Nympha (2007)

SEPTEMBER 19, 2008


There are few easier ways to attract the attention of a horror fan by casting Tiffany Shepis as a nun in an Italian horror movie called Nympho (actually Nympha; I read the box wrong). So it’s kind of impressive that the movie turned out to be so goddamn awful; it’s not every day you see a movie with lots of nudity, a nun (not Shepis) getting fucked from behind, incest, and above average amounts of gore, and yet the first word that would come to mind to describe it would be “boring”. Christ, even a brief lesbian scene between Shepis and some random woman isn’t enough to warrant recommending you ever bother to watch it.

Some movies don’t make a hell of a lot of sense, such as Halloween 6, but they have an interior logic that can be followed. There is no such luck with Nympha. Scenes come and go without any sort of narrative buildup or semblance of tension, it is impossible to tell where and when people are in relation to one another, and I went through the entire film without ever really knowing who the “villain” of the film was supposed to be, if any. There’s an older guy who seems like kind of an asshole, so I guess it’s him, but he never really threatens Shepis, who is, as usual, the only bright spot of the entire film.

I take that back. Throughout the film, Shepis is put through some torturous procedures meant to cleanse her of sin or whatever. So they blind her (“see no evil”), gouge her eardrums (“hear no evil”) cut off her clitoris (“fuck no evil”, I guess?), etc. So for speak no evil, they cut out her tongue, and it is presented rather effectively, in that it’s a practical effect and not a CGI one.

On that note, it’s a technical disaster as well. The CGI (which makes up most of the effects in the film; the tongue is one of incredibly few practicals) is some of the worst I’ve seen in ages. It’s one thing when you have a CGI monster and he doesn’t blend well with the footage, but this is just a lot of stuff that could have been done practically, such as a wooden door that bursts apart, and it all looks awful. CGI blood, CGI bugs, etc... none of it looks even remotely decent, and the fact that 90% of it could have been created for real with an effects guy who wasn’t a lazy asshole just makes it seem even worse. Plus, the movie has that strange film processing that makes it look like a soap opera.

A featurette about the awful CG is one of the few extras on the disc, but it’s as worthless as the film itself. It’s just a still shot of a computer monitor showing a wireframe image of the door (or the bug, or the church itself), and then you see the finished (pfft) effect in the film. No one narrates or explains how things were done; the only audio is some looped music from the film and what I swear sounds like someone grunting and sighing at the computer. The other featurette is about the making of the film proper, but unless you speak Italian it’s entirely a waste of time, as again, there are no interviews or commentary by the cast or crew, just the occasional muttering from crew members. There’s even a bit of irony, as Shepis listens to Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence” over a shot of her getting her arm cast, since it's the only audio of note in the entire 20 minute segment. There are also some deleted scenes, one of which is in Italian without subtitles. I’ve imported DVDs from other countries that put more of an effort into allowing English-speaking audiences to follow them than this one did.

Oh, and the back of the DVD has a still from the film’s final scene. I would call it a spoiler, but since I hadn’t the slightest clue as to what the fuck was happening after watching the 90 minutes that came before it, I guess the image won’t technically ruin anything for you.

What say you?


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