Who doesn’t love a good nunsploitation film? God knows I do.
Satánico pandemonium centers on poor Sister Maria, who has been targeted by Satan to destroy her convent and lead her fellow nuns to Hell, through a combination of murder and sexuality. There’s racism too, but funny enough that wasn’t caused by Satan. These nuns aren’t exactly good at what they do. But Sister Maria is the most pure, and that’s why Satan goes for her! She tries to stop him, through acts of kindness, flagellation, and prayer, but it doesn’t work, and soon she’s trying to get with one of her Sisters, seducing an underage boy, and killing random folks. And then it all comes to a head, with a twist ending that would probably rustle M. Night Shyamalan’s jimmies. Just remember, not eating the apple won’t save you, as apparently seeing a naked Satan in Mexico is all it takes to turn you evil.
So what about this movie stands out? I mean besides the pedophilia, the nun orgy where a bunch of prostitutes played the characters, or the showcasing of tortures? Enrique Rocha’s performance as Lucifer is entertaining. His calm and smarmy demeanor was wonderful. Here is a Lucifer who knows he has already won. That’s exactly how I want him to be. And Cecilia Pezet manages to take her leading lady role and go from sweet and kind to happily murderous without batting an eye. You want evil? She’s happy to provide once she gets a taste.
When I was young, this was one of the first true nunsploitation movies I ever encountered and, well, I gotta admit I love these movies. Yes, it’s slow. Yes, it goes in some weird places. Yes, it shows torture, suicide, and random snakes in cups. It’s a film from a heavily Catholic culture exploring an ultimate taboo in that society. How could I not be into this? This movie has another name, La Sexorcista. Who doesn’t want to watch a movie called The Sexorcist?
Huh, now that I think about it, Satánico pandemonium tempted me into being into films where nuns get down and dirty. Well now, that’s a bite of a different apple…
This movie has also served as an inspiration to others, particularly the name of Selma Hayek’s character in From Dusk Till Dawn. Of course, if you’re reading this, you’ve probably seen that movie. If you haven’t, well, now you have homework.