“Nunsploitation.” That’s probably my favorite word in the English language. And SatÃ¡nico Pandemonium, aka La Sexorcista, has nunsploitation in spades. What is nunsploitation you ask? Simply put, it is a bunch of naked, lesbian nuns murdering each other in a convent. Only SatÃ¡nico Pandemonium has a massive amount of Satanism to go along with all the nudity, stabbing and hot nun on nun action. Directed by Mexico’s most prolific director, Gilberto MartÃnez Solares (who, I should mention was a very close friend of Luis Bunuel), and written by his son, Adolfo, this film wades into very rarified waters. For, not many countries are as mindlessly Catholic as Mexico. To call this film “shocking” to Pope-loving sensibilities would be a massive understatement. In fact, Adolfo Solares states that they had to write the film in such a way that the entire ordeal could be viewed as a bad dream in order to get it past the censors. However, the final scene does show that nope, this was no dream; this was Satan!
SatÃ¡nico stars the ridiculously cute Cecilia Pezet as a troubled young nun. She was a veterinarian but decided instead to devote her life to Christ and now lives in a rural convent. One day while frolicking about in the countryside, she sees a handsome naked man. He offers her an apple. Turns out the guy (Enrique Rocha) is Satan and Cecilia runs off, terrified. She then encounters a local young boy (about thirteen-years-old) and he shows her his new baby lamb. She takes it into her arms, coddles it, and takes it over to a well so it can drink. In the reflection of the water she once again sees Satan. He still has the apple. Even more terrified, she runs off again, this time to the safety of the convent. Or so she thinks. As Cecilia dines with the other nuns in total silence, she sees Satan in the window. He leaves her the apple and disappears. Alarmed, Cecilia retreats to her quarters, strips nude (something she does with satisfying regularity) and ties what can only be described as a barbwire belt around her midsection. Then she begins to beat herself with a heavy whip, all the while moaning. Hot shit, dudes. Two other nuns interrupt her because the Mother Superior’s cow is sick. Leaving the bloody, barbwire belt in place, she cossets herself back into her habit and goes to look after the animal. She decides to sleep in the barn with the cow to see if the herbal remedy she brewed up has any effect, and wouldn’t you know it, there’s Satan and his apple.
From there, the film becomes totally riveting. A nun tells Cecilia she is in love with her. The two begin making out and we get treated to a nice two-minute sequence of the other nun sucking on Cecilia’s boobies. Then the nun goes down on her and when she pops back up, she is Satan. I think this is a tack more pornographers should adapt. Start out with some hot lezbo action, but when it comes time for the pounding, turn the pounder into a man. I should also note that Cecilia is moaning the whole time in the exact same manner as when she was whipping herself. Super hot. The plot of the film is basically that Cecilia realizes she is possessed by the Devil, but rather than fighting it, she just goes with it. While trying to make out and fondle another nun, she stabs her. Yet another nun is about to hang herself. She gets the rope around her neck and begins to pray. Cecilia runs in and gives her the push off the table. In probably the film’s greatest scene, Cecilia rapes and then stabs to death the young Shepard boy. Seriously, when is the last time you saw a nun rape and then murder an underaged boy? Exactly, never.
The ending of the film is about as perverse and twisted as you are likely to see. After murdering one too many nuns, Cecilia flees to a cave on top of a mountain to pray and reflect. Satan appears and tells her that the other nuns are coming to hand her over to the Inquisition. We see a platoon of blue-clothed nuns marching with burning stakes, ala Frankenstein. The lead nun is carrying a burning cross! Satan explains to her that the Inquisition will rip her mouth open and pour molten lead down her throat. After that, they will tear her into a thousand pieces. Cecilia curses Satan and tells him she is resigned to her fate. However, once Satan leaves, Cecilia has a vision of what this torture will in fact be like. We see her–naked, of course–strapped down and having hot lead poured into her mouth. Then a sharp rake is being drawn across her midsection and blood is everywhere. Then they rip one of her eyes out! She cries out to Satan that she accepts his offer, and when the lynching nuns appear, they are carrying stakes covered in flowers and ask Cecilia to be their new Mother Superior (they need a new Mother Superior because Cecilia strangled the old one). She accepts but when she returns to the convent it has been converted into a literal house of sin. Nuns with their skirts hiked up are dancing on a table. Two naked nuns are making out with each other. About ten other nuns are in various stages of undress and dancing around the table while two fully nude nuns are playing guitar and lute. Then, after Cecilia views her flock–quite literally–she is stabbed to death by about five naked nuns. Triple blood packs are the order of the day. Satan only smirks. I need to point out that most of the nuns in this scene were played by real life prostitutes.
There is a meditative quality to the film that I am at a loss to describe as anything other than Herzogian. Shots linger longer than they normally would. Honestly, SatÃ¡nico Pandemonium was very reminiscent of Nosferatu both in the interior and exterior shots. A poor man’s Nosferatu to be sure, but nevertheless, a film of inherent beauty. Sure, the story was a little silly and some might argue unnecessary, but I will counter with the fact that I smiled for nearly all eighty minutes of it. Plus, some of these scenes are just great. Besides the nun on nun sex scenes and the near-constant stabbing, one of my favorites involved a picture of Satan in the convent. There is a painting of the Pope that after dinner all the nuns walk past and genuflect in front of. When it is Cecilia’s turn, she looks and is horrified to see that instead of the Holy Father, she is praying in front of Lucifer. A cool looking painting, too. And, in the end, after Cecilia has died, Satan, with apple in hand, sets off after another nubile young nun. Gots to love it.