Flavia the Heretic - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Flavia the Heretic Reviews

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July 26, 2012
Borderline nunsploitation historical drama that was far better in terms of story, acting and production values than I would have expected. Sure, there's some nudity thrown in to keep things interesting, and the violence can get pretty bloody at times, but in the main it's about a medieval feminist, the power of the church, and the use of religion in general as grounds for men to kill one another. Interesting enough to warrant a viewing. Based, probably quite loosely, on real events but by no means a documentary. Florinda Bolkan turns in a strong and icy performance in the lead role.
½ October 1, 2011
one of the best nunsploitation movies. .
½ May 2, 2011
Not really sure why this was made - supposedly based on historical events but really the need for all the random sex and nudity - not really - not well filmed, acted or dubbed - just a bad film
Super Reviewer
½ January 30, 2011
Italian Nunsploitation drama set in Medieval Southern Italy during the Islamic invasion. A little unfair to label this a nunsploitation film to be honest, it's better than that and is quite well made. Of course there's a bit of sex, nudity and torture but it's relevant to the story which is allegedly based on true events. The actress that plays the rebel nun is quite good and the film has an authentic look. It's not great, a little slow at times, but worth a look. Be warned - there's a horse castration scene! Painful!
January 1, 2011
There's a lot more to this than a bunch of nunsploitation - women crawling into butcher's carcasses, for example - but it's a fine bit of nunsploitation too. Very good.
½ February 8, 2010
Very very very strange. This must be an art movie.
November 22, 2009
Portentous nunsploitation film which is quite dull, but has a decent score and is shot well.
½ August 5, 2009
This film takes a much more serious approach to the issue of repression and feminism than most films of its type. It is not a film for the faint hearted: the sexual, revolutionary, religious/blasphemous elements will automatically turn off a lot of viewers, not to mention the gruesome carnality, surrealistic imagery, sadistic graphic violences & nasty torture sequences that will make even the bravest viewers blanch. A bold statement on feminism with a dose of nice sadism that is far beyond the realm of ordinary Hollywood's films. A relatively slow-moving, serious and restrained film made for open-minded cult film fan who can manage the mixes of the intellectual and the visceral.
August 2, 2009
A Great Piece of Exploitation about a Nun who lives in a Monastery in Italy where the Monks tortures the Nuns she hates that Men and that she must wear a Haze and betray them to the Marmeluks and get the Wife of the Markmeluk Prince who takes her in his Homeland where she must reconice that the Men there treat their Woman as bad as the Christians and that she must wear a bigger Haze now at the End the Prince had enough of her and bring her back to Italy where the Monks skin her for her Betray
July 9, 2009
Bad, but unique. The only proto feminisst nusploitation movie you'll see.
June 20, 2009
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! Iā??m a fan of 1970s exploitation movies, but I struggled to watch this. Not because I was shocked or offended? But because it was so long winded and boring. The only thing stopping me from giving this no stars was the fact that I can truly say I had never seen anyone climbing into a hollowed-out cow carcass before?
December 16, 2008
Classy and "historically accurate" nunsploitation gem with strong feminist undercurrents. Florinda Bolkan gives first rate performance.
December 15, 2008
no thanks not my thing
½ October 18, 2008
Very very very strange. This must be an art movie.
October 2, 2008
All anyone ever talks about regarding this film are the violent scenes, but there's a lot more going on than that in Flavia the Heretic. Flavia is strongly anchored by the always amazing Florinda Bolkan in the titular role. I've seen her in many films and she has yet to disappoint. Truly an undervalued performer. Here she essays the role of a 16th century cloistered nun whose liberation from Catholic dogma leads her away from her pacifist Jewish admirer and onto the blood-caked role of heretical Muslim warrior. The score by Nicolo Piovani (who, years later won Best Score Oscar for Life is Beautiful, but the Flavia score is far superior). is sublime, and for years, it's been rumoured that Piovani was a pseudonym for Ennio Morricone, but that seems to have been debunked recently. Ironic, as Flavia's score reminds me of Morricone's stellar work on The Great Silence. Both scores have deeply melancholy recurring melodies that underlie the tragic fates of their eponymous outsider protaganists. And, just to address the curious gorehounds - yes, there are very graphic scenes, and the ending above all is indeed truly painful to watch. Very gruesome - and sad, as Florinda plays it. As far as "nunsploitation" goes, this certainly doesn't hit the heights of The Devils or even my beloved Alucarda, but it's still a gem of the genre, and a great movie on its own terms as well.
½ August 17, 2008
More Italian sleaze. Flavia is a fifteenth century nun who doesn't like men very much. So she runs off and hangs out with some Ottomans, has a bit of sex and then returns to take revenge on all her oppressors. Lots of sex, torture, castration, orgies, impalements and hallucinations follow. Sister Act this aint!!
July 7, 2008
Extreme and shocking in almost every way, this film makes Ken Russell's 'The Devils' look like an edition of 'Songs Of Praise'!
½ July 6, 2008
"Flavia" is a nunspolitation classic about a proto-feminist 15th-century nun who, after experiencing the horrors of a male-dominated world, rejects Christianity and teams up with marauding Muslim invaders to exact her revenge on the convent, the local duke and her controlling father. When her Muslim lover attempts to make her his wife/queen, Flavia rejects him as a typical man. He then beats her and leaves her naked on a beach, where she is later found and tried as a heretic. She dies one of the more gruesome screen deaths you'll ever see. In short, "Flavia" is absolute trash. Its rambling story is proposterous and high on vintage 1970s excess (a rape in a pig sty, a close-up of a woman undergoing breast torture, a horse being gelded, Flavia being hamstrung and skinned alive). It has no redeeming value other than being Eurotrash flavored with dashes of the kind of feminism Camille Pagilla and Andrea Dworkin would make famous.
½ June 14, 2008
Suprb, vicious nunsploitation starring the intense and oddly beautiful Florinda Bolkan. Some of the gore effects are insanely effective, especially given that this was made in the early 70's.
June 2, 2008
Nothing goes together better than nuns and sex and torture! There some great scenes in this movie that should disturb you for some time . . . like being raped in a pig pen full of pigs or nipples getting cut off. It was pretty nunsploitation, but I think Flavia was an interesting character. She was conflicted and troubled which led her to do some morally reprehensible things. I could identify with her and it made me want to understand her decisions. A lot of the feminist talk seems a little preachy, but it was certainly true and I could almost imagine what it would be like to be a new revelation.
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