THE CHURCH Holy ter­ror

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! 1989 | 18 | Blu-ray/dVd

Di­rec­tor Michele soavi Cast Hugh Quarshie, To­mas arana, Feodor Chali­apin Jr

Helmed by Dario Ar­gento’s reg­u­lar as­sis­tant di­rec­tor, this bat­sarse Ital­ian hor­ror’s main ac­com­plish­ment is to lo­cate its pneu­matic drill sui­cide and goat de­mon-hump­ing in Budapest’s Matthias Church, a stun­ning ex­am­ple of 14th cen­tury gothic. True, the most out­landish se­quences were shot on a sound­stage re­pro­duc­tion, but you still won­der how the hell they got away with it.

The plot, such as it is, sees an in­fec­tion of evil re­leased af­ter some­one un­corks the mass grave of witches on which the build­ing was built. Cue some eye-pop­pingly sac­ri­le­gious se­quences – like an or­gias­tic tableau of writhing corpses ris­ing from the church’s floor.

Shame the work-of-many­hands script is such a mess. The role of pro­tag­o­nist keeps chang­ing hands, and grue­some set­piece deaths elicit no re­ac­tion. At times it’s like watch­ing a film where they ran out of money be­fore they could shoot all the con­nec­tive scenes. Still, there’s some­thing brac­ing about watch­ing a film that causes you to splut­ter things like, “Where did that de­cap­i­tated head sud­denly come from?!”

Ex­tras A de­cent in­ter­view with di­rec­tor Michele Soavi (25 min­utes) tack­les top­ics such as script prob­lems, the lo­ca­tions and the mu­sic. Ian Berri­man

A scene in which a woman em­braces a winged de­mon was in­spired by Boris Vallejo paint­ing “The Vam­pire’s Kiss”.

It was an odd edi­tion of Songs Of Praise.

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