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Original Italian poster
|Directed by||Giulio Berruti|
|Produced by||Enzo Gallo|
|Written by||Giulio Berruti
|Music by||Alessandro Alessandroni|
Killer Nun (also known as Suor Omicidi, or Deadly Habits) is a 1979 Italian nunsploitation film directed and co-written by Giulio Berruti and co-written by Alberto Tarallo. The film was originally banned in Britain as a 'video nasty' and released with cuts in 1993, but was finally released uncut on DVD in the UK during 2006, after changes in British censorship policy.
Killer Nun (1978) was produced in Italy. It features Anita Ekberg as Sister Gertrude, who is recovering from the removal of a brain tumor, although her Mother Superior (Alida Valli) dismisses Sister Gertrude's fears about a rushed recovery. Unfortunately, soon enough, it becomes clear that Sister Gertrude's fears were legitimate, as the hapless nun spirals into psychosis and addiction to morphine and heroin at the geriatric hospital where she works.
As well as initiating a lesbian affair with Sister Matthieu (Paola Morra), Sister Gertrude stomps on an elderly woman's dentures, reads gory hagiographic details of the lives of tortured saints to her hapless charges, goes into a nearby town, picks up a man at a bar, and has impersonal sex, then returns to the hospital and maneuvers to have concerned Dr Poirret (Massimo Serato) dismissed due to his age. A handsome new doctor, Dr. Patrick Roland (Joe Dallesandro), arrives and becomes suspicious of Sister Gertrude, after Sister Gertrude is accused of throwing an elderly man engaged in sex with a nurse out of a window, inflicts grueling calisthenics on elderly patients, and takes a patient's crutches, forcing him to crawl. Finally. the Mother Superior is convinced that she must do something about her aberrant behavior... but is Sister Gertrude really the perpetrator of murder, or is someone trying to frame her?
Killer Nun (Suor Omicidi) was an example of the nunsploitation genre, which centres on aberrant secularised behaviour from religious women. Unlike other examples of the genre, usually set in medieval or Renaissance locations, Killer Nun is firmly set in the present day, and has no pretensions to social commentary or any remarks about the role of women religious within the Church or the larger society. In the United Kingdom, Mary Whitehouse denounced it as one of the "video nasties" subgenre of violent horror cinema, which 'might' adversely affect human behaviour.
Although it was originally on a 'DPP list' of 'objectionable' films in the United Kingdom, compiled by the Director of Public Prosecutions in 1983 as a result of the aforementioned moral panic and released with 13 seconds of cuts in 1993. Liberalised British film, video and DVD censorship policy meant that a DVD of the film was released in the UK during 2006 in its uncut form.
The Time Out Film Guide describes this film as "a dated blend of softcore sleaze, routine blood-letting and explicable coyness" which "stars an over-the-hill Ekberg." An "excessive scenario" nevertheless has "quaint evasions." According to this review, "lesbianism is hinted at but not shown!" and "scenes of Ekberg shooting up are filmed with her back to the camera."
- Anita Ekberg as Sister Gertrude
- Joe Dallesandro as Dr. Patrick Roland
- Alida Valli as Mother Superior
- Lou Castel as Peter
- Paola Morra as Sister Mathieu
- Massimo Serato as Dr. Poirret
- Daniele Dublino as Director
- Laura Nucci as Baroness
- Alice Gherardi as Janet
- Lee De Barriault
- Ileana Fraia
- Antonietta Patriarca
- Sofia Lusy
- Nerina Montagnani as Josephine
- Franco Caracciolo
Home video and classification details
Color: Color Sound Mix: Mono Certification: Germany:18 / Finland:K-18 / Norway:18 / UK:18 / West Germany:18 / Iceland:(Banned)
- Fountain, Nigel (2008). Killer Nun. Time Out Film Guide 2009 (London: Ebury Press). p. 566.
- "Rewind @ www.dvdcompare.net – Killer Nun AKA Suor Omicidi (1979)". Retrieved 2010-09-12.