Us Sinners (2008)

George Snow

Brandon Schraml - Tim Connoly
Brenda Cooney - Louise
Leslie E. Hughes - Mom
Glenys Javier - Patty
Jason Shoulders - Andrew
Caroline Moseley - Melissa
Jason Reed - Bobby

Genre - Horror/Serial Killers

Running Time - 85 Minutes

Score - 3.5 Howls Outta 4

I've made it clear many times before that while I believe in God, I don't believe in religion. I can see how it can bring people together under a common belief. Hey, I don't care what religion you're a part of and how you live your life. But something about the entire thing just rubs me the wrong way. Especially with overly religious people attempt to force their beliefs on you, thinking that it'll save you from Hell and bring you back into God's grace.

You know what I say to those people? Watch CARRIE and see how that bullshit turned out.

Or watch the indie film, US SINNERS, which pretty much shows how an overly religious mother can mess up her only son and turn him into a sex-obsessed serial killer. It's not an original concept, but when it does pretty well, you gotta give the film its props.

Tim Connoly (Brandon Schraml) is one messed up dude. He lives with his religious fanatic of a mother (Leslie E. Hughes), who spanks him and abuses him whenever she feels he's about to swim in the Devil's pond. He can't escape this Hell at his job, where he's ridiculed by his co-workers for being a weirdo. So he does what any misunderstood dude would do - find prostitutes [which he calls "hores" - he's dyslexic], choke them during oral sex or actual intercourse, and kill them to get revenge on his mother in his sick mind.

One day, a new person named Louise (Brenda Cooney) starts working where Tim works. Tim suddenly falls in love with Louise and tries to win her affections. Unfortunately for Time, Louise doesn't feel the same way for Tim. As a matter of fact, she'd rather play human vacuum cleaner for jerkoff Andrew (Jason Shoulders). When Tim finds out about this, the Heavens start to collapse on Tim's world leading to a shocking ending I'm still very disturbed by.

attempts to give us a look at how repression from a very religious parent can affect a person, to the point where he rapes and murders women as a release. This is not an entertaining film where one could sit down and have a blast watching. It'll make you very uncomfortable, even with its flaws. Still, US SINNERS is a very good indie horror flick.

I received this film due to director/writer George Snow commenting on my HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER review. We messaged each other, where he told me that Lionsgate refused to distribute this film due to its subject matter. After the crap Lionsgate pulled with MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN and possibly with REPO: THE GENERIC OPERA in November, I'm not really surprised. But for a company that will distribute for a film like WRESTLEMANIAC and countless SAW films that people are getting tired of seeing, I think Lionsgate should have given US SINNERS a chance. I'm not saying this because I've had personal contact with George Snow and he wanted me to review this film. I'm saying this because I'm being honest.

The story for US SINNERS is strong. The dialogue is well written. The characters act and talk like regular people. The plot itself with Tim's struggle with his demons is fascinating to watch because it's told well and it's believable. You feel sorry for this guy because from scenes involve Tim's mother treating him like a stupid child, you realize why he's the way he is. But at the same time, murder and rape aren't things anyone should do, even when one feels they've been pushed into it. Tim is a very multi-dimensional character and not a caricature, which was refreshing. Even the other characters in the film have a bit of depth, some more than others. Like I said, US SINNERS uses an idea we've seen in many films. But it does enough original stuff to stop the film from feeling derivative and generic. This film will not bore you and it will probably make you cringe at some points.

I did have some issues with the story though. I did feel as if Tim got away with the murders a bit too easy. I mean, the guy used fingerless gloves and did things pretty much naked. You mean, no DNA was left behind? Sure, Tim is a cleaner but no one's THAT perfect. Plus, he started leaving notes and signed them with his initials! I just find it implausible as to how this guy managed to get away with murder for so long.

Plus, I find the co-workers pretty annoying. I'm sorry but they really did nothing for me until they became victims of Tim. I was kind of hoping they would get theirs, and then I started feeling bad when they did. I think if I had worked where Tim worked, I probably would have wanted to do bad stuff to them too.

