Sin-Jin Smyth Review (Rough Cut)
Country : USA
Genre: Horror / Action
Format: Rough Cut Screening
Running Time: n/a
So we are in the Warner Brothers Studio Lot in
L.A. to see a rough cut of Sin-Jin Smyth, no less with Ethan, John Philbin, Gary Kasper, Eileen Dietz & editor Travis Dultz all sitting in on the screening... & the movie was great too. Nice.
Written & directed by Ethan Dettenmaier, starring Richard Tyson, Roddy Piper, Eileen Dietz, John Philbin, Gary Kasper, Charles Cyphers, Jenna Jameson & Jonathan Davis.
The Pit was given a rare opportunity last week. We
were able to view a rough cut of the upcoming film
"Sin-Jin Smyth" and let me tell you, this movie (even
in rough cut form) will kick your teeth in. Sin-Jin
Smyth is one of those happy surprises that sometimes
bubble forth from the depths of low-budget filmmaking.
Ethan Dettenmaier has it all in this film...
character, plotting, suspense, and structure, as well
as some disturbing, original images and the
obsessional drive necessary to bring them to life on
Among the memorable images in "Sin-Jin Smyth" are a
vast graveyard in Kansas, with supernatural precision,
Dettenmaier knows what is scary and what is not.
There's also a great deal that's more graphic (in your
head) than gory, which means that non-fans of the
genre can play as well.
Dettenmaier links his images with only the vaguest and
coolest of story lines: Every Halloween at Midnight,
The Devil simultaneously appears in two places… the
high plains of India and… a quiet cemetery in Kansas.
The film is about two federal marshals, who man an
isolated Federal Outpost in the American Midwest, who
receive an emergency message one night to blitz across
the border into the Kansas Badlands for the midnight
prisoner transfer of man with no identity. The two
federal marshalls played by Roddy Piper and Richard
Tyson, transport said prisoner only known as Sin-Jin
Smyth, who is played by Korn frontman Jonathan Davis
who plays the title role with intensity and the look
is nothing short of freaky. The casting is
brilliant... everyone from Charles Cyphers (who
delivers one of the films best lines) to porn star
Jenna Jameson. Dettenmaier pulls all the stops but does not
pull any punches. Tyson and Piper pull off a
dynamic together that I have not seen since "Lethal
Weapon". Brilliant all the way around.
And yet, it's the sheer arbitrariness of the action
that gives "Sin-Jin Smyth" its strange conviction.
Dettenmaier has captured the texture of a disjointed,
half-remembered nightmare, full of figures and events
that seem to have some symbolic value, but which have
lost their precise meaning in the process of floating
up from the subconscious. There are elements in the
film so strange and opaque that they must be deeply
Dettenmaier sustains the dream-like sense through his
very sophisticated manipulation of space. The film has
a thick plot, and a definite progression-from wide,
evening exteriors, through night exteriors that have
been strangely emptied of people, through increasingly
claustrophobic interiors and finally to the wholly
imaginary back-folding space of the Sin-Jin Smyth's
In his own, probably unconscious way, Dettenmaier has
rediscovered the surrealist cinema of the 1920's- the
destruction of the story line, the surge of symbols
emptied of content, the systematic refusal to make
"Sin-Jin Smyth" doesn't go nearly as far as those
films, but it still has its subversive value. At a
time when mainstream movies have become almost
harrowingly explicit, only the independent horror film
retains the right to be enigmatic. Ethan Dettenmaier
takes that opportunity and runs with it. I'd vote for
Sin-Jin Smyth to be the best horror film of 2006...
and we only saw the rough cut.
You absolutely need to see this movie.
INTERVIEW WITH ETHAN DETTENMAIER
Review by John Gray, for Pitofhorror.com