By Admin | January 24, 2000

In these turbulent times of unsettling change, what with now having to remember to change FOUR digits in the year when you write a check rather than just one, it’s comforting to know that some constants in the Universe remain. Merger-mania continues on its path towards creating one global corporation, the Peoples’ Choice Awards still recognizes the lamest entertainers in America, and Salt City Home Video persists in gussying up the absolute worst dreck in a slick video sleeve and flooding the home video market with it. Such as, for instance, Ronnie Sortor’s flaccid and uninspired clunker “Sinister;” a tiresome and extremely amateurish saga about a robbery gone wrong and its horrific aftermath. Simon (Steve Kelley) conspires with his token-boobs girlfriend Lisa (Marcia Carol Miller) to stick-up Lisa’s boss. Instead, Simon kills the boss in the unplanned shoot-out that follows the heist, but not before the uncooperative victim kills one accomplice and badly wounds another. Simon nonetheless proceeds to the designated rendezvous point, a creepy abandoned farmhouse in the woods (isn’t it always?) only to discover that it’s not so abandoned after all. Instead, a supernatural ax-wielding madman, complete with glowing red eyes, a growling, reverb-filled voice and the ability to inflict increasingly blood-soaked visions upon Simon’s slipping sanity, haunts the joint. Bathtubs of blood ensue, generated by the plethora of utterly pointless decapitations, eviscerations, impacting meat cleavers and exploding bullet wounds. In other words, effects for effects’ sake. (Once I got a look at the “Dr. Who”-ish rubber-masked monsters running around the laughably photographed day-for-night woods, I better understood why we never saw the witch in “Blair Witch.”) A pathetic substitute for any sort of coherent storyline, engaging dialogue or decent acting, all the copious ichor and gore on display in “Sinister” dulls the senses like everything after the first five minutes of a porn film. Thanks for nothing, “Salt City.” Now go away. – Merle Bertrand

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