The Gambling Nun

Year: 1971
 Shinji Murayama
Rating: 6.0

If you thought there was a lot of skullduggery within a Yakuza organization, you should spend time in a Buddhist nunnery! In this typical Yakuza-nun sex exploitation melodrama, actress Yumiko Nogawa, who starred in the Cat Girl Gambler trilogy, is once again a dice thrower in a gambling den run by the Yakuza. It must have been that flowering lower lip of hers that made her seem such a good fit for this. As quick with a blade as she is with the dice, Haruko (Yumiko) is accused by a Yakuza of cheating with crooked dice. Her father who runs the den on behalf of the Naruko Gang steps in and kills three Yakuza in the blink of any eye. Don't insult my daughter. For this he goes to jail and Haruko shaves her head and joins a nunnery to atone for the deaths of these men.
In this abbey of course lesbianism and sex trafficking is occurring to which Haruko tells a novice nun who has just witnessed two nuns frolicking with one another "It's a woman only place. Lots of things go on". One of the senior nuns takes young nuns with her to see wealthy businessmen who does a Bill Cosby on them in order to have sex with them. The film has perhaps a few too many narrative spokes - a dying father, a Yakuza boyfriend waiting for her, a man who is hiding from Yakuza in the abbey, the lesbian love affair that leads to a good whipping - but the main story is about a Yakuza group trying to get the land the abbey is on which has become incredibly valuable. They are willing to do anything to get it - because they are after all Yakuza. It is of course up to Haruko to save the abbey the only way she knows how - with dice and a blade.

Director Shinji Murayama seems to want to cover all the bases here from melodrama of a sick father and a yearning boyfriend, to gambling scenes, to sexual situations and nudity to blood splattering on the walls. The film loses some focus because of this but is overall fairly enjoyable and leads to a satisfactory ending.