The Devils
Date Aired
June 23rd, 2012
Running Time

BHH opening sequence plays.

Cut to Oancitizen in his nook, reading The Humiliation of Sinners and singing.

Oan: [singing] Gloria, in excelsis De- [he stops as he notices us from over his book] Ah! Welcome to Brows Held High. The Catholic Church, throughout its long history, has inspired many, many great works of art. This ain’t one of ‘em.

Oan [v/o]: [slow zoom-out of a head spot from our featured director] The cult British director and reality-TV star Ken Russell - [quick cut of Russell’s appearance on…] no, really; Celebrity Big Brother - [zoom in on a photo of him at work in his younger days] garnered a reputation for being… um, [quick caption says “crazy” but Oan says:] unique in his visions. [we can hear Elton John’s “Pinball Wizard” in the background as we cut to some stills from a few of Russell’s films - Tina Turner as The Acid Queen in Tommy, William Hurt in Altered States, and Glenda Jackson in Women In Love] His outlandish use of cinematic language and iconography - [cut to a still from The Lair of the White Worm] and, you know, the sex and stuff - [photo of a latter-day Russell] made him a target of criticism throughout his long career, which ended with his death last year [2011, BTW.]

Oan: He was weird. How weird? Like, Tommy weird. [as we cut to said film about the deaf, dumb, and blind kid who…]

Elton John: [singing] Sure plays a mean pinball...

Oan [v/o]: Before he put out work that pioneered the aesthetic of music videos, like [we see the DVD covers of] Tommy, Mahler, and [the movie poster for] Lisztomania, he created one of the most controversial works of his career, [the poster of our featured film fades in] 1971’s The Devils, [which moves in line next to images of covers of the following items] which was based on John Whiting’s play The Devils, which, in turn, was an adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s novel, The Devils of Loudon, which, in turn, was staffed from the historical incidents surrounding the trail of Urbain Grandier, [zoom-in on a drawing of Grandier burned at the stake] a Catholic priest executed for crimes of witchcraft in 17th-century France.

Oan: So, a film made from a play made from a book made from an historical account. And it all starts with a disclaimer [cut to the opening disclaimer in the film: “This film is based upon historical fact. The principal characters lived and the major events depicted in the film actually took place.”] that the events you are about to see are historically accurate.

We cut to the opening scene of the film: a man dressed in minimal clothing and wearing a crown, along with his court, are dancing some type of ballet. On-screen is the caption: “THE KING OF FRANCE.”

Oan: [off-camera] Yep, this is so accurate. On my God, it’s like [cut to him on-camera, shaking his ahead the whole time as if to say, “Hell no”] we’ve stepped back in a time machine. Oh my God, the accuracy. I’m just blown away by the accuracy. Holy-

Oan [v/o]: [more of the opening] Yes, um… you know how [we see a poster of:] 300 was adapted from [that moves out quickly; in its place is the cover from Frank Miller’s 300 book] a comic adapted from [in turn, that’s replaced by the DVD cover of The 300 Spartans] a movie adapted from [and that’s replaced by the cover of the book The Landmark: Herodotus - The Histories] the works of Herodotus? [cut to a clip of Xerxes in 300] And how its relation to history was [a hieroglyphic of the Actual Xerxes - thanks, caption - appears next to him] estranged, at best?

Oan: Well, for all intents and purposes, [quick cut of Louis XIII kissing someone’s hand in The Devils; the King has a lot of make-up on him] King Louis XIII here is our Xerxes.

Cut to Grandier in the film giving a speech.

Oan [v/o]: Our Leonidas is Urbain Grandier, played by Oliver Reed. He’s a Catholic priest and de facto leader of the walled white city of Loudon, [cut to a still of Grandier looking out on the horizon as we see a shot of Loudon’s walls behind him] which, tangentially, would make an awesome level in Portal. [sure enough, Oan adds some… “portals” from said game, along with the sound effects, to illustrate the point. We cut to another shot of Grandier surveying his landscape] Yes, for a movie about religious excess and political assassination, the production design by Derek Jarman is surprisingly sterile.

