The Killer Nun (1979)

In 1977, a middle-aged nun named Cécile Bombeek committed a series of murders in a Belgium geriatric hospital and inspired this piece of Italian scuzzy filmmaking.

It is a nun’s vocation to suffer, so when Sister Gertrude (Anita Ekberg) returns to ministering to the elderly after surviving a brain tumor, she begins to worry that she will become sick all over again. Only Sister Mathieu — who is in love with her fellow bride of Christ — believes her. And even when Gertrude murders Mathieu’s grandfather, she keeps covering for her and even getting her the drugs she needs to keep up her life of sleeping with random men in the city and reading horrifying accounts of the sacrifices of martyred saints to the kindly old folks dying in her care.

Some of those old people still like to get it on and much like teenagers at a sleepaway camp that let a young boy die, they pay the price for getting some. Also, another little old lady literally gets mutilated and no werewolves of London are even close by.

So who is the killer? And can one achieve the same ecstatic state as a saint by taking heroin or going cold turkey from it? And how angry do you think this movie made Catholics? And how does Joe Dallesandro keep showing up in so many movies and genres that I adore?

A section 2 video nasty, I kept from watching this for some time, sure that I would need it on some depressing day to break through the bleakness of life. Now, the fact that I pick movies where nuns have crisises of faith and murder old people may say more about me than I’d like to admit.

You can watch this on Tubi.

 

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