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    Ian Jane
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  • Sinful

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    Released by: E.I./Shock-O-Rama
    Released on: 10/10/2006
    Director: Tony Marsiglia
    Cast: Misty Mundae, Erika Smith, Ronnie Kerr, John Castine, Nikos Psarras
    Year: 2006
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    Lilith (Seduction Cinema starlet Misty Mundae of Dr. Jekyll And Mistress Hyde, also directed by Tony Marsiglia) has a one track mind - she wants a baby. She'll do whatever she needs to in order to conceive, and despite the fact that her marriage to the jobless and rather limp Jim (Ronnie Kerr) is a big mess, she continues to hold onto the frail hope that she'll be able to carry a child despite the fact that deep down inside she knows she's not the most fertile of women.

    Making matters worse for Lilith and her quickly crumbling psyche is the fact that the lovely lady next door - and the only friend that she really has, Aisha (ultra-foxy Erika Smith of Shock-O-Rama), has managed to become great with child - she's even starting to show which makes Lilith pretty jealous. Lilith continues to visit the doctor on a regular basis in hopes that something can be done to remedy her condition but no dice. Lilith's envy of Aisha and the life that she has, the baby she's carrying and the husband who actually treats her well soon becomes all consuming, eventually driving her to do the unthinkable.

    Treading some fairly grisly territory, Sinful is an interesting character study of one woman's descent into madness by way of envy and deception. Lilith is an interesting character in that she's been dealt a pretty bad hand in life but it is ultimately her decisions and her actions that bring about the horror and the depravity that is ultimatey where the film takes us. Along the way we're given more food for thought than you might think in that the movie does pose some question to the viewer as to how responsible she really is for her own actions and it makes you think about whether or not her mental state excuses her to any extent whatsoever. Mundae handles the role better than many of her detractors will probably admit and she does a pretty good job here with the material that she has to work with. More so than her turn in Lucky McKee's Sick Girl, she actually does show quite a bit of growth as an actress in this film and Erika Smith is right there with her doing a fine job as the sympathetic Aisha.

    Director Tony Marsiglia shot the film in only five days and at times it does show in that there are scenes that maybe should have been reshot in hopes of getting a better take and sometimes things don't look quite as slick as they should. Even with that said, there's still quite a bit of genuinely moody atmosphere to soak in and the violence in the film is used rather effectively. Compared to the dreadful Sin Sisters (well, it did have that shower scene going for it…) or the marginally impressive Lust For Dracula, two earlier efforts from Marsiglia, here too we see a lot of growth and even with the ridiculously short shooting schedule there's some real talent bubbling up out of this film.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    There's a bit of fair to medium grain present in the 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen presentation which is to be expected from a film that was shot on super 16mm, but otherwise things look pretty good here. There's some mild shimmering in spots and some of the darker scenes are a bit too dark but aside from those issues there's a fair bit of detail present and nice color reproduction. There's little to complain about here.

    The English language Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track contains properly balanced levels, clear dialogue and is free of any hiss or distortion. One or two scenes are a little on the soft side but even when this is noticeable it isn't overly distracting.


    First up is a commentary track with director Tony Marsiglia who covers how he made this feature with only five shooting days at his disposal. He covers casting and location shooting and how the production was hampered by the pressures that they were under but also talks about some of the benefits of working with a few performers who have been in the industry long enough to know what they're doing. It's a pretty informative track and Marsiglia comes across as a pretty sharp guy who, given a bit more room and money to play with, could show some serious potential.

    Additionally, look for Erika Smith's audition footage, a six minute interview with Misty Mundae in which she talks about her character's motivations and her experiences on the set of the movie, and a seven minute making of documentary. E. I. has also included a clip from the film's premiere at the New Jersey International Film Festival as well as a clip from the question and answer session that took place that day with Erika Smith, Jeff Faoro and Misty Mundae.

    Rounding out the extra features are a trailer for Sinful, trailers for other E.I. DVD releases, animated menus and chapter stops for the feature only. Inside the keepcase is a nice booklet which contains some liner notes from Merle Bertrand that give some background information on the movie and the people who made it.

    The Final Word:

    An interesting, if flawed, low budget horror film, Sinful looks and sounds just fine on this DVD and the extras are a nice touch as well. Despite the complaints levied against the film in this review the movie does manage to get more right than it gets wrong and fans of low budget movie making or Ms. Mundae in general should give this one a look.
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