Oan: Derek Jarman, if you’ll recall, is the guy who directed these movies:

We see a clip from Sebastiane, where Sebastian is being flogged. And next is an excerpt from one of the songs in Jubilee. Then is a replay of The Devils’ opening scene.

Oan [v/o]: It shows, doesn’t it? [cut to a scan of the previous featuring a drawing of Grandier] Now, the real Urbain Grandier was, by all accounts, handsome, intelligent, a brilliant orator, and a little less than chaste. [scene from The Devils with Grandier walking through the town’s central court] But, depicted here, he is a living, breathing, estrogen-ignition system.

Nun: Grandier can have me anywhere, even on the early order himself! [not sure if that’s the real dialogue]

Oan [v/o]: [over scenes of Reed as Grandier] Okay, but… Oliver Reed? With the jowls and the pot belly and the gigantic Stalin ‘stache and the scar that he got in a drunken bar fight? [we cut to Reed’s infamous 1984 appearance on the British chat show, Aspel & Company, where he appears to be drunk-singing] The proto-Sheen whose body pumped more gin than it did blood?

Oan: I know I’m not the best judge, being a straight man and all, but I just don’t see the sexual appeal of round-faced, dark-haired snobby guys with prominent facial hair.

Nun: Now there’s a man well worth going to Hell for, eh?

Oan: [thinking this over] Hmm… I should test this. Uh, pardon me, Miss Pregler?

We cut to Obscurus Lupa in her room. She’s reading from Cyborgs, Santa Claus, and Stan when she gets interrupted by Oan.

Lupa: Uh, yes?

Oan: You’re…. female, right? [we cut to Lupa, who just gives Oan a blank stare. Later, she gives us a WTF? face] Okay, uh, you know Oliver Reed, right?

Lupa: Umm… Wait, the guy from Gladiator, right? The old slave driver? Umm… [we cut to Oan, who holds up a black-and-white headshot of Reed as Grandier] Yeah, I guess he was okay in that… [cut back to Lupa, who, all of a sudden, begins to swoon and dramatically fawn over Reed, much to the surprised of an obviously-shocked Oan. It’s so dramatic that Lupa falls out of her chair]

Oan: [still holding up the photo] Huh.

Oan [v/o]: [we see scenes of King Louis XIII with Cardinal Richelieu and of Grandier in bed with a woman] You could easily read connotations into having the bad guy be so fey and camp and the good guy being such a masculine ladies’ man. But I don’t. Merely because King Louis isn’t necessarily the villain.

King Louis: [with gun in hand] We once promised dear old St. Mart, the late, lamented governor, that we would never touch one teeny-weeny stone of his precious city. You would surely not expect us to go back on our word.

We cut to a scene when a man in a life-size blackbird costume is let out of a cage in the yard, as other members of the royal party, armed with rifles themselves, point their guns at him.

Oan [v/o]: Despite acting so much like one.

Sure enough, King Louis shoots the bird-man in the butt; the bird-man falls comically into a small pond, as the people watching laugh with glee. As the gunpowder smoke clears, Louis asks:

King Louis: Another Protestant bird for your bag, Richelieu?

Oan: Please tell me that Mel Brooks has seen this movie.

On cue, we have the scene from History Of The World Part I where King Louis [Mel Brooks] enjoys a favorite activity…

King Mel: Pull! [we see a peasant flung into the air; King Mel promptly shoots him down] Drifting to the left.

Oan [v/o]: [cut to Richelieu taking to the King] The Dick Cheney-esque Cardinal Richelieu seems most eager to get Loudun to capitulate. [cut to a scene inside a prison, where Richelieu is carted around by nuns in some sort of weird sarcophagus, prompting Kyle to make this note] Plus there’s that scene that would inspire the movie about that guy who ate the people? [you mean Hannibal Lecter in The Silence Of The Lambs?] Yeah. [cut to near the white walls of Loudon where workers are doing some back-breaking chores; large wooden wheels are involved… somehow] But most of Grandier’s direct opposition comes in the form of… [we see Baron Jean de Laubardemont on horseback in the work area, who looks a bit like, as we suddenly see a photo of circa-1968...] Micky Dolenz and his cronies. [we see the feet of the slaves powering the wheels] Um, don’t ask me about the hamster wheels.

