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Flavia, the Heretic (1974)

Flavia, la monaca musulmana (original title)
R | | Drama, Horror | January 1977 (USA)
After a cult besieges her convent, a young nun goes with an army of Muslims to destroy the convent and kill who wronged her.

Writers:

Bruno Di Geronimo (screenplay), Gianfranco Mingozzi (screenplay) | 5 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Florinda Bolkan ... Flavia Gaetani
María Casares ... Sister Agatha
Claudio Cassinelli ... Abraham
Anthony Higgins ... Ahmed (as Anthony Corlan)
Spyros Fokas ... the French Duke (as Spiros Focás)
Diego Michelotti Diego Michelotti ... Flavia's Father
Raika Juri Raika Juri ... Sister Livia
Jill Pratt Jill Pratt ... Mother Superior
Franca Grey Franca Grey ... Village Girl
Laura De Marchi ... Tarantula Cult Woman
Eduardo Filipone Eduardo Filipone
Ciro Ippolito Ciro Ippolito
Carla Mancini Carla Mancini
Luigi Antonio Guerra Luigi Antonio Guerra
Giuseppe Pertile Giuseppe Pertile ... Bishop
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Storyline

Italy 1600: A convent of nuns are invaded by the Tarantula Sect on their annual pilgrimage. The cultists defile the place of worship, orgying in the chapel and desecrating the altar. One nun decides she can't take the religious oppression any longer and flees the convent upset that all the leaders are male. Written by <arviga@online.no>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She Launched A River of BLOOD

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

January 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Flavia: Heretic Priestess See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The movie takes place in Italy circa 1400. At one moment Flavia and Abraham are on the beach eating roasted ears of corn. See more »

Quotes

Flavia Gaetani: [addressing Christ on the cross] Why... why? Why is God male? The Father the Son and the Holy Ghost - all male. Even the twelve apostles. All twelve of them - males.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 1994 UK Redemption video was cut by 1 min 24 secs by the BBFC with edits to topless nudity, the rape of the swine-herder's daughter, a nun's breast being burnt and her nipple cut off and shots of Flavia peeling skin from an ankle wound during the flaying scene, as well as heavy edits to a horse being castrated. The 2008 Shameless DVD was fully uncut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Unidentified Flying Oddball (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Peel back the layers of exploitation and there's an interesting film here
31 July 2012 | by tomgillespie2002See all my reviews

One of the more notorious films to come out of the 'nunsploitation' sub- genre, Flavia the Heretic is certainly a curious oddity, obeying the traditions of the genre with titillation and torture, while at the same time producing moments of art, exploring themes such as feminism, religion and sex. It tells the story of a 14-century nun, Flavia Gaetani (Florinda Bolkan), who after being placed into the church by her overbearing father, embarks on a journey through a world dominated by men. She witnesses one of her fellow nuns being brutally tortured after losing her way during a visit from the 'tarantula sect', sees rape at the hands of powerful men, and is even captured and whipped by her own father.

After the Moslems invade, Flavia falls in love with one of their leaders Ahmed (Anthony Higgins) and the two start a love affair. Returning to her convent, Flavia, with a band of Moslem warriors behind her, wreaks revenge on all those who have wronged her and succumbs to an orgy of sex and violence. It is here, within the last forty minutes where the film certainly ignites the interest. The juxtaposition of sexual violence (which includes male rape and sex with swords) with the violence is quite disturbing in the same way as Pasolini's Salo (1975) was, but came out the year before. Pasolini's controversial movie is by far a better film, but Flavia did surprise me with its world cinema attitude and scenes of almost avant-garde strangeness (a naked woman crawls inside a hanging animal carcass as the violence explodes around her).

Although I would say it is unfair to label this as simply 'exploitation', the film does succumb to the Grindhouse audiences desire for cheap thrills. The endless array of 1970's flesh does become tiresome in the first half, where the events that are supposed to be developing Flavia's feelings of injustice come across as nothing more as an excuse to get more tits on the screen. This causes the majority of the first film to be extremely slow-moving and often quite tiresome. Yet overall, when you peel back the layers of exploitation, there is an interesting movie beneath that does a lot with its apparent small budget, just as long as you can stomach scenes of sexual mutilation and human skinning.

www.the-wrath-of-blog.blogspot.com


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