L’Altro Inferno (The Other Hell) (Bruno Mattei, 1981)
You’ve heard of The Asylum, yes? It’s an American production house that for a while turned out decent indie pictures, every once in a while coming up with a really, really good one. But roundabout 2006 or so, they realized that for a low-budget shop, the real money was in no-name knockoffs of blockbuster pictures—and thus, the Asylum Mockbuster was born. They have turned into a one-studio mockbuster cottage industry. And you know what? Pretty much every movie The Asylum has released since Halloween Night, their first successful mockbuster, has been reviled both critically and popularly…but The Asylum are laughing all the way to the bank, because no matter how much we hate the stupid things, we keep watching them. But you didn’t think The Asylum invented the idea, do you? If so, let me introduce you to Bruno Mattei, a one-man mockbuster factory who spent thirty years making bank by ripping off other people’s work. His third feature, 1977’s Casa Privata per le SS, is a shameless ripoff of the Ilsa movies, and his final picture, 2007’s Zombies: The Beginning, was an equally shameless Aliens rip. In the interim, he “paid homage” to just about every horror and exploitation film you can think of. 1981’s The Other Hell, Mattei’s entry into the wonderful nunsploitation genre, mixes equal parts The Sinful Nuns of St. Valentine (1974) and Killer Nun (1977) to come up with something that is just about as original as the first half of this sentence would have you believe.
Plot: A priest, Father Valerio (Teorema‘s Carlo de Mejo), is sent by the Vatican to investigate allegations of dark and twisted goings-on at the convent run by Mother Vincenza (Buio Omega‘s Francesca Stoppi). Needless to say, the allegations are true, or we wouldn’t have a movie. (Or if we did, it wouldn’t be a nunsploitation movie.)
The parenthetical there is pretty much the entire problem with this movie (other than, well, it being a shameless rip-off of better movies in the genre); if you hit the play button on a nunsploitation flick, there are certain things that, if you know the genre, you’re expecting, two of which are the first two parts of Joe Bob Briggs’ three-Bs trilogy of things that make a good movie. Mattei’s lackluster entry has very little blood and almost nothing in the way of breasts (and not even any random beasts to balance this out). Combine that with the expected mind-shatteringly awful script and what do you have? The nunsploitation movie you should only consider watching when you have exhausted every other choice in the nunsploitation catalogue, that’s what. *
Trailer courtesy Trailers that Smell.