Released: Dec 01st, 1988
Running Time: 79
Director: Cecil Howard
Company: Command Video
Cast: Paul Thomas, Melanie Scott (II), Jerry Butler, Dick Howard, Tasha Voux, Sharon Kane, Laurie Smith, Ron Jeremy
Critical Rating: AAAA
Sinners is Cecil Howard’s sprawling trilogy about corruption, betrayal and family dissolution. In his latest uncompromising look at the sensitive underbelly of family relations, Howard probes the money-graced Holt Family like a visual bio-lab dissection.
The Holts are a sexually twisted Addams Family whose patriarch, John Franklin Holt (Jack D'Arcy) is a louse beyond acceptability even in the sewer. He’s the kind of man you send a gift-wrapped package of bat manure to on Father’s Day. Everything to Holt is a contest of manhood. He’ll flip a coin to wager for his son’s girlfriend, and goad his offspring into committing a felony just to prove a point.
In the first installment of this series, Paul Thomas is found in a New York hotel room that’s brimming in French provincial kitsch. It’s give years after the fact, and Thomas has just done a stint in prison for armed robbery. Innocent, he’s been setup by the Holt family as a patsy, and his only alibi at the time was Daisy Holt (Laurie Smith), Holt’s nympho wife who was nesting with Thomas in a cheap motel during the robbery. Daisy wouldn’t clear him, and Thomas pours his guts to longtime girlfriend Sharon Kane about the sordid affair. They try to make love but Thomas is rendered impotent.
Part I of this series establishes the sexuality of each of the players. The flashback sex scenes are slow, controlled, rhythmic, sensual and hypnotic. Scott (Jerry Butler) Holt’s stepson is having an affair with a stripper; Susan (Melanie Scott) the daughter is screwing a cop on the pad; Lauren (Kimberly Carson), Daisy’s sister, is sexually manipulated by everyone she comes in contact with. This is not exactly the “family” Dukakis was talking about during the presidential campaign.
But don’t expect the whole story to wrap up and be abundantly clear at this point. It drops off with Thomas trying to contact Daisy who shacked up with an actor (Joey Silvera) after Holt’s death.
Aside from a few self-conscious grimaces and Snidely Whiplash double takes (it seems D’Arcy wants to really hit us over the head with his malevolence), you’ll find Sinners an absorbing and seductive drama – a sizzling sex thriller. Another Cecil Howard triumph.