Oan: Now, the story of The Devils is one of political intrigue and the downfall of a good man. [beat] …Supposedly good-ish man.

Oan [v/o]: [close-up of Grandier delivering the Sign of the Cross] Grandier’s downfall is caused by three women. [shot of:] First, there’s Philippe, a naked cockney mine…

Oan: Go with it.

Oan [v/o]: [shot of Philippe on top of Grandier in bed as she reads from a book] …whose father sends her to Grandier to learn some words in Latin. Like “coitus.”

Philippe: [laying next to Grandier, hand on his chest] I’m pregnant.

Grandier: [caressing her] You must learn to bear your cross with Christian fortitude, my child. [caption appears that reads ‘Translation: Not my problem!’]

Oan [v/o]: [as scenes of what he describes play out] And this earns him an enemy in her father, who he fights off with a dead crocodile and laughs at him. [the father’s repee breaks off]

Oan: Okay, that requires context. I don’t feel like giving any.

Oan [v/o]: [shot of, in a wedding dress…] The second is Madeleine, who, like every other character with ovaries in this film, gets the giggles over him.

Madeleine: Destroy me! I love you! [quickly correcting herself] Him. I love him! [this as Grandier looks almost disgusted by what he‘s heard]

Oan: I love that look. [the scene replays]

Madeleine: I love you! Him.

Oan [v/o]: “Oh, God, not another one.” [we see Grandier and Madeleine at the altar, sharing communion wine] And after a bit of canoodling, they marry in secret.

Oan: And the third one… [long beat] Oh, boy.

Sister Jeanne of the Angels: [walking through the convent with a crazed look on her face, head tilted to the side] Satan is ever-ready to seduce us… with sensual delights. [laughs weirdly]

Oan: Sister Jeanne… who is, umm…

Cut to a scene where Sister Jeanne apparently cuts her left hand open with her rosary, looking like she has stigmata.

Oan: The Mother Superior, Sister Jeanne, is… [thinking, thinking…] What’s a classier word for “bat-shit”?

Oan [v/o]: Vanessa Redgrave, years before debasing herself by working for Roland Emmerich [quick image of the poster for Anonymous before we head back to the film], plays Jeanne as intelligent and sly and does a fine job conveying the mental torture that Jeanne goes through. But the stuff that the script has her do… [slow zoom-out of an old drawing of Sister Jeanne] Well, the real Sister Jeanne d’Agnes reported to having nightly visions of Grandier in a form that enticed her to do sexual acts. And cause her to wail loudly throughout the night, which, in the movie, is portrayed as…

We cut to a scene where Sister Jeanne is masturbating and having orgasms. Thankfully, the single cover of Divinyls’ “I Touch Myself” is blocking this for us.

Oan: Okay, makes sense. [chortles a bit] What’s black and white and shuddering all over?

Oan [v/o]: [we see Jeanne writing in her cell - I mean, space] And that’s not the least of it. it’s goofy enough that she starts writing letter sto him with the air of a 12-year-old writing to Robert Pattinson. [we cut to a fantasy sequence - a weird one] Then there’s that extremely infamous scene where she imagines Grandier to actually be Jesus Christ, coming down off of the cross, and letting her kiss his wounds? [Oan sounds creeped out by this as we do indeed see Jeanne caressing Grandier’s crucified body] Umm… [singing half-heartedly] I don’t know how to love him… [just as she starts liking a wound, we thankfully cut back to Oan]

Oan: You know, when Mel Gibson fetish zed of Christ’s death, at least, he wasn’t openly pervy about it. Still… Oliver Reed? I need to keep experimenting with this. Hey, [we cut to JesuOtaku in her basement] person who subjected me to lesbian Korra movie!

JO: What?

Oan: Uh, you know Oliver Reed?

