Thursday, January 7, 2010

Nun of That (2009)

Directed by Richard Griffin
Starring Sarah Nicklin, Alexandra Cipolla, Shanette Wilson, Ruth Sullivan

"I want those fuckin' nuns dead!"

The 48 Hour Movie Project is an annual event wherein speedfreaks and manic-obsessives all over the world write, produce, and edit a short film during one long and bleary-eyed weekend. Nun of That began as one such 48 hour mini-flick and, emboldened by the awards and accolades (Best Editing, Providence, 2008), the filmmakers decided to give it the full-length treatment. The result is a campy girls-with-guns comedy that parodies various 70's trash-cinema sub-genres (Nunsploitation, blaxploitation, Jesus freak musicals, Italian police thrillers, etc.) at a breakneck pace and wears its shabbiness like a gold (foil) medal.

The story involves one Sister Kelly Wrath (workaholic Z-queen Sarah Nicklin, well on her way to becoming the next Debbie Rochon), a rebel nun ousted from her cloister for battering a lesbo sister in the shower and breaking a pervy priest's arm for molesting a girl scout.

On her way to the ghetto nunnery she's been banished to, she gets shot in the chest by some rival sisters of the cloth and goes to Heaven, which turns out to be a pretty groovy place with lots of wine-gulping and foot massages. Groovy Jesus does a little song and dance number by way of introduction, and then he recruits Sister Kelly in the Order of the Black Cloth, an elite force of vigilante Super Nuns. And then he shoots her back down to Earth to get shit done.

Her mission? To take on the Corbucci mob family. And yes, in case you're wondering, every Italian guy in the entire movie has a first and/or last name based on either a spaghetti western or Italian gore-flick director. You know how that goes.

Along with her gang of Super Nuns (Sister Lust, Sister Pride, and Sister Gluttony, natch), Sister Wrath blasts through the bad guys, eventually squaring off with the devil himself.

Hardcore sacrilege fans should note that Nun of That lacks the pervy grit and the softcore slurping of the vintage 70's Nuns-amuck cycle (Killer Nun, Flavia Priestess of Violence, etc) that it apes in its posters and box cover. Beneath the habit, it's really just a goofy, low-budget action comedy with a smattering of nun-centric jokes.

Very much in the same tongue in cheek vein as Griffin's previous flicks - Necroville (2007), Splatter Disco (2007), and so on - Nun of That is exactly what you'd expect from a life-long exploitation fan who grew up in the big-box VHS era. It's got gore, it's got laughs, it's got cameos from Debbie Rochon and Lloyd Kaufman, and it's got nuns with studded belts and stretchpants blowing scum away with machine guns. What more could you want?

Well, ok, more lesbian nun-on-nun scenes. That goes without saying. But it's got everything else.

Nun of That is available from Camp Motion Pictures!
Listen to an interview with director Richard Griffin on the Alternative Cinema Podcast!
Visit the official Nun of That Myspace page!

- Ken McIntyre

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