Aug 3, 2020

Satanico Pandemonium (1975)

"Nunsploitation" is a genre unto itself; one that I'm not really interested in, to be honest.  I think the shock of blasphemy doesn't hold up well today when no one really gives a shit. I'm sure they packed a punch in Spain/Mexico/Italy when the Catholic church was still very much a part of everyday life. But in the United States in 2020 - yawn.  That being said, the nunsploitation films had their share of sleaze, and are worth a look on occasion.  This one got some notoriety when Salma Hayek's character from From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) was named after this film.

 Sister María (Cecilia Pezet) sees a naked man by a stream.

The man is Lucifer (Enrique Rocha) and he offers her an apple.

 Back at the convent, Maria starts seeing things - such as the devil's apple.

 She tortures herself to make the bad thoughts go away.

She's raped by a nun - who turns out to be the devil taking the form of a nun.

 Poor Maria can't handle it.

 She prays and sees a holy painting suddenly become demonic.

 Maria is turning to the dark side.  She flirts with a boy she meets at the river.

 She comes on to a fellow nun.

 When the nun refuses, she stabs her.

 Maria watches while a black nun hangs herself.

 She visits the lad she met at the stream.

 The only full frontal from  Cecilia Pezet as she gets in bed with the boy.

 She stabs the boy to death.

 But it's actually the old woman she stabbed. 

 She goes back to the convent and her bloody hands start smoking.

 Realizing she left her scapular at the old woman's house, she retrieves it from her corpse, tightly gripped in her burned and rotting hands.

 She kills the head nun next.

Lucifer provides a vision of hell...

 Maria is on rack, with a funnel in mouth.

 It looks like boiling water is poured down her throat.

 She returns to the convent to find all the nuns getting naked and dancing like lunatics.

She's stabbed by the nuns.  But in the final scene she's freed from the curse. 

Pretty goddamn stupid.  Isn't-it-oh-so-very-blasphemous? Gimme a break.  What I could appreciate was Cecilia Pezet constantly exposing her boobs.  I also thought the setting and visuals were really good.  But the story - lame.

Double Feature:  Alucarda (1977) by same director is the obvious choice. Gilberto Martínez Solares definitely had some religious issues he was wrestling with.

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