SCHOOL OF THE HOLY BEAST Japan's most notorious Nun-Exploitation film: School Of The Holy Beast (Sei Juu Gakuen) directed by sexploitation guru, Norifumi Suzuki, plunges into a maelstrom of hidden torture, secret masochis... more »tic desires, and blasphemous rites as Yumi Takigawa takes religious vows to find out what terrible things happened to her mother inside the Sacred Heart Convent. When she finds out - with the help of a lecherous archbishops, a lesbian mother superior and a line-up of fellow nuns ready to whip her (in the films most deliriously over the top scene)with a gauntlet of rose-thorns - hell is loose. Beautifully shot, a shocking unforgetable Masterpiece by the director of "Beautiful Girl Hunter" - Dario Argento meets the Marquis de Sade. CULT EPICS MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE OF THE YEAR« less
"A wonderful film - as amazing as Female Prisoner 701 - fantastic visuals - fantastic music - only the Japanese can make such trash with such style. Highly recommended!"
Nasty Nuns of Nippon
Franco Jesse | Pittsburgh, USA | 07/13/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I sat down to view this expecting a typical nunsploitation flick. Sure there is some whipping, torture, lesbianism and even some mention of Satan. But this widescreen, uncut version by Cult Epics is an absorbing and gripping story of demons that lurk within the hearts and minds of humans, not beasts of the holy or unholy kind. Medieval Catholicism mixes with Japanese themes of family, honor and revenge to produce a hot mess that is beautifully presented and mesmerizingly performed. Tumi Takigawa stars as Maya, a young woman who "infiltrates" a convent to discern the truth about her biological mother, a nun who died after giving birth to Maya 18 years before. She encounters greed, lust, subterfuge, hatred, betrayal, corruption, violence and many other vices while navigating the curious caste system of the abbey that pits "choir nuns" against "assistant nuns". Although sometimes over-the-top in its depiction of religious beliefs, it fascinates nonetheless."
AKA Convent of the Sacred Beast
N. Stepro | new albany, IN United States | 05/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The beast being the Rasputin look alike priest? Or is it the Mother Superior?
Yes, its sexploitation or nunsploitation, but the lead is avery strong and resourceful woman.
Is there a difference , besides the titles, between the two versions? More material, less?
If you really want to buy, go for the less expensive used 'Convent'"
Strange and sometimes haunting.
Greg | Brooklyn Park, Mongolia | 11/12/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the strangest movies I've ever seen, and I'm a fan of alternative, extreme, outcast film.
In some ways "Beast" uses conventional plot devices--a child going "under cover" to try to found out what happened to a parent, and her discovery about the evil shenanigans hidden behind the scenes. But the goings-on in this convent are especially nasty, blasphemous, sadistic, and erotic. This is not old-school soft porn, nor cutting-edge torture porn, but a bizarre reflection of Japanese attitudes toward God, religion, and sexuality post-Nagasaki.
It's hard to pin down exactly what the film thinks about things, although there is a certain consistent nihilism that threads through the main story, punctuated by moments of vivid--almost beautiful--scenes of punishment and eroticism. This movie is so very much not for everyone, and I can only recommend it to those with a taste for the offbeat and puzzling.
This is not by any stretch a great movie--it's probably not even a particularly good movie. But it does have the single characteristic of a movie I consider worth having seen: It stays with me."
Stylish, beautifully shot Asian take on Nunsploitation
Peter Cook | Auckland, NEW ZEALAND | 03/08/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After hearing much about this infamous picture over the years I finally obtained a copy and was pleasantly surprised on several levels - one it's nowhere near as controversial in content than some might suggest. The exploitation elements are there but almost tastefully presented - certainly far more so than in dozens of other Japanese 'Pink' or exploitation films of that period which were frequently way over the top in sadism and often unpleasant torture type scenarios.
"School of the Holy Beast" is a big budget film - beautifully photographed and top drawer in all departments - something this genre isn't always known for (*though Jess Franco's "Love Letters from a Portuguese Nun" would fit into that evaluation I believe). The cast are headed by the stunningly attractive and capable Yumi Takagawa in her first film. Among the extras on the DVD is a wonderfully frank and funny interview with the still gorgeous and utterly charming Takagawa where she explains her run ins with the director over nude scenes she hadn't been made aware of in the script. This video interview is really worth the price of admission alone as she is so utterly bemused that this film above all her other serious achievements later on is held up as her shining piece. A really sweet and delightful lady.
Definitely a must for fans of Jap-sploitation and such - with a lovely anamorphic transfer that nicely captures all of the great art direction and photographic compositions well. And hey, the title alone is fantastic and one of my all time favourite film titles - as is the ad art. A great show of it's genre."