Sacred Flesh
Dir: Nigel Wingrove
Star: Sally Tremaine, Moyna Cope, Simon Hill, Kristina Bill, Eileen Daly
Cert / Year: 18 / 2000
Format: Video

The Mother Superior of a convent has gone mad as she tries to repress her hidden desires. She believes she is being tormented by Mary Magdalene to founder of the order and can be heard talking to her. The Abbot has been called to council her but her inner demons are tempting her with the stories of the forbidden desires of the other nuns.

This is a typical Salvation films offering being a mix of sadomasochistic pseudo religious claptrap and soft-core porn. The whole film is made on a budget of about 10 quid and then sold as a Z list exploitation film. Despite all of this the question is does this have any qualities that would redeem it as a film and give it a chance to escape the limitations under which it has been made?

The answer unfortunately is most definitely no. This is an unhappy mix of some rather bland soft-core porn and mountain of false intellectual, nonsensical, gibberish. There is not enough flesh to make it a decent porn movie, and not enough quality in the script to make it into a Ken Russell movie. It certainly is not the sexily shocking naked nun horror picture is could have been.

Nigel Wingrove doesn't do too bad directing but obviously can't put a script together to save his life (or his eternal soul). The concept of a series of risqué stories forcing a nun to choose between the mortal pleasures of the flesh and the pursuit of the church had a lot of potential. However poor plot exposition and never-ending scenes of dire dialogue ruin this. Ninety percent of what is said is utterly meaningless waffle and serves little purpose other than to delay the inevitable bout of soft-core shenanigans. What is more worrying is that the remaining ten percent is basically saying that all women want sex and if they don't get it they will go mad (a fact more true of men). A nice idea in fantasy, but in the real world a frighteningly warped sexist view.

The cast doesn't help matters, especially when you see it contains Eileen Daly. It is obvious that for the acting roles the budget wouldn't stretch to real actors but I have seen amateurs be more convincing than this bunch. On the other side nuns in the stories are played by a series of attractive glamour models and while not asked to act (other than what they normally do in their job) they make the least convincing set of nuns since Robbie Coltrane and Eric Idle. It all goes again to prove that any movie featuring the talent less Ms Daily should be avoided like the plague.

Sacred Flesh is an utter mess, it just lacks the quality across the board to be anything else. Zero money and zero talent have led to a film that is not sexy, not shocking, and not any good. Ok so the models are very attractive and the sex is passible in a softcore way but if you want something more erotic then I recommend something from that king of euro soft-core Tinto Brass. On the other hand if you want something that questions religion by pushing the boundaries then stick to some of Ken Russell's earlier films. In other words there really is no reason to watch this film even if it's to save your soul or indulge your sin.


In the midst of life we are in death.
(or should that be In the midst of this film we wish we were dead)

Rating: 1 out of 5

Reviewed by Glitz Back Top Home