Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 25, 2012)
Can any red-blooded hetero male pass up a film called Nude Nuns with Big Guns? Probably, but the promise of that title meant the Blu-ray deserved a spot in my player.
Rather than pursue spiritual goals, a corrupt monastery puts nuns to work packing drugs for kingpin Chavo (David Castro). When one delivery goes wrong, Sister Sarah (Asun Ortega) ends up enslaved as a prostitute. Strung out on drugs to keep her compliant, Sister Sarah eventually gets care from a “witch doctor” (Maxie J. Santillian, Jr.) and recovers.
During her recovery, Sister Sarah believes she receives a sign from God that she needs to take vengeance on all the wrongdoers around her. She takes on high-powered weaponry and launches her crusade of violence.
As you watch Nuns, you might think you’re seeing the latest exploitation-style flick from Robert Rodriguez. That’s exactly the way Nuns plays, though it comes across like a movie Rodriguez would make it he completely forgot how to make movies.
I suspect that other filmmakers see the work of Rodriguez or Quentin Tarantino and assume they can do just as well. After all, those directors show copious influence from old “exploitation” B-movies, so how hard can it be?
Very hard, in fact – at least very hard to make something that actually rises above the dodgy quality of the flicks that inspired Tarantino and Rodriguez. Not only does Nuns fail to live up to their work, but also it doesn’t even manage to provide the basic fun value of the average B-movie; it’s a complete dud.
I get the feeling writer/director Joseph Guzman exhausted all his creativity with the movie’s title. Rather than populate Nuns with interesting situations, good action set pieces, or compelling characters, he expects the boobs ‘n’ blood to do all the work for him.
This means that events mostly just happen. The narrative is as thin as can be, and we get to know little about the various personalities outside of some basic stereotypes.
And that’d be fine if Nuns delivered actual entertainment. No one goes to see a flick like this for great cinema; they just want some crude thrills and gratuitous skin/violence.
Unfortunately, Nuns exists as the opposite of a fun B-movie. It seems to confuse “tawdry and unpleasant” for “exciting and titillating”.
Indeed, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a film that tosses out rapes as casually as Nuns. It provides a bunch of them, and they come with an odd lack of judgment; rather than paint them as horrific and invasive, Nuns plays them like any other violent scene. There’s some negativity involved, but the rapes feel no different than minor torture sequences.
That makes them even more difficult to watch. Maybe others will disagree, but I think sexual assaults like those seen here shouldn’t be thrown out as standard B-movie violence. The flick’s nonchalant use of these incidents seems misguided at best and downright misogynistic.
Nothing about Nuns succeeds – though I do admit it lives up to its title, as it includes copious amounts of nudity. Okay, I like those parts of the film; we see lots of pretty good skin throughout Nuns.
But everything else is awful. As already mentioned, the story and characters are thin as can be, and the development of the tale falters. There’s never a flow to the action; things just happen, and any potential drama or excitement fails to materialize.
The whole thing looks and feels cheap. Granted, I’m sure it was cheap – I’d assume the flick had a super-low budget – but that doesn’t mean it has to come across as so “bargain basement”. Acting seems particularly terrible, as there’s not a performance on display that even qualifies as mediocre; across the board, we find one horrible turn after another.
All that and Nuns ends with a teaser for a potential sequel! Hopefully that’ll never materialize, as the cinematic world doesn’t need more crap like this. Nuns fails as any form of movie entertainment.