Sacred Flesh (2000)

Rating: D-

Dir: Nigel Wingrove
Star: Sally Tremaine, Moyna Cope, Simon Hill, Rachel Taggart

Wingrove is one of the few British directors with a ‘video nasty’ under his belt: his earlier short Visions of Ecstacy was banned for “blasphemy”. This feature covers basically similar themes – nuns + sexual repression – with obvious nods to The Devils and Borowczyk’s Within Convent Walls. Unfortunately, it fails to deliver the intensity of either of these, limping along largely in soft-porn territory — I never knew nuns (including Eileen Daly) spent so much time shaving their pussies, though these ones do look as if the last time they were in church, they were being dropped in the font…

The dream sequences, which see the Mother Superior debating with Mary Magdalene are actually pretty effective. They look striking, in a Peter Greenaway style, and are well-scripted and acted. However, the “confessional” sequences which interrupt this are tedious and lame, and in addition, a completely irrelevant subplot which sees a neighbouring Father turn up at the convent and do absolutely nothing. There’s a good short film in here somewhere, but even at a relatively brief 72 minutes, it outstays its welcome considerably. Still, it was either that or the Pokemon movie!