MSRP: $26.98
RUNNING TIME: 118 minutes
Behind the scenes featurette
Deleted scenes

The Pitch

Screw that low carb carb. Let’s start eating sin! It’s delicious, low in calories and tastes just like the souls of the damned!

The Humans

Louise Fletcher, Henry “E.T.” Thomas, Kim “Freddy’s Revenge” Myers and Liana Liberato

The Nutshell

In a rural mountain community, they practice some rather odd beliefs. When a person dies, the sin eater is summoned for a ritual in which he eats some ceremonial bread and wine, thereby taking the sins of the deceased upon him. He’s a wretched, cloaked figure who is shunned by the community and forced to live in a creepy old cave. No one is supposed to look upon him at the ceremony, lest some of his evil sin corrupt them.

Cadi Forbes is one of those precocious, headstrong and immensely annoying little children who never does what she’s told, so naturally she looks the sin eater in the eyes at her grandmother’s funeral. She wants to know more about the sin eater because she feels just rotten about the part she played in her little sister’s death a few years ago. She wants to skip all that living, growing old and dying crap and get straight to the sin eating. She pesters the sin eater to take away her souls while she’s still living and give her inner peace.

Effects courtesy of Roberta Williams and the Phantasmagoria crew.

Alas, the sin eater cannot do this. No man has the power to forgive a living person of their sins. At least, no one that anyone in this community knows of. Luckily, a nameless traveler wanders into town with a Bible in hand and the name of the ultimate sin eater – Jesus Christ. In the original cut, he arrived with a copy of The Spectacular Spider-Man #107 and told the country folk about the great Stanley Carter and how he killed Jean DeWolff. It tested poorly with the focus groups.

The Lowdown

Sit down for a second, son. There’s no need to be in such a hurry. How would you feel if I were to tell you that there’s a very powerful spiritual entity who loves you very much? So much, in fact, that he sacrificed his only son in order to spare you from the pain of hell and absolve you of your sins. The son’s name was Jesus Christ, and he has a beautiful plan in store for your life if you will only repent and open your heart to him. Here, take this Jack Chick tract. It will explain everything to you.

Do you enjoy being preached to? If so, you may enjoy hearing an electrifying sermon delivered to you by Henry Thomas. If not, you may also enjoy seeing him get his ribs kicked in by angry heathens who hate the word of God. There’s something for everybody in The Last Sin Eater!

Someone get me some Stridex Extra Strength ASAP.

In all actuality, The Last Sin Eater is far less preachy than most faith-based films and the religious element seems rather tacked on. The big JC definitely takes a back seat to a tale of lust, revenge and unintentional homicide. Jesus may have gotten nailed to a cross and had a spear jabbed into his side, but he’s playing second fiddle to Native American slaughter here. If he has a problem with it, he can take it up with the tribe.

The word of Jesus doesn’t make its presence known until halfway through the film, when it magically serves as a cure all for every single character. The character can be ready to slit their wrists one minute, but once the mysterious stranger opens that mystical tome and starts reading out passages from Esther, they’re on cloud nine. The Bible is so powerful in this film that you could blow up the Death Star with it.

This isn’t what it looks like officer.

The Last Sin Eater doesn’t have to do much to improve upon its faith-based brethren like The Omega Code and Left Behind. It’s less of the apocalyptic “repent or be doomed” variety and more of the uplifting, tug at the heart strings type of film that would feel right at home on the Hallmark Channel. Frankly, it’s amazing they couldn’t get Richard Thomas to star. The film is a moderately entertaining if entirely predictable affair and palatable spiritual entertainment for the entire family, especially if the kiddies love slaughtering Indians and choking little girls. That PG-13 rating is there for a reason.

The Package

Director Michael Landon Jr. and his bevy of talented crew members are here to tell you how much they enjoyed working on this project and what a great film it really is. Doesn’t that sound like a fascinating featurette you just can’t wait to watch?

And the Lord sayeth onto us to resist the vile temptation of Reese’s Pieces.

The only thing one can learn from this feature is that when you star in a direct to video horror movie you’re “slumming it” but when you star in a direct to video religious movie you’re embracing a fantastic film and rejecting the sinful wickedness of traditional Hollywood films. All of these people probably had tons of high paying A-level scripts sitting on their desks but they pushed them all aside to make The Last Sin Eater. That probably earns a few brownie points when it comes to getting into heaven. At least, the crew probably hopes so. It’s gonna be a bitch to get to heaven and find out Jesus loves Bad Boys 2.

Overall: 6.5 out of 10