Thursday, December 6, 2012

Unborn Sins (2005)

Pack: Tomb of Terrors
Disc: 9

Subgenre(s): Comedy(?)

Year: 2005 (IMDb says 2007)

Rated: R
Length: 106 minutes

Director: Elliott Eddie
Writer: Elliott Eddie
Starring: Michele L. Harris, Paul 'P.J.' Penaloza, Pierre Walters

Synopsis: The spirit of an aborted child comes to life to take revenge on those responsible for its death.


Review: Unborn Sins is, without doubt, one of the worst movies in the "Tomb of Terrors" pack so far. It's not just the execution of the story, but the story itself just makes you wonder what drugs whoever made it was taking at the time. Whatever they were, I don't want any of them.

Right from the beginning, bearing in mind that this is a cautionary tale about the perils of abortion, a male babysitter is telling this story to two little girls who aren't even old enough to know the facts of life. Yes, really little girls of maybe 7 or 8 years old get told about an aborted foetus who comes back from the dead as a Kung Fu killer. To compound matters, the babysitter tells them that it's a TRUE story! What?

Amidst one of the worst rap songs about smoking dope ever added to a background track, the heroine of the piece, Theresa (Michele L. Harris), receives a creepy looking doll from a company called "Oddities Inc." which clearly she hasn't ordered. I don't know about you, but I'd send that thing straight back again. Of course, Theresa hasn't got time to do that since she has a very important appointment to go to at the local dental clinic.

At first I wondered what the Hell was being done to her or if the dentists were interfering with all their patients until I realised that it was a huge goof. Apparently, Theresa goes to what is clearly shown to be a dental clinic for an abortion! Could nobody have covered up or faked the signs? How lazy to you have to be to let something like that slip? Of course, it's an intentional in-joke which is meant to add to the fun, but I doubt that many people would take the time to figure it out. I guess we all know that we can go to "Dr. Douglas B. Peoples Family Dental Care" to terminate our unwanted pregnancies now!

More goofs abound as Theresa manages to change her clothes twice on the way back home and even stops to put a flower on a grave which has nothing to do with anything. Could this movie get any worse? Yes, indeed it could and does.

While Theresa is sleeping, the creepy doll turns into a rather short man with make-up like Eric Draven and animal teeth, pulls out a sword from nowhere and then runs off without doing anything. Even though the man-puppet's intention is clearly deadly, and he has the opportunity to kill, he runs away! I don't get it. I don't think whoever made this movie realised how stupid it would turn out to be either.

Somewhere across town Mark (Dale Woodson), who originally drove Theresa to the dentist, receives an identical package containing the same doll with a note attached telling him that he is going to get "cut" for being a "player". Mark is Theresa's former boyfriend who got her pregnant, and presumably some justice is being served.

To cut a long story short, the doll changes into a man again, Mark's other girlfriend escapes through the window, and after some amusingly bad gangster-style pistol holding antics where you just can't wait to see Mark fire and get hit in the face by the recoil, the doll growls "Murderer!" before he stabs Mark with his little sword. News reports on TV fill in the more grisly details afterwards.

But here's where it all gets confusing. You see, it's all a dream up to this point as had by a guy called Stone (Pierre Walters) who loves basketball. Despite behaving like a gangster, Stone actually runs a "Protection Agency". I'm not sure how legal his business is, but he's supposed to be a good guy.

The basketball game that breaks up the story before introducing Stone drags with more unbearably horrid music over the top. The bizarre thing is that it really only showcases the talents of a female basketball player who makes all the men playing look bad, but then she disappears from the rest of this story without becoming a main character.

After the game, Stone has another dream where he watches nurse Nancy (Barbara Heath) from the dental clinic receive another doll in a box which turns into the same midget clown. To give credit where it's due, Nancy puts up a pretty good fight although the Kung Fu action with accompanying sound effects makes the whole thing ludicrous.

I'm not going to go through the entire plot, but somehow Stone and Theresa turn out to be psychically linked by the same dreams, there's an anti-abortion cult run by pastor Douglas Peoples (ah, there's that name again!) who are sending the dolls to anyone who has been involved with having an abortion, and the killer named Bowlegg (Paul 'P.J.' Penaloza) gets several more opportunities to show off his awesome combination of Kung Fu and breakdancing moves.

There's an interlude where Bowlegg's supernatural origins are explained which suddenly appears amidst a fiery overlay with no real explanation as to who is telling the story at this point. I think it's fair enough to assume that the babysitter from the beginning is the narrator although it may be the cultist who Stone has kidnapped. Stone does indeed "axe" the cultist a question. Whatever the case, what the Hell? So this is an anti-abortion movie?

To redress the balance, Dr. Livingstone (I presume!), played by Jim Barbour, later gets to tell his wife how he is doing a good thing for the women he helps since they would inflict more injuries on themselves if he wasn't allowed to practice. So now the movie is pro-abortion? With the following fights against Bowlegg resulting in the deaths of the abortionists, it's now impossible to tell what the message is.

After a final Kung Fu battle between Bowlegg and Stone going on for way too long, a minor character played by Danielle Louviere (who is possibly the hottest girl in the whole movie if only more had been made of her) changes her moral position to save the day. With the length of the story, it's quite possible that you would have forgotten who she was by this point, and she appears like a totally random rifle-toting saviour.

Unborn Sins is a long film which lurches from one scene to the next without much continuity or explanation of how and why things happen. Maybe there is more exposition than I noticed, but the volume is so low that it's hard to hear anything except the worst hip hop and "RnB" music ever created even when the speech is overlaid quite jarringly. Most of the problems are that the non-actors don't sustain the same volume, some of their ebonics are hard to decipher, and, even if you do understand what is being said, the dialogue still isn't worth listening to. The best and most controversial lines are delivered without the necessary emphasis to make them memorable.

The Kung Fu fights with Paul 'P.J.' Penaloza's acrobatics and Bruce Lee impersonations are hilarious, but Unborn Sins isn't really a comedy-horror movie as much as it's a series of misguided arguments about abortion, religious cults, and the society which spawned the attitudes to both. Undoubtedly, Unborn Sins tries to be cleverer than it is with scenes which trick the viewer into thinking one thing only to have the truth of those misconceptions (pardon the pun) revealed later, but it doesn't do any of them well.

Most Memorable Moment(s): The Kung Fu fight between Bowlegg and the nurse.

Originality: Apart from Bowlegg looking like The Crow, very original.

Best Line(s): "Am I tripping or is there a midget with a white face standing in my room?"
Worst Line(s): "What? Are we in some kind of sick horror movie or something?"

Best Effect(s): Bowlegg's teeth.
Worst Effect(s): The Kung Fu movie sound effects.

Goriness (out of 10): 1
Sexiness (out of 10): 1
Profanities (out of 10): 6

Hottest Actor/Actress: Michele L. Harris as Theresa.

Picture Quality: Below average (slightly fuzzy)
Audio Quality: Below average

Rating (out of 10): 2


IMDb or Wiki:

Final Thoughts: This is what happens when you have an abortion at your local dentist.

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