The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound mix is the only one available on the disc, there are no alternate language or subtitles provided. This is a fairly minimalist sound mix, mostly just a score, but it gets the job done. levels are properly balanced and there are no issues with hiss or distortion of note.
Given that the feature attraction is only nineteen minutes long it's nice to see that Redemption and Kino have jammed this disc up with some impressive extra features starting with some of Wingrove's other films. His first film, an eight minute short called Axel made in 1988 is here as is Faustine, a two minute short that he made in 1990 that features Eileen Daily, who also pops up in Sacred Flesh Speaking of which...
Probably more interesting to most, however, is the inclusion of his first feature length film, the seventy-five minute long Sacred Flesh. The movie takes place way back when in medieval times where, at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, we meet a Mother Superior named Sister Elizabeth (Sally Tremaine). Her behavior as of late has been a little strange as she's gotten quite antagonistic towards her fellow sisters, accusing them of immorality while seemingly coming close to committing some specifically carnal sins herself. These odd and angry ways prompt the nuns of the convent to assume that she's fallen victim to demonic possession, and Sister Mary (Moyna Cope) is sent off to the convent to investigate. What she discovers is strange and surreal to say the least, not to mention quite taboo considering that all of the women housed in the convent have taken the sworn oath of chastity...
Filled to the brim with steamy sexy set pieces and a few moments of shocking violence, this film is a lot more intelligent than it might seem if you're to judge it based only on the exploitative surface that it bares. The requirements of the 'nasty nun' sub-genre are all here: molestation, lesbianism, blasphemy, whipping, and other perverse acts of sometimes self inflicted torture; but Wingrove's film also brings up some interesting questions, particularly in relation to the aforementioned and requisite vow of chastity that the sisters have all taken and how it relates to their effectiveness as servants of God.
Performance wise, we're in pretty good shape here. The two female leads are convincing enough both in their delivery and their appearance, though sometimes some of the costumes used in the film for the supporting characters exposes the low budget of the film. Thankfully the cinematography and shot composition created for the film is so good that it almost completely engrosses you into what's happening, even when some of the costume flubs attempt to pull you out. Wingrove's film pays close attention to detail and makes excellent use of the sets, the props, and the ample amount of flesh on display to deliver a gorgeous looking symphony of depravity.
Sacred Flesh is presented in 1.85.1 anamorphic widescreen and in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo - quality is fine across the board though the commentary track with Wingrove that was included on the previous domestic DVD release from Heretic Films has not been carried over to this disc. We do, however, get a decent interview with Wingrove that was recorded in 1990 and which deals with the controversy surrounding his earlier films. We also get a quick selection of outtakes from Visions Of Ecstasy and some clips from the nunsploitation documentary Hail Mary! A Brief Peek At Nunsploitation, an interesting piece that features input from Wingrove. Presented in non-anamorphic widescreen, this documentary features some great images and clips from nunsploitation films from all over the world. The documentary addresses some of the controversy around these films as well as the appeal before letting Wingrove take center stage and talk about his thoughts and experiences in the genre and about Sacred Flesh in particular. Those equipped with a DVD-Rom drive can also put the disc into their computer and access a thirty-six page essay on Wingrove's battles with the BBFC entitled Finding Ecstasy On The Road To Redemption. Menus and chapter selection are also included.
Visions Of Ecstasy may be pretty short and not worth the asking price on its own but the inclusion of the feature length Sacred Flesh and the other shorts makes this a really well rounded set. The audio and video quality are pretty good and the content itself sure to intrigue anyone with an interest in nasty nun cinema. Recommended.
Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.