Written by: Carroll Jenkins on December 12th, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 2009
Director: Richard Griffin
Writer: Richard Griffin, Ted Marr
Cast: Sarah Nicklin, Alexandra Cipolla, Shanette Wilson, Ruth Sullivan, Rich Tretheway, Brandon Luis Aponte, Michael Reed, Debbie Rochon, Lloyd Kaufman
DVD released: January 12th, 2010
Approximate running time: 93 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Camp Motion Pictures
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.99
Synopsis: A vigilante nun is killed trying to wipe out a crew of Italian gangsters, so another must take her place. Enter Sister Wrath.
This is a very well made low budget film with a great cast and some brilliant ideas. The underlying concept is a tribute to 70’s and 80’s exploitation films with vengeance / retribution motifs. Certain aspects have been seen before: the nun exiled from the convent for her belligerent attitude (Broken Oath), the image of nuns with guns (Ms. 45), and the sexual aspects (with and without priests) in numerous nunsploitation movies, especially School Of The Holy Beast.
For the first fifteen minutes, Nun Of That maintains a gritty, seedy, underworld milieu and introduces us to our new protagonist and heroine. But then it all falls apart when Sister Kelly is murdered by nuns so that she can go to paradise and meet Jesus, who sends her to Ghandi for martial arts training. Once Michael Reed makes his entrance as rapping pimp Jesus, and Paradise is a bar where nuns tip pole dancing sisters while priests table dance – all integrity is lost. Reeds character and the entire paradise sequence should have been completely eliminated. The actual storyline reappears once Sister Kelly is returned to earth.
There she meets Sisters Pride, Gluttony, and Lust, and there is considerable humor to be had in their interrelations. There’s also the unresolved matter of the departed sister and the responsible gangsters at large. Sister Wrath commits havoc in a restaurant, which brings the big wig of the outfit into the open: Mother Rossi. Shelley Winters would have been perfectly cast, her successor here is Rich Tretheway in drag. Even he portrays her character well, that is, until Michael Reed shows up again, this time as the devil with pasties on his forehead. Mama had already exhibited evil enough without spending personal time with the devil. And Reed overacting more than Mama is certainly a capital offense. Next, the Bar Nun scenario, with lots of men in nuns habits, could have been pared down to the essentials, but soon we’re back on track as Sister Pride gets kidnapped by killer Jewish boy Viper and taken to Mama’s bordello.
This is the scene of the final showdown, as original one-sheet posters for The Pom Pom Girls and The Savage Seven look down from the walls. Along the way there has been some exciting set pieces, and some great humor. Too bad some of the run time didn’t come back on focus. The retro style and tribute content are much more gratifying that the modernistic parody segments.
The DVD is presented 1:78 anamorphic and looks fine. The gaudy bedroom set at the end looks appropriately saturated. Extras: The gestation of this concept can be seen in the 4 minute trailer / short film. Many of the concepts remain the same (including Reed), though fortunately the boy with big rabbit ears carrying a basket of plastic Easter eggs was replaced with a nude guardian angel carrying a pack of Marlboro menthol 100’s. Part of the better lost Paradise segment. The interview segment reveals that the song was added at the last minute. Richard, may I suggest that in the future you stick to your storyboard?
Director Richard Griffin also contributed the faux trailer Dark Night of the Demon House for the Shock Festival project. It works quite well because it stays on message and doesn’t falter around trying to offend EVERYONE. He filmed this concurrently with Nun Of That, and it features mostly the same cast.
This is a violent action comedy that takes frequent side trips for parody. Well worth a look unless you’re easily offended, of course.
Truth in advertising department: There is no wonder bra in the world to make Sarah Nicklin display as much cleavage as on the DVD cover.