THE OTHER HELL (1981)
aka L’altro inferno
Article 5181 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Bruno Mattei
Featuring Franca Stoppi, Carlo De Mejo, Francesca Carmeno
What it is: Nunsploitation horror
Sisters are being brutally murdered at a convent. An ecclesiastical investigator is sent to look into them. Are they caused by the devil, or is it human evil?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from Italian horror films from the seventies, it’s that convents are not havens of sanity and healthy minds; in fact, you’d probably find better adjusted residents in an asylum. I also know why the nuns’ outfits have white parts to them; it’s so that the blood shows up more clearly. That being said, I will have to admit this isn’t your usual foray into nunsploitation; for one thing, it eschews the usual sexual antics of that type of movie (at least visually – there is talk). It chooses to clearly go the route of horror rather than exploitation, but it does get pretty sleazy in that regard. It also goes in some odd directions; I was suspecting something in the vein of THE EXORCIST, but if anything, it ultimately owes a bit more to CARRIE before it’s all over. It even owes a bit to the more gothic Italian horror of the sixties, especially in the climax. It also gets more than a bit silly, but that may be partially due to the English dubbing. At any rate, it’s one of the odder examples of this type of movie.