| Magna Pacific (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 4:3. English DD 2.0 84 minutes
Seattle is in the grip of "Monkey Maker"
fever! He is in all of the newspapers, and
on every TV show. So who is he? A
superhero? A children's television host?
The latest "Grunge rock" star to emerge
from the city? No, unfortunately for the
residents of Seattle, the "Monkey Maker"
is a brutal serial killer responsible for the
deaths fifteen people to date. The first
six victims had their eyeballs plucked out, the
next six had their ears removed, and the last
three were found minus their tongues. Ghastly
stuff! With absolutely no clues to work
with, the cops are under pressure from not only
the public, but also from the FBI, who are threatening
to move in and take overthe case if it isn't
solved in double quick time, which naturally doesn't
sit too well with lead Detectives Renart (Michael
Pare) and Smith (Jennifer Rubin). Soon enough
their investigation leads them to a yuppie stock
trader by the name of Tom Gerrick (Casper Van
Dien). Gerrick is young, handsome, and filthy
rich, yet seems to be incredibly bored with his
existence. By day he sits at his desk making
deals worth millions of dollars - by night he
is visiting exotic nightclubs where snuff movies
are filmed in the basement for those who can afford
to watch the proceedings. In fact, with
his workaholic attitude and love of fancy restaurants,
one could almost say he bears more than a passing
resemblance to a certain Patrick Bateman.
It is perhaps because of this Bateman resemblance
that he immediately becomes the number one suspect
in the eyes of Renart and Smith and is promptly
hauled "downtown" for further questioning,
only to be released after some none too subtle
pressure from his high priced lawyer. Not
content to just sit back and watch the body count
climb further, the detectives take matters into
their own hands with Smith using her feminine
charms to get close to Gerrick in order to find
out what really makes him tick. Unfortunately
for all concerned however, Gerrick is close to
losing the plot completely and is planning to
go to some extreme lengths to alleviate his boredom.
Anyone in the vicinity better watch their arses!
|Director: Uwe Boll
Starring: Casper Van Dien, Michael Pare, Eric Roberts, Jennifer Rubin, Catherine Oxenberg, Michael Rasmussen, Tanja Reichert, David Milbern
Screenplay: Uwe Boll
Music: Uwe Spies
Tagline: A serial killer is in your neighborhood
On the surface Sanctimony appears to
be a blatant American Psycho rip-off, although
thankfully the final product manages to add enough
subtle touches to separate itself from the novel
by Easton Ellis and its subsequent film adaption.
Director Uwe Boll has
a great visual style, giving the dark Seattle
streets a menacing look, while the cinematography
of Mathias Neumann is quite impressive for what
is obviously a low budget feature. The musical
score from Uwe Spies was also quite impressive,
adding some haunting touches to the slick visuals.
Fans of straight-to-video fodder will be more
than familiar with some of the films cast, which
boasts the likes of B-grade tough guys Michael
Pare and Eric Roberts, as well as Jennifer Rubin
and Catherine Oxenberg. Performances all
round are as wooden as you can get, with Pare
looking as though he has learned very little in
his twenty odd years of performing in front of
the cameras, while Rubin actually appeared to
be reading her lines directly from a cue card
on more than one occasion . Casper Van Dien
is well cast as Tom Gerrick, with his own wooden
acting style seemingly suited to the emotionless
character he portrays. Are wooden acting
performances a bad thing? Of course not.
In fact, the acting helped add a much needed touch
of cheese to the otherwise serious proceedings.
Extra cheese always helps.
The plot itself is hardly what you would call
engrossing, and the film seems to plod along at
a fairly predictable rate for most of its running
time with some of the more interesting sub-plots
in the script (particularly the underground snuff
film ring) being overlooked completely.
Director/screenwriter Boll manages to cram in
just about every cop movie cliché imaginable,
from the Detective whose marriage is on the rocks
as a result of his work commitments to the
coroner who cracks morbid jokes about the mutilated
murder victims he has to deal with, however things
definitely pick up in the final fifteen minutes
with Van Dien's character showing us his true
colours by committing murder live on national
television and then going on a gun crazy killing
spree which featured enough "two fisted"
gunplay and slow motion deaths to make me think
I was watching a John Woo film. Ultimately, Sanctimony would work best
when treated as a disposable slice of B-Grade
entertainment. While it lacks the solid
performances and excellent scripting of other
Hollywood serial killer thrillers like The
Silence of the Lambs and Se7en, there
are more than a few interesting touches to the
film, and fans of the sub-genre might just find
enough on offer here to keep them entertained
for the full eighty four minutes.
If nothing else, the Australian DVD release from Magna Pacific is dirt cheap and should
at least make for some low cost padding to your
collection. Besides, the sight of "Tough
Guy" Michael Pare scooting around in a ridiculous
looking Volkswagen Turbo is good for a laugh.
See it for yourself and tell me I'm lying.
|Sanctimony is presented in a full frame
1.33:1 aspect ratio. From what I can gather,
the film was originally shot at 1.85:1, however
in fairness we appear to have been given a relatively
painless Pan & Scan job here. The image
looks quite good, with steady, natural colours and
no noticeable artefacts that are worth mentioning
apart from occasional film grain. This is
certainly not a reference quality transfer, but
I had no real complaints, although a widescreen
presentation would have been preferred.
|The only audio option here is a standard Dolby
Digital 2.0 track, which is serviceable without
being particularly outstanding. Dialogue is
always clear and easy to understand and there were
no audio sync problems noticed.
|Absolutely nothing here I'm afraid, which also
appears to be the case with the US DVD. The
UK DVD features a trailer, a cast & crew list,
filmographies, and production notes, although it
is worth noting that the British Board of Film Classification
(BBFC) removed approximately one minute of sexual
violence from the movie before it was released in
|Maybe it was the low price tag attached to the
disc, or perhaps it was the three cans of Victoria
Bitter that I consumed throughout the films duration,
but for some reason I enjoyed Sanctimony more than many other people would have. The
disc itself is certainly nothing to rave about,
but since it carries a suggested retail price tag
of just AU$9.99 (less at most online retailers)
it isn't a major gamble. If you ask me, I
say it's worth the risk. You might just enjoy