JO: Umm, maybe? Refresh my memory. [we cut to Oan holding up a photo of Reed as Bill Sikes in Oliver!] Oh, right, yeah, [cut to JO] him! Sorry. Gosh, I haven’t seen that movie in years. You know, [cut back to Oan who puts Sikes down and brings back up the Grandier photo] that character was a total basta- [cut to JO, who immediately swoons and faints]

Oan: My God, [looking at the photo] he’s like human Axe Body Spray!

Oan [v/o]: [a frantic Jeanne rushes to talk to another priest, Father Mignon] And it all comes crashing down when Mother Superior jumps the gun.

Jeanne: He speaks to me of love. Lewd woman. [I think that's what she says] He plies me with caresses.

Mignon: And what form does this incubus take? [Jeanne leans in to whisper into Mignon’s ear

Jeanne: [loudly] Cock! [Mignon is taken aback as she laughs heartily]

Oan: Ha! Nuns must be so much fun to be around. I never went to Catholic school.

Jeanne: [still enamored] Grandier…

Oan [v/o]: And that revelation brings about Grandier’s downfall. [we see prior scenes of the following:] Well, that and his railing against Cardinal Richelieu in public. Oh, and he gets married, despite being a high-ranking member of the clergy. And that thing where he knocked up the daughter of the King’s solicitor, fought the man with a dead crocodile and went away laughing. And told the daughter to piss off while twirling his Goddamn mustache. [in that last scene, Grandier indeed twirls said ‘stache while Philippe lies naked on the floor]

Oan: He’s a complicated man. Anyway…

Oan: [we see Father Barre enter the convent] Micky Dolenz sends for an exorcist, Father Barre [cut to close-up of him], who, for some reason, is played by everyone’s weed dealer. [cut to Jeanne being held against her will by Barre] And it starts off a series of humiliations that Sister Jeanne is subjected to, which, ostensibly, is the thrust of the movie’s argument: that superstition and paranoia are terrible forces of destruction. [Jeanne manages to break free and kneels over to the praying area to pray to God, but Barre brings her back] Like in this exorcism scene. [a large industrial-sized plunger filled with… holy water, maybe (?) is prepared as Barre and his cronies prepare for:] This enema-centric exorcism scene.

Oan: I won’t show it because it’s genuinely pretty gruesome. In Aldous Huxley’s novel, he described the scene as nothing less than a rape in a public lavatory. And it’s conveyed that way. [beat, then he points his hand up top] Well, except for the soundtrack. [and we hear the soundtrack - a cacophony of horns and percussion, playing anything and seemingly everything at different tempos so that it sounds extremely disjointed. After a few seconds, Oan snaps his fingers to try and establish a rhythm] Catchy tune.

After… that scene, Jeanne lies face down on the table, trying to recover. While in that state, Baron Jean leans over to her to ask:

Baron Jean: Who is responsible for this evil possession, Sister Jeanne of the Angels? [he leans in closer]

Jeanne: [weakly speaking] Grandier…

Baron: Grandier! [we then hear a stinger - a cymbal crash - from the “soundtrack” of before]

Oan: [taken aback a bit, he then imitates a rim shot] Ba-dum-chhh! [and then, he silently mouths, “what?”]

Oan [v/o]: [as the previous scene replays] And to pile up the dirt they have on Grandier, the inquisitor’s master plan is…

Oan: Write this down.

Oan [v/o]: Collect all the nuns in the abbey; [which they are, tied up together; they‘re then standing in a pit dug in a forest, surrounding by guards armed with crossbows] take them all out into the woods; threaten to kill them; [Father Barre then comes forward, yelling with cross in hand] then convince them that they are full of sin; [Barre walks into the pit of nuns] and tell them they can get rid of that sin… [and the nuns go sex crazy, fawning after Barre] by sinning a shitload more. [Baron Jean looks on at this] Blame Grandier for what happens next, and… profit.

Oan: And this leads into… the sole reason the film was made.

