It's tempting to look for deeper meaning in Nympha. You don't even really have to try too hard to dig up a pretty interesting concept or two, concepts that are far above Nympha's station. Because, if you think back to the idea that Nympha is really just a modern update of the 'nunsploitation' genre starring Tiffany Shepis, you'll want to ditch any highbrow notions you might be brewing, and just hope for more boobs, blood and nun-on-nun action.
The big crime here is not that Nympha might get you thinking, it's that boobs and blood are in short supply until the final half-hour, and even then there's probably not enough to satisfy you sickos who actually know what nunsploitation is. There are some other faults, too, including a multi-tiered flashback motif that's irritating, (until that final half-hour when everything momentarily gels) with proceedings filled with crying, screaming and thick-accented mumbling. Seriously, for two-thirds of Nympha anyone easily annoyed - I am - will be begging for Nympha to get to the point and get it over with. Plus, our DVD-Rom screener keeps popping up with a 'for promotional use only' super-graphic that constantly takes one out of the movie. It doesn't exactly help a movie that could use a bit, making it difficult for me to judge Nympha accurately.
Shepis plays Sarah, a new recruit for an extremely selective convent. Upon arrival on a rainy night she's immediately forced to get naked, (yea!) then don her blood-red habit. Everything starts sliding down a muddy hill thereafter. Sarah's forced into some suspect surgical procedures administered by a drunken lout, and she enters flashback hell. This disorienting fun includes the crazily devout groundskeeper for the convent, a poor young girl named Ninfa (apparently that name doesn't sell as well as Nympha, however) and a room full of rotting things and a mysterious savage presence referred to as 'The Lord.'
Nympha's take on a freakish convent full of wackos who worship a mutilated, literally senseless martyr has all the promise of earlier nunsploitation pictures, (many of which were based on the Marquis De Sade's blasphemous writings) maybe even more promise. But like lots of those other movies (go to nunsploitation.net for an exhaustive look) Nympha chooses to focus on the sleaze. Sadly, there's not enough sleaze. Save for a late in the game brief soft-core romp between Sarah and an apparition, Shepis mostly weeps, mumbles, screams and suffers. Her suffering is gross, for sure, and a decent amount of blood is sprayed about - tortures that plant Nympha in horror furrows, rather than the usual nuns-enjoying-bondage stuff you'd expect.
All the elements are there to make Nympha a (sick) crowd pleaser; Shepis delivers nicely, there's blood, and boobs (not enough, though). If only those flashbacks (and flashbacks within flashbacks) wouldn't take so long traversing from confusing and annoying to potent. If only director Ivan Zuccon's numerous stylistic grace notes backed up something a bit more scary, sexy or serious. If only I could understand what people were saying half the time. Seriously, the amount of thick-accented mumbling going on is astounding - you'll be reaching for your hearing aid. So Nympha's got some problems, but the weirdo climax where all that's wrong somehow comes together for a brief moment will leave you with a good, tarnished feeling.