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Old 1st February 2017, 04:43 PM
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Default The Church (1989)

The Church (1989)

A group of worshippers and a wedding party are trapped in a cathedral when the new librarian is possessed by the spirits of devil worshippers, massacred centuries before and buried beneath the building.

Originally slated to complete Lamberto Bava's Demons series, ths was handed over to fellow Italian director Michele Soavi. Opening with a medieval witch hunt, the story jumps forward in time to the present day where Thomas Arana is studying the fiendish mechanical devices the architect installed as the church was being constructed on the mass grave of the supposed Satanists to prevent malevolent spirits escaping.


The Church is a stylishly gruesome film with a confused narrative that often doesn't make sense. I have no idea if this is the fault of the script or some poor editing but i suggest a bit of both especially in one scene where an elderly couple are looking at a large bell then the next scene the woman is banging her husbands severed head against said bell making it chime.

The film seems much influenced by it's producer and co-writer, Dario Argento, especially with it's inventively gory deaths, lavishly surreal set pieces and lashings of religious hokum, yet it is also these reasons that the film yields greater rewards with repeat viewings.

The imagery on offer is simply superb. The medieval witch hunt is downright nasty especially the burial of the bodies, not all who are dead i might add, under lime as the church foundations are laid. This of course is just the beginning. As the evil under the church is woken from it's sleep the film becomes a brilliant macabre classic. Naturally there's strong gore but the Gothic atmosphere offered up by Soavi is thick with foreboding. From captivating sequences such as the winged demon with a naked woman wrapped inside it's wings to the final set piece as the bodies rise from the grave as one in a seething, malignant alter of human sacrifice. Soavi defines modern Gothic horror to a tee.


There are one or two vocal protesters who claim The Church is boring. I truly don't see this at all. It's a film i've seen countless times and not once has it felt tired. Yes, the build up is quite stately once we enter the modern day but it's deliberate as Soavi allows the atmosphere and characterization to slowly unfold before the viewers eyes.

The church itself is Matthias Church in Budapest, Hungary. A magnificent Catholic building in the heart of Buda and the location folks should be congratulated on their choice as should Keith Emerson, Philip Glass and Argento favourites Goblin who together contribute a beautifully eerie score that complements the striking visuals.

All this and i haven't mentioned the Frankenfish or the Goat of Mendes who takes a sexual sacrifice for it's pleasure.

Terrific stuff!

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Old 1st February 2017, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demdike@Cult Labs View Post

There are one or two vocal protesters who claim The Church is boring.
I'm one of them.
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Old 1st February 2017, 09:19 PM
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I'm one of them.
The Church...........Please DO NOT REWIND................

(Ball's I hate DVD's).........
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Old 1st February 2017, 10:00 PM
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The Church...........Please DO NOT REWIND................

(Ball's I hate DVD's).........
The Church.......One viewing will turn you into an atheist for life.
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Old 1st February 2017, 10:03 PM
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The Church.......I cannot believe IT'S NOT BUTTER........

I really think im running out now.....
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Old 1st February 2017, 10:04 PM
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It's not the tag line competition you clowns.
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Old 2nd February 2017, 06:15 AM
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I love the scene where the cross falls down. Reminds me of The Keep.
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Old 2nd February 2017, 07:58 PM
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Excellent review, Demdike. It makes me want to rewatch the film ASAP.
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Old 10th May 2017, 04:00 PM
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This is the last Shameless dvd I bought recently and still really enjoyed it very atmospheric and dark as I remember it from first seeing it years ago.
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Old 10th May 2017, 09:15 PM
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Ah,
"You haven't got a prayer...!"

Happy days....or nights, can't really tell I'm trapped in a bleedin' church inn I?

Opening with some super slaughter, we settle into a rather odd disaster movie, I've always felt
Features my favourite daemonic sex scene.
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