Director: Dick Maas
Egbert Jan Weeber/Frank
In Amsterdam, Holland, December 5th usually means good old St. Nicholas giving gifts to kids. But on this St. Nicholas Day, there's a full moon and that means a Zombie St. Nick killing peeps and bagging kids with his army of Zombie-ish brigands (known as Black Petes) backing his ass up. Yeah... okay... so who the f*ck slipped a mickey in my drink? Ho, Ho Slash!
This Christmas, I wanted to clock a holiday themed horror film that I hadn't seen before and that was no small feat being that I've pretty much tapped everything. Then I remembered this Dutch flick called SINT (also known as SAINT and SAINT NICK) which came out in 2010. I had missed it then, heard good things, so my choice was made! Written and directed by Dick Maas (who crashed on the genre scene in 1983 with The Lift), SINT was no masterpiece but wound up being fun freaking times anyway!
Although SINT did take the folklore/traditions that come with ST. NICHOLAS DAY and turn them on their severed heads to some degree; delving deep into that jive wasn't its main M.O. At the end of the kill, once the set up out of the way, the story quickly took a back-seat to a more slasher-ish type of structure. Actually now that I think of it, there was a lot of Halloween in this grab-bag (and a sweet nod to The Fog). The final girl intro, the chick babysitting some kid, the old “Loomis-like” dude (brilliantly played by Bert Luppes) who is chasing the “evil” that nobody believes in and a killer that seems to be unstoppable. SINT could have EASILY been more than a slasher jamboree taking into account the mythology it played off, it's a bit of shame it wasn't, but hey it still did some things right. The picture was visually inventive and mucho arresting to gawk at, with sleek cinematography (loved the look of the thick falling snow), clever scene transitions and involving camera movements (slow pans, push ins, pull outs). Then we had the kills and the gory goods which were ample, expertly executed and totally out there! Mr. Sint and his Black Petes weren't playing that's for sure! It's like I always say; when in doubt, splash the red grub around! Sint did just that and with panache to boot! Finally the piece had a well oiled sense of hurmor, a sweet out of line streak (always good in my book), an easy pace, some suspense and its main action set piece (Sint riding his horse on rooftops – cops on his tail on the ground) made me sit up and smile with glee! Awesome! Two more bits like that would have jacked up my rating!
On the downside, why did it introduce its lead gal Lisa (played by the sexy Caro Lenssen) to then abandon her and switch the focus to some duder (ably played by Egbert Jan Weeber)? The swap didn't work for me, I was ready to follow Lisa around, she was a more interesting character (nice ass on that Panda BTW). And although he looked cool as shit, the titular character of Sint (played by Huub Stapel) lacked personality (the man needed dialogue) and let the Zombie makeup do most of the acting. I don't feel they did all they could've with the role and the situations he could have found himself in. Lastly, the Loomis like cop and the dead pan bald cop (played by a scene stealing Ben Ramakers) aside, I can't say that the main characters did much for me. The young adults were typical paper cut-outs with VICTIM stamped on their foreheads. So yeah I was pretty much rooting for RoBo-Sint to carve them all up like Christmas Turkeys sooner than later. As the end credits rolled I wasn't blown away by SINT, but i could say it gave me a sugary serving of Holiday horror. Definitely worth a watch in my opinion, but I won't be buying it for my collection. So you gonna unwrap this gift or toss it in the re-gift pile?
It's a gore party and you're invited! Am talking a head chopped in half by a shovel, stabbings, a spike in the mouth, a torso cut in half and more! You'll be well served.
T & A
A slasher with no tit shot is like a head job with no mouth. Kind of surprised that Caro Lenssen only gave us her back when she gave up all of the goods in other films, like this one (NSFW- Nudity)
SINT had a groovy initial premise, some fly kills/gore, a sleek look, a dark sense of humor, some un-pc moments, fine acting by the seniors and solid production values. Its main action set piece was one for the naughty list too! Go St Nick go! Alas,it could have been more than a slasher in my opinion and bummer that it came with the typical pitfalls: young heroes we don't care about and a thin story only there to connect one kill to the next. There was so much more to be done here! On the whole though, I still got some stabs out of it! It was an amusing, red-wet and effortless watch! So if you haven't seen it and are looking for some fresh Holiday Fear, give it a whirl!
Lots of parent driven organization in in The Netherlands tried to have the poster of the movie (showing a Zombiefied St. Nicolas) banned.
Ironically, the poster won the 2010 TV Krant Filmposter Award (voted in by the audience) for best poster of the year.