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Convent, The (2001)
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by EricDSnider

"Un-convent-ional. (Get it?!?)"
3 stars

You have to admire a movie in which two people, tied up and about to be offered as virgin sacrifices by devil-worshippers, consider having sex with each other just to make them ineligible for the sacrifice.

That sort of ingenuity appears occasionally but is mostly hidden beneath a crazed, frenetic exterior of bloody killings and nightmarish mayhem in Mike Mendez's "The Convent."

Seems that 40 years ago, a girl walked into a convent in Anytown, U.S.A., and killed every nun in sight. The reason for the massacre has become an urban legend (we find out the real reasons later), but now the place is a favorite site for wannabe Satanists -- mostly high-school weenies who dress in black when they're not working at Dairy Queen.

On a night when a bunch of frat boys and their girlfriends visit the convent as an initiation rite, some of those Goth kids are there, too, fumbling with Satanism (their leader, a truly funny character named Saul, sings a demonic incantation to the tune of "Silver Bells"). They accidentally unleash the real evil that exists in the place, and soon everyone's being turned into nun-zombies.

Everything is played way over-the-top, using the traditional trappings of a teen horror flick, but using them so much they become satirical. Guys in these movies are always obsessed with sex, right? So when an air-headed cheerleader gets a scratch and says, "What if it scars?," her boyfriend says, reassuringly, "I'd still do you."

And the blood: There's plenty of it, much of it fluorescent. People's heads get chopped off, they're smashed by things, they're shot full of bullets -- and it's all so fantastically bloody, like an "Itchy & Scratchy" cartoon, that you soon realize the intention was not to make you sick, but to make you laugh (though it still may not be for the squeamish).

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originally posted: 07/04/03 12:00:53
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User Comments

9/27/05 tatum Over the top, hilarious 4 stars
3/20/04 movieguy a great film 5 stars
10/10/03 Erik Van Sant Come all ye horror fans. This movie has it all...and Coolio too. 5 stars
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  02-Feb-2001 (R)



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