And that reason? We see all the nuns immediately take off their habits, running and screaming all the while. And yep, they’re all naked underneath. Oan has obscured all those private parts with duplicate images of a stock photo of a nun with a weird, angry expression on her face that looks pretty comical. There are a LOT of nun faces in this shot. We cut to Oan looking non-plussed with lips drawn in. He then replies:

Oan: [singing to the tune of "Maria" from The Sound Of Music] Oh, how do you solve a problem like hysteria?

Oan [v/o]: [zoom-out of the UK DVD cover] This film, as you can imagine, received more cuts [quick shot of a painting of The Ides of March] than Julius frickin’ Caesar. Both the British Board of Film Classification [we see their logo] and Warner Brothers [we see an old-school logo] demanded cuts to the film for its [cut to a scan of The Devils’ page on some website] massive amounts of sexual, sacrilegious, violent transgressions - so many that, to this day, there appears to be no complete uncut version available for home viewing. [cover of one of those censored editions] Warner Bros. has released several heavily-censored versions in the US and the UK. [cut to an interview clip of our next individual] And it wasn’t until 2004 that film critic Mark Kermode found the banned scenes that the film could be aired in its fullest possible state. [cut to a different DVD cover] As for home viewing, The Devils has about as many different and conflicting versions as [quick shot of the poster for:] Blade Runner. [we cut to the cover of the “original uncut extended edition”, a.k.a. the Euro Cult release - there’s an on-screen caption that says ‘this version is not uncut’] Most of the time, you’ll either find the UK or US censored versions. The WB has, on more than one occasion, promised to make the full version available and then [this cover quickly disappears from the screen] balked at the last second. It’s a clusterfuck. [the disrobing scene replays]

Oan: Speaking of clusterfucks…

Oan [v/o]: [as the opening credits of the film play] Even the version that I have isn’t entirely complete. However, my version does have one of the most infamous scenes in the film - so infamous, it has its own nickname:

Oan: [using air quotes] “The Rape of Christ.” [more pauses in-between sentences here] The scene consists of nuns tearing a giant crucifix off the wall… and molesting it. I won’t bother to repeat that. I’ll try to show it censored, but I truly wish you could see it for yourselves. It is sacrilarious.

And here we go… We see this caption - “THE FOLLOWING IS AN APPROXIMATION OF THE ACTUAL EDITING FOR THIS SEQUENCE” - as Father Mignon climbs up a wall, makes it to a small ledge, stops, turns around, and looks down at… well, whatever it is, he’s all bug-eyed. All the while in this sequence, that cacophonous soundtrack from before plays again. We cut to Oan holding up a sign, explaining what Mignon is viewing: “ORGY OF NUNS RUBBING THEMSELVES ON A STATUE OF JESUS.” ….Yeppers. Mignon is obvious horrified yet can’t look away from what he’s watching as the camera constantly zooms in and out, increasing speed as it goes. Oan also does the same with the sign that he’s holding. After a while, we see a HUUUUUUGELY pixilated scene of the orgy, which is captioned: “WAY TOO MUCH TO CENSOR.”

Oan [v/o]: Yeah, this is the film’s infamous centerpiece. [as we see shots of some of nuns on the ground, pleasuring themselves with the strangest orgasm faces ever] Where all the effort went. …I mean…

Oan: Good Lord, these nuns are stacked!!

Oan [v/o]: [back to the pixilated scene] Not a non-photogenic one among them [caption reads: “…not that you could tell”; we cut to Jeanne talking again to Mignon] Especially weird considering Sister Jeanne specifically points out that many nuns went to the convent because they weren’t beautiful.

Jeanne: Or they were un-marriageable because ugly’s a burden to the family.

Oan [v/o]: [more pixilation] But, I mean… look at this! [caption: ‘Er… imagine that you can…”; cut to a large group of people in eye masks laughing] You don’t throw this much effort into [cut to a scene that is heavily blocked by this caption; “HONESTLY NOT SURE IF I CAN SHOW A PANTSLESS NUN WHACKING OFF A GIANT CANDLE” - lit, no less] this much insanity without really, really meaning it.

Oan: And what did Ken Russell mean? I dunno… something about power corrupting, “pity the poor souls warped by the powers that be”… But, honestly, it’s… pretty hard to feel bad for the nuns. Because they’re clearly enjoying this.

