As the daughter of a woman so tortured in Catholic school that she’s been flinching at rulers for several decades, it’s surprising to realize just how little I know about nunsploitation.
Thankfully, Netflix Instant remains the best teacher a gal can have.
Quick Plot: Welcome to the Spanish Inquisition, that glorious period of history where a little accusation was all you needed to prevent your daughter from marrying the strapping son of your long-term rival. Of course, you also have to send said daughter to a miserable nunnery where she’ll be saphically molested and Christian-ly tortured, but that was just the style at the time.
Separated by abbey vows and pope declarations, the young Esteban and Lucita try their darndest to make it work with the ambiguous help of a frazzled verger and stoic mother superior. Mixed in are mysterious stabbings, dashing swordplay, and your standard fill of bare nun breasts.
Despite its title and copious Christian boobage, The SInful Nuns of St. Valentine is a far tamer and disciplined film than you might expect. Yes, we have a few naughty nuns and tastes of medieval stretching, but director Sergio Grieco (he of the original The Inglorious Bastards) keeps everything quite grounded. There’s a simple Romeo & Juliet-ish premise with a few colorful villains tossed in the lovers’ way.
Plus, nun boobs.
The culmination of all comes with a fairly nifty and disturbing climax, as the titular ladies are sealed up in their stark, poorly stocked abbey to die of starvation, suffocation, and slapping. It’s certainly the scene that makes The Sinful Nuns of St. Valentine memorable, and thankfully, the film actually gives it enough support to make it work.
Between the assertively weird musical score and the classic European filming locations, The Sinful Nuns of St. Valentine has the feel of something crafted to be genuinely beautiful
It’s just kind of a shame that the sound quality is only slightly better than my own podcast
It’s proper etiquette to sheathe one’s sword before surrender
You can’t say mass with vinegar!
This leads me to think that one should say mass with honey
Starving nuns going mad will do some sinful things, but vegetarians need not fear: cannibalism is always the absolute last thing on their list of survival tactics
As a 90 minute Netflix stream, The Sinful Nuns of St. Valentine is a refreshing switch from 90% of Instant Watch post-2010 genre offerings. The film isn’t nearly as trashy as some of its ‘70s peers, but there’s a nice balance between quality and sleaze to keep weirdos like me thoroughly entertained. Good times if your standards are strange!