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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.

Director:

Norifumi Suzuki (as Noribumi Suzuki)

Writers:

Masahiro Kakefuda, Norifumi Suzuki (as Noribumi Suzuki)
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Cast

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

16 February 1974 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Convent of the Sacred Beast See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toei Tokyo See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

La Schola de la Bestia Sangrada
30 October 2008 | by chaos-rampantSee all my reviews

You'd be forgiven for thinking a Japanese nunsploit flick helmed by snazzmeister Norifumi Suzuki would be cheap schlock with shower scenes to pad out the running time. No, this is a well made film as much concerned with inverting and subverting religious imagery as it is with aesthetics and sensuality. Certain set-pieces stand out as a testament to that: a nun flagellated in slow motion with roses, rose petals falling all over her bloodied body, a procession of nuns holding candles walking through the convent's corridors, a church interior photographed like a Mario Bava set, a priest falling dead in the shape of an inverted cross, stabbed with one no less.

Although School of the Holy Beast is definitely blasphemous in the imagery it employs and the way those who preach God's word are portrayed (a convent hiding vice and corruption the perfect hiding ground), it's never outrageous enough to shock because everything is done with a sense of artful style that will have all but the most fundamendalist of christians accepting it for what it is. There are a couple of false notes, like the 'witch trial' scene where a nun suspected to be a witch is forcefed salt water then forced to sit upon an image of Christ; if she pees, she's a witch. The method is so medieval that it's hard to picture taking place in the contemporary world the movie is set. Overall the film is enjoyable, mildly violent and sleazy, with perhaps a dash of religious angst that comes out as juvenile, but in good taste and a worthwhile watch.


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