Review: Dick Maas Saint, starring Huub Stapel (Fantasia 2011)

Dick Maas Saint, starring Huub Stapel (Fantasia 2011)
3 10

PLOT: Years after his family was slaughtered by the evil Sinterklaas, Dutch detective Goert, knowing that a Christmas slaying is inevitable if the holiday falls on a full moon, hatches a plot to destroy Sint’s evil once and for all. He’s aided in his task by a young college student, who’s been framed for some of Sint’s annual slayings.

REVIEW: In the Dutch horror-comedy SAINT, Santa Claus, or rather- Sinterklaas, is a tad different from the legend we all know and love. Here, rather than leave gifts for the kiddies, he prefers to take a few things, mainly your children and your life. Uhhh- I think I prefer the Tim Allen version myself.

SAINT has a dynamite premise, and one that inevitably will be ripped off by an American studio at some point in the near future. Too bad the execution is so dumb, as SAINT, despite a good start, is one of the most aggressively stupid films I’ve seen in a while. I realize that this is supposed to be a throw-back to eighties horror flicks like NIGHT OF THE CREEPS, and RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, right down to the horny teenage protagonists, but at their worst, the eighties flicks were never this dumb. Heck, even if they were, they had energy- which is something I found missing from SAINT.

Obviously, SAINT was not a cheap film by Dutch standards. It’s loaded with CGI, and has some intriguing widescreen visuals. However, other than as eye candy their absolutely nothing here that would lead me to recommending SAINT. I really hated it everything about it- from the massive lapses in logic (no way that the mayor of Amsterdam would be able to cover up the slaughter of hundreds of people), to the abrupt ending (with it running a scant 80 minutes), to the final scene which threatens us with a sequel (God forbid).

Too bad it turned out so bad, as SAINT could have been a fun action-horror comedy. The Dutch legend is especially conducive to a horror film, as rather than our North American elves, Sinterklaas is aided by Black Peter (or Black Peter’s), a more sinister (if a tad racist) figure. Despite a little amusing carnage involving an attack by a gang of Black Peters, these minions don’t get the screen time or set pieces they should have had. As for Sinterklass himself, the CGI make-up job was obviously intended to turn him into another Freddy Krueger- but the result is more than a little lame.

Come to think of it, maybe a remake isn’t such a bad idea, as the premise is fine. As it is, SAINT strikes me as a painfully stupid excuse for a horror flick (although to be fair, the Fantasia audience ate it up). If this version of Sinterklaas makes his way back to Fantasia next year, count me out!

Extra Tidbit: One of my best friends is fond of giving naughty X-Mas gifts as Black Peter. Past gifts included luv cuffs, a tube of lube, and a bag of weed.



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