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Saturday, March 29, 2014

SINNERS AND SAINTS (2004) -- DVD review by porfle

(NOTE: This review originally appeared online in 2004.)

SINNERS AND SAINTS (2004) is proof that you don't need millions of dollars to produce an audacious, imaginative, entertaining film. It's not often you see a shot-on-video exploitation flick with this many elements -- horror, sex, sci-fi, kung fu, gunfights, swordfights, comedy -- coming at you at such a frantic pace.

There's so much going on in this movie, in fact, that in less skilled hands it could've been a mess. But director/star Melantha Blackthorne deftly manages to keep it all together with a droll wit and a keen sense of the absurd.

She stars as Necrotia, the Queen of Hell, who for some reason has taken an intense interest in a certain Father Drake (co-scripter Jason Cavalier), a combat-ready priest who is engaged in a never-ending battle against the forces of evil.

With Necrotia's help, he blasts, chops, slices, and kicks his way through a series of well-staged fight scenes against opponents both human and supernatural, with stunts and wirework that are on par with films like THE MATRIX (Cavalier also served as stunt coordinator).

There are several stunning action set-pieces throughout the film, my favorite being the eventual confrontation between Father Drake and Necrotia after he finds himself in Hell (for reasons I won't go into here since it would give away too much).

There's also an abundance of surreal, horrific imagery that is often both disturbing and funny, and definitely not for the squeamish. And did I mention the topless combat nun (Liz Faure's "Sister Merrick") who leaps into battle wearing a leather habit and Doc Martens?

But best of all, there's the beautiful Melantha Blackthorne, who is equally adept at looking gorgeous and kicking all kinds of bad-guy booty. She and Jason Cavalier (co-founders of Robomonkey Productions) make a good team both in front of and behind the camera, and here they've come up with a movie that looks much better than you'd expect for a low-budget, independent feature.

How this was accomplished is nicely demonstrated on the DVD's second disc, which is loaded with behind-the-scenes vignettes, bloopers, trailers, and music videos from some of the bands who contributed to the soundtrack.

If you're in the mood for some mind-boggling, no-punches-pulled entertainment that spin-kicks the crap out of most of what Hollywood is churning out these days, SINNERS AND SAINTS may be just what you're looking for. And it might even help to wipe away those unpleasant memories of the last Ben Affleck movie you watched.

Buy it at

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