Sacred Flesh (2000)
By: Markus Zussner on June 1, 2007  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Force Entertainment (Australia). All Regions, PAL. 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 2.0. 72 minutes
The Movie
Credits
Director: Nigel Wingrove
Starring: Sally Tremaine, Moyna Cope, Simon Hill, Eileen Daly Screenplay: Nigel Wingrove
Music: Steve Pittis
Tagline: "In the midst of life we are in death"
Country: UK
Holy hootin heck! Welcome to Sacred Flesh, the latest entry in the nuns in tubs genre. So what's it all about? How the hell should I know?! Well I do, but does it really matter?

My first exposure to Sacred Flesh was a trailer I watched when reviewing Shockheaded. The trailer certainly raised a few eyebrows I can tell you, so my perception of Sacred Flesh was that its strengths were in the sex scenes. It looked to be a truly hardcore nunsploitation film, and no matter what faults it might have, it would be enough to generously satisfy fans of this genre. The sex scenes within the movie definitely put it in the soft-porn category though, and are handled with such good taste and delicacy, and at times with such beauty, that I can't put the term 'exploitation' to this film. In fact, I don't know what box this movie goes in. The trailer for Sacred Flesh certainly got me interested, that's for sure, but the feature let me down as gently as a brick dropped off the Empire State Building. The only thing exploitive about it is the fact that they are nuns in a convent; they are good looking, and they bare skin. To my disappointment, not one nun is found splashing around in a tub. I really had my hopes set on a nun-in-tubby-with-a-rubber-ducky scene. Ok, Ok I'll get on with the story.

Mother Superior (Sally Tremaine) is getting increasingly concerned that evil is creeping through Europe's convents, corrupting the pure virtues of nuns who are now engaging in the sinful pleasures of the flesh. This could be symbolic of the black plague that ravaged Europe on more than one occasion in the past. With this concern Mother Superior confides in another nun who has kept her faith and purity intact. She goes through each case as she provides her concerns and opinions about them. As we go through each sex scene, er I mean each case, Mother Superior falls further and further into the pit of mental despair and turmoil. She literally has a breakdown and steadily falls from grace as the movie progresses.

Now any religious theologian could easily write a hundred page thesis about the sexual repressions of the Catholic Church, and the symbolic imagery depicted like the visions and dreams of Mary Magdalene, but why bother? If there ever was a moral to this story it would be; 'you reap what you sow' or 'life's a securely packaged DVD, until you open it you never know what you're gonna watch'.

We have lots of beautiful nuns getting their kits off and freeing the bonds and shackles of Catholic sexual repression to indulge in the sinful pleasures of the flesh (go girls!). We have solo, nun on nun, and hetero (yes, the naughty men of the cloth take advantage of the situation and provide their own resolve to 'out with the devil and in with Jesus'). There's also some kinky stuff to boot like the crucifixion sex scene which really is the highlight. The Australian ratings people have rated it R for high level sex scenes, I guess they are, but I have seen much higher in the same rating category.

There is nothing really entertaining in Sacred Flesh except for the sex scenes themselves. A Christian Theologian that is not offended by nudity or simulated sex scenes would probably have a field day with this movie and get a real kick out of it.
Video
A nice and sharp 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen picture, which is bright and kind of warm and fuzzy, just like the log fire DVD. Camera shots and framing look stunning. There's lots of lush colours for the standard scenes and also good use of flat lighting for day shots. Nice use of red and orange filters for the sex scenes that give them a dream-like quality which accentuate the juxtaposition between the dialogue and the sex scenes. There is some softness and grain in parts but it's almost non-apparent.
Audio
Dolby Digital 2.0 with English subtitles. Sacred Flesh has standard issue audio quality. There's nothing really special here. No audio hiss or hum so it sounds pretty clean. Obviously this film is not the type of film that would have lots of audio effects. Basically this film is a drama, so most of the audio deals with dialogue which is crisp and clear. The soundtrack is rather disturbing and it would have lent quite well to the horror genre.
Extra Features
None – would have liked some sexy outtakes and the trailer.
The Verdict
A nicely acted, beautifully shot and framed piece of work. There's lots of naked flesh, but exploitation it certainly is not. Drama with naughty bits, it certainly is. Just watch the trailer if you can find it. It's all you will ever need.
Movie Score
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