Director – Uwe Boll (House of the Dead, BloodRayne)
Starring – Casper Van Dien (Starship Trooper, Dracula 3000), Michael Pare (Blubberella, Road to Hell), and Eric Roberts (Camp Dread, A Cry from Within)
Release Date – 2000
Rating – 3/5
Very few filmmakers has had a career like German director Uwe Boll. Boll is known the world over for creating films that bomb. His biggest example of that is BloodRayne which was a film adaptation of the wildly popular video game. The film barely made 3 million with an estimated budget of 25 million. For those of you that can count, this was a huge lose. Boll is also known for verbally abusing his fans and critics which has resulted is a lot of people turning their back on him and after watching several of his films I don’t see how the man had fans to begin with.
Recently, Olive Films sent me a review copy of Boll’s 2000 horror thriller Sanctimony. I knew nothing of the film and was grateful I was able to check it out. Thanks Olive for sending this one my way.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows two detectives that are investigating a string of murders by a serial killer. They soon find another body but this one turns up a witness. The witness is a well-dressed investment broker that has an eye on the female detective. He offers to take her out multiple times and she finally bites after her partner tells her that he has a hunch that he is the one actually responsible for the murders.
She invites him over where he pulls a gun on her, kills her, and then puts a trap for her partner’s wife who is 9 months pregnant. He falls for it and almost loses her. He is able to save her and sets his sights on bringing the sadistic serial killer down before he can kill again…but he does kill again.**Spoiler Alert**
People love to hate Uwe Boll and to be honest, he makes a great target to focus your hate considering how he treats members of the press and his fans alike. However, I have no idea why people completely shun his films. I have seen a few of the BloodRayneflicks and I was not a fan but they were far from being the worst films I have seen. I actually watch his film House of the Dead at least once every few years for a good laugh. That one is not bad at all just severely flawed. I did not have high expectations for Sanctimony but I was very surprised by what I got and really enjoyed the film.
The acting in this one is very uneven. The film has a great supporting cast that really helps push the film along but no one brings the degree of intensity that Casper Van Dien does. His performance is on point and he really brings his character to life. He is able to play both sides of his character very well. When his character is trying to play it soft to get close to the cop you believe he is sincere. You really expect them to fall in love. However, he soon switches it up and turns into a true maniac and you can see the chaos in his eyes. His performance is legendary.
The story for this one is a direct copy of American Psycho. To make the film stand out Boll incorporates the Zodiac angle and has the killer play with the police before revealing his true identity. This was fun to watch unfold but the story has moments that make it almost unconvincing. The first instance is that the detect drive a VW Beetle. With a film with a budget like this the cop needs something that advocates authority and a VW Beetle does not do that. It would have been more convincing having him drive around in an old beat up car on it’s last leg. The story also makes you think there is a slight love interest between the two detectives even though he is dedicated to his wife. This seems like two different angles that as written in at the last second. The story does have it’s flaws but is still fun for the most part.
Finally, the film does have a few on screen kills but the blood and guts are not the focus of this horror thriller. Instead, it goes the Se7en route and delivers a story full of turns instead of a gore show. Personally, I would have loved to see some great gore and kills but the film is still interesting the way it is. Overall, Sanctimony is a horror thriller that draws heavily from American Psycho, Se7en, and the Zodiac murders. If you like story driven thrillers over gore filled horror then you will enjoy this one. Check it out.