• Nun Story: Frustration In Black

    Nun Story: Frustration In Black
    Released by: Impulse Pictures
    Released on: July 10th, 2018.
    Director: Nobuaki Shirai
    Cast: Eri Kanuma, Nami Misaki, Yuri Yamashina
    Year: 1977
    Purchase From Diabolik DVD

    A young woman in white follows a group of nuns parading behind a cross as we hear a female chorale group sing a hymn in Latin. They enter a convent and head into a sanctuary where the woman in white takes her vows and becomes a nun. After the ceremony her fellow nuns dress her in her habit and declare her a bride of Christ and the woman once known as Yuki (Yukie Ishii) is rechristened Sister Maria.

    Later that night, Maria hears what sounds like a woman gasping in pain. She wanders down the hall, opens a door and finds one of her sisters flagellating herself. The next morning, a priest comes to check on one of the older nuns, the abbess, who is in bed, sick. His presence doesn’t go unnoticed by some of the sisters. He arranges for her to get to a nearby hospital and then leaves, accompanied by Sister Isabel. They head into a back room away from prying eyes and have sex. Later that night when Sister Maria comes back from prayer she walks in on one of her sisters masturbating.

    The abbess goes off to the hospital and the next day a new nun, Sister Sara, is brought into the fold. Around this time, a nun named Sister Theresa sexually assaulted and winds up pregnant, thanks to one of the convent’s chief donors. When the nuns in charge find out, she’s stripped, bound and whipped and forced to confess by some figures in dark cloaks, then laid on a table and covered in hot candle wax! After that, she’s subjected to a forced abortion. Meanwhile, that horny priest is still screwing his way through the convent, swearing different nuns to secrecy, while a few other nuns learn the pleasures of lesbian sex while Maria watches on! When Maria goes to the chapel to pray, Sara follows and urges to quit praying and just give in to her sexual desires like everyone else seems to be doing.

    The next morning the acting abbess tells Maria that the actual abbess, still in the hospital, isn’t doing well and would like to see her. Maria agrees and leaves on a motor-scooter unaware that one of her sisters, Sara, has climbed the wall and hopped into a van with three pervy dudes inside! They all screw around and then dance, partying it up in the nearby woods and taking turns on the horny nun. When they finish they head into town where they see Maria on her scooter – Sara the horny nun tells the guys that she’s a virgin. Maria visits the abbess and learns the truth about her own past and after she leaves, winds up getting brutally raped by the three guys in the van and left at the coast. She tries to killer herself but is taken in by a kindly man and nursed back to health. She returns to the convent and tells her sisters that the reason she looks so roughed up is because she fell down the cliff. Sara returns and is punished, then let out of the convent only to come face to face with those figures in dark cloaks again! Meanwhile, Maria confesses to the priest about the rape, and he responds by… raping her for a second time! All of this is going on while a young man named Hirohi Mitamura (Masato Furuoya) decides he’s going to go to the convent and get his sister Theresa back, whether his father – the man who impregnated her - wants him to or not, just as Maria decides to make her escape...

    Unlikely to win approval or endorsement from the Catholic Church, Nun Story: Frustration In Black is an enjoyably sleazy nunsploitation picture that hits pretty much all of the requisite notes that the genre deems mandatory: lesbianism, torture, Catholic guilt, rape, horny priests and lots of admittedly very well shots of nuns praying for forgiveness. Throwing in the hooded, cloaked characters is a nice touch that adds an extra layer of weirdness to the scenes in which they’re involved, and hey, you’ve got to give director Nobuaki Shirai, who appears to have been pretty prolific in the Japanese sex film scene of the seventies and eighties, credit for keeping things moving at a good pace. The movie is also quite nicely shot on what could very well have been some sort of actual monastery or convent or church building of some sort. This gives the picture some decent production values, that work nicely alongside the accurate looking costumes to create an environment that feels ‘right’ for all the wrongdoing we witness on its grounds.

