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Italian Gothic horror that tells the tale of a man who stops at a remote castle hoping to get medical help for an injured woman, only to find the inhabitants mirror the darker sides of the woman and himself.
Lucita has been locked away in a convent by her family in order to keep her away from her lover, Esteban. The pair make plans to elope, but Esteban is accused of heresy before Lucita can escape. Hiding in the convent, Esteban discovers the horrifying depravity of the covent's abbess, Sister Incarnation. Can Esteban rescue his love from this madhouse before the inquisitor discovers what is going on and has everyone executed? Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lucita is a young girl who's banished to a convent by her over-protecting father, so to stop her from marrying her flame, Esteban. Accused of murder, Esteban is set upon by some soldiers of the Inquisition, but he escapes with some injuries and seeks refuge at the convent where Lucita happens to be. While, wanting to clear his name of this foul play. His lover is mistaken for the killing one of the nuns, but she admits to the murder, where she is to be executed. Although, Esteban finds out that the convent's Abbess has more to do with Lucita's misfortune.
An often-told tale (known as Romero and Juliet of course) features very prominently in this watered down Italian nunsploitation flick. While even though there is constant nudity (mainly topless) and some lesbian scenes amongst the field. The factor is, that it doesn't explore the exploitive angle of its material with any vigour and prowess. It starts off decent enough, but hit's a flat spot midway through before reaching its somewhat flipped-out final instalment involving nuns' slowly losing their marbles. The plain and one-note story was very dreary and at times quite automatic, but it managed to scrummage up some surprising developments to cover up its shortcomings and lack of punishing action. Sergio Grieco's direction is pretty conventional and lacks real style, but he captures the detail of the period perfectly and does his job adequately in keeping this a curious piece. The film did have an intrusive look to it because of the camera-work that gets up and close to the act. Now what caught my ear was the seductively faint music score that whispers along rather beautifully and is one of the film's strong points. Acting by the cast is particularly sound, even if there are one or two stilted performances. Jenny Tamburi is very glowing and quite strong as Lucita and Paolo Malco brings a determinedly, courageous edge to Esteban. Also Françoise Prévost is excellent as the sternly, tainted Abbess.
"The Sinful Nuns of Saint Valentine" is a modest effort that's not terribly satisfying, but still I found it to be persistently watchable despite being considerably subdued.
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