After the death of her father, Elizabeth travels to a remote island, where a convent may hold the secret to the death of her mother. There, she finds nuns who conduct strange rituals in the catacombs beneath the building in an attempt to hold the evil there at bay.
One of the first Western films to be shot in the Ukraine following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the birth of this movie was as difficult as Elizabeth’s. The sets and locations are otherworldly yet inexpensive, but the political situation was rife with problems, like two coups that took place during the shooting and dubbing of the film.
Director Mariano Baino had only directed the short Caruncula before this, but his eye is steady and strong. There’s a definite air of looming Lovecraftian dread in this. It looks almost like a Soavi film. And while it has no score, the sound effects more than make up for it.
Any film that has squads of nuns burning buildings and killing people — as well as a crucified zombie nun and a savage elder god hidden beneath the world — is worth checking out. It doesn’t have the greatest story in the world, but when has that ever stopped our enjoyment of a horror film?