Asun OrtegaDavid CastroRene ArreolaSpanish
Nude Nuns with Big Guns
Medium: film
Year: 2010
Director: Joseph Guzman
Writer: Joseph Guzman, Robert James Hayes II
Actor: Asun Ortega, David Castro, Perry D'Marco, Maxie J. Santillan Jr., Bill Oberst Jr., Maz Siam, Xango Henry, Robert Rexx, Jessica Elder, Rene Arreola, Guadalupe Hernandez, Monica Ramon
Language: English, Spanish [snippets]
Keywords: nunsploitation, boobs
Country: USA
Format: 91 minutes
Website category: Other
Review date: 8 April 2013
If nothing else, you've got to admire the title. They could also have called it Nude Lesbian Nuns Dealing Coke With Big Guns, but that has less zip.
In short: colourful villains, disappointing protagonist.
It's got a Spaghetti Western vibe, down to the guitar soundtrack, the colour palette and the florid font on the occasional subtitles. (I think it's set in Mexico, because every so often someone speaks Spanish.) The story involves the Church, drugs and a scummy bunch of killers. According to this film, the Roman Catholic church is principally a cocaine-smuggling gangster organisation whose employees include psychotic killer rapists. They like hanging out in church and wearing the usual religious gear, but I'd guess that's just force of (ahem) habit. Nuns live in monasteries (no, not convents) and are used as a slave workforce, used for cocaine shipment preparation. They're all naked while they do this, except for their headdresses. Why naked? On second thoughts, let's not object.
Every so often, a nun will do something bad (e.g. object to letting a man shoot her) and so will be sent to a brothel to be pumped full of drugs and sold to high-paying customers who like nun rape. However if these customers start, say, smashing the nun's face into a mirror (as you do), they'll get beaten to death with a baseball bat while being told "don't damage the merchandise".
That's not the half of it, by the way. David Castro's gang does something truly terrible to a family that had merely stopped to buy petrol. One of the gang (Xango Henry), for instance, is the rapist. That's not to say that other gang members don't also commit rape in this film, obviously, but for Henry it's actually his job. That's his function in the gang. If Castro wants someone raped, he gets Henry.
Did I mention the villains? This is effective. It's not hard to make the audience loathe people like this. Besides, even D-list actors can be worryingly convincing with material like this, if you just cast them correctly and let them loose. They're evil scum. We get it. We hate them. They're the strongest element of the film.
Unfortunately the film is hollow where its protagonist should be. Asun Ortega is our eponymous Nude Nun with Big Guns and she's perfectly efficient in an abstract sort of way, while at the same time having anti-charisma. You don't care. She gets naked a lot and kills people in an orgy of vengeance for the Lord, but even despite this manages to be boring. Admittedly I presume the filmmakers don't want us getting too close to her, since her first victim (in cold blood) is a perfectly nice guy who'd saved her life. However somehow Ortega manages to be uninteresting even when performing a DIY bulletectomy and cauterisation, while naked. That deserves some kind of anti-award, surely? I might have quite liked this film if only its protagonist had had more audience empathy than a Terminator.
I liked her lesbian nun girlfriend, though. Before the inevitable exploitation content, that lady's emotional state and arguments are taken surprisingly seriously in a scene that I thought was quite good.
One of the few interesting things about this film isn't within it. It spawned one of California's biggest copyright lawsuits, as two different companies both claimed to own the intellectual property rights and tried to sue the same 5,865 BitTorrent downloaders. Camelot Distribution Group had defaulted on a loan from Incentive Capital that had been used to buy the movie rights. Incentive Capital foreclosed. Camelot called this an improper "usurpation of its assets". Both companies then tried to sue the same bunch of downloaders, but the suits were eventually dropped.
It's a stupid film. A lesbian lets herself get killed because she's mesmerised by muff. Surely the simple thing to do with a nun who's taken a vow of silence is to give her a pen and paper? However it's also quite stylish and does a pretty good job with that Spaghetti Western aesthetic I mentioned. It looks and sounds right. There's lots of nudity and there's plenty of entertainment value in its ultra-sleazy view of the Church, full of iconography and corruption. It also manages a few inspired moments, such as the "nun garottes another nun with a rosary" scene, or the extremely funny dick-severing. If the latter doesn't make you laugh like a hyena, then I can only assume you're one of those sad unfortunates I've heard of, afflicted with what's known as "good taste". I also laughed at "located in the bad part of town", since it seems unlikely that the fictional universe of this film could contain towns with non-bad parts. It would be like matter and anti-matter.
Not recommended. It's rather good in a number of ways, but its central failure makes it hollow and uninvolving. Both better and much less fun than I'd expected.
"Does anyone else want to talk about my mother?"