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The 100




Killer Nun
(1978)
Reviewed by Jenny LeComte
Rating: 10 Beans

ven if I called up the online edition of Roget's Thesaurus, copied all of the similes for "rotten'' and pasted them here, I wouldn't even come close to conveying the horror which is "Killer Nun''. Also known by its more exotic Italian title "Suor Omicidi", this is a film which could send you insane - unless you already were.

Anita Ekberg stars as Sister Gertrude, a deranged nun who presides over a gloomy geriatric hospice which makes the punishment block at San Quentin look cosy. Sister Gertrude herself makes Nurse Ratched from "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest'' look like Mary Pickford, America's sweetheart. She's a hard, face-lifted woman with harshly dyed hair, mean eyes and that horrible grey complexion which comes from dissolute living.

Before you're even four seconds into the movie, you realise that Sister Gertrude is a villian. You can't help but notice because of Ekberg's almost comical over-acting. Talk about flogging a dead part to within an inch of its equine life. Ekberg does all but wear a flashing sign saying "I am evil, I am wicked, I am the bitch from hell and you are supposed to hate my guts...OKAY, YOU GOT THAT?!"

Just to hit the viewer over the head even more with the "Sister Gertrude is evil'' message, director Guilio Berruti places her in the most sick-making scenes since Spud soiled the bedsheets in "Trainspotting''. Not only is Sister Gertrude a hard-core morphine junkie, but she's addicted to sex. The kinkier and the more painful, the better.

In her time off, she swaps her nun's habit for a sleazy dress and hangs around a seedy bar, drinking scotch and chain smoking until a man walks in. She then begs the guy to give her that funky stuff up against a brick wall. Upon returning to the convent, Sister Gertrude indulges in a bit of lesbian nun action with Italian actress Laura Nucci. How did they ever let Sister Gertrude into the bloody convent? She's a disgrace to the sisterhood.

Pretty soon, the oldies start dropping like flies. One gets hit over the head with a lamp. Another starts "hearing voices'' and develops a sudden desire to commit a slow, painful form of suicide. But the stickiest end of all is reserved for a guy in a wheelchair who'd be pushing 80. Sister Gertrude catches this swinging senior citizen having sex with a 20-year-old girl in the garden and....whoo, boy! I don't know what sickened me more - seeing the old codger doing the deed or imagining the sadistic means with which he will be disposed of.

Naturally, you think: "Sister Gertrude did it, the evil little minx. I wouldn't put it past that conniving smackhead.'' Joe Dallesandro, who plays the doctor at the hospice, certainly does. But then again, Joe Dallesandro (abominable Italian actor and Andy Warhol protege)is a dickhead. Personally, I couldn't see how Sister Gertrude could find the time to knock the oldies off in between shooting up 50 times a day and having down and dirty sex with everything that moves.

Turns out the pure-as-the-driven-snow nun (played by Laura Nucci) is the real murderer. But it doesn't matter, anyhow, because Sister Gertrude gets whacked in the loony bin and has to undergo a diabolical cold turkey. I just hope whoever was responsible for this cinematic abomination suffers a similar fate.








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