I am far from knowledgable on the sub-genre that is nunsploitation. I’ve seen plenty of religious-themed horror and nuns may have been involved, but none that solely focused on them. Today it’s probably dangerous territory, but the seventies and eighties loved to exploit everything they could, especially women. KILLER NUN is no exception and is as sleazy as it sounds.
Anita Ekberg, of La Dolce Vita fame, plays a sister recovering from brain surgery that she fears might not leave her competent enough to fulfill the duties of a nun. Her fears become a reality as she messes with morphine and heroin at the geriatric hospital she’s employed at. She indulges in sexual activity that bible thumpers can interpret as sin, such as lesbian affairs, one night stands, and participating in inappropriate behavior with the patients.
Lots of absurd scenarios and plenty of nudity make this a great fit for the Arrow label as their filmography explores plenty of the unknown and lesser-seen movies that are often bizarre. The history of KILLER NUN is an interesting one as it was part of the Video Nasty scene, making it all the more exciting to watch. I personally would not show this to someone who considers themselves religious as some material might be perceived as offensive. Repressed sexuality is a common theme running throughout and religion has always been a catalyst for narrow views on sexuality. Luckily, we are at different times and, while society is far from perfect, people are much more aware of spectrums. Sometimes it’s not just black and white when it comes to gender identity and who we want to love.
KILLER NUN is one of those movies you never expected to have a 2K restoration from the original negative, but here we are. With its high definition presentation, viewers can choose between the English and Italian soundtracks. Critic Kat Ellinger provides a video essay on nunspoitation for those like me who are interested in exploring it. Surprisingly, there’s plenty of other features to dive into. There are new interviews with director Giulio Berruti, editor Mario Giacco, and actress Ileana Fraia. On top of that, there’s an informative commentary by two Italian genre experts. This is another one of those Arrow releases that carry a collector’s booklet with new writing in their first pressing, so pick this up right away if that’s important to you.
KILLER NUN is a sleazy cult classic that I’m sure will make fans happy to see as a high definition release with substantial extras. With a title that’s not afraid to be upfront and blunt, KILLER NUN is an interesting experience and one to not shy away from if you’re into exploitation.