*Here be Spoilers*
Of all the disturbing images in the Mexican cult horror classic Alucarda, the only one that actually sicks me out is that of the nuns in their weird habits. I have an issue with nuns in general, always have, they’ve frightened me since I was a child, but these nuns here would creep out anyone I’m sure (shut up, it really isn’t just me).
The nuns in Alucarda seem to be wrapped in bloody gauze, like mummies with skirts that are all simultaneously on their rag. They look sickly and vile and more than a little stinky, and fuck if that isn’t vomit inducing. Bleugh, maybe it’s just me but…blllleeeeuuugh.
Well, now that that’s out of the way…Alucarda is a story about two young orphan girls, Alucarda (the follically gifted Tina Romero) and Justine (Susana Kamini), who develop a deep bond while living among the nuns at a convent/orphanage. Their affections are innocent enough, until one day, while playing on the grounds, the girls encounter an eeeevil gypsy hunchback (natch) who leads them on the path to…well you get the point.
Note: That frikin hunchback looks so bloody familiar, it’s driving me nuts trying to figure out where I’ve see that look before. Seriously, someone clue me in, cause the hair, face and that fucking vest are identical to another character in a separate film…either that or I’m nucking futs (which is possible).
Anyway, from that moment on, the girls become tools of evil, eventually making a pact with Satan, which naturally involves plenty of gratuitous nudity, lesbian lovin’, gypsies and an eeevil orgy (floppy dongs included…an essential for any satanic orgy…I guess). Of course once the nuns get wind of the sapphic evil going on, all manner of hysterical christian hilarity ensues, and it is just awesome to watch.
Often compared to both the novel Carmilla and the Ken Russel classic cult drama The Devils (1971), Alucarda is a rare gem of exploitation cinema by director Juan López Moctezuma, who also brought us the insane but brilliant Mansion of Madness (1973). It’s a strange but mesmerizing piece of cinema, primitive at times and sacrilegious at best, but fueled by performances so intensely crazy they can only be accurately described as fucking brilliant.
Tina Romero, who portrays the titular character, is especially spellbinding in her role, as she appears to give every inch of herself to the performance. Her youthful face contorts as she hisses and glares evilly at the nuns she vows to destroy; if looks could kill, this girl would’ve easily done away with half the cast I’m sure.
Of course Susana Kamini, the gentle Justine, is no less bewitching in her role, but her performance is far subtler than that of her cohort, so she does somewhat get lost in the fray. Still, my very favorite scene of Alucarda, is that of a recently dead Justine rising naked from a blood-filled coffin (where did they find all that blood?) as a newborn creature of evil…and then promptly attacking one of those nasty, menstruating nuns (Yay!).
Genius my friends, pure, bloody, crazy as fuck genius.
Admittedly Alucarda may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I didn’t really like it the first time I saw it either…mind you I was 14 years old and like most kids in their early teens I was, well, a bit of a dumbass.
It is well worth a watch though, for fans of horror and cult films alike, at the very least you’ll be in for a hell of trip. If however you’re a total nunsploitation virgin and have never experienced other similar films such as Guardian of Hell (1981) or the wildly over the top Satánico Pandemonium (1975), then you may want to broaden your horizons. Be warned though, many a film buff has found themselves addicted to the naughty nun genre.
Alucarda may not strictly be about the sexy lives of the sisters, but nuns and the devil do make for a very intriguing combination. So go ahead and give this flick a watch if you can track it down, I promise you’ll find yourself morbidly fascinated by both the movie and the genre…oh, and once you actually begin enjoying Alucarda, do remember that you’ll probably be going to hell for it (Muhahahaha!)