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Saint Francis (Redemption USA) 
Written by: on April 20th, 2009

Theatrical Release Date: USA,  2007
Director: Ezra Allen Gould
Writer: Ezra Allen Gould, Greg Hittelman
Cast: Charles Koutris, Dita Von Teese, Zalman King, Casey Anderson, Ryan Williams

DVD released: March 31st, 2009
Approximate running time: 72 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
Subtitles: N/A
DVD Release: Redemption Films
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95

The plot for Saint Francis revolves around a corrupt preacher whose wife committed suicide and the lives of his dysfunctional children.

After the film opens with a brief flashback which shows the suicide of a preacher’s wife, the narrative quickly jumps ahead to an undisclosed time in the future. The first character that we are introduced to is the film’s main character Saint Francis, a paranoid addict who is also into self mutilation. The other key players include Francis’s brother Sid whose main ambition in life is the next scam and Francis’s sister Soul who makes her money selling pleasure to others. The patriarch of this clan is a self proclaimed man of god named Dr. P. Bernard.

Visually the film never firmly establishes any cinematic style as the overall cinematography comes off as more a mish-mash of techniques and nothing more. Two of the more interesting moments in the film involve a photo session and video shoot where two lesbians are making out. These two scenes also feature three prominent adult film actress’s Julia Ann, Stormy Daniels and Stephanie Swift.

The acting is merely adequate with the films two more recognizable names Zalman King in the role of Dr. P. Bernard and Dita Von Teese in the dual role of Soul and Pica (Soul’s mother), being two of the weakest links in the plot. The only performance of note is Charles Koutris in the role of Francis.

None of the characters are likable and their self destructive ways only further distance the viewer from caring for any of them. Their rise and subsequent falls are predictable. The plot narrative weakly strings together a series of events which lead to a bizarre ending that further adds to the convoluted plot.

The DVD:

Redemption Films presents Saint Francis in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio (the DVD packing incorrectly lists the aspect ratio as anamorphic widescreen). Judging by the framing of the image the 1.33:1 aspect ratio looks correct. Outside of some darker scenes which lack clarity the transfer fares well with accurate looking colors and flesh tones. This release like the bulk of Redemptions U.S. releases has not been flagged for progressive playback. There is some noticeable jittering / motion blurring that varies in degree. The slight pause at the beginning of each chapter that was reported for the UK release was not present on the U.S. DVD release viewed for this film.

This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. There are some mild distortion issues and the audio at times sounds tiny. This is an average audio mix that does an adequate job presenting the film’s soundtrack.

Extras for this release include two trailers for Saint Francis, a stills gallery (16 images) and a music video for the song “The Devil is Laughing” (2 minutes 32 seconds). The main extra included with this release are three deleted scenes which are essentially extended versions of scenes present in the main feature. The three deleted scenes are titled “Shower Abduction” (5 minutes 33 seconds), “Photo shoot” (2 minutes 23 seconds) and “Fugly Show” (6 minutes 55 seconds). Also included with this release are trailers for other Redemption titles that are also available on DVD. Overall Saint Francis gets an uneven DVD release that leaves plenty of room for improvement.

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