Us Sinners (2007)

DVD Cover (Athelstan Productions)
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Overall Rating 59%
Overall Rating
Ranked #14,289
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Made to endure both the abuse of his fanatically religious mother and the taunts of his co-workers, Tim Connolly turns to killing prostitutes as a sick form of revenge. Things only get worse when he falls for a new co-worker who rejects his advances. Not for the faint of heart, this disturbing horror film features a shocking ending. --TMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: August 6, 2008
The poster for tonight's film proclaims that "the carnal climax is so disturbing it will leave you breathless", and let's be honest here: that's a pretty bold statement. We've all seen films with misleading poster blurbs, and sadly, disappointment is usually the norm when it comes to living up to those types of remarks. "The best zombie movie in the last twenty years" typically translates to "We got a few friends together and shot this in our backyard", while "The goriest film ever made" usually means "We ripped off the Guinea Pig series, only, with half the talent." To my pleasant surprise, this was not the case with Us Sinners; the film features an ending that goes beyond disturbing and quickly finds itself in "that is just fucked up" territory, and although there are a few extremely minor problems along the way, the vast majority of the film is just as good.

We begin with an introduction to Tim Connolly (Brandon Schraml), a man with an awesome last name who also happens to be the foreman of a local maintenance crew. Unfortunately for Tim, the awesomeness in his life ends with the name as he spends his evenings at home with his abusive, religious zealot of a mother (Leslie E. Hughes) and his days are spent working at a job where his coworkers take great delight in ridiculing and mocking him for being "weird." What none of the people in Tim's life know is that he vents his frustrations on the prostitutes that he picks up on an almost nightly basis, and thanks to the clues that he's leaving behind, it doesn't take long before our sadistic serial killer of a hero will have more than just family and coworkers to worry about.

Things change, however, when Louise (Brenda Cooney) is hired on at Tim's workplace. As it turns out, Louise is just as much of a loner as Tim is, and this similarity certainly isn't lost on him as he quickly takes a keen interest in getting involved with her. Could finding true love be the thing that will finally allow Tim to find some peace in his life, and as a result, put an end to his killing spree? We'll never know, as Louise rejects his advances and starts shacking up with another coworker. Devastated, Tim decides to exact his revenge on all of those who have wronged him according to his deluded perception, and if you thought the prostitutes had it bad, well... wait until you see what he does when he actually gets angry.

The first thing that I have to comment on was the performance turned in by Brandon Schraml. This was his debut in a feature length film, and even though he has had some experience in the world of live musicals and plays, to say that I had high expectations of him in this role would be a lie. That fear was quickly laid to rest, however, as the man comes across as a seasoned professional in the role, playing both aspects of the character with ease. You see, Tim almost has a split personality disorder thing going on here; he's shy and awkward one moment, but he transforms into a vicious, uncaring and unfeeling monster in almost the blink of an eye. This is not an easy role to play, as while most actors worth their salt could turn in a decent performance with one of those aspects of the character, doing an outstanding job with either of them takes talent. Being able to go from one to the other seamlessly while turning in a hell of a performance with both sides of the character is difficult at the very least, but that is exactly what Schraml did here.

As for the storyline, yes, the general idea been done before, but Us Sinners has more than enough originality and innovation thrown in to prevent it from ever feeling derivative of anything else. I hesitate to point out too much of this as I don't want to spoil anything, but suffice it to say that viewers will never get bored throughout the ninety minute running time or feel the need to push the fast-forward button.

Fans of the red stuff will be pleased to know that the film features plenty of grisly, gruesome murders, some of which are downright sickening. Again, I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that one scene involves a statue of the Virgin Mary being inserted into the most unholy of places (and that's not the end of the scene by a long shot), another involves a woman being gagged with a used Maxi pad, and yet another centers on... well, I just can't spoil that one, so let's just say that the men in the audience will definitely find themselves squirming in their seats. Yes, not only is Tim a sadistic monster, but he's also quite the innovator when it comes to inflicting pain and suffering upon his victims.

