School of the Holy Beast has got a little something for everyone across the genre board. For fans of Nunsploitation you've got your nubile nuns struggling to hold onto virtue. You've got Gothic mystery and bloodletting for the Horror fans. For the Sexploitation groupies, there’re chicks playing with switchblades and with each other. And S&M for fans of that kinda stuff.
And then there's the exquisite young Asian beauties for all the… well... anyone.
Yumi Takigawa (Virus) plays Maya, a free spirited girl who (accompanied by a backdrop of awesome music that you could only find in the 70s) sets out on a pleasure binge before going off to a place where she hears that "women aren't women." That would be the Sacred Hearts Convent.
It's not sexual guilt that drives the orphaned teen to the nunnery, but an 18-year long quest to find out what happened to her mother who died there many years ago. Answers to the mystery don't come easy, because the Mother Superior and her Sisters are busy repressing their own sexuality and having the young nuns run around topless and flogging each other bloody. With help from the rebellious Matsuko – a fellow nun who openly denounces the Immaculate Conception and taunts the other Sisters with digs like "You look decent, but you all just want to get laid" – Maya ventures to uncover the mystery of her mother's death, while trying to avoid the same horrendous fate.
Besides capturing the obvious miles of silky flesh, the cinematography is brilliant, imaginative, and often times poetic. Director Norifumi Suzuki gained notoriety with his salacious entries to the Japanese Sukeban – or teenage girl deliquent - genre which, although released as exploitation flicks, were well oiled vehicles of social commentary. Suzuki doesn't fail to live up to the cause by ripping into the hypocrisy and corruption of the Church with a film hailed as Japan's most shocking Nunsploitation flick.
Previously available from Cult Epics, School of the Holy Beast has now been repackaged in a 2 DVD set -- The Nunsploitation Convent -- with Walerian Borowczyk's saucy Behind Convent Walls. Borowczyk already shocked the cult world with his bestiality laced fairy tale The Beast, so with Convent he tackles the Nuns, the story of a zealous, handsome priest, who is the confessor for a convent full of women. His dubious treatment of the girls in his charge uncovers a snake pit of sexual couplings, both lesbian and heterosexual. Meanwhile, a particularly disturbed inmate manages to poison herself and many of the other novitiates in yet another scandal which is covered up by church authorities. If you've had the pleasure of viewing any of Borowczyk's exploitation gems, you won't be disappointed with this one.