13 Sins (2014)

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A distinguished old codger is introduced at an elegant event.  He stands, observes his rapt audience and says:

A bear taking a dump asked a rabbit / Does shit stick to your fur as a habit? / Of course not said the hare / It’s really quite rare / So the bear wiped his ass with the rabbit.

As he is clearly past his prime, but was once respected, the audience indulges him with a few uncomfortable pity laughs.  Kind of like with David Letterman.  Then he follows up with:

There once was a lady named Dot / Who lived off of pig shit and snot / When she ran out of these / She ate the green cheese / That she grew on the sides of her twat.

Then he cuts off a couple of the hostess’s fingers.  As you do.  Being a bunch of elite, high-society, self-righteous, NPR-listening, Obama-worshipers, there is not a Concealed Carry Permit in da house.  Or even one man willing to stand up to an 80 year old with a fruit knife.  A security guard comes in and shoots grandpa as he is reaching for his phone.

After the credits, we see Elliot Brindle.  He is having a day sort of like Pat Healy in Cheap Thrills.  He has an pregnant girlfriend, whereas Healy had a new-born; he gets fired just like Healy; has mounting financial pressure; and he acquires mysterious benefactor just like Healy.

He gets a phone call offering him a chance to make some big coin.  As in Cheap Thrills, the challenges start small; in this case, merely swatting a fly for $1,000.  The reward jumps to $3,622 to eat the fly.  Just as Healy was tempted with the exact amount he owed to avoid eviction, Brindle is offered this non-random amount which is exactly what his girlfriend owes on her credit cards.

Next, during a nice day at the park with his future in-laws, he is challenged to make a child cry for $5,000.  Good stuff.  This is already much better than Cheap Thrills.  However, my confidence is rocked by the introduction of Ron Perlman — never a good omen in a movie.

The comedy ratchets up as he is challenged to take a dead man out for a cup of coffee.  Kind of like Weekend at Bernie’s, except funny.

13sins03Well, it’s all fun and games until someone loses a hand; which eventually happens.  Things start to get darker as Brindle is offered $100 large to cut off the hand of an old friend.  Then he brains the guy’s brother with a chair.  And steals his car.

13sins04It gets dark where it should be dark, funny where it should be funny, and twisty.  And Koechner-free!  Cheap Thrills got the attention, but 13 Sins is superior in almost every way.

I give it 11 out of 13 sins.

Post-Post:

  • Elliot’s father is a hilarious, racist quote machine played by Marvin from Die Hard 2.  Very entertaining.
  • Devon Graye, who played the teenage Dexter, was probably better than this movie deserved as Elliot’s special needs brother.
  • The circus-tune ringtone, which apparently the caller assigns in this universe, is Entrance of the Gladiators.
  • Sadly, could not work in a Brundle-Fly reference for Brindle.
  • Director Daniel Stamm (The Last Exorcism) does love his widescreen:

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