There are very few faults in the film, with the biggest one coming courtesy of a handful of scenes that would have worked better with ten or fifteen seconds left on the editing room floor. As an example, I felt that Tim was harassed just a little too much at work, and I'm not referring to the storyline sense; after seeing two or three scenes devoted to his coworkers insulting and poking fun at him, we get that he's not Mr. Popular amongst his fellow employees, so why show more scenes that feature the same thing with only varied insults to break up the monotony? I also wasn't a huge fan of the same song being used four or five times throughout the running time; the song wasn't bad (though not my cup of tea), but even if it had been one of my favorite songs, I still would have preferred some variety on the musical side of things even if it meant less music overall.

You're probably thinking that those were minor gripes, and really, they were - ten seconds here, fifteen seconds there, reusing the same song too many times? Those quibbles are certainly nothing that should turn potential viewers off to seeing the film, so this one is getting a solid recommendation out of yours truly. It's not often that a film can make me feel uneasy or truly shock me, but Us Sinners managed to accomplish both while telling an engrossing story and showcasing a picture-perfect performance from the leading man. 9/10.
George Snow #1: George Snow - added August 31, 2008 at 7:00pm
You know what's really cool? I've gotten e-mails from viewers that have had to turn the movie off because it was too intense and sick. I like that.
Tristan #2: Tristan - added September 1, 2008 at 1:32am
George Snow #3: George Snow - added September 1, 2008 at 2:47am
Not that I thought that. But, pretty close. The word used was uncomfortable.

Isn't horror suppose to make you feel uncomfortable and not want to watch?

Zombie Boy #4: Zombie Boy - added September 15, 2008 at 11:37pm
I explained to my daughter the other day that watching a good horror film, for me, is like riding a roller coaster. It starts sort of slow, inching you up and up and up, and you start to feel like maybe this wasn't such a good idea, and then you see the horizon as you crest the slope...AND THEN YOU FUCKING PLUNGE! And then you scream, and your stomach drops away, and maybe someone even pukes. You reach the end, and are just so damn happy for it to be over, and that you made it out alive.

And you immediately want to do it again :)
Tristan #5: Tristan - added September 28, 2008 at 3:11pm
Just when I thought this movie couldn't get any more twisted, the final scene rolled around. And...wow. That even made me cringe.

George Snow #6: George Snow - added September 28, 2008 at 6:39pm
Glad you saw the twisted nature of Us Sinners. One day some dumbass festival will show it, and hopefully get the ball rolling.
Crispy #7: Crispy - added January 21, 2010 at 12:30am
Have to be honest, I didn't dig this one myself. I did like that song that kept playing though; what was that?
George Snow #8: George Snow - added January 21, 2010 at 2:13am
You didn't like it? Son of a Bitch!!! Only kidding. Sorry. The song is "Does the Mother". I wrote it for the movie, and if you ever want to hear it again, it's at the us sinners myspace page. I think you can download it from there.
George Snow #9: George Snow - added October 12, 2010 at 1:21am
I'm proud to announce that Us Sinners has been picked up for worldwide distribution by Hart D. Fisher's AMERICAN HORRORS.
Crispy #10: Crispy - added October 13, 2010 at 4:46pm
Congrats man!
George Snow #11: George Snow - added October 14, 2010 at 12:44pm
Thank you!
George Snow #12: George Snow - added November 19, 2014 at 12:14pm
I found this extremely funny and ironic Though the real one isn't funny, it's sad.

I've had many people ask "why didn't the first prostitute bite his dick?" My response has always been she's probably wasted, drunk or just didn't think of it. Which is never thought of by these Monday morning quarterbacks.

Last night Don Lemon asked one of Bill Cosby's rape victims why she didn't use her teeth when he forced her to perform oral sex on him. She put on a tight lipped smile and said "I never thought of it. Not then, not until you just mentioned it". She ended with an "Ouch".

Just because something is obvious to some, doesn't make it obvious to others.

Do you think Bill Cosby took greater pleasure as a black man drugging and raping white women? All the victims I've seen are white.
George Snow #13: George Snow - added July 22, 2016 at 5:04pm
There's a new VOID service and Us Sinners is available on it. There might be some other underground films you might be interested in seeing.

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