"Nuns That Bite" is a Japanese nunsploitation film that, content-wise, feels like Teruo Ishii-lite. Ishii, for the uninitiated, directed such works as "Horrors of Malformed Men", "Orgies of Edo", and "Love and Crime". He also helmed a number of torture-themed flicks for the same studio, but it is with "Love and Crime", with its glorious catalog of freaks and visual atrocities, that this film shares common virtues.
The set-up is basic and a little protracted. A woman on the run is raped, rescued, then raped again. Escaping, she heads for the hills and finds safe haven at a convent. After becoming a postulant (trainee nun), she catches her fellow sisters engaging in lesbianism, fighting over nothing, hurling snakes at each other, and engaging in mild flesh eating. Compared to the rich convent life presented in Norifumi Suzuki's School of the Holy Beast, the convent in "Nuns That Bite" is a more modest affair. It's a series of rooms in which nuns sleep, make out, and act crazy. The Mother Superior is MILF material (I guess MSILF is more accurate) who oversees various punishments and enjoys the services of a strange boy-in-waiting (her son perhaps?) who appears to exert quite a bit of power over the sisters. This fellow proves himself quite the first-rate tattletale when he reports on our heroine's investigation into the convent non-religious activities. Not surprisingly, she pays a painful price for the little sh*t's loose lips.
The films sounds marginally better in synopsis than it actually is. At times, it's a little slow and pedestrian, and lacks the cinematic energy someone like Suzuki or Ishii would have brought to it. Various bloody atrocities are served up such as a headless body, a severed head, bones stripped of flesh, and various stabbings and piercings. The lesbian lovemaking is erotic enough without becoming repetitious, and there are some deformed, freakish characters who should have been given moire screen time and some story relevance. One sequence involving a crazy woman performing a religious ritual and acting like she's on LSD has the Ishii feel, and could have passed as a deleted scene from "Horrors of Malformed Men".
For director Makiguchi, this is fairly restrained material. Previously, he directed the brutal, visceral "Shogun's Sadism" (aka "Joys of Torture 2: Oxen Split Torturing") and the nasty "Bizarre Crimes of Post-War Japan". "Nuns That Bite" was his last theatrical feature.
At sixty-nine minutes, the film is very short, but it feels longer because there not much plot to speak of.
Still, great to see this little-seen treat in the daylight at last, and still recommended for adventurous fans.
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