Suor Omicidi (1979)
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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.'
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!
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.
"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.
First, it stars Anita Ekberg in her most skintastic role. No, you don't get to see her 40-23-38 body, just a brief flash of bun as she manages to get a quickie in town while she is stocking up on her drugs. Yes, she is a junkie nun and she also has a mental illness or brain disease. You never know which as everyone denies there is anything wrong with her. However, she is prone to fits of rage. Is she capable of murder? The murders starts when she returns from town. They are not particularly gruesome, and those looking for giallo will be disappointed.
Finally, there is a hint of lesbianism, but those looking for full blown nunsploitation should look elsewhere. Her roommate is Italian Playboy Playmate Paola Morra, in her first film. Now, Paola does swing both ways and does give full frontal. She is definitely something to see as she is incredible beautiful, but there is no action between her and Ekberg - you just have to imagine it.
The film was well directed and well written. It was an interesting work, but I feel that it will disappoint more than it will entertain.
Ekberg plays a middle aged nun who works for a Catholic hospital somewhere in Europe. She has recently had a brain tumor removed and was told that she made a complete recovery. Ekberg has her doubts because she finds herself acting in bizarre ways. There are several murders at the hospital that Ekberg believes she was responsible due to her changing mental condition. The only person who seems to know about her problems is her roommate/lesbian lover.
The plot isn't very difficult, and the twist is predictable. Look for Joe Dallesandro of "Flesh for Frankenstein" fame (his voice is dubbed, so we don't get to hear the Jersey accent), and some mild lesbian action. Other than that, it's really not worth bothering with.
Anita Ekberg plays Sister Gertrude, a nun who apparently had brain surgery before the movie starts. She is now working in a hospital with geriatrics and crippled patients. Right away we realize that the sister is not all there in the head as she is addicted to morphine and is sleeping with men on the outside of the hospital. Only one other nun working in the hospital realizes what she is doing, but, doesn't lift a finger to stop it. When patients start mysteriously dying it looks like Sister Gertrude may have slipped completely over the edge.
Some of the positives of the movie is that it has a great soundtrack and some truly good acting from the lead characters. The story is a bit predictable, but, that is all OK as the movie is rather entertaining. We have some truly hysterical moments as well! Look for a scene in which Sister Gertrude smashes an old ladies dentures on the floor! Also, for you gorehounds out there, we have very little in this movie. We do have several disturbing kills, but, nothing gory.
I think it is funny how movies like this were made in the 70's. It was truly a great time in exploitation cinema. A movie like this wouldn't dare be made now-a-days. I would certainly check this movie out if you are a fan of exploitation. It is well worth the time. 8/10
I regret to say this film isn't even bad enough to be good or funny, it's just a mess. What could have been suspenseful or thrilling is simply thrown away by poor character development and wooden acting (although the crude English dubbing doesn't help). Some situations are frankly unbelievable, such as Sister Gertrude having a 'day out' as a hard-drinking swinger before returning to her cell with an illicit stock of morphine. As for eroticism, I would have expected rather more than some very brief nudity, even in 1978.
To cap it all the ending is unforgivably confused - who *was* the killer nun? Unfortunately I can't bear to sit through this again to find out.
And moreover, the story comes from the Secret Files of the Vatican!
This is indeed an enjoyable mystery thriller, though you can easily figure out, or guess, the twist in the tale. Ekberg as Sister Gertrude does a passable, not great, portrayal of a morphine addict, and the rest of the cast is above average. It's the story, written by the director and Alberto Tarallo, along with the pace and style of the film, thanks to Director Giulio Berruti, which makes this so watchable.
There's so much happening and for most of the time, it verges on the ridiculous but somehow manages not to fall over that line. It's this which makes the film work for me. Not once did I even think about turning it off! In truth, I was so entertained I was glued to the screen and didn't notice or think of the runtime.
This is a wonderful waste of time. A true Schlock B-movie classic. I would recommend the film to all, especially if you're feeling down or having a bad day.
The film follows a strict, repetitive plot; a murder occurs, which is then followed by investigation and much suspicion, then another murder, and so on up until the twist finale (which isn't really that surprising, seeing as you never really see Ekberg commit the crimes she is accused of). As this is an Italian movie, there's a certain style to it which makes it watchable, and the crisp photography is nice to look at too, along with an expressive score.
