Sinful (2006)

DVD Cover (Shock-O-Rama Cinema)
Tony Marsiglia Tony Marsiglia
Erin Brown Erin Brown
Erika Smith Erika Smith
Ron Smith Ron Smith
John Castine John Castine
Deena Wolfe-Guerin Deena Wolfe-Guerin

3.6 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Drama, Erotic Thriller, Thriller
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Review by Chad
Added: September 23, 2006
Envy. It's one of the seven deadly sins, sure, but sometimes you just can't help but be envious of others in life. When you're working at a back-breaking, shitty job and your best friend lands that high-paying, sit-on-their-ass job, you really can't help but think of how good it would be to be in their shoes for a change. That's the sort of thing that happens to our leading lady in tonight's "art-horror" film. That's what it's described as in the DVD booklet anyway, and while it's a new term for yours truly, I have to admit that it's a pretty good representation of what you get from Marsiglia's latest.

Lilith (Misty Mundae) just can't seem to catch a break. She's stuck in a shitty job, she has a deadbeat husband (Ronnie Kerr) that seems more interested in drinking than having anything to do with her, and to top it all off, she can't have the one thing that she wants most in life: a baby. Jim, her husband, is always too tired or too drunk to "tend to her needs", and when he does manage to step up to the plate, he never manages to impregnate her. Indeed, it's a pretty miserable life for our heroine, but it somehow manages to get worse when a couple moves in next door.

This couple, Aisha (Erika Smith) and Sam (Nikos Psarras), are a match made in heaven. They're the type of people that are obviously completely in love with one another, and while it's sort of romantic, there's always that bit of vomit creeping up in the back of your throat when you see how absolutely lovestruck they are. The couple have nice jobs, lots of money, and a very healthy sex life (as Lillith hears through the thin walls on a nightly basis). Needless to say, this isn't the sort of thing that Lillith wants to see and hear on a daily basis with her own life the way it is, but when Aisha reveals that she is pregnant, it sends Lillith on a downward spiral of envy, obsession, and finally, insanity.

Tony Marsiglia is one of the better directors that Shock-O-Rama / POPcinema has working for them (I really need to get more of his stuff added to this site), and his latest offering is easily his best yet. What I enjoy most about his work is that he mixes erotica with art-house storytelling and actual thought-provoking storylines. This film is much the same, but it's actually pretty hard to classify it as erotica; sure, there's a couple of sex scenes (well, one sex scene and a couple of failed scenes thanks to Jim's limp dick) and there's a fair bit of nudity, but this is all played out as a backdrop to the storyline rather than being the main focus.

The storyline is told in a dreamy fashion, with scenes overlapping one another and the timeline being slightly skewed. This was an effective way to tell the story, since it really shows us just how insane the main character is getting and it leaves us wondering just what is real and what merely exists in her head. Of course, when the ending rolls around and all is revealed, you'll discover that, yes, she truly is insane and that what she's done up to that point in the film is nothing compared to how far she'd be willing to go to take what she feels is rightfully hers. What exactly does she feel belongs to her? I can assure you that it's not the Lifetime-inspired kidnapping that one may suspect, but you'll just have to watch and see. However, a fair warning: avoid the DVD extras and booklet until after you've watched the movie, since the ending will lose its shock value with the details revealed in both of those supplements.

Overall, I highly enjoyed this one. The storyline is great, the acting is fantastic (Misty Mundae didn't net a 'best actress' nomination for her performance here for nothing, and Erika Smith didn't exactly slouch either), and the grand payoff of an ending is definitely a sight to see for those of you who like their films bloody, sick and twisted. 8/10.
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Crispy #1: Crispy - added 09/05/2011, 01:23 AM
I really liked it, but at some point I feel like it was weird just for the sake of being weird.
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