    As far as the performances go, Yukie Ishii makes for a pretty solid leading lady. She’s attractive enough to look the part but also has a certain sense of nobility and innocence to her, both traits that ensure we have no trouble believing that she might just really want to give herself over to the church for the rest of her life. The supporting cast are also fine – the actor who plays the horny priest is quite good and the actress who plays Sara the horny nun definitely gives her all, but Ishii has a lot more to do here than the rest and she handles the material just fine… she really does seem like she’s overcome with guilt anytime she encounters something impure!


    Nun Story: Frustration In Black arrives on DVD framed at 1.85.1. Strange checkerboard pattern appears in certain spots and the image is soft throughout. The whole thing looks like it was shot through a screen door. The other entries in the line have looked quite good but this one… nope. Not sure why or what caused it but just take a look at the screen caps below – it’s not hard to see that the picture quality here is a mess. It’s on par with the DVD release of Female Prisoner 101: Suck (reviewed here) and is noticeably lower than the typically pretty high quality transfers that have been used for this line so far. S very small disclaimer on the back of the packaging does note that that this was the only master they were able to use for this release, so it was this or nothing. It’s watchable enough, but keep your expectations in check. Some scenes also look a bit stretched where everyone looks unusually tall and thin (you can see this in the third screen cap below).

    Audio is handled by a Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono track with optional (white) subtitles in English only. Quality of the track is okay, but there is some distortion in the higher end of the mix. There’s a bit of hiss here and there but if you’re not listening for it you probably won’t pick up on it. Otherwise, no problems here.

    No extras, just a menu offering chapter selection - that's it.

    The Final Word:

    Nun Story: Frustration In Black is a solid slice of Japanese nunsploitation. The DVD doesn’t look very good, but as of right now it appears to be the only English friendly option available. The movie itself delivers, however, and is absolutely worth seeing for fans of the genre or of the Nikkatsu Erotic Films Collection series in general.

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Jason C's Avatar
      Jason C -
      I've enjoyed collecting this line. I have them all. I hope we aren't witnessing its death throws.
    1. WestgateGallery's Avatar
      WestgateGallery -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jason C View Post
      I've enjoyed collecting this line. I have them all. I hope we aren't witnessing its death throws.
      This perennial pipeline of delicious sleaze seems to show no sign of drying up. Once in a while, you run into a shit transfer like this one, but that's rare. We have an original Japanese poster for Nun Story available (like the DVD cover) but the one pictured is from 1977 horror-stroker Nuns That Bite. Impulse/Synapse has recently announced a long list of upcoming releases, including some notorious & long-awaited deranged gems like Rape (I mean SEXUAL ASSAULT): 13 Hours & Zoom Up: "Sexual Assault" Site. And of course there's the brand-new White Rose Campus: Then Everybody Gets "Assaulted Sexually" , my favorite so far, which is to other Nikkatsu nookie fare like Itchy & Scratchy is to Tom & Jerry. If your friends are as lurid & corrupt as ours, it's the party DVD of the summer and has a wickedly funny vein of satire throbbing below the After School Special-Goes-Grindhouse nonstop heinous surface. The movie's a trash mega-classic but it's being demurely soft-launched by Synapse, who must live in constant terror that some brat in Thousand Oaks will get caught Amazon-Priming this DVD line, inflaming a Video Nasty-type social-media outcry from Families Of Faith Against Free 2-Day Shipment Of Filth, or other politically correct assholism. All I could think of during every scene was Wendy the Slow Adult from Howard Stern drawling "Somebody [sexually assault] me, fer cryin out loud!" If Synapse has a burst of Perv Pride and wants to create their own Godzilla-type dub-track to strictly translate the amazing dialogue into English, our movie-art webstore will officially sponsor, cast & direct those sessions, and Wendy WILL be offered the voice-role of one of the White Rose Academy fieldtrippers, airfare & motel lodging included...