The Other Hell (1981)

I love a good nunsploitation movie. There’s something sexy about the corruption of the most pious, most likely in sexy ways. However, The Other Hell shows this corruption and implies sexuality without ever going into the openly graphic nature of much of its extreme subgenre. It’s not a good movie; this is a Bruno Mattei film we are talking about here after all. That guy directed Hell of the Living Dead. It was also written and worked on by Claudio Fragasso. That guy directed Troll 2. So there is that. Hell, they were even doing double duty by also working on a second nunsploitation film at the same time, The True Story of the Nun of Monza. But this is a movie that hits the notes of a nunsploitation title without simply giving in to what can make nunsploitation easy. Credit is deserved where credit is due.

Basically, a priest is sent into a convent when some nuns get killed. When this priest witnesses what he considers acts of Satan, a second, younger, more handsome, more hip to modern science and investigation priest is sent in to replace him, because in a situation full of lustful Satanic nuns, this definitely seems like a good idea. This new priest eventually discovered the secrets of the convent and why everything is going to Hell, because someone totally had sex with the devil. As for how he figures it out, I have no idea. Italian exploitation films were never great about things like “plot.”

What we do get is weird, low-budget imagery. There are catacombs and rooms full of mannequins suspended from the ceiling. There is a freaky cat. Lightbulbs explode. The groundskeeper is a creepy asshole who gets mauled by dogs. Leaps in logic abound. One dude gets lit on fire even though he’s been out of the movie for almost half an hour. And there is a love story going on that simply starts with one character having never even seen the other, she’s just suddenly in love.

By the end, you get bad burn makeup, a little gore, matricide, the dead rising, a sexy priest sleeping with his chest exposed while he apparently films himself, and what I think was supposed to be a shock ending but just made me laugh involving a possible zombie nun. Oh, and there are a couple of sexy nuns and a chemistry set in the basement. The Other Hell is bizarre, but if you’re new to nunsploitation, it might be a good entry before going for the harder stuff like Killer Nun or Satanico Pandemonium.

On a fun note of possible mockbuster territory, the Italian title for this movie is L’altro Inferno, similar to Dario Argento’s Inferno released in 1980. According to Mattei, Argento’s film most certainly influenced him, but he was totally not ripping it off. I agree, because Argento didn’t stick chemistry sets in convent basements.

Also, I think I may have a nun fetish… Oh, who am I kidding, I definitely have a nun fetish.

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