Oan [v/o]: [we see the procession from early in the movie] Look at how they’re introduced again.

Nun #1: [excited as she sees the procession from her window] Yes, I can see the procession is coming up the steps! [we see all the other nuns are gleefully excited; some are even trying to get their own look outside, climbing over others]

Oan [v/o]: They’re playful, lustful… and not particularly religious, it seems. Like when they found out Grandier got married and they all do a little role-play?

Nun #2: [playing Grandier, with a mustache painted on her, as the other nuns swoon back the forth around her; she’s singing in ‘chant’ mode] And do you, Madeliene de Brouw, take me, Urbain Grandier, for your unlawfully wedded husband?

Oan [v/o]: Yeah, go on ahead, Sister; it’s not that there are any [quick cut from The Passion of Joan of Arc, where Joan is tied to the stake] high-profile cases where women were burned alive for dressing like a man. [back to the film, where, in scene, there is some more nudity surrounding our central characters here; thank you, “NEKKID” captions, for blocking them] But most telling is the scene where King Hedonism-bot [Louis XIII] shows up at the convent while Barre is hilariously failing to keep things under control.

Barre: [vigorously grabbing a nun off the ground, as nudity surrounds him] I’m going to speak a name to you: Grandier!

Nun #3: [still in a frenzied state] Grandieeeer!

Oan [v/o]: Nun pile! [at this point, the two are buried indeed under a pile of nuns and others involved in this orgy; cut to this scene:] And the King brings out a box containing the Blood of Christ and uses it to cure Sister Jeanne. And then, he opens the box up, revealing that it’s empty.

Barre: [shocked at what he’s witnessed] What sort of a trick have you played on us?

Louis XIII: Oh, reverend sir! [as he fills the box with fruit and gives it to Barre] What sort of a trick are you playing on us?

Oan [v/o]: Then, the King camps off and… the nuns keep going. They don’t stop. [this includes one naked nun grabbing a wooden cross and hitting Barre in the back with it]

Oan: Their King and Sovereign shows up at their doorstep, calls the exorcist “an asshole,” calls the possessions “a sham,” …and they keep going!

Oan [v/o]: [holding that ORGY sign again] That scene I couldn’t show you before… happens immediately after the King leaves. [more pixilated fun again] I think they must genuinely enjoy this. They don’t stop after the King leaves. They don’t stop after Grandier comes back from his honeymoon. [sure enough, one halk-naked nun is frolicking around and runs into the happy couple, who had just arrived; cut to later, when Grandier is arrested] They haven’t even stopped after Grandier is jailed, [cut to Baron confronting a nun in the convent] and the inquisitors are getting everyone to sign confessions that Grandier possessed them.

Oan: Everything about their portrayal makes me think that, if anything, this whole Grandier thing got them to open up and have a bit more fun. And that’s certainly a better explanation than the movie gives for this… um… [snaps his fingers]

Oan [v/o]: What’s a good word? [we’re back in JO’s lair; she’s asleep when she suddenly awakens to suggest:]

JO: Nunfuckery?

Oan: Thank you. Oh, by the way… [he holds up that photo again, and JO swoons and faints again; he then takes a quick look at it] This is not getting old.

Oan [v/o]: [zoom-out of the original poster] This film came out in 1971; and, as you might guess, [cut to a collage of posters/covers for Alucarda, Images in a Convent, Satanico Pandemonium, School of the Wolf Beast, and Killer Nun] it’s largely responsible for the wave of so-called “nun sploitation” films that came out during the ensuing decade. [brief still of The Cinema Snob in his chair] I think that other guy talked about some of them. [cut to Baron addressing the camera, while Grandier‘s trial takes place] And it’s rather sad that this movie’s primary legacy is fueling that sub-genre because I genuinely think this could have been a great drama. [Grandier speaks now] It’s not like the source material wasn’t rich with intrigue. Under a different director, Huxley’s play might have been like a saucier episode of The Borgias. [cut to Jeanne in the convent] And the two main leads own their roles. Redgrave’s Jeanne has splashes of nuance. [cut to Grandier, now with shaven head, about to be hanged] And Reed especially makes Grandier into a wonderful anti-hero. [quick shot of Grandier earlier in the movie, crying] He’s flawed, a sinner in the position of a saint; and he knows it. [cut to Grandier and Mignon walking along a rocky shore, Grandier blessing everything with holy water] There’s even a throwaway line, which makes me think he wanted to be caught by the Inquisition.

