Appellate Judge Rob Lineberger is dazzled by this latest entry into the nunsploitation genre.
Black and White with Her Money on Red
If you already know about Nunsensations! and the other Nunsense, then here's what you need to know: this no-frills DVD captures Nunsensations! clearly with polished, straightforward editing and lets you see Nunsensations! in the comfort of your own home. There are no extras, but the video is clean, the music clear, and the crowd is appreciative. It's Nunsensations! like you've seen it before!
If you're like me and this is Nunsensations! like you've never seen it before, this DVD will not help you in the slightest. Here's what we have to go on from the back cover: When a parishioner volunteers to donate $10,000 to the sisters' school if they will perform in a club in Las Vegas, Mother Superior is hesitant to accept. However, after being convinced by the other sisters that "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" Reverend Mother agrees.
Having reviewed several Nunsploitation titles in my time, I was intrigued by this modern take on the genre. What parishioner would be so crass as to offer nuns ten large to get on a Vegas stage? Though I intuitively guessed that no "T and A" would be involved, it was just lurid enough to pull me in. The sisters seemed to be Okay with their exploitation, and in fact were hamming it up like old pros. And apparently, singing chants and hymns is adequate preparation for belting out musical numbers. In fact, they were too good. Something was not right.
The production values crept ever higher, eating into that 10 grand like it were toilet paper. The song and dance numbers grew more elaborate and the sisters didn't miss a beat. In short, these are not nuns, there is no high-rolling parishioner, and they probably aren't even in Vegas. This is a musical; a string of musical numbers with a thread of patter to connect the dots.
It took me long enough to realize this, and those minutes were critical. Because not only is this a musical, it is a corny musical in the same tradition as Hee Haw, but one I was treating like reality television. The sisters's accents and expressions are painted so broadly that I was turned off almost instantly. But knowing now that this is a put on, I can say that Nunsensations! is full of antics and puns that should put a smile on anyone's face. With only the merest hint of exploitation and a quirky combination of ankle-length habits and feathered headgear, Nunsensations! is an outrageous comic revue. It reminds me of Mamma Mia, the Broadway show based on the songs of ABBA, which is also corny and campy with broad appeal.
Because Nunsensations! The Nunsense Vegas Revue is essentially a static filming of a stage performance, this DVD falls into the performance category; its contemporaries are DVDs like Rhythm Of The Dance or Cirque Du Soleil: Midnight Sun. As such, it is an above average example, with adequate lighting, good editing, and a pleasing variety of wide angle shots and closeups. Exaggerated props and New Jersey accents help sell the illusion of streetwise sisters on a Los Vegas stage. The lone extra, "Hotel Check-in," is simply raw footage of a staged check-in sequence that was sped up and set to music for the DVD. This is my biggest beef with the DVD: It desperately needs liner notes or an introductory extra that explains the Nunsense franchise for those in the dark.
It is too late for me, but if you're in on the joke from the start then you can relax and enjoy the frivolity. The crowd on the DVD was certainly into it. Now I know what it feels like when you miss a sly wink and a nod and take things at face value. Since this is the sixth Nunsense show, the wink and nod is obviously sly enough to keep many people entertained.
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• Hotel Check-in
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