Also, I didn't dig that one song that was being played. I'm sorry, but it annoyed me and wasn't my bag at all. And the fart and bloody tampon stuff was pretty nasty. I don't need to be seeing that stuff. Blech!

The film isn't as gory as one would expect from a serial killer horror flick. There is blood. There are things like someone getting impaled in the forehead with a sharp object and people getting stabbed. But most of it is pretty implied. I think the biggest one was the victim who had a statue of the Virgin Mary shoved through their vaginal region and Tim reveals the head of the statue underneath the woman's breasts. We never see the act itself but the implication is enough, I think.

There's also nudity. It's mainly Tim's ass, but there are some boobs shot in there somewhere. Something for everyone, I guess.

And the ending is truly disturbing in more ways than one. I won't discuss it because I'm not spoiling it. But let's just say that I'm not chilled by many things when it comes to horror movies, but this ending chilled me. It's just wrong on so many levels that only an indie film could pull it off. No mainstream Hollywood hack would allow this film to end the way it does. I was left shaking my head once the end credits showed. What a fucked up ending - but in a good way.

George Snow is a good director. He uses a lot of style, especially during flashback scenes that mix black and white with color and some other psychadelic stuff. The editing is excellent and the pacing is strong. The film looks low budget but doesn't really feel low budget, which is nice. It was an overall nice job. Hopefully this is the start for more things to come.

The acting was very impressive here. Especially by Brandon Schraml, who played Tim. I don't know what his background is, but the dude was excellent as the main character and carried the film like a champ. Tim is an extremely complex character, showing both sides of vulnerability and depression to becoming totally psychotic and raping and killing women the next. That's a hard trick to pull off, especially as one character. Schraml does the whole thing justice because I was pretty convinced. He gave the character a lot of depth.

Everyone else was good as well. Next to Schraml, Leslie E. Hughes as Tim's mom was a standout. She played the overly religious fanatical bitch to a tee, making me hate her the moment she smacked Schraml around and spanked him. I don't know what I would do if I had a mother like her. There are just so many buttons one could push, ya know? Hughes did an awesome job in the role.


- Tim killed some chick giving him a blowjob by gagging her with his penis and snapping her neck. That's one way to avoid paying an overpriced prostitute.

- Tim's mom said his dad had "lying eyes". Who was he? Balthazar Getty? Jude Law? Bill Clinton? Be more specific, lady!

- Don't take a dump in front of a girl you like. Unless she's a brown noser, she's probably gonna lose interest in romancing you.

- Tim slapped a woman to death. I haven't seen this kind of violence since Melrose Place! You have a lot of catching up to do, Heather Locklear!

- Taking a dump is the Lord's way of cleansing the body of demons. I agree. That really cheesy and spicy Mexican food I just ate was completely a work from Hell. Ugh...where's that plunger?

- Tim finds comfort in toy dogs. No matter how much of a bitch his mom can be, it still won't replace the dog in his heart. How touching.

- Women who dress like whores are swimming in the Devil's pond. I guess Pamela Anderson is the female Michael Phelps.

- Two detectives in the film are of color, while the dude they're chasing is white. This film must take place in some bizarro universe.

- Time sniffed a blood-stained maxipad. I understand it's the time of the month, but it's never time for that! Ew...

- Don't screw with a woman one of your co-workers likes. You may have penetrated her, but the jealous dude will penetrate you. And not with the same weapon either.

is an independent film that surprised me. Usually when films claim to be disturbing, you end up disappointed. But not with this one. I felt totally uneasy watching this and I'm still trying to get that ending out of my mind. Hopefully George Snow will get a larger distribution for US SINNERS because I think alot of people out there will be interested in watching this film.

Official Website

Us Sinners MySpace


  1. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for this one - hopefully it will be picked up by a distributor soon, and Netflix will have it as well.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. i thought i was supposed to get a copy of this cuz i work with drgoremans.com
    but i still didn't get shit.
    i was gonna do a review on this also.


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