The Merits of Sin: The Convent (2000) (USA)

A bad ass brunette walks into a church at St. Francis Boarding School like she owns the damn place. Cigarette dangling from her mouth, she takes a bat to a few nuns and proceeds to throw gasoline all over the mother superior. She sets her on fire with her cigarette than takes a shotgun to whatever religious figures are still standing. This scene is set to Lesley Gore’s You Don’t Own Me (one of the greatest songs ever released to mortal ears) and, needless to say, I fell hard for this film before it hit the three minute mark.

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Forty years pass and the massacre at the convent is little more than a town ghost story and as most of these communal legends go, it serves as the basis for some good youthful fun. Enter a group of college aged idiots on their way to break in and graffiti their symbol on the premises (as is tradition). Joining the frat house idiots is Clarissa (who is dating one of the frat members and desperate to fit in), her goth former best friend Mo (who wants to see if the legends about the place being haunted are true) and Clarissa’s brother Brant (who is a pledge and therefore treated like shit). This large gaggle of dopes successfully break in and are almost immediately caught by the local police (Coolio and Bill Moseley in a fun cameo). Mo hides inside due to being on probation and (along with some dumped drugs) serves as a reason for the group to return once they’re kicked off the grounds. They are going to wish they hadn’t.

Hot Cops

Also creeping about the rubble of the abandoned convent is a small group of idiotic satanists. While the college kids were away they managed to get their hands on Mo and plan on sacrificing her to the Dark Lord. They prove to be way out of their league and only manage to unleash whatever evil has been laying dormant for four decades. Mo serves as a vessel for said evil and soon a demonic force is spreading like a neon wildfire.

Mo demons Mo problems

Blood starts flying and people start dying as the electric blue tinted evil tears through the group of humans trapped within. Clarissa manages to escape and goes to get help from the only source she can think of: the bad ass brunette from the beginning who is now forty years older and played by Adrienne fuckin Barbeau. She’s hesitant to help until she finds out Clarissa’s brother is a virgin and may bring about the antichrist if the demons get their way. They load up and head to the formerly holy ground for a final confrontation.

That’s Barbeau. Spelled B-A-D-A-S-S

The Convent is one hell of a fun time. The cast is game and the blood flows freely. It starts kind of like a remake of Night of the Demons (but unlike the actual remake it succeeds far more than it fails) and then completely becomes its own thing. The neon looking demon design is pretty nifty and the film climaxes with Adrienne Barbeau riding a motorcycle and wearing the severed heads of a couple demonic nuns…I mean, come on, what’s not to love? This is my kind of good time. 8/10

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