Banned for over 20 years
Visions of Ecstasy, a short, 19 minute, experimental art film made in 1989, is the only film ever to have been banned outright in the UK solely on the grounds of blasphemy. Further its depiction and interpretations of the erotic imaginings of the 16th Century Carmelite nun, St. Teresa, were such that the films banning was upheld in an historic judgement at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg in a case that took seven years to reach its conclusion. Now, due to the abolition of the UK's blasphemy law in 2008, Visions of Ecstasy is finally being released.
An Italian nunsploitation epic, initially banned in Italy, in which a demented Mother Superior
and a rabid collection of mentally disturbed and sex-crazed sisters lose their habits and morals
with equal gusto. Inspired in part by the 'The Devils of Loudun" this is a classic of the genre.
The prolific and manic Jess Franco has directed
well over 200 films. Some are dire, the majority
functional and a few are absolute classics of
exploitation cinema. The Demons, Franco's shameless
cash-in on Ken Russell's The Devils, is a true Franco
masterpiece, featuring everything from torture, lesbian sex
and demonic possession. The film centres on a witch
who is burned at the stake by the inquisition but who,
before the flames consume her, manages to curse the principal
witchfinder and his minionswith dire results.
Sister Elizabeth, the mother superior of a medieval convent, has visions of Mary Magdalene and a skeletal dead nun. Father Henry, the abbot, and his servant Richard are summoned by the convent's abbess to help with the hysteria spreading among the order.