FUTURE WAR (1997) on VHS. Trailer.During a mutiny aboard an alien spaceship a runaway slave (Van Damme lookalike Daniel Bernhardt) boards a escape pod and crash lands on Earth, where he promptly falls in the good graces of former-prostitute Sister Ann (Travis Brooks Stewart) who gives him shelter in her halfway home for really big fat guys (really!). The two must stay ahead of the Terminator-like cyborg (Robert Z'Dar) and his tracker dinosaurs (force-perspective "Carnosaur" rejects) sent to retrieve the runaway, as well as the cops wondering why Los Angeles is being overrun with reports of dinosaurs and half-eaten bodies. When fighting back is the only way to survive Sister Ann recruits her 'bato' friends for a homeboys vs. dinosaurs battle to the death, while the growing fondness for the runaway space slave might influence Ann's decision whether to go ahead and take her vows to become a nun.There is a reason "Future War" has the dubious honor of making the quickest trip from video release to "MST3K" fodder (15 months). It's an orgy of ripoffs done ineptly on a shoestring, of which the nunsploitation part is actually the most fun and believable (yes, even the stolen-from-"Starman" train ride where our couple gets to know each other better) by virtue that everything else around it is so laughably cheesy and cheap. Somehow, regardless of where Bernhardt ends up, his shirt will come off and cardboard boxes will lay there (even in a church during service!) from which either him or Z'Dar will be thrown and/or pushed through. Even the TV reporter's camera is made of cardboard and Sharpee markings! You can't say this assembly of ineptitude isn't entertaining in the right mindset though, rendering "Future War's" biggest sin that it wasn't made in the 80's ("The Fly" font rulz!) or that Sister Ann's crisis of faith isn't taken seriously (the trailer kind-of hints at it) until its made into the butt of the movie's 'just one more' action beat. Blink and you'll miss a cameo by Forrest J. Ackerman as one of the unfortunate victims of the dino... I mean, tracker rampage.
Martyrs (2008) – First ViewingProbably a reach for Nunsploitation, but there is a nun in it. Wow, this was a rough one. For as much brutality/cruelty and extreme violence and gore on display here, I admire this movie because it has an original and thought-provoking idea (about dare I say it: Spirituality/Faith) at its core. It is mostly gratuitous but there is at least some meaning behind it. But for the most part this movie is just some of the most ugly, harrowing, and disturbing violence/suffering you’re likely to see. It is the stuff of nightmares. This one will stick with you forever. Interestingly the DVD contains a director introduction/apology. A lot of horror movies are fun, this is not one of them.
One of the best horror films to come out in the last 10 years. I loved going into this originally not knowing anything about it. The way the 3 acts (4 if you count the last segment) are so different really makes this move in ways that were surprising and shocking. Rarely does a horror film give you a character that you actually really feel for and are taken through her ordeal in such an intimate and painful way. I'm generally hard pressed to use the word masterpiece, but I think this redefined the genre and will go down in history as a brilliant film.
Psycho III (1986)A nun on the run (not Eric Idle or Robbie Coltrane) winds up at the Bates Motel, a place where Mother Superior has a whole other meaning and instead of a ruler she's wielding a large kitchen knife. It's not as clever or good as Psycho II (or the original, of course), but it's got an enjoyably wicked streak of dark humor, and Jeff Fahey is always fun to watch, especially when he gets to go all-out scuzzy like he does here.
Killer Nun (aka Deadly Habits) (1978, dir. Giulio Berruti) That great exploitation title is misleading, since the movie isn't really about a killer nun. It's about a nun (Anita Ekberg) who MIGHT have killed someone after a brain surgery starts to make her crazy. She has a lesbian relationship (offscreen), shoots heroin (with her back to the camera) and even has SEX with a MAN (with her clothes on). Nunsploitation movie tries to be seedy and outrageous but can't quite commit. Ok as a curiosity, but there's a reason I have very little interest in the genre.
If time had permitted this was going to be my pick too. Thanks for taking one for the team.
Black Narcissus (1947)What a fantastic movie! It's the darker side of the Sound of Music, a scenario in which Maria stays with the convent and winds up going insane thanks to the impossible situations inherit in imperialism. The switch in tone towards the last half hour that morphs a heady melodrama into a straight up gothic horror tale is a bit jarring, but it totally worked on me. The Technicolor image of Kathleen Byron in the film's final moments is one of the scariest things I've seen since last Scary Movie Month. It all looks incredibly gorgeous and hardly ever betrays the fact that not a single frame was filmed on location. I want a few of those matte paintings just to hang on my wall. I haven't wrapped my head around all the ideas it presents, but it has left me with that giddy feeling that comes after you understand when you've seen something truly masterful. Thanks Junesploitation!
So glad to hear you loved it. I am a big fan of this movie. I really think it is fantastic. The way the atmosphere builds is just incredible. The themes explored in the film definitely need some thinking over and I would suggest a repeat viewing. I think it looks stunning and they use colour to such effect. For instance Sister Ruth and that red lipstick!
