Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 26th, 2007
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 1976
Director: Masaru Konuma
Writer: Toshio Ashizawa
Cast: Yoko Azusa, Nobutaka Masutomi, Aoi Nakajima, Shin Nakamaru, “Runa” Luna Takamura
DVD released: November 6th, 2007
Approximate running time: 72 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Japanese
DVD Release: Kimstim
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: Runa decides to live the holy life of a nun after her stepsister steals away her boyfriend. Runa becomes even more jaded after being shown firsthand the more perverse side of religion. A few years later Runa leaves the convent with a sure fire scam that she plans on using against her sister and ex-boyfriend. Masaru Konuma is without a doubt the most gifted director to emerge out of the Nikkatsu Roman Porno’s cycle of films. Nikkatsu’s Roman Porno was primarily made between 1971 and 1982. The first Roman porno films were made as early as Satoru Kobayashi’s 1962 independently made feature Flesh Market. Masaru Konuma’s two most famous films are Flower & Snake ‘74’ and Wife to be Sacrificed.
The Nunsplotation genre quickly gained popularity in the 1970’s after the success of Ken Russell’s “The Devil’s” and in Italy these films gained there largest following with some Nunsplotation predating Russell’s controversial; film “The Devil’s”. Plot wise Cloistered Nun: Runa’s Confession has a very western like feel to it that is similar to “School of the Holy Beast”. The story quickly shifts from Runa’s exploits as a nun to the few years later then she confronts those who have done her wrong. The pacing is near flawless as each new revelation and moment unfolds effortlessly.
Visually there is virtually nothing director Masaru Konuma cannot due with the camera. He always choose the most provocative and symbolic compositions. Story and sex are pretty evenly balanced in this one with the most brutal/disturbing sexual moments occurring with Runa while at the monastery. Making his debut as cinematographer on Cloistered Nun: Runa’s Confession is Nobumasa Mizunoo who would go on to work on these films Erotic Diary of an Office Lady, Angel Guts: High School Coed and Angel Guts: Red Classroom.
The acting in Cloistered Nun: Runa’s Confession is better than one would expect from Nunsplotation film. The main stand out performance comes from actress Runa Takamura who plays the films lead Runa. Her performance is cold, calculated and utterly convincing. One thing that always impresses me about Roman Porno/Pink Eiga from this era is just how well they are all made and how cleaver the filmmakers were in getting deep and often important issues discussed within the context of a sex film. Ultimately Cloistered Nun: Runa’s Confession is classic Nunsplotation at its best.
Cloistered Nun: Runa’s Confession is presented in a gorgeous widescreen transfer that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. Colors look faithfully reproduced and accurate. Details look sharp in the back and foreground as well as in darker scenes. Unfortunately the image is interlaced and depending on your home theater set up some ghosting blurring may be noticeable.
This release comes with only audio option Japanese and while it is free of any audio defects the mono soundtrack while not dynamic does get the job done. Removable English subtitles have been included.
The extras are light and consist of a trailer for the film and a bio for director Masaru Konuma. Despite the lack of extra content KImstim gives Cloistered Nun: Runa’s Confession a first rate DVD release which presents the film in its best English friendly audio/video presentation to date.