Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Alucarda (1978), Or Nude Nuns Back-bending For Satan

I was as giddy as a schoolgirl last night, flitting about in the upper reaches of my west tower. I had donned my best robes, which are constructed of cloth woven from the strands of hair plucked from mummies who were interred before the birth of Christ and adorned with rubies which were excavated from a live volcano in the deepest recesses of the Diamantina Trench, each one requiring the lives of over 100 slaves in order to bring it to the surface. I was in high spirits this night, for a wedding had taken place in the nearby village, and as Lord, I was entitled to my divine right of Prima Nocta.

However, little did I know that my plans were about to change. Before the dainty virgin morsel could arrive, a new, even more exciting treasure was bestowed upon me. I was standing in front of my large mirror, brushing my hair with a comb made entirely of petrified Tyrannosaurus bone, when suddenly every candle in the room dimmed, and a deep rumbling began shaking the room. I simply froze in place, waiting on what was coming. A giant, cold pressure descended on the room. I sagged forward, unable to raise my head but a bare inch off my chest. The walls of the room began to buckle and crack from the strain. Suddenly, a sound like someone tearing sheet-iron rippled through the air behind me. I looked into the mirror and saw a rip in the air, 3 meters tall and 1 meter wide.

Through the tear stepped a grotesque horror. It had too many limbs and too many eyes, and a gaping mouth that nearly split its head in twain. Steel teeth, each the breadth of a man’s hand, filled its gaping maw. I slowly turned to face this demon, which was clutching something wrapped in stained burlap in one of its taloned hands. It began to speak, its voice sounding like a snake slithering through dry leaves. It is best not to repeat all of its instructions to me, but what I can reveal is that it was a messenger from the Vicar, who had sent me a most precious gift. I accepted the wrapped parcel from its clutches, my eyes beholding the wonder within as I unwrapped it. I scarcely noticed when the demon grabbed one of my prostrated servant girls and left through the rip, her screams cut short moments before the rift closed. Within the parcel, I found:

Alucarda. Ahh, nuns. You love ‘em, I love ‘em, and most assuredly Satan himself loves ‘em. Our story is filled with them, both the nude version and the flaming version. Alucarda, the titular character of this epic film, is born among some evil ruins, for a reason we can only guess at. Soon after her birth, she is taken from her mother, who then dies (we assume) screaming as demononic sounds emanate from the ruins around her. We skip ahead in time to a convent and the arrival of a young girl by the name of Justine. It seems this particular convent serves as a haven for wayward young ladies who either have no parents or have some form of malady.

Justine is shown to her room, and quickly we are introduced to a grown-up Alucarda, who is a bit off her rocker. Despite Alucarda’s odd behavior, she and Justine become quick friends, frolicking in the forest and laughing like a couple of little whores. Straying too far into the forest, they chance upon the creepiest gypsy that I’ve seen since the 2007 Creepiest Gypsy In The World contest that I attended in Romania last year. He resembles a coked-up Art Garfunkel and appears to be wearing a skinned sheep for a coat.

The gypsy entices Alucarda and Justine to follow him back to his encampment, where we meet his wife, who resembles Navy-battleship-era Cher, and the requisite dwarf, who we are never properly introduced to, and who appears to only serve as menial labor, which as we all know is befitting of a dwarf. The gypsy hawks his wares to the girls, who aren’t very interested until he pulls out a dagger, which Alucarda takes a shine to. Appearing to be offended by something, Alucarda runs off, with Justine in tow. Running away, they end up back at the very same ruins we saw at the opening of the film: Alucarda’s birthplace!

Alucarda confesses her undying love for Justine, and reveals that she’s stolen the dagger from the gypsy, and begs Justine to make a blood pact with her, something that Justine just can’t stomach. Much to Alucarda’s angst, they return to the church, which I must say that I’m very impressed with. I have no idea where this movie was filmed, but this church was obviously not a set. One whole wall in the pulpit area was covered with depictions of crucified people. I am in awe, and wish to someday visit this place.

"Now I want to you to concentrate on Christ's Love here, Ladies."

