Sanctimony (2000) (DVD Review)
Directed By: Uwe Boll
Starring: Casper Van Dien, Michael Paré, Eric Roberts
Rated: UR/Region: 1/Widescreen/Number of disc: 1
Available from Olive Films
In the spirit of Se7en and American Psycho comes a stylish, hyper-violent thriller from controversial filmmaker Uwe Boll (Alone in the Dark). Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers) stars as an arrogant serial killer — a connoisseur of murder known as “The Monkey Maker.” Not satisfied with mutilating and murdering his victims, he begins to taunt the authorities by involving himself in their investigation as a potential witness. But as the detectives (Michael Pare´ (Eddie and The Crusiers) and Jennifer Rubin (Bad Dreams) come closer to unmasking the culprit, the killer grows even more demented, and plans to cap off his crimes with a series of high-profile mass slayings. Also stars Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight) and Catherine Oxenberg (The Omega Code).
What planet is this? What time is this? When I stepped out in my front yard this morning did I step outside my own normal universe where Uwe Boll makes movies that are filled with gore and are totally ridiculous, only to step into a new and odd universe where his movies aren’t five star classics by any means, but are oddly fun, smart in ways, and entertaining? A universe that apparently has this movie with an original release year of 2001, starring Eddie from Eddie and The Cruisers as a detective, and the hot girl from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 and Bad Dreams as his side-kick as they are on the trail of a maniac. On the surface, you can tell American Psycho was the motivation for most of this thing. Not just because the director tells you this in the intro or because the box pretty much says so in the description (Which is does by the way). You know it because it couldn’t have been more obvious if Casper Van Dien’s rich yuppie character had taken Zack Morris from Saved by the Bell time outs and looked directly into the camera and told us this personally while the movie was still rolling. Still, you might find it in your hearts to look through this and get at least a little something extra from it. Maybe not much in the wide scheme of things, but just enough to get interested enough to actually see how the darn thing plays out. And really why wouldn’t you? The film does give us some violence, nudity, and some so bad they are amusing acting performances, usually from the side and minor characters. But like Mom always said, it doesn’t really matter what you toss in the soup just as long as in the end it all blends in well enough to taste good. What this movie cooks up won’t be so good you will want to slap your momma, but it’ll be enough to fill the need.
Really, outside of the questionable performances here and there, the worst thing the movie does is dialogue. You kind of get the idea some things our rich psycho is spouting off was meant to be on a Mark Twain level, but ends up more looking like the weirdo on the street corner rambling off jibberish. This is probably due to a number of things, some of which being that Boll himself could easily be the crazy person on a random corner spouting jibberish, but once again I will hold back on this subject to avoid three rounds in a ring with a camera on me with this director trying to make me look like Glass Joe, while hitting me in the face. I will say that even if what you are seeing isn’t what you’d call your kind of a good time, at least the last thirty minutes of this darn thing totally goes off into some wild and crazy cinematic tangent that might bring us back into the normal world were an Uwe Boll movie is just so insane you can’t help but watch and be amused at the craziness on screen. The third act of this film, if nothing else, at least shows us what we had in store for the years to come with this director. I don’t know if this is a film that once watched will find its way into the warm heart of any of you weirdos out there who enjoys not only watching movies, but reading other fellow weirdo’s opinions on them. I do think you will find it about as good or not better than most the straight to disc none-sense we are all witness to today. It might not win any awards, or not good ones anyway, but you will probably at least notice a film here with some effort put into it. That is something else that is hard to find these days if you really take a moment and think about it. Just try not to think too much while you are watching this.
– Uwe Boll Speaks