Bad Lieutenant (1992): Sorry this wasn't more nun heavy (yes that is a sentence I have just used) but I unfortunately forgot to rent out something nun related from the library and my Nuns on the Run DVD is still in the post. So this seemed like a good opportunity to come to this film on Netflix instead. This was a fantastic film. I really think it manages to use The Lieutenant's (you know that word is very hard for a dyslexic to spell) sense of disconnect with the world around him as a parallel with his lapsed Catholicism really well. Suddenly he is confronted with something illegal that he wants justice for. He cannot comprehend the sense of injustice that these men would get away with this awful crime, despite being guilty of several different crimes himself. Harvey Keitel's performance really worked for me and his breaking points give the character a sense that he is finally connecting to something but in a very tragic manner. Very glad I used today as an excuse to finally get to this one.
Have you heard "F This Movie's" own Patrick Bromley discuss "Bad Lieutenant" and its quasi-sequel/remake on the Projection Booth podcast? :-)
I have had it on my ipod waiting for me to watch the films since it dropped. So now I can listen to the discussion on the orignal at least :)
The Nun (2005) Directorial debut of Luis de la Madrid, the editor of Faust (2000) The Devil's Backbone, Darkness and The Machinist to name a few. The definition of exploitation for terrible acting. Standard horror from the mid 2000's trying to capitalize on the fading popularity of the "J-Horror" genre. Lots of cheap jump scares and good to awful CGI moments. Some of the kills are decent. Unoriginal and forgettable score which does nothing for atmosphere.
Torn Priestess aka Nuns That Bite (1977) posterThis was the only movie I've watched during Junesploitation that wasn't already somewhere on my need-to-watch radar... and it's the best movie I've seen so far this month! It's also the second-best out of the handful of nunsploiters I've seen (School of the Holy Beast will always hold the champion title.) An Edo era set tale of a desperate prostitute skipping town after her jealous pimp murders her gangster boyfriend. Wandering in the woods, she's raped by mountain men, then stumbles upon a Buddhist convent where she's given sanctuary. Within the first night, the nuns have revealed themselves to be drunkards, opium addicts, and lesbians. By night two, as murderers and cannibals! This is a beautifully shot movie with a great cast, a nifty funk/psych score, and tons of energy to go along with the requisite softcore sex and sadism.
That sounds incredible.
BLOOD ORGY OF THE SHE-DEVILS (1974) Of all the nunsploitation movies I could find, this one’s the shortest. (Not my favorite subgenre, guys.) There’s no way any movie could live up to so sensationalistic a title, and that’s the case here. It’s your basic low-budget ‘70s cult/devil worship potboiler, and everybody’s all unnecessarily sweaty. Pass.
I don't know that it's anyone's favorite genre (I know it's not mine), but it is a legitimate exploitation genre and we were trying to add some new categories this year. It might not be back next year.
Flavia The Heretic (1974)A woman's father kills her lover in a battle (something to do with the Ottoman Empire) and then sends her to a convent as punishment. But life at the convent is cruel and stifling, so she runs away. Then she's caught and brought back. But then the Muslims attack and she becomes the lover of one of them and they take over the convent. Weird stuff happens. At first this seemed to be anti-catholic church, then it seemed to me anti-religion, but ultimately, it was about the abuse of power and how men suck because they always abuse power. Ultimately, it was super weird and I just kept saying to myself, wait, what's happening? And why are these things happening? And then there's some text at the end to make it seem like this was about something profound. Oh, and in like the first 10 minutes, we see a horse being castrated.
The Nuns of Saint Archangel (Italy, 1973)Na na na na na na na na nun-porn! Nun-sadomasochism. Nun-infidelity. Nun-murder. Again, I'm late in posting my review for June 18th. Thus, I've watched this softcore porn "film" in penance.The film attempts to pass itself off as a political thriller about corrupt ecclesiastical politics, but doesn't bother to make much of an effort. You just have to look at the DVD cover on Wikipedia, which depicts two nuns kissing above another one whom is naked. The political scenes only serve as blinds between the various scenes of sadomasochism, torture, and acts of infidelity by sexually repressed nuns. Although, I only started Junesploitation this month with Live and Let Die, at least that film attempts (although, badly) to piece together a story. Whereas, The Nuns of Saint Archangel appears simply to be nunsploitation to the nth degree. A bad, BAD film, for sure.
The Sinful Nuns of Saint Valentine (1974)There aren't enough naked lesbian love scenes in the world to make this one worth watching. Horrible production values, boring story, Italian - it has a lot of the ingredients of good exploitation except for my favourite: fun. I actually fell asleep for the last 20 minutes but I'm counting it anyway just because I didn't turn it off after 5 minutes.
The Devils - 1971Watch Ken Russell deliver a beautifully subtle tale of sexual repression amongst nuns in 17th century France. Then watch Oliver Reed give a touching, understated performance as the priest at the centre of it all. Or perhaps you an presume this is all a lie and this film, containing an infamous nun orgy in whIch a statue of Jesus is given a most irreverent treatment is two hours of absolute lunacy.Not for the easily offended, or for those rare people who don't enjoy a nun orgy.