It's no secret that I have a resistance to "lost footage" films and so these types of movies really need to compensate with a trade off. 'Penance' is set in an abandoned mental hospital where a deranged religious fanatic poses as a military-like surgeon determine to cleanse strippers of their sins. The story focuses on a mother who desperately needs money for her daughter's medical bills and accepts a one-off offer to strip for $3000. Naturally she winds up in the hands of this maniac and his demented staff. I really liked the story and think it would have been even more effective if told in a traditional way. The hand-held style was distracting from what was an otherwise well made and insane premise. The performances are good, particularly Graham McTavish (The Hobbit trilogy) in the role of the religious psycho and the script is well written. Michael Rooker appears in a strange hoodlum role and Tony Todd appears in a randomly fleeting cameo as a chauffeur. I guess each of them contribute a legacy that provides an added appeal factor but they're both unnecessary... McTavish carries the film enough to make up for names like theirs. I went into Penance prepared for something mediocre but I came away surprised to have enjoyed it as much as I did. I will no doubt sit through it again sometime soon.