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 ... See full summary »
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>
Recently a Belgian/Dutch distributor to whom I'm very grateful released a series of sleazy Euro-exploitation movies of the early 70's on DVD under the title "So Demented Cinema". Practically all of the films live up to this title, like "Nude for Satan", "The Reincarnation of Isabel" and "The Devil's Nightmare", but Sergio Grieco's "The Sinful Nuns of Saint Valentine" is actually a bit of an outcast in the series. Because of its classification under the trashy & typically 70's "Nunsploitation" sub genre (and admittedly because of its lurid yet misleading title) it superficially LOOKS like a demented gem, but in reality it's a surprisingly smut-free and primarily story-driven drama with just a handful of nunsploitation trademarks thrown in for good measure. Speaking in terms of filming style and atmosphere "The Sinful Nuns " is much more reminiscent to Ken Russell's "The Devils" (I believe both films are even loosely inspired by the same novel) and "Flavia, The Heretic", though it's nearly not as great as these two classics. Fellow reviewers appropriately described the plot as a variation on the Romeo & Juliet theme, only set during the Spanish Inquisition and with nuns instead of battling families. In order to prevent her from marrying Esteban, a hateful nobleman subjects his lovely daughter Lucita to a strict life in the convent whilst he simultaneously reports Esteban as a betrayer of Spain. Soldiers of the Inquisition nearly kill Estaban, but that doesn't stop him from infiltrating the convent (with a little help from the understanding caretaker) and contacting his girl. The deceptive Abbess discovers this and develops a fiendish plan to have them both killed in the name of Catholicism and patriotism. The script is far more compelling and involving than your average movie about lesbian nuns worshiping the devil for no reason, but it also has to be said that "The Sinful Nuns " is rather tame, boring and not at all sinful. Apart from a handful of scenes depicting the physical torture and humiliation of the young heroine, there's very little to see here. The 'immured nuns' finale is somewhat original, but it appears to go on forever and it rapidly becomes (unintentionally) funny. All in all, there are far better Euro-exploitation treasures begging for rediscovery, so don't waste too much time searching for this one.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?