Sins of Sister Lucia
[Shudojo Lucia: Kegasu]
Genre: Nymphomaniac NUNsploitation!
review in one breath
Poor little Rumiko! First she steals a trunk load of money from her dear ol' daddy, then she seduces her impressionable plaid-wearing English tutor, and then she stabs somebody with a knife. What's a loving father to do other than ship her off to a convent which, it turns out, is modeled after Sodom and Gomorrah rather than any Heavenly City. But tough little Rumiko isn't having any of it and soon she brings the entire Naughty Nunnery to their knees, so to speak.
Pink to the left of me, Porn to the right
In the early to mid 1960s, the monopoly of Japan's five film studios was beginning to crumble due to the popular rise of independent films offering more sex, more violence and more grit. These independent "Pink" (erotic / semi-porn) films garnered such an eager audience that soon the major five studios were feeling the financial pinch. The Nikkatsu Studio, faced with looming bankruptcy decided to go full bore into the seedier exploits of its smaller competitors and required all its directors to begin churning out films with more flesh and racier content. The shift in policy caused a number of Nikkatsu's primary directors to jump ship, seeking employment elsewhere rather than sink to the status of directing porn. This in turn resulted in an equally large number of Nikkatsu's assistant directors eagerly moving up the ranks to fill the vacant directorial slots. One such assistant director was Ohara Koyu, who is responsible for Sins of Sister Lucia, the film we are reviewing here.
The independent Pink films ranged wildly in the degree of sexual content they contained, but were all generally deemed by the larger studios as rough and unpolished. To differentiate themselves from these lesser, often gratuitous productions, Nikkatsu began using the term "Roman Porn" (ie, Romantic Porn) to label their own sexier films. The Nikkatsu Roman Porn films generally had much larger budgets, more elaborate sets and storylines, and were often quite polished productions. Film historians often conceded that these roman porn films offered quite compelling storylines and were in their own right significant movies. Since ALL of the directors working for Nikkatsu at that time were required to produce such films, many directors who continued on to prominence have one or more such films on their resume.
The era of Nikkatsu's roman porn ran from the mid 1960s to the late 1970s and covered themes ranging from breast-baring female samurai to biker chicks to nuns. Toward the mid 1970s, a new, grittier sub-genre emerge which blended the same penchant for sex with more graphic depictions of violence, resulting in what came to be known as the Pinky Violence films. As with its predecessors, the range of scenarios covered by the pinky violence genre was quite wide, including themes of women in prison, biker/yakuza chicks, and of course, more nuns. The violence quotient generally included rape, slasher, whippings, S&M bondage, and sword flailing.
Characteristic of all these sub genres (pink, roman porn and pinky violence) is the role of strong female characters. Male characters in these films are generally plot props or foils, while the core narrative involves the rise or fate of a central female protagonist. Franchises such as that of Lady Snowblood or the Scorpion are exemplars of this, but other good examples are myriad including those based on the Inoshika Ocho and Girl Boss characters.
The film Sins of Sister Lucia falls squarely in the "Roman Porn" genre and thus avoids any depictions of graphic violence. (For true pinky violence nunsploitation, you can check out Suzuki Norifumi's School of the Holy Beast.) It is the first of two Shudojo (nun/sister) films by Ohara, with his more infamous Wet Rope Confession (Shudojo: nure nawa zange, 1979) being the second. In classic pink form, the main character here is Rumiko, played by Yuki Nohira, whose albeit troublesome strong-willed personality allows her to stand up in the face of unjust and cruel treatment by hypocritical nuns and nearly cause the entire convent to implode. She is the underdog in this tale and the one (if anyone) audiences are rooting for. Actress Nohira will find herself in nun's garb only a year later with the lead role in Ohara's Wet Rope Confession.
Young Rumiko's untamed behavior has brought her father to his wit's end. But rather than hand her over to the police (for stabbing his henchman with a knife) he opts to put her under the supervision of a local convent of nuns. It soon becomes clear to Rumiko that the convent is brimming with libidinous hypocrisy which in turn makes her all the more rebellious. But when the randy nuns finally have had enough and lock her in the "correction room", Rumiko finds the means to exact a very appropriate revenge upon her sinful sisters (in the form of two guitar strumming escaped convicts!).
Well, I don't think I'll attempt to sing the praises of a Nekkid Nun film. But I can tell you this was a (Nekkid and) Fun Nekkid Nun film. The underdog/revenge motif is strong and the devilish smirk on apple-eating Rumiko's face is almost priceless (though she does seem to eat a lot of apples in this film... one after another.) The sex scenes are also pretty good, and HATS OFF to the libinous Bishop who apparently specialized in the Kama Sutra rather than Medieval Latin Texts. After he polishes off every orifice of the Mother Superior (and then eats some corn and milk, which interestingly every male in this film is fed), he immediately jumps back into the sack for another marathon menage a trios! (He took a Vow of Viagra.)
Other than boobs and buns popping out of nuns' smocks, there's not a whole lot more here to say. When my girlfriend suddenly walked into the room just as a handful of nuns splayed out on the floor wrestling in nothing but their headdresses, I tried hard to think of something more to say too. But like then, absolutely nothing comes to mind (other than Nun Buns!!).
This film was released in February 2009 by the very interesting and campy Mondo Macabro. The DVD contains an excellent documentary on Japan's erotic film genre and an interview with Jasper Sharp. Also be sure to check out the previews of Mondo's other films for an eye-popping bonanza of the bizarre!
|Interesting exemplar of the Japanese "roman porn" genre of the 1970s.||Some slapping, groping and abuse by yarn balls. Rape is suggested, though the victims seem more than eager.||Copious Copulation Abounds! Plenty of nipples, buttocks and legs in the air (but somehow the nun hat always stays on!?).||Chocked full of Randy Nuns, libidinous Bishops, and Karaoke-ing Convicts.|