The Merits of Sin: Resurrection (1999) (Canada/USA)

You’ve had to deal with my ramblings before concerning my enjoyment of “bad” movies. You should be well aware with just how much disdain I have for any poor film whose architects set out to purposely sink. If you go into something with a hope of failure you are doing it wrong. I have no interest for anything made to suck ass. It’s not for me. You get the feeling Russell Mulcahy set out to make a solid film after he finally got around to watching Se7en (no, we will not be discussing how stupid that spelling is) and your enjoyment will lie in just how much joy you get from watching the complete crash and burn of someone’s good intentions.

Wait. We should be taking this seriously?

Christopher Lambert (so your film is already in my good graces) is a Cajun homicide detective now working in Chicago following a much needed change of scenery thanks to the hilariously presented death of his son. He’s very good at his job, which is why he is called in by his sergeant to take the lead on a new case. Some poor schmuck has been discovered with his arm amputated at the shoulder and the CPD needs to know why. With the discovery of a few more limbless bodies, the super sleuth begins to piece together the motive and boy is it a doozy!


Somehow Lambert figures out the limb stealing psychopath is trying to rebuild Jesus Christ and with Easter fast approaching, he’s also figured out a deadline. He and his partner (Leland Orser, who you may remember as that poor guy who was forced to wear the knife endowed bdsm suit in Fincher’s Se Seven En) try their damndest to make sure no more Chicagoans get their asses murdered because of the sickos plans for the resurrection…hey! That’s the name of the movie!

This guy gets it

There’s plenty that goes wrong within the nearly two hour runtime. Christopher Lambert plays Creole like an alien life form who crash landed in New Orleans and after about a day of hanging around, figured he had his human impression down and went off into the world. It’s….bizarre. He fares better than any of the other leads, Orser over acts to an extent that has me slightly convinced he’s doing it on purpose. David Cronenbeg pops in as a priest, looking like an Eric Roberts action figure you left in your car on a hot day… so like Eric Roberts now, I guess. As soon as Robert Joy shows up as an FBI profiler you pretty much have beaten the cops the identity of their killer.

I’m here to help…and kill…I’m mostly here to kill.

The camera work is an atrocious mixed bag of styles. It jumps around from a pretty standard steady cam, to a disorienting quick cut, to that shaky cam you find a lot in police procedural dramas when the action hits and there’s other techniques sprinkled in that work more to take you out of the action than keep you on your feet. Yet, here I am, enjoying the hell out of the whole thing. There’s an odd sense of humor running all the way through that is somehow as unsettling as it is charming. The deterioration of Lambert’s marriage because of that pesky dead son (a collision with a rollerblader allowed Lambert’s tricycle riding boy to escape from his dad’s protection and collide with a speeding car) is put on the back burner so we can focus on the blossoming friendship of Lambert and his partner. And that Pieces inspired savior is a hoot when he finally puts in his appearance.

Ya might need to put him back in for three more days

Resurrection is not the good movie it wanted to be. That’s why I like it so much. Overly dramatic, oddly touching and sinking in its own idiocy, it’s a cinematic train wreck that I’ll gladly stare at. 7/10

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