Sunday, May 27, 2007

Satánico Pandemonium

This is the movie that lent its name to Salma Hayek's extremely hot vampire in From Dusk Till Dawn. Quentin Tarantino says he'd seen the poster back when he worked in a video store and it stuck with him. You can see why; this is a really exciting poster. Unfortunately for Tarantino, he never got to see the movie. However, I happen to live in the same city as Scarecrow Video, the finest video store in the world. And they have a whole Nunsploitation section! Plus, my girlfriend works there, so no sooner do I think "I should see Satánico Pandemonium!" than it's in front of my eyes.

It will come as no surprise that it's not as exciting as the poster. It's actually not as exciting as a nice long nap, thanks to the extremely slow pacing. It's actually surprising how dull it is, considering it features a nun who sees Satan, goes crazy, rapes a couple of people (a young boy and a fellow nun), kills a few more (the boy and his grandmother, the Mother Superior, and one that's just half-credit because all she did was help a suicide along) and generally freaks out. Toward the end she hallucinates a nun orgy that's mostly notable for the extremely poor quality of the frolicking, then she gets stabbed and we learn that it was all a fever-dream brought on by the plague.

It's really a good example of how foreign exploitation movies operated: first a fairly sleazy movie would be made in some other country, then a wild poster would be made, possibly along with a new name (besides "Satánico Pandemonium", it's also called "La Sexorcista"!) and it would be sold as an even wilder movie, leading to an inevitable sense of disappointment even though US movies hardly ever feature naked nuns raping each other. I mean, aside from the works of Ken Russell.

Incidentally, I wasn't paying a lot of attention, but I'm pretty sure that the opening credits claim that the Associate Producer was the Tourism Board of Whatever Mexican City They Shot This In. That would certainly explain the sweeping vistas.

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