The Apostate

  • 1999
  • Movie
  • R
  • Thriller

Although this nail-biter about religious values and artistic license runs out of momentum before it's over, it explores a provocative theme involving the link between good and evil as creative forces. Roman Catholic priest and art expert Father Richard Killian (Richard Grieco) returns to his old parish in San Juan, Puerto Rico, after his brother, Sean (Branden...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Although this nail-biter about religious values and artistic license runs out of momentum before it's over, it explores a provocative theme involving the link between good and evil as creative forces. Roman Catholic priest and art expert Father Richard Killian (Richard Grieco) returns to his old parish in San Juan, Puerto Rico, after his brother, Sean (Branden Willians), is slain by a deranged artist named Louis (Dennis Hopper). Having convinced church authorities that he must comfort his grieving mother, Father Killian has really come home to find Sean's murderer. First, however, Father Killian must confront his past. He challenges the local pastor, Monsignor Manning (Michael Cole), who raped Sean when Sean was an altar boy, and resolves his own feelings for Charlotte (Kristin Minter), a former lover. Father Killian's uncle, Daniel (Efrain Figueroa), is a police detective, and Killian acts his unofficial assistant as he tries to establish a link between Sean, a gay hustler, and Louis's latest victim, party girl Suzy (Johanna Quintero). A Sunday painter himself, Father Killian is riddled with doubts about his vocation; these insecurities plague him as he plunges into Louis's bohemian netherworld. Father Killian impresses a kinky dealer, Sheila Masters (Perri Lister), with his work and she offers to serve as his representative; she sees Killian and Louis as two sides, dark and light, of the same impressive coin. Meanwhile, Killian figures out the obscure connection betweent he victims: Obsessed with blood as inspiration, repressed modern artist Louis targets promiscuous people to fulfil his artistic impulse and distorted morality. He views each victim as a disposable subject for his masterpieces. Louis contemplates "painting" either Charlotte or artist's model Mary (Bridget Ann White), and only Father Killian can save them &&151; but can he liberate himself from Louis's corrupting influence? Drenched in a sexually perverse atmosphere, this moody chiller gets hung up on a philosophical dichotomy that defuses the suspense. But it tackles a meaty premise — the warping of creativity — rather than merely manufacturing cheap thrills.

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Although this nail-biter about religious values and artistic license runs out of momentum before it's over, it explores a provocative theme involving the link between good and evil as creative forces. Roman Catholic priest and art expert Father Richard Ki… (more)

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