The Sister of Ursula

The Sister of Ursula

"We've substituted our eyes for yours and all that's left to us is fear."

 After their father dies of an apparent suicide, sisters Ursula (Barbara Magnolfi) and Dagmar Beyne (Stefania D'Amario) escape with a vacation to sunny southern Italy at a ritzy seaside hotel. The trauma has not only made Ursula sullen and depressed, but seems to have awoken psychic powers in her – she claims to have seen and talked to her dead father. As the sisters arrive in town, a serial killer is on the loose, who watches women have sex before murdering them in an unspeakable fashion. Could the killer be Filipo (Marc Porel), the handsome but troubled hotel guest involved in a drug smuggling operation? Perhaps it's Vanessa (Anna Zinnermann), the hotel's owner, who is going through a contentious divorce. Is it possible that Ursula's father isn't dead, but has followed the sisters and is committing the murders?

The version of Sister of Ursula that has survived to DVD seems to be the "sexy edit," so be warned – there are five extended and extremely graphic scenes involving non-simulated grownup times. It seems, though, that in one edit, the film was even more explicit and some of the racier bits were cut out. Aside from that, the movie is held together by a decent plot, some interesting mis-directs, and some unusually good performances.
  • Barbara Magnolfi has a brilliant and intense scene in the hotel's chapel, where she prays to a faceless crucifix about the chaos in her life. 
  • There's no way to confirm this, but Yvonne Harlow (who plays nightclub singer Stella Shining) claims to be the great granddaughter of Hollywood legend Jean Harlow.
  • The movie was filmed at a seaside hotel in Amalfi called Il Saraceno, which was under construction at the time of filming. But forget about planning your next vacation there - sadly, the place never opened, due to permit complications.
  • I once met Barbara Magnolfi at a horror movie convention and she is stunningly beautiful in person. 
  • The DVD features an insightful interview with writer-director Enzo Milioni, who recounts the tragic story of Marc Porel. He was a drug addict in real life and earned a bad reputation for being difficult on set, but his girlfriend, Barbara Magnolfi, got Milioni to give him a chance and Porel remained professional throughout the shoot. Afterwards, he got clean and seemed to be doing well, until a lethal overdose while shooting a commercial in Morocco. Milioni recounts the story with great sadness and regret.
What The Hell Am I Watching?

Those grownup scenes are pretty graphic, but the most unusual one features Dagmar having some lady alone time with a gold chain... a few feet away from her sleeping sister.

Stella Shining is the star of the hotel's nightclub but she only seems to know one song. No wonder the manager is always complaining about the bad turnout.

How does heroin addict Filipo have such a nice sports car? It's explained by the end of the movie.

Fashion Moment

There were clothes in this movie? I hadn't noticed. No, the real fashion star is the Il Saraceno hotel. The hotel that never was.

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