Anyhoo, Alucarda is pissed, and begins to curse Christ and invoke Satan! Justine, not sure what to do, just stands there looking horrified. Suddenly, the room goes dark and gypsy man appears! Alucarda and Justine are suddenly stripped naked, much to my delight, and a ritual takes place, wherein the gypsy cuts them each on the right breast and touches some blood from the cut to the other girl’s lips. Alucarda does the most amazing naked back-bend while chanting about Satan; one simply has to see this to experience the full effect. Alucarda and Justine begin to make out and while a storm whips up outside, which quickly turns to a rain of blood! Raining blood, from a lacerated sky no doubt.

Fueled by Satan, Alucarda and Justine both take place in a giantific gypsy orgy the likes of which I haven’t seen since the Vicar’s birthday last year. Penises and untamed gypsy bush abound, and what must be the high priest of the gypsies shows up wearing the most awesome goat mask/helmet to ever grace the silver screen. By this point I was dizzy with the awesome, but this movie wasn’t done, oh no! We cut back to the church, where we now see Alucarda and Justine in Sunday school. Suddenly, they stand up and begin to confess their love for all things Satan, which throws the nuns into a tizzy.

In short order, both girls are shackled to some wooden supports and an attempt is made by the priest to drive out the demons, so to speak. This is done, naturally, by stabbing the inflicted person with a sharp knife in order to drain out the evil. Unfortunately for Justine, more life than evil is drained out and she expires. Suddenly a doctor shows up, and takes pity on Alucarda, who he takes back to his home to stay with his blind daughter. He accuses the nuns and priest of following old beliefs. Clearly this man does not believe in the power of Satan. Oh, but he will!

The doc heads back to the convent, leaving Alucarda with his daughter. Upon arriving, he finds that not only has Justine risen from the dead, but that she’s also immolated the head nun, who in turn rises from the dead! We are treated to a scene which had my jaw dropped, in which the priest hacks off the Mother Superior’s head with a giant sword, which for some reason takes at least 10 whacks before removal is complete. The old broad was a tough one! However, upon being severed, the head continues to live. The doc starts believing at this point, and realizes that he left the evil Alucarda at home with his daughter.

"Baby, do I make you horny? Do I?"

Rushing back, he discovers that she’s gone, but where? He and a nun check the evil ruins, and find a coffin filled with blood containing Justine, who brutally attacks a nun before being killed (again). Back to the convent! Alucarda arrives there first, and, brimming with Satanic powers, begins to burn nuns alive with the power of her mind. Flaming nuns run hither and yon, while Alucarda bugs her eyes out and begins tearing down the very building. During the conflagration, the blind girl falls down some stairs, which causes Alucarda to scream for what felt like 15 minutes straight before melting into the floor like the Wicked Witch of the East. We can only assume some normalcy was achieved at the convent afterwards.

Alucarda, to me, marks everything that is essential to the great genre of nunsploitation. It has rampant nudity, vile debasing of religions icons, and occasional bouts of nuns dry humping anything within reach, including each other. Alucarda also goes the extra mile, however, by including a sheep-wearing gypsy man, a nude Cher gypsy, blood raining from the sky, and a church that deserves to become a national monument to awesome.

Alucarda is awarded my highest honor, 3+ Thumbs Up, and is hereby included in the prestigious “Power of Christ” Club:


The Vicar of VHS said...

This is such a visually striking flick. So many great images: that amazing church (set? real?), the surreal nuns' habits that look like bandages stained with (menstrual) blood, a naked Justine rising from the blood-filled coffin--and even just some of the nature scenes and landscapes, just so gorgeous to look at.

There's also a strong subtext (or maybe not so "sub") about lesbian love here, or sexual love more generally--from the beginning Alucarda is "different," and her love for Justine pre-dates their turning to Satan. It could be argued that it's the church's strictures and prohibitions of their love that drive Alucarda and Justine to do the evil things they do, and that the church's attempts to "exorcise" the girls is really a dramatized attempt to deny these sexual urges.

A movie that improves with every viewing, and well worth the highest honor your give it, Duke.

PS--Love the RoidChrist. :)

Karswell said...

Another classic. And you're right, the scene with her rising up nude out of the blood filled coffin is one of the more memorable scenes in all of Mexican cult cinema. In the 80's I remember renting the big 'ol clunky box vhs version of this (retitled Sisters of Satan) and it had a capture of that scene on the back cover that had me renting the movie quicker than you can say "La Hija de Las Tinieblas!"

And speaking of big 'ol bushy boxes... oh wait, I said "clunky" before didn't I? Close.

Drunketh said...

Must... bow... down... to post of Alucarda awesomeness!

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