I love nunsploitation movies, and have reviewed quite a few on this blog. And The Sinful Nuns Of Saint Valentine is one of the most famous ones, although I really can’t imagine why. The story is a reconstruction of the one in Romeo and Juliet, where two young lovers, Lucita (beautiful Jenny Tamburi) and Esteban (Paolo Malco) who are forbidden to see each other by Lucita’s parents. Her parents send Lucita to a nunnery to save her soul, but there she forced into the torments of the inquisition, a satanic Mother Superior, and worse. When Lucita is found guilty of murdering a nun who wanted to get it on with her, and for finding a ‘satanic’ book, the Inquisition decides to make an example of Lucita and the monastery by incarcerating them behind the walls until they die. There the nuns become insane and do such evil things as lick the walls, beg for water and take off their tops.
From a description like the one I’ve just given, you’d expect to see something that is pretty damn sleazy and exploitative. Sadly, it’s far from it. This movie takes itself way too seriously for it’s own good, and it suffers for it. There is nothing wrong with making a drama about the inquisition, hell there are many goods ones like Haxan, Flavia The Heretic and The Devils, but while it aspired to reach those levels, it couldn’t go and revert to the ways of the more exploitive ones. It seemed like it didn’t know how to reach a balance, and this lack of confidence in the material hurt the story. I was more interested in the love story aspects, since they were the most interesting characters, and I liked the stuff with the inquisition since I think they make for great villains, but the third act, with the nuns writhing in agony trying to escape their prison, got tedious very quickly, and not even the revealing of naked flesh was enough to keep me interested.
The cast is pretty forgettable, with the exception of the beautiful Jenny Tamburi (from Fulci’s Seven Notes In Black) who not only does a good job as an innocent beauty, but shows off her body enough times not to make me fall asleep, and she has a nice behind. Sadly, she doesn’t show enough, hell this movie doesn’t show enough, and that’s the problem, it needs less seriousness and more sexyness. It’s a movie that promises much in the sleaze department, but leaves you wanting for more, and that my friends, is a sin.