Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

What we have here with this movie ‘Nympha’ my friends is a film that has a marketing concept that is just a bit misleading, and I believe is designed to cater our base pathologies in an effort to separate us from our hard-earned rental dollar. I’ll explain why later. Now I did not succumb to this chicanery because, at least this time, I knew better, but considering this movie has been out well over a year and also because watching movies like this is what I do, I couldn’t avoid it any longer. Besides, I just saw the movie ‘Live Evil’ with Tiffany Shepis in it and the poor girl only had one scene in that movie, so why not cue something up in which the woman is the headline star.

A young woman (Shepis) shows up at an Italian convent. She is greeted by the super stern Mother Superior (Allesandra Guerzoni) who quickly informs Sarah that this decision she has made to turn her life over to The Lord is not one they take lightly at this joint, and her life, as she knew it, is over.

Sarah is quickly stripped of all of her worldly possessions, including her clothes of course, and then sent down to see the weird drunk doctor who ‘examines’ her by cutting on her ears. Later that evening Sarah begins having nightmares about something that occurred in this convent many years ago. From what we can glean from this there’s a weird old man tending to a pregnant woman, but this old man is being controlled by a horrible beast in the attic, though gramps is pretty convinced that he is doing God’s work.

Playing out concurrently with these nightmares is more torture being thrust upon poor Sarah as she is steadily being mutilated by the nuns in this convent as they prepare her to ‘meet God’. But the more Sarah is mutilated, the more clearly she can see the horrible things that have occurred in this place through the eyes of the child Ninfa who once lived in the convent. As the torture continues, Sarah can see the visage of the adult and married Ninfa (Caroline De Cristofaro), with Sarah able to see Ninfa so clearly that it’s almost as if she is there with her… (sigh) so clear in fact that two even manage to have some hot lesbian sex.

Still there are a lot of questions that need to be answered. Why are these nuns mutilating Sarah? Who is this old man taking care of Ninfa? What is that beast in the attic that is always hungry and makes walls bleed? Why do we even care who this Ninfa is? Some of these questioned will be answered. As for the rest of these questions I’m afraid we’re just plum out of luck.

So you call the movie ‘Nympha’, which of course is similar to the word nympho, then you cast the always lovely Tiffany Shepis as your lead, a woman who we are all fully aware isn’t the shyest girl around, then you set it in a monastery. You may think you’re getting some hot nunsploitation action, and while the flick did have its share of nudity and sex, it just ain’t that kind of movie. You see, I don’t what kind of movie ‘Nympha’ is.

Putting aside the genre that this movie may or may not fit into, the main problem with ‘Nympha’ is that it is just way… too… slow… It all starts out promising enough, seeing Ms. Shepis trapped within the cold foreboding atmosphere of this monastery which makes for a promising setup, but the movie never really picked up after this promising beginning. For large sections of the movie we’re pretty much stuck watching Tiffany Shepis interact with herself and staring at walls. Considering we don’t exactly know what’s going on with these interactions, none of what we are watching means a helluva lot, and as such the story feels as if it is going nowhere. Then it cuts to the freaky old man doing whatever it is he’s up to, and again considering we don’t know what this thing is, it’s no easier getting into his branch of the story than it is getting into Sarah’s side of the story.

Then the monotony will break every once in a while to torture the character of Sarah, for reasons we don’t know, then it cuts back to the old man doing God’s work, then more torture, then a lesbian love scene and a little bit more torture, then the drunk doctor banging a nun in the hall… with none of this stuff having any connection into anything in the story as far as I can tell.

Then there’s resolution! More or less. Similar to the movie ‘Angel Heart’ where it didn’t make a lick of sense until like the last two minutes made it all crystal clear, it’s the same here with ‘Nympha’, except while it’s become somewhat clearer, it's not crystal clear. Admittedly this resolution helps the movie out immensely, but it certainly doesn’t absolve it. While the movie does make more sense now, it doesn’t change the fact that for the first 80 or so minutes I was bored to tears. And while it did manage to clean up a lot of what we saw, the reasons why we were watching whatever it is that we watching were still far to sketchy.

‘Nympha’… which probably should’ve properly been titled ‘Nimfa’, since it’s the characters name, is probably best reserved for rabid Tiffany Shepis fans and those making it point to check out every ‘Nun Gone Bad’ movie ever made. The rest of us, I’m thinking, should be able to get by missing out on this one.

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