Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I’m just guessing here, but I’m thinking that ten years ago this is what the then executives at the Sci-Fi channel were hoping for. Not to say that the Clive Barker adapted ‘Saint Sinner’ is some kind of landmark achievement in cinema… hardly… but it looks good, it’s competently produced, has some kind of legacy behind and it at least feels like movie. But that was way back in the year 2002. I mean the budget for this movie is alleged to be an estimated four million dollars which we know isn’t all that much in the grand scheme of things, but by Sci-Fi standard those are ‘Water World’ dollars and those bucks prorated to 2012 dollars is like 68 million. At least. But somewhere down the line, not longer after ‘Saint Sinner’ was broadcast, the new Sci-Fi / Viacom execs figured they could make a dozen movies for four million dollars. Or maybe even more movies. I got a guy on the inside who told me that FCU favorite ‘Mega Piranha’ topped out at 250K. All I’m saying is that it looks like with ‘Saint Sinner’ that at one point in time, the Sci-Fi channel used to care. Damn you ‘Planet Raptor’ and ‘S.S. Doomtrooper’!

Brother Thomas Acala (Greg Serano) is a sinner. Or at least the young monk living at the monastery at the turn of the 19th century sure would like to sin. We see the young man laying in the meadow half naked, enjoying a pomegranate, watching a scantily clad local girl fetch some water with lust in his eyes. It is just this type of behavior that’s about to get young Thomas in an awful lot trouble. In the basement of his monastery is a locked up treasure trove of forbidden items, a place he’s convinced his brother Gregory (Antonio Cupo) to open up to him so they can play with some of this stuff. Say like the case that Father Michael (William B. Davis) just brought down for safe keeping, a case housing unspeakable evil. He said this clear as day. Did that stop Brother Thomas from opening it? No it did not. Next thing you know the Succubi Munkar (Mary Mara) and Nakir (Rebecca Harrell) are free, his brother is missing an arm and the Succubi have used the Wheel of Time to come to our time where weird freaky chicks who suck out the souls men is not only common, it’s sanctioned by every state in the union.

Reluctantly, Thomas now has to jump on the wheel of time, because he’s marked by God, to wield the dagger of Nicodemus and destroy the evil beings who will kill us all. Circumstance leads Thomas to meet spiritually damaged cop Det. Rachel Dressler (Gina Ravera). We could see Thomas checking out Detective Dressler’s full lips and that traffic stopping body, and he said under his breath ‘Girl, I’ve been thinking bad thoughts about you ever since I saw you in ‘Showgirl’ back in ‘95’. That’s what he said, and personally we thought it was highly inappropriate.

Anyway, the succubi are busy sucking souls, Thomas is telling Det. Dressler and her partner Det. Rand (Art Hindle) that he has to stab these wenches to death to save the world, which sounds crazy, that is until our detectives actually encounter these immortal loony chicks, though Det. Rand still isn’t a believer. Because he’s dumb.

Eventually it’s going to come down to our lustful priest and our hot cop to stop these crazies, and their love child… it’s complicated… but to make this happen we need a real live saint. Do you see a saint? I don’t see a saint. But if a saint knew they were a saint, then there’d be no saints. Bet you didn’t know that.

True enough, ‘Saint Sinner’ is a fairly mundane affair all things considered, but it does have some things going for it. For instance some of the makeup effects are suitably disturbing and disgusting, and since I watched the DVD version I don’t know what made it onto the tube and what get left on the cutting room floor for television audiences, but they were decent. Also the chewing of scenery put in by Rebecca Harrell and Mary Mara was almost epic as they slinked and vamped and whored their way across town. I’m not quite sure how they would destroy us all, considering they just sucked up an average of one dude a day, and usually they were dudes who frequented ladies of the night so I’m thinking we’re pretty safe as far as that was concerned.

The story itself was solid in concept but woefully undercooked, rushing through what plot points it did have in an effort to go someplace in particular, and hell if we know where that someplace was supposed to be. I think we were supposed to buy into the love building between Thomas and Det. Dressler, but there wasn’t enough time spent on their relationship to make this happen, and both characters were sketchy at best, but they’re both good looking so I guess we’re supposed to roll with that as our love motivation for these two. Plus the film seemed to be severely hamstrung by its TV Movie roots. Like it wanted so badly to be sleazy sexy scary, but instead could only hint around the sleaze and the gore it so desperately wanted, which in the final wash gave us a sleazy made for network TV movie… which isn’t sleazy at all, just extremely frustrating.

This movie was made way before we enacted our extremely generous Sci-Fi original grading curve, and if we had seen this movie in 2002 it would probably rate a C-minus, maybe closer to a D-plus. But on the Sci-Fi Original curve… it’s a solid B all the way.

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