Sanctimony (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

I'm about to write a few words about this psycho killer film, but I think the cast pretty much says it as eloquently as is possible. Casper van Dien, Michael Paré, Eric Roberts. Eric does about a trillion movies a year now, and he spent so little time on this one that he didn't even have to memorize a name. He was simply "Lieutenant", and he had no character development at all. He was only there to do the stuff that the police lieutenant is supposed to do in movies. He tells the unorthodox cops that they have to follow the book, and that they better get their asses to work, and also fill out the proper forms, and not get the department sued, and not get the case turned over to the FBI, and not get their names in the paper.

Then he gets them in a corner, winks and says "Just get this guy. Do whatcha gotta do, but don't get caught, because I'll deny I said that". And then they go out and rough up some people and make some illegal wiretaps and bribe some stoolies. 

Not forgetting of course, to talk a few "jumpers" down. 

Let's summarize what I've said so far, because it bears repeating for its sheer newsworthiness. This is a movie about a deranged serial killer starring Eric Roberts, but Eric is not the killer. He's not even the tough, violent, unorthodox cop hunting the killer down. He has the steely-eyed, unsmiling, honorable, by-the-book geezer role usually reserved for Hal Holbrook or Ed Asner or the late Jason Robards.

Michael Pare, ol' Eddie the Cruiser, is the main cop on the case, and he's having a hard time adjusting to the pressure of having a new baby at the same time his incompetence is getting written up every day in the papers. After all, a psycho serial killer is going nuts in town and Eddie the Cruiser can't catch him. The papers have dubbed this killer "the monkey maker", because he's cut out the eyes of the first six victims, the ears of the next six, and is working on the tongues of the next six. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil .... get it? 


Van Dien has a very graphic (albeit dark) rape scene that turns into consensual sex with a woman, possibly Tanja Reichert

another woman, possibly Chrystal Lowe, is seen briefly naked from behind.

Van Dien's buns are seen in the sex scene. 

Michael Pare's buns are seen when he is conned into modeling for his wife's photography class when the model fails to show.

Casper van Dien is the killer, pretty much the same character that Christian Bale played in American Psycho, but without any of the irony. Casper is simply a cold-hearted bastard who kills because he can, and because a superior man like him has the right to. He's one of the richest stock traders in the world, despite being barely 30.

After Caspy kills a whole bunch of random victims, he cruelly dumps his fiancé on the eve of their engagement party, demeaning her in the process. She unwisely sends him a bitter invitation to the substitute party which celebrates that she got rid of him. Caspy doesn't like this at all, so he simply goes down to the party and kills her and all of their friends and families. I'm not kidding. That really happened. Before doing that, he brutally killed Michael Pare's partner, then hanged Pare's pregnant wife. Then he went on a live Oprah-like talk show and killed the local Oprah!! Again, I'm not joking. All of that really happened.

Caspy definitely has some issues here.

Did I mention that he also likes brutal sex and watching people make snuff films?

DVD info from Amazon.

  • no widescreen

  • no meaningful features

Pare never manages to prevent Van Dien from committing any of these crimes. The guy just runs rampant, and Caspy really ends up killing himself, because he goes out to have a gunfight with Pare only after deliberately emptying his guns, so that the only possible result can be his death.

Pleasant movie, eh? It could easily be rated NC-17. The movie is so unpleasantly violent that they censored it in England. There is a scene in which Van Dien "rapes" a woman who obviously knows him. He knocks her around pretty thoroughly, but then she starts to enjoy the sex, and gets into it. The English found this politically incorrect. I'm not sure I agree with their censorship, but I applaud any effort to cut footage from this film. Unfortunately, they only cut one minute. If they could have found a way to cut the other 87 minutes, I would have been in their corner. 

The Critics Vote

  • no reviews online

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 2.6
  • straight-to-vid
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics - or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C-. I hate to say it because it is mean-spirited and poorly acted, and I didn't like it at all, but the non-stop action and clever camera work make the pace so fast that the flick achieves the status of a comic-opera gore fest, ala the best of Dario Argento. If you like this kind of splatterfest, you might find this to be a solid "Grade B" film of that genre. Personally, I hated it.

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