lame soft sex scene with Morra, he's given nothing to do at all. Dallesandro is usually more than watchable in genre films. While he never gives a bad account of himself, in this instance his presence is wasted. A significant letdown for this fan.
I never imagined I would be disappointed in a nunsploitation entry. The biggest shock this film delivers is what a dud it turned out to be. I've had more laughs filming myself vomiting than I had watching this movie. If you want nunsploitation then consider Killer Nun as a last resort. Instead try one of the films mentioned in my opening remarks, or maybe you'd enjoy my personal favorite, Pedro Almodovar's 'Dark Habits.'
I'm really surprised at the lack of comments for this classic piece of
Nunsploitation! This movie is really, really odd! Anita Ekberg plays a
cancer obsessed Nun who works as a nurse. Old people start getting killed,
and she starts flipping out. She stomps on an old lady's false teeth,
up morphine, picks up a guy and screws him, and gets sexually involved
a fellow disturbed nun. Is she the killer? Does she even know herself?
'Killer Nun' to find out.
Warhol regular Joe Dallesandro appears as a doctor but isn't very memorable. Ekberg's lesbian lover is though! One of the hottest nuns you'll ever see!
"Killer Nun" is a cross between a sleazy nunsploitation flick and a
giallo murder mystery. Surprisingly, its much more restrained when it
comes to the more exploitable elements compared to most other films in
either genre (and is certainly one of the most undeserving video
nasties). Its a pretty silly screenplay, but its directed with an
amount of skill and professionalism that it becomes rather compelling
surprisingly. Director Giulio Berruti seems to want to present a more
serious minded portrayal of schizophrenia and falling from faith than
most other directors working in the nunsploitation genre. Don't be
worried though, because the film still has plenty of trashy moments and
overall bizarreness to appeal to grindhouse fanatics.
At the center of the film is Anita Ekberg. She offers a very strong performance and invests more gusto into this role than most serious actors would. She was a bit of a has-been at this point in her career, but she still has as much screen presence and sex appeal as she did twenty years earlier. The rest of the actors are pretty dull, including Joe Dallesandro (hes only good when playing bored and disinterested junkies). Still, Ekberg's performance and the better than usual direction from Giulio Berruti make this an above-average exploitation film. Just keep in mind it isn't as much of a campy hoot as the title suggests (even though there are a few moments that'll inspire giggles). (6/10)
Killer Nun is a crossover between two of sleaze cinema's most popular
subgenres; the graphically titled 'nunsploitation' and the more popular
Italian thriller known as Giallo. I can't say I'm very experienced with
the former, but I'm a big fan of the latter; and the fact that this
film was a part of the Video Nasty list back in the eighties ensured
that I had enough reason to see it. As a Video Nasty, this film isn't
all that good and is unfortunately one of the more tame entries on the
list, and to be honest; I can't see a good reason for banning it, other
than the obvious implications of a nun taking it upon herself to begin
killing people. As a Giallo, this film isn't all that good either - as
there isn't a lot of mystery going on, and the murders aren't too
imaginative. However, as a slice of sleaze; this film works a treat!
The plot follows a nun who finds herself addicted to morphine after
having an operation on a brain tumour. However, this isn't the most
dangerous element of her psyche; as the patients at the hospital she
works at believe that she is behind a series of murders!
The film clearly knows what its main strengths are, and director Giulio Berruti delights in showing things such as lesbianism and torture to his audience. The idea of one of God's disciples going around murdering people isn't the most original idea ever conceived, but it's well worked as the film always appears to be completely serious and manages to stay away from the comic book styling's of many Giallo, which would ultimately have harmed the film. Cult actress Anita Ekberg takes the lead role and delivers a strong performance, which despite not winning her any plaudits; works well in the context of the movie, and she does carry off the nun look well. Joe Dallesandro joins in the fun, and the rest of the unknown cast are good enough for this sort of film. The lesbian scenes in the movie are well done and actually rather erotic, thereby guaranteed to delight the movie's target audience. The plot is always secondary to the sleaze, and therefore isn't too interesting; but it plays out nicely, and while the ending isn't particularly strong; this is a good example of sleaze cinema and is recommended to the relevant people.
I just watched this for the second time and I liked it a lot. The first time I saw it I was somewhat out of it and was completely flummoxed by the ending, this time round I understood it and appreciated it a little more although it is somewhat abrupt. Killer Nun seems to get a lot of criticism for not being as sleazy or vicious as other films of its type and its impossible to deny that its pretty restrained in those departments. Gore is minimal and there isn't too much nudity either. However, the killing in the film makes up for lack of gore with an intense, disturbing quality and the sleaze, though more suggested than shown is still fairly interesting. The plot is the films biggest asset for me, the idea of a nun being mean to the elderly is delightfully wicked. Anita Ekberg does well in the main role and there are other OK performances as well, benefiting from a good script and Giullio Berutti's quality direction. The film seems to try to be much classier than its subject matter suggests, which makes for an occasionally amusing tone, although more emphasis on the nasty aspects would have helped. I liked the music, though it wasn't as great as some other Italian scores. All in all, I found this to be a satisfying, stylish and mean exploiter, a bit mild, but still definitely worth a look.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
*SPOILER ALERT* *SPOILER ALERT*
"Killer Nun" baby. What a title. I couldn't resist. I was helpless. A nun. Who's a killer! Had to see it.
