I have Carl’s review at I like Horror Movies to thank for this campy cheese-fest. Full of 90’s/2000’s pop references and some of the most exaggerated frat boy performances in history, The Convent is barrels o’ fun and undeniably charming.
The film revolves around a group of college students who want to tag an abandoned convent with their Greek letters, despite local urban legends about devil worshipers and forced abortions which occurred 40 years earlier. Along with the typical bunch of “normal” college kids, we were also given a geeky pledger and a goth chick who is just there to check out the sights. The cardboard characters deliver dialogue cliché after dialogue cliché with half-hearted performances, but for whatever reason, it works.
She's soooo goth...
Perhaps it’s the glorious opening sequence that initially warmed me up to the film. In a Tarantino-inspired scene set to Leslie Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me,” a catholic school girl, complete with plaid skirt and aviators, raises hell at the convent. Baseball bat, gasoline, and shotgun + nuns and priests = mean-spirited fun.
Yeah...Didn't think so.
Fast forward 40 years to the current set of youngsters that explore the convent and a group of the lamest devil worshipers ever capture on film. One jock, in particular, is fun to watch because he is so over-the-top, I can’t help but wonder if he was high during the shoot. Epic lines like “Do you know karate? Cuz that ass is kickin’!” make this movie a terrific guilty pleasure. Every now and then, the goth girl also provides humorous quips. Looking at a blonde cheerleader, “Are you a bulimic bitch?” And my personal favorite: “I’m saving myself for Marilyn Manson.” All these gems get you ready for some upcoming demon action, full of Raimi-esque humor (only lacking the polish and style). Instead, we get silly speed ramping that will surely date the film for future audiences, as well as goofy black light effects.
Boasting a great appearance by Adrienne Barbeau, who is seriously badass in all her motorcycle-riding, leather-wearing glory, The Convent’s last 20 minutes are pure gold and just as indulgent as the first scene. There are plenty of WTF moments, as well as a quoteability factor that make this movie more than worth your time. Just make sure you’re in the mood for cheeseball horror that really doesn’t care. I hope people rediscover The Convent as B-movie bullion decades from now.