THE CHURCH Holy terror
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.