Director: Joseph Guzman
Cast: Asun Ortega, David Castro, Aycil Yeltan, Xango Henry, Robert Rexx, Emma Messenger, Sarah Emmons
Plot: In Mexico, a corrupt clergy produces and distributes heroin. When a drug deal goes wrong, Sister Sarah (Ortega) is abused as collateral, sending her on a holy quest to exterminate the cartel.
Nude Nuns is about a group of Mexican priests that use their higher standing with society to help them distribute drugs. The nuns act as the drug mules, brainwashed into thinking that they are doing the Lord’s work. One day, a drug deal goes wrong and two nuns are executed. The one surviving nun, Sister Sarah, has seen too much, so her handler gives her to a local biker gang, as an apology for the deal’s shortcomings. After months of being drugged and sold into prostitution, Sarah comes too, seemingly with an epiphany. In her broken state of mind, she believes that God has spoken to her and asked her to kill off everyone involved in the drug chain. When priests start getting slaughtered, they turn to the biker gang that enslaved her to track her down and kill her.
It takes around ten minutes, if that, to realise that Nude Nuns has one goal in mind: to get as much nudity on screen as possible. It starts off fairly funny, but when you realise that the writers cannot hand out a piece of exposition without shoe-horning a gang of lap-dancers or lesbian couple, it becomes a little desperate. I have no problem with nudity in movies, but Nude Nuns has no idea of moderation. It isn’t even done tastefully. This film takes up the style of a Mexploitation film, along the same Grindhouse lines as the Machete movies, so it doesn’t even need to hire decent actors. The nudity, terrible plot and hammy acting is all part of the joke and anyone that doesn’t like this movie simply didn’t get the joke and can be ignored. When it isn’t parading naked girls on the screen, it is satisfying its blood fetish, which is ironic, because the action is very poor. A low budget means that the gunshots are often a case of a close-up shot, bad make-up and a splatter of fake blood across the nearby set. That makes up the majority, no entirety, of the killing in this movie, meaning that there is no fight scene to act as a pay-off for sitting through this piece of rubbish.
Nude Nuns also has a thing about rape that really disturbed me. The film opens with the lead hero getting drugged and raped repeatedly. This was uncomfortable, especially as it is the very start of the movie, but I rolled with it. These horrors are the crux of Sister Sarah’s development and the trick that makes us want to see these nasty characters dead. However, rather than leaving that nasty business aside, Nude Nuns keeps bringing rape up, to the point where it almost seems to be enjoying it. There is a random scene, where a group of tourists are intercepted by the biker gangs. The father is shot, the daughter is taken away and never seen again, but the mother is sexually abused, until she passes out, on-screen. It was a totally unnecessary thing and this is one of three times this happens. I also was confused at why the older woman was raped and not the younger, more stereotypically beautiful one. It was as if the younger woman was out of bounds, but the older, uglier woman was totally allowed to be raped on camera. That sickened me. Two scenes later, two of the rapists have a funny exchange (I use funny in a very loose manner), as if we were meant to forget what we just saw and accept these villains, as funny characters. I would hardly call myself someone who strictly adheres to the ‘rules’ of cinema, but, for me, when a character becomes a rapist, they shouldn’t be glorified at all, becoming an easier villain to want dead, but never a character we want to spend time with. The worrying thing was that there would be other scenes where a female character would be stripping and dancing on the camera, totally of her own will. This worked as a sexy moment and, when dealing with this genre of cinema, is what I expect (and, – sigh – hands up, like!). However, the disturbing thing was that there were moments when I believed that as long as there was nudity on the screen, either via rape or willing nudity, the director didn’t care for the difference.
Part of me thinks that I might have found this film redeemable if the rape was taken from the equation, but I must admit the rest of the film hardly wins you over. The action is awful and the characters are even worse. Sister Sarah, who could have been the relatable rock of the movie that we could get behind, is impossible to connect with. That uncomfortable abuse scene at the start amounts to nothing. As soon as the writers have given her the excuse to launch into a killing spree, her character is little more than a nameless assassin. Actress Asun Ortega pulls random faces, while murdering everyone she meets. Her lack of any form of mercy (there are some villains who have nothing or little to do with the rape or drug-pedalling), makes it hard to see where she is coming from. The early scene where the writers hint that God hasn’t contacted her, but she has an hallucination, while high on heroin, is forgotten, which could have been an interesting concept. Anything that could have saved this movie is forgone for an extra shot of boobs or gunshots.
Final Verdict: This was going to be my summer Shitfest entry, but I decided against it, as I cannot find the funny side of my dislike for this movie.