Director – Bruno Mattei (Hell of the Living Dead, Zombie 3)
Starring – Franca Stoppi (Beyond the Darkness, Women’s Prison Massacre), Carlo De Mejo (City of the Living Dead, Terror Express), and Francesca Carmeno
Release Date – 1981
Rating – 2.5/5
Blu Release – 3.5/5
Bruno Mattei is no stranger to my reviews. This man has received some very mixed reviews from me. Some of his films are top notch Italian horror with amazing stories, gore, and releases while others were complete duds. Some of my worst reviewed films just happen to be Mattei’s. Mattei has made a wide array of horror flicks ranging from zombies, rats, and even a post-apocalyptic flick or two.
One sub-genre or style of film I had never seen him tackle before was the nunsploitation flicks that were very popular in the 70s before dying out in the 80s. Severin recently released Mattei’s 1981 nunsploitation flick The Other Hell on blu. I had never seen it and was curious how it would play out so I reached out to Severin and they were kind enough to hook me up with a review copy. Thanks guys!
**Spoiler Alert**The begins with a convent where a murder takes place. A priest tries to do an exorcism but the church disagrees with this ancient ritual so they send in a young priest to investigate. He thinks that there may be a killer among them instead of a demonic presence.
When he arrives the nuns and mother superior are in a panic. They try to burn everything they think is evil to rid the convent of the demonic presence. The priest starts his investigation believing there was a scientific explanation to what is occurring at the convent but what he uncovers is so much worse.**Spoiler Alert**
I went into this one excited. I’m not too versed in the nunsploitation flicks of the late 70s and early 80s but I do know that Mattei can make a movie. I may not always agree with them but the ones I did like I really enjoyed. Sadly, The Other Hell was one that did not sit that well with me.
The acting in this one is solid. The entire cast brought about an eerie feel to the film. You never truly know who is evil and who is good. I really enjoyed the casting and their portrayal of their characters. Their acting really made the story feel more interesting that what it was.
The story for this one is a very slow moving one. The film does a great job at building atmosphere and scenery but the story is very stretched making it difficult for the viewer to follow the story from scene to scene. I enjoyed the conclusion to the film but getting there was a very rough climb. The story definitely needed someone added to it to make it reach the film’s running time.
Finally, the film has a few bloody deaths but they are not that gory. The kills are stock slashings with minor practical effects. When dealing with the devil you would expect to see more blood and gore. I was not satisifed with the bloodshed we were given. Overall, The Other Hell is a very underwhelming from a legend in the genre. His films are always hit and miss with me and, sadly, this was a miss. The blu release is great but the film is far from perfect.
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