SCHOOL OF THE HOLY BEAST
Director: Norifumi Suzuki Run Time: 91 min. Release Year: 1974 Language: Japanese
Starring: Emiko Yamauchi, Hachiro Tako, Ryouko Ima, Yayoi Watanabe, Yumi Takigawa
Directed by legendary Toei filmmaker Norifumi Suzuki (SEX & FURY), SCHOOL OF THE HOLY BEAST is the supreme queen of “nunspolitation” in Japan, and a film that might even be more outrageous than Ken Russell’s THE DEVILS. The movie follows initiate Maya (Yumi Takigawa, Nami in the first NEW FEMALE PRISONER SCORPION film), who takes the vows at the Sacred Heart Convent in order to discover what happened to her mother many years earlier there. What she uncovers – including corruption, acid vats, bondage, murder, lesbianism, and topless nuns whip-fighting – pales in comparison to the truth of her mother’s disappearance and Maya’s own real identity. Deeply transgressive, sharply photographed, and almost supernaturally beautiful, SCHOOL was largely unknown to English-speaking audiences until the past decade and is now a pinnacle of Japanese cult cinema.