The acting is pretty good as well, especially from Ekberg as the confused, tormented nun. The supporting cast may be full of unrecognisable Italians, but they all act professionally with the exception of a few over-the-top hysterical nuns. Sadly it is the lack of incident which results in this film's downfall, that and the ending which makes you think "is that it?". It simply looks like they ran out of budget and had to draw the film to a premature close.
The murders, when they occur, are pretty good; they include death by suffocation, a bludgeoning followed by a fall from a window, and in the film's grisliest scene, a woman has pins pushed into her face - ouch! There are also individual scenes like when Ekberg stamps on an old woman's dentures which stick out as being quite absurd and entertaining. Although the sex was quite hyped up before the film, it's actually not that explicit, and instead kept to a sizzling undercurrent of lust and passion. THE KILLER NUN may be a pretty forgettable movie, but thanks to the Italian influence it's quite watchable as these things go.
The nun played by an over-the-hill Anita Ekberg is crazy due to a brain tumour she's just had removed. She forces her geriatric charges to do grueling calisthenics, stomps on their dentures, reads them gruesome tales of saintly martyrdom, has sex with random men in bars, shoots up heroin and may well be a murderer.
The movie has aspirations to the erotic in a few scenes, I guess, but Ekberg was way past her use-by date. The younger nun who tries to seduce her was much better looking, even with a massive bush, but we don't see enough of her. It's all about Ekberg, and who cares about her? Pretty hard to believe she was ever a sex symbol.
The movie has one horrible torture scene where someone has needles pushed through the skin of their bandaged face.
The ending may have had a twist, or it may not have had. I didn't care at all and was just waiting for the movie to end.
Anita Ekberg & Paola Morra are the attractions here & the story line is just strong enough to carry the show when they are not on screen. A somewhat eerie feeling to this show. If a hint of blasphemy upsets you avoid this like the plague.
If you like Anita Ekberg unclothed this is for you. PS: Paola is better looking than Anita but there is less flesh than you might think. Blasphemy was the reason for the ban. Joe Dallesandro stars here too. Check him out in Blood for Dracula & also in Flesh for Frankenstein along with a cast of nude cuties.
Full of striking imagery, director Giulio Berruti's sleazy and sexy combination of the Giallo and Nunsploitation genres is deliberately paced and very well acted by some of its cast. The co- stars include Paola Morra as the enticing young Sister Mathieu; the delectable Ms. Morra delivers a fine performance and does some full frontal nudity. Alida Valli ("Suspiria") plays the Mother Superior, Massimo Serato ("Don't Look Now") is the dedicated Dr. Poirret, Lou Castel ("The American Friend") is the cynical Peter, and Andy Warhol film graduate Joe Dallesandro, wooden as always, is Patrick Rowlands, the young man who replaces Poirret as the doctor.
It's not exactly hard to figure out where all of this is going, but getting there is still reasonably fun. Supposedly "based on actual events that occurred in a central European country not that long ago", it works on the level of good trash, with a fair bit of gore, the aforementioned nudity, and an overall sense of surrealism. Standout sequences include the torture of one poor patient (it's guaranteed to make some viewers wince) and the struggle of the crippled Peter to make it up some stairs without the use of his crutches.
People who enjoy Italian sleaze pictures will likely have a good enough time with this one.
Seven out of 10.
"Killer Nun" was ultimately a fairly disappointing experience. As a video nasty, one wonders why it was put on the list. The killings are hardly graphic and while there is nudity and sex scenes, they're not that frequent, extended, or graphic. We see boobs, a couple of shots of verdant 70s bush, and the flaccid penis of a morgue slab cadaver, but not much more. I suspect the name itself was enough to raise the ire of video store raiding bobbies; combined, perhaps, with the notion of a drug-addled, homicidal, lesbian nun! (Having typed all of that out, it almost seems like plenty of reasons to bother the censors! But really, the scenes are brief, not especially graphic or gratuitous, and few-and- far-between.)
Highlights are an occasionally entertaining score by Alessandro Alessandroni, the presence of a curvaceous former Italian Playmate, Paola Morra, and some pleasantly surreal morphine hallucination scenes. Other than that, it's a pretty forgettable hour and a half; probably worth watching only by completists or die-hard fans of Italian B cinema. I've certainly seen plenty worse, but there are also many better...mind you, if lesbian drug-addicted psychotic nuns are your thing, maybe this is the one-stop film for you!
The highlight is Gertie going into a bar and picking up a stranger, taking him to a building's hallway, lifting her skirt and doing something against all the rules of Catholicism that are written in the guidelines regarding proper and decent behavior. Killer Nun is grade b camp, but I found it mildly amusing.