Casper Van Dien, Eric Roberts, Michael Pare'
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
I could stop there and everyone would understand. It's a sad reputation to have, but let's be honest...Boll's name is becoming synonymous with crappy films. This 2000 film, completed before he got on his video game binge, is actually the first of at least two Boll films to directly rip-off films made the same year. This past year, Boll's "Heart of America" ripped off the wonderful Gus Van Sant film "Elephant" in depicting a Columbine style school shooting. "Sanctimony" is a nearly direct rip-off of 2000's "American Psycho," based upon the Bret Easton Ellis novel. In this film, a broker becomes bored with life and becomes a serial killer known as the "Monkey Killer" (stop laughing).
At 87 minutes, the film moves along quite quickly (possibly proof there is a God), however, it is still not quickly enough. Set in Vancouver, I think I'd rather have seen the stereotypical Canadian Mounted Police show up...at least it might have been entertaining. Along with stealing the plot from "American Psycho," the film steals bits and pieces from other films (including actual graphic styles from the much more successful "Seven.")The film stars Michael Pare' and Jennifer Rubin as two cops investigating the serial killer. At the point we pick up, the killer has cut off the eyes, ears and tongue from his victims...thus far, he has six eyes and ears and three tongues. Hmmmmm. I see a pattern. Yep, these very astute cops figure he's going to kill three more victims so he can have his "666." Makes sense to me.
Casper Van Dien plays Tom Gerrick, the aforementioned broker/killer. Of course, everything about this film is run-of-the-mill and the performances range from simply horrid (Rubin) to moderately functional (Van Dien). It's safe to say that it's a doomed film when Casper Van Dien has the top performance.
Everything about the film is almost painful to watch, and it's disturbing that Boll continues to be able to finance films. He's got four slated for 2006 alone...is this drug money? mafia money? daddy's money? How can this possibly be happening? It's disturbing beyond words. Photography here is simply wretched, the score insipid and irritating. The script is filled with numerous holes, not surprising since it is a Boll script. None of the characters are even remotely appealing, and when your favorite performance is the killer...well, it's just not a good sign.
"Sanctimony" was Boll's first American language film, but it's amazing to me that 5 years later he seems to have not grown at all. The film also includes a supporting cast of Eric Roberts and Catherine Oxenberg, which serves to simply validate its really, really, really bad "B" movie status.
"Sanctimony" passes, barely, for one simple reason. In spots, I chuckled. Were these intended chuckles from Boll? I have no doubt they were not. Yet, they were chuckles and gave me a few, very brief moments of light in the darkness that is this film. "Sanctimony" is typical Uwe Boll...uninspired, repetitive and wholly unoriginal. In a year when "American Psycho" did this plotline right, "Sanctimony" is nothing more than a pathetic rip off that will remind you that Boll is nothing more than a spoiled rich boy who makes films because he can, not because he actually has the talent to do so.
© Written by Your Richard Propes
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Richard Propes, The Independent Critic