6.7/10
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24 user 41 critic

School of the Holy Beast (1974)

Seijû gakuen (original title)
In order to investigate her mother's strange death, a woman enters a sacred convent run by hypocritical, perverse nuns.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yumi Takigawa ...
Maya Takigawa
Emiko Yamauchi ...
Matsuko Ishida
Yayoi Watanabe ...
Hisako Kitano
Ryouko Ima ...
Natarii Guriin (Natalie Green)
Harumi Tajima ...
Tamao Oka
Natsuko Yashiro ...
Kaoru Onotsuka (as Yûko Oribe)
Marie Antoinette ...
Janetto (Janet)
Emi Jô ...
Youko Watanabe (as Emi Shiro)
Rie Saotome ...
Emi Takanami
Sanae Ôhori ...
Mie Mitsuko
Kyouko Negishi ...
Michiko Shinohara
Yumi Kimura ...
Keiko Kitano
Yôko Mihara ...
Sadako Matsumara
Akiko Mori ...
Aya Ogasahara
Fumio Watanabe ...
Priest Kakinuma
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Storyline

After the mysterious death of her mother, a young woman chooses to enter a convent to find out what happened. As soon as the door closes to the nunnery, the nuns start torturing the woman. Also, the woman has to deal with a God-hating archbishop and a lesbian mother superior. Written by Anonymous

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Drama | Thriller

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Release Date:

16 February 1974 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Convent of the Sacred Beast  »

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2.35 : 1
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The ultimate in nunsploitation
15 July 2008 | by See all my reviews

Christians, especially Catholics, would be quick to say the devil made this film. They would be wrong, as it was made by exploitation master Norifumi Suzuki.

It was a beautifully crafted film with outstanding cinematography. Light and shadows used to great effect and outstanding color, especially at the point where one nun was whipped with bouquets of roses, the thorns stripping her flesh as the petals floated to the ground.

It was a film that was strongly anti-god. The priest constantly reminded us that god was not present - he didn't answer man's pleas. "God was not at Nagasaki. God was not at Auschwich." God was not there for the priest or for the nuns.

It was up to Maya (Yumi Takigawa) to solve her own problems. She was not there for god, but to find out how her mother died, and who was responsible. Her mother was a nun at the convent 18 years prior. Of course, she manages to complete her mission and also find out who her father was. More for the religious to complain about.

The usual features of nunsploitation are there: lesbianism, rapes (one by the priest), and flagellation. But there was so much more, as elements of the Inquisition were also present. One nun is tortured and forced to drink a pan of salt water. A crucifix is placed at her feet as a test of whether or not she was a witch. Of course they waited several hours to make sure, so you can predict she failed.

The nudity in the film does not come close to others in the genre, and most of it occurs when nuns are being severely punished. In a sense, it is also a horror film for that.

Even as a beginner in the genre, I cannot imagine that I will see a finer film.


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