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Barkers Sinner Born to be Bad

Horror-meister Clive Barker might want to seek absolution for Clive Barker Presents Saint Sinner, an abomination about to be unleashed on unsuspecting viewers of Sci Fi Channel.

Awash with over-ripe acting, poor dialogue and cheesy effects, the two-hour "special event" is anything but.

The story begins in 1815, where we meet Brother Tomas (Greg Serano), a novice monk living in a remote monastery that appears to be located somewhere in Europe. The monastery is a repository for "evil" objects, and its brothers are pledged to be the custodians of their care.

When a strange emissary from Rome arrives with some new items for the monastery, Tomas and his brother, Gregory, can't resist sneaking downstairs for a look. Their curiosity unleashes two slimy succubi — Nakir (Rebecca Harrell) and Munkar (Mary Mara) — who attack and injure Gregory before escaping from the monastery via the "Wheel of Time" (kind of a cross between a ship's steering device and the Wheel of Fortune).

Affected by his error, Tomas decides to leave the monastery for good — even though a knife that came with the ladies has marked him as the "chosen one" who must venture off to the 2000s and defeat them. But when his brother's wounds prove fatal, he opts to return and avenge Gregory's death. (Not that Serano's emotionally bereft performance gave any evidence of the character's change of heart — either that, or Tomas has a heck of a poker face.)

Tomas then follows the two succubi into the same town, in the 21st century. (Somehow, the decades have shifted this locale to somewhere in North America.) Aside from an interesting scene of disorientation when Tomas arrives in the present, it's all downhill from here, and the viewer can almost telegraph what's going to happen next.

As implausible as the plot is, the pacing of the story might be what comes closest to working in this movie. Most of the actors deliver stilted, wooden performances (except Harrell and Mara, who are instead ridiculously over the top). The dialogue, particularly in the 19th-century scenes, is beyond cliché. Meanwhile, the filmmaker's idea of special effects seems to be to coat everything with as much goo as could be found.

In short, Saint Sinner
is a telefilm that is flawed on nearly all counts. Barker might want rethink his above-the-title credit.

Clive Barker Presents Saint Sinner
bows Saturday, Oct. 26 on Sci Fi Channel.