Wednesday, June 8, 2011

WIP Wednesday: Sacred Flesh (Nigel Wingrove, 2000)

This might be a better entry in the short lived "Trash Tuesday" category (I just can't get a Tuesday groove going for some reason), but as Nunsploitation and Women in Prison films are spiritual sisters, if you will...

So, here we have a British convent in an indeterminate time frame (I assume Victorian Britain, though the Inquisition is mentioned) whose mother superior (Sally Tremaine) is haunted by visions of Mary Magdalene, and its nuns are filled with carnal lust. The mother superior is seen as either possessed, or a heretic. Regardless, the church wants to put a stop to her ravings. Typical patriarchy.

So, when Mary Magdalene appears to the the mother superior she makes her live out the sexual depravities of those in her charge, which is of course a convenient plot device to display said depravities.

The message of the film is that fetishistic chastity is as dangerous as wanton sexuality. It is a sloppily made Sadean argument that man's passions rule him, and the Church is in the business of repression for repression's sake. There is no great moral in the end, and the bulk of the movie is sex scenes. The only people who seem truly happy in the film are the few characters not involved in the clergy who have healthy sexual appetites and do not repress them. There are good arguments that could have been made, but really they have all been made before.

Check this one out if you have a thing for naughty nuns or anything that mocks the Church. Streams on Netflix. Be warned, this one can be quite the gynecological study, if you catch my drift.


The Vicar of VHS said...

I like naughty nuns as much or more than the next guy (unless the next guy is The Duke, who is absolutely insatiable on that subject ;) ), but for some reason this one just didn't do it for me. Despite all the nudity and perversity, it just ended up being boring imo. Of course the super-lipsticked, fake-boobed "nuns" kind of took me out of the narrative. Give me BEHIND CONVENT WALLS any day!

Darius Whiteplume said...

I'm with you. They should have just gone full-on porn, but I guess they wanted to get it on Skinemax.

T. Roger Thomas said...

Sounds good

Darius Whiteplume said...

For sheer hotness it is pretty good, but WIP and Nunsploitation are such carved-in-stone genres that I can definitely understand the Vic's disdain. If I were more adept in the genre, or had it been a WIP film that was so off the mark I might have had greater issues.

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