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Killer Nun

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    Ian Jane
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  • Killer Nun (Blu-ray)



    Released by: Blue Underground
    Released on: April 24, 2012.
    Director: Giulio Berruti
    Cast: Anita Ekberg, Paolo Morra, Joe Dallesandro, Alida Valli, Massimo Serrato, Daniele Dublino
    Year: 1978
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    Swedish sex bomb Anita Ekberg (La Dolce Vita, Fangs Of The Living Dead) plays Sister Gertrude, a nun who, since having a tumor removed has suffered a chemical imbalance in her brain, causing her no shortage of pain in her cranium. This has resulted in a pretty serious morphine addiction, as she uses the drug constantly to ease the soreness in her head. Unfortunately for those who come into contact with Sister Gertrude, while it may ease her pain, it also causes her to go on murder sprees every once in a while.

    One day, while assisting a doctor with an operation, things go wrong and she's all of a sudden finding herself compelled to axe the plug out of the patient's life support. After talking to her roommate, who may or may not be a lesbian, Gertrude decides to leave the solace of the convent and venture into the outside world. When she's finished outside doing her thing and committing every sin in the book, she returns to the convent and the bodies start dropping like flies. It sure looks like dear old Gertrude may be the one responsible for the current state of mayhem.

    What fan of exploitation and horror doesn't love a good nasty nun movie? There's something implicitly taboo about seeing a hot chick in a habit doing things she shouldn't be doing and seeing as that is more or less the concept upon which most nunsploitation films are based, they generally deliver. So keep in mind that this is a film that is definitely going to appeal more to someone already familiar with nunsploitation than those dipping their toes into these forbidden waters for the first time. It's not the best that this bizarre little subgenre has to offer, but neither is it the worst.

    So yeah, with that out of the way, Killer Nun is a pretty good film even for those who don't normally enjoy the blasphemous antics of the nympho nuns that haunt the hallowed halls of exploitation. The film provides pretty much all of the basic elements one could want from the subgenre and sets them in a very easy to follow plot that serves merely as setup for the next set piece. Other films would do a better job of making you think or even of titillating you but Killer Nun does a very good job of entertaining, even if it isn't really all that intricate.

    Ekberg has a great screen presence and director Giulio Berruti does a great job of making sure that the film places her in all manner of lusty predicaments. Her performance allows her to show a decent emotional range here, and she handles this range well, her odd matronly appearance just adding to the film's qualities. The film also benefits from some very nice cinematography that gives the film a slightly classier edge than it would have had otherwise and the camerawork does a great job of showing off the Italian locations used in the movie. The quirky score by Alessandro Alessandroni (who also scored The Devil's Nightmare) suits the tone of the film quite nicely and further accentuates the feel that the cinematography creates with a sort of progressively classical sound.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Killer Nun arrives on region free Blu-ray in a nice AVC encoded 1080p high definition 1.85.1 widescreen transfer that shows the same pros and cons as most of Blue Underground's recent Blu-ray releases. Detail is considerably improved over the DVD release from years back as is color reproduction but that tendency for odd things to happen with grain is going to be obvious to those who have noticed it in the past. There are no compression artifacts to note on the 25GB disc and the black levels are pretty solid. Overall things shape up well here.

    Audio options are provided in English and in Italian in DTS-HD Mono format with optional subtitles provided in English SDH, French and Spanish. Again, the audio is improved over the DVD release, offering considerably cleaner and more natural sounding dialogue and allowing the score to punch a little more than it did on the standard definition release.

    The biggest and best of the extra features, all of which are carried over from the previous DVD release, is an interview with writer/director Giulio Berruti entitled From The Secret Files Of The Vatican that runs about fifteen minutes in length. This is an excellent, informative and enjoyable discussion in which Berruti gives us some background on his Catholic upbringing, how he convinced a convent to let him shoot his film on their grounds, and how the film had to deal with various problems involving the censors not only because of its content but also because of its marketing campaign.

    Aside from the interview, there is also an English language theatrical trailer for the film and a few different still galleries that exhibit various promotional posters, photos, video cover art and even the complete pressbook for the film.

    The Final Word:

    Killer Nun benefits from a great performance from Anita Ekberg and enough sleaze to keep most exploitation fans interested. Blue Underground gives the film a nice high definition upgrade in the audio and video areas, but doesn't offer anything new in the extra features department.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!



















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