Welcome to today’s installment of 31 Days of Halloween! This is our chance to set the mood for the spookiest and scariest month of the year as we focus our attention on horror and Halloween fun. For the month of October we’ll be talking to creators working in horror and share and recommend various pieces of underappreciated scary media-books, comics, movies, and television-to help keep you terrified and entertained all the way up to Halloween.
Nunsploitation films are entertaining as hell! Pun intended! Best known for tackling topics such as religion and sexual suppression, there is a special place in cinema history for this classification of exploitation film. Nunsploitation hit its peak in the 70s alongside the women prison films and Naziploitation. Most are set in secured convents with a female dominated community leading to perversity and lesbianism. A lot of the films were produced in countries where the Catholic Church was the most influential.
Killer Nun (Directed by Giulio Berruti) is a prime example as it is set in 1978 Italy. The ever so sultry Anita Ekberg (Fangs of the Living Dead, La Dolce Vita) stars as Sister Gertrude, a nun who works in a hospital. She begins having homicidal thoughts after having surgery to remove a tumor from her brain. The pain is so insufferable that she abuses morphine developing an addiction. She pleads for help from her superiors about her health, but no one pays any attention to her cries for help.
Things go wrong while Sister Gertrude is assisting a doctor during an operation and somehow becomes inspired to pull the plug on a patient’s life support. Her addiction is getting worse, as well as her mental illness. After talking to her very much nude roommate, who may or may not be a lesbian, (I’m going with yes!) she sets out into the “real” world to raise hell!
Sister Gertrude hits the town all jacked up on morphine and looking ever so delicious. I can’t lie here; Ekberg is absolutely gorgeous and carries all the sexy with her. But as her sexual adventures increase, so does the body count as Gertrude returns to the convent and that is when the bodies begin to stack up there as well!
Exploitation and horror fans rejoice! There are plenty of blasphemous nympho nun shenanigans packed into the film. Nothing says taboo more than seeing a beautiful lady donned in a habit doing naughty things a nun has no business doing. Add death to the formula and you have a satisfying piece of sleazy cinema.
Killer Nun is a thrilling mix of giallo and nunsploitation. Yes, there is blood, sex, nudity, all the fun stuff you expect out a film like this, but that is just the surface. Underneath, Eckberg does a magnificent job playing the seductive Sister Gertrude. Her descent into madness is beautifully directed by Berruti, who shows both a fragile and abusive side of Gertrude as she struggles with her own demons that causes her to violently lash out at others. The cinematography is notch above your typical exploitation film and assists in sending out that giallo vibe.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:
-New 2K restoration from the original 35mm camera negative
-High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
-Uncompressed mono 1.0 LPCM audio
-Original English and Italian soundtracks, titles and credits
-Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
-Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
-New audio commentary by Italian genre film connoisseurs Adrian J. Smith and David Flint
-Beyond Convent Walls, a new video essay on nunsploitation and Killer Nun by critic Kat Ellinger
-Starry Eyes, a new interview with director Giulio Berruti
-Cut and Noise, a new interview with editor Mario Giacco
-Our Mother of Hell, a new interview with actress Ileana Fraia
-Original Italian and international theatrical trailers
-Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Daryl Joyce
–FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Andreas Ehrenreich and Roberto Curti, original reviews.