Friday, September 25, 2020

Sometimes Nuns Go Crazy for Satan

To the venerable genre of nunsploitation, 1981 added The Other Hell (L'altro inferno), a horror film that's more silly than scary. It has some nice stylistic choices and an oddly groovy score by Goblin but its free-wheeling, nonsensical plot, among other things, bring more laughs than scares.

Carlo De Mejo as the protagonist, Father Valerio, a priest detective who's called in to investigate the horrific goings-on at a convent, has the most distractingly hilarious reactions. At one point the groundskeeper cuts the head off a chicken in front of him--the filmmakers actually show a chicken's head getting cut off--and Valerio's reaction might be best described as slow burning bafflement.

What is it about nuns that makes us want to see them murdering people and having sex? There's much more of the former in this one, the latter precluded by one nun who likes to carve out the sexual organs of her dead sisters.

What this has to do with the mysterious masked nun (Francesca Carmeno) carrying a cat isn't clear. We do learn who she is, though.

Let's just say it involves a daughter of Satan and telekinetic powers. This doesn't explain why the groundskeeper kidnaps her and kills her cat. But it certainly wasn't a smart move for him.

There is one scene that's genuinely creepy when the masked nun talks to Valerio in the confessional. Confessional scenes are almost always gold, there's just too much innate drama in having someone deeply pious confessing sinful thoughts on the other side of a wooden grating. Add a butcher knife and you have perfection.

The Other Hell is available on Amazon Prime.

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