The Merits of Sin: Nikos the Impaler (2003) (Germany)

Oh Andreas Schnaas, you knew what you liked and you never stopped doing it. Familiarity has been known to breed contempt but it can also feel like slipping into a toasty pair of underpants on a particularly cold day. Schnaas is warm underwear, gore soaked but still nice and toasty.

Schnaas 1 Winter 0

In 1002 A.D. a brutal barbarian (Nikos, of course. Played by director and story writer Schnaas) is having a blast massacring the Romanian populace. A small group of men finally say “enough is enough” and bring down the brutal bastard. Before he departs this realm he places a curse on his killers and promises to come back for vengeance. One thousand years later and a university professor is about to find out this legend has some truth behind it.

I like to think that they teach me

A small gallery in Manhattan is hosting “The Horrors of Romania” exhibit and the professor is offering fifty extra points to any students that join him on opening night. Three take him up on that offer. Two are trying to avoid a failing grade and one is a brainy know it all with a bad case of brown nose fever. Unlucky for the teacher, his students and his date, a thief is there trying to steal some priceless Romanian artifact. Shit goes south and he bleeds all over Nikos’ cursed helmet which sure as shit brings him back to this plain of existence.

Wait. What?

The small group of Romanian art lovers not immediately slaughtered by the mad barbarian attempt to find a way out of the gallery (its been mysteriously closed off) while trying to keep as many limbs as possible. They don’t do that good of a job. Eventually some escape but so does Nikos and he is wandering around various New York hotspots (gym, theater, lesbian bar, video store) and slaughtering whoever happens to be around.

He gone!
She gone!
Kaufman!

We also discover Nikos came back with magic powers, which allow home to blow up a car (with the assist of some awful cgi) and bring various villains from the covers of videoboxes into the world (a zombie, some ninjas, a lady vampire and Hitler). Will our survivors be able to bring Nikos down? Will the NYPD be of any assistance? Will Hitler be hit with magic power and explode? The answers to all your questions are a definite maybe.

I’m going to throw a fitler

Location shooting in New York City and Long Island is utilized as much as Schnaas could. The gore in plentiful, as you’d come to expect from the German splatter kid. Ted Geoghegan’s (We Are Still Here and Mohawk) screenplay perfectly feeds the wild appetite of Schnaas. As usual with his films, it can be repetitive and sometimes slip into boredom but the next blood soaked effect is right around the corner. There’s a few cameos on hand and the acting is stilted all across the board but you didn’t come into a Schnaas film looking for award winning…or really even mildly accomplished performances. Sometimes it’s fine to know exactly what you’re getting into. 6/10


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