Dick Maas is quite a guy. He was responsible for one of my favourite “bad” movies of all time, Down AKA The Shaft. If you haven’t seen it then please seek it out ASAP. It stars Naomi Watts, James Marshall, Ron Perlman and many other people who probably don’t have it at the top of their C.V. and it’s cheesy, hilarious and deliberately tongue in cheek. So I was happy to hear that other genre fans had been enjoying his latest effort, Saint, and couldn’t wait to see it for myself.
The plot is quite simple really. Saint Nicholas (Huub Stapel) is actually a very, very bad creature who goes on a killing spree whenever there is a full moon on 5th December. One cop (Bert Luppes) tries to stop the bloodshed, having survived an incident in his childhood during a previous episode many years ago, and enlists the help of young Frank (Egbert Jan Weeber), a teenager the cops believe may be responsible for the first few killings they become aware of.
I can’t go on about every aspect here because some of it may have been lost in the translation but I’ll try to cover things as well as I usually do (take that statement however you like, depending on your opinion of my ramblings). Let’s start with the cast. I didn’t recognise anyone onscreen but, then again, I have been known to forget what some of my cousins like so that’s sometimes just as much a statement of my recall ability as it is a statement of the experience of those in any movie. Huub Stapel is great as the evil Saint, Bert Luppes is a standard horror movie hero who nobody believes until things may be too late and Egbert Jan Weeber sees the truth firsthand so easily goes along with all of the unfolding action and madness. Caro Lenssen and Escha Tanihatu both do well and most of the cast are perfectly acceptable.
The writing and direction from Dick Maas is his usual mix of horror ideas and unsubtle humour but it makes for an undeniably entertaining experience. The gore effects are plentiful and over the top, some scenes really do come close to looking beautiful with some nice computer work enhancing the practical FX and the movie certainly can’t be accused of not constantly trying to entertain. From an enjoyable two-part prologue that sketches out the situation right up to the final moments, this film barrels along as if it’s being pulled by a one-horse open sleigh. It’s ultimately too lightweight and ridiculous and slapdash to be anything truly unmissable but it’s fun while it lasts and would prove a perfect double bill with something as enjoyably daffy as Santa’s Slay.
WRITER/DIRECTOR: DICK MAAS
STARS: HUUB STAPEL, CARO LENSSEN, EGBERT JAN WEEBER, ESCHA TANIHATU, BERT LUPPES
RUNTIME: 85 MINS APPROX