Grandier: I need to turn them against myself.

Mignon: And bring about your own end?

Grandier: I have a great need… to be united with God.

Cut to Grandier’s execution.

Oan [v/o]: And when he’s finally brought to the stake, he breaks down in a perfect image of penitence, so much that… [we see some other priests laughing at him from the side, as well as Phillippe and her father] Wait. Hold on a minute.

Louis Trincant [Philippe‘s father]: [holding up Grandier‘s young baby] See how your mother’s honor was avenged!

Oan [v/o]: Wait. His bastard kid was born? So this movie took place over the course of nine months, then?

Oan: Then how long did the nun orgy last? Did they… take breaks?

Oan [v/o]: [zoom in of a drawing of Grandier’s trial where some nuns apparently intervene] Not that the orgy historically happened necessarily. Grandier’s trial lasted several months before the execution, [back to previous scene] so the baby could’ve been born. But it’s probably not likely that the inquisitors rigged the walls to blow up at the precise moment of Grandier’s death. [as Grandier is burned, Baron nods off-screen to give someone a signal; and explosions are set off, killing the guards. Cut to Baron leaving a still-crazed Jeanne after a conversion but coming back to drop off something] And it ends in a typically… Russell-esque fashion.

Baron: I almost forgot. [he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a suspiciously phallic-looking blackened bone, one of Grandier’s, that he shoves into Jeanne’s face; she promptly retracts] Souvenir! [he throws it on the ground and leaves her; Jeanne then stares at it]

Oan: Somewhere out there, there’s a cut of this movie where she uses that bit of femur to masturbate.

Oan [v/o]: [reciting the following caption in a booming, dramatic voice with echo] AND NOW, THE MOST OBVIOUS JOKE I COULD POSSIBLY MAKE.

Oan: She got to bone him after all. [wild applause plays as Oan takes his bows and raises his hands in triumph]

Oan [v/o]: [as we see Jeanne rush out to greet Grandier, who appears walking on water] This movie is hilarious… not that it should be. It could’ve been a ripping character drama and a taut fable about superstition and its abuse by the powers that be, but the campiness overpowers any attempt at satire, not to mention the exploitative scenes of… [replay of the nuns disrobing] you know. [replay of the processional scene] And it’s not exactly comfortable watching a film where every female character is portrayed as nothing but a ball of hormones.

Oan: And I do mean every female character. [pauses because he still can’t over that fascination with…] Oliver Reed, man… [so he decides once again to test this posit] Okay, one more time. [as we cut to:]

Diamanda Hagan: [genially...well, as genially as Hagan ever sounds...] ...And that’s why I’m generally in favour of puppies. Any questions?

Oan: Hey, Diamanda Hagan. You’re a woman, right?

DH: [in a plaintive, feminine tone]Why does everyone keep asking me that?... [in a demonic tone] OF COURSE I AM!!

Oan: Right, right, right, right. Um… anyway, how do you feel about, um… penises?

DH: Oh, I have a bonfire; those’ll be Thursday. Fucking eel-like sons-of-bitches with their slimy, little fucking length and they’re like… [emits a weird noise as she demonstrates; Oan meanwhile holds up that photo once more] Disgusting! How the fuck do you stand having one of those attached to your- AAH! [she finally notices that photo… and promptly swoons and faints like those before. Oan increasingly is bug-eyed as Hagan‘s off-screen minion attends to her]

Minion: Mistress, are you okay?

DH: [from the floor, ecstatically] OLIVER REED!!!

Oan: [quickly, he looks at the photo in front of him] I must only use this power for good.

Credits roll.

Closing song: “Sister Act” from the musical Sister Act - Patina Miller


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