Unfortunately "Killer Nun" was too good a title. It couldn't live up to the high sleaze bar it had set for itself. The main nun, Sister Gertrude, (Anita Ekberg), does not get naked. She wasn't a young nun but she still had it going on. She was looking good.
So Gertrude works in a hospital. She is also addicted to morphine. Patients start ending up dead. Gertrude is suspected of being a killer nun. Her young nun roommate tries to console her. She also gets naked a lot and longs to be with Gertrude. In a good scene, Gertrude says that she'll only make love to a woman if she's wearing silk stockings. But once again, the movie falls short and no nun sex scene. Rats.
All in all, not too exciting. If the point of a "nunsploitation" movie is to see women dress as nuns and be sexual, this movie falls flat.
Far better than I remember thinking on my first viewing but that was a while ago and now I think of it one of my first in this field. Probably not a good one to encounter first because it really is such a strange one. Pretty surreal with nuns drifting down corridors, gowns splayed out behind and the dreams, imaginings and nightmares punctuated with goring killings and lusty couplings. Ekberg is fine but so is everybody and they all play weird so that this also helps to give the film an unreal feel even though it is firmly set in a convent and supposedly based upon a true case. A stand out moment is the crushing underfoot of the poor old lady diner's false teeth, as we cut from the vicious trampling to the squirming old lady, hands to her mouth. Music is pleasant enough and effective if a little derivative and if Dallesandro seems the most normal person on the screen that just goes to show something about this true one off.
I loved this film, 'Killer Nun' (aka Suor Omicidi 1978). When I first found out about it, I knew I had to see it! This came out a year after 'Communion' (aka 'Alice, Sweet Alice') and both of these seem very similar in their approach by their directors. Both seemed to be from the same vein of film-making. European! The film is about a Nun (and a sexy one at that, played by Anita Ekberg!) who is addicted to morophine and who is losing her mind...or is she?! What's wild is that she can get away from the convent and stalk the streets for a casual sexual liason, which is one of the high-lights of the movie! She goes back to the convent and really bad things start to happen, people die....at first, they seem like 'accidents' or 'suicides', but as the film goes on, you start to see what is really happening - but I won't spoil it for others here! Just see it, rent it, buy it if you find it. The DVD is excellent. There's an interview with the director at the end and it gives insights of how they filmed this movie - inside an actual convent! And how they were able to get away with filming so many sexy scenes! There's plenty of hot sexual situations and nudity in this Euro-trash nunspoiltaion film, as well as some 'tasteful' violence! A must see for ANY Euro-horror, babe-loving film fan! I give it about a 7 1/2 out of 10! *******1/2
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sister Gertrude, in the 1978 Italian horror film "The Killer Nun," is certainly not your typical, garden-variety nun. Addicted to mainlining morphine (Sister Morphine?!?!) as a result of a recent brain tumor operation, she also smokes cigarettes, drinks liquor in bars, hallucinates, has up-against-the-wall sex with casually picked-up men, wears makeup, steals, engages in domineering lesbian sex with her roommate, and, perhaps most shocking of all, refers to her Mother Superior as "bitch." Still...does that mean she's responsible for the wave of recent murders in the French hospital where she works? What would YOU think? As played by Miss Sweden 1951 herself, Anita Ekberg, Gertrude really is a sight to behold, both in and out of the, er, habit. Sadly, this picture, though great sounding in synopsis, is a real mixed bag, never dishes out quite enough in the sex and violence departments, and will probably leave most viewers wanting more in terms of sleaze, shocks and scares. Still, there are some pleasures to be had here. Giulio Berruti's directing is occasionally quite stylish, and the film's score, by Alessandro Alessandroni, is freaky (especially during Gertrude's "shooting sprees") and really quite excellent. Film buffs will also be happy to see Alida Valli and Joe Dallesandro in small roles, and one of the film's murders, featuring multiple hypodermic needles in an old woman's face, should satisfy all the gorehounds out there. The DVD that I just watched, from the good folks at Blue Underground, looks fine but has been poorly dubbed; subtitles would have been infinitely preferable. I had to watch the film twice to make sure I understood the ending correctly--the hushed, fast-talking dubbing doesn't always make things easy--and, if I may make a, um, confession, did appreciate it more the second time around.
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