Killer Nun (1978) from Tuna

Producer Enzo Gallo saw "Killer Nun" as a headline above a tabloid story about a real nun who worked in a rest home, and was murdering elderly patients to steal their jewelry. The concept appealed to him and he acquired the motion picture rights to use the story and the headline. Then he hired a young Giulio Berrutio to co-write a script and direct the film. Since Berruti had experience as an assistant director, and had developed rapport with many actors, Gallo hoped he would be able to sign some names for the film. That he did, talking Anita Ekberg, a legendary beauty, to star in the film opposite Joe Dallesandro.

A kleptomaniac killer nun was apparently not enough of an idea to fill out a feature film, so Berrutio and Gallo embellished the story to make the character a little more interesting. In the final version, she has recently recovered from brain surgery, and has a bitch of a morphine addiction. Further, her roommate, Paola Morra, is a lesbian, abused by her father, and in love with our sister of no mercy.

Unfortunately, that is pretty much all there is to it. Ekberg was definitely a name star, and she and Joe did their best, but they were just not given much of a script to work with. Sister Mary Ekberg starts selling the stolen jewelry to buy more morphine, and some of the patients catch on to who is killing them. Yawn.



  • From the Secret Files of the Vatican - Interview with Co-Writer/Director Giulio Berrutio
  • There is both an Italian and a dubbed English sound track, and the transfer is excellent -- better than the film deserves.


  • Nudity: Paola Morra does full frontal and rear nudity trying to seduce Ekberg. The nudity from Morra is plentiful, and she sports a major 1970s bush. 
  • There was no nudity from the once-beautiful Ekberg, who was 18 years and many good meals past her La Dolce Vita prime.

The Critics Vote ...

  • There are no major reviews online, but the film has been reviewed by about two dozen genre sites and "bad movie" sites - all linked from the IMDb page.


The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

Our own guideline:

  • A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre.
  • B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a well-reviewed film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-. Films rated below C- generally have both bad reviews and poor popular acceptance.
  • E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre.
  • F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.


Based on this description, this film is a D. (Not recommended even for those who might normally appreciate these stars or this kind of film.)

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