The Church (1989)
"La chiesa" (original title)

R  |   |  Horror  |  10 March 1989 (Italy)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 3,952 users  
Reviews: 68 user | 49 critic

An old Gothic cathedral, built over a mass grave, develops strange powers which trap a number of people inside with ghosts from a 12th Century massacre seeking to resurrect an ancient demon from the bowels of the Earth.



(dialogue: English version), (story), 6 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Father Gus
Feodor Chaliapin Jr. ...
The Bishop (as Feodor Chaliapin)
Antonella Vitale ...
Bridal Model
Giovanni Lombardo Radice ...
Roberto Caruso ...
Roberto Corbiletto ...
Hermann, the Sacristan
Alina De Simone ...
Lottie's Mother
Olivia Cupisti ...
Gianfranco De Grassi ...
The Accuser
Claire Hardwick ...
Lars Jorgenson ...
John Karlsen ...


A church is built during medieval times on top of a pile of dead bodies that were considered possessed. Hundreds of years later a young librarian unleashes the evil within, by removing a rock in the catacombs. Series of events occur meanwhile, everybody just does not seem to be the same. Father Gus is the only one not possessed, he must save the city from becoming a pandemonium, he must find the ancient secret of the church so it can crumble to pieces. Written by Nebiros <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In this unholy sanctuary you haven't got a prayer ... See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| | |

Release Date:

10 March 1989 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Church  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (R-rated)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Originally, Soavi and Argento wanted to shoot the movie in the Lorenzkirche of Nuremberg (Germany), and even did some test shots there. However, it was abandoned because the town of Nuremberg didn't wanted a horror movie to be shot there. See more »


When Father Gus, as a recreational archer, is using a bow to shoot at a target, he is not wearing a wrist guard. This is a painful mistake even a beginner would only make once. See more »


Father Gus: [after a huge fish like demon is attacking the male model] MY GOD! What's going on here?
See more »


Referenced in Do You Like Hitchcock? (2005) See more »


Written by Philip Glass
Performed by Martin Goldray
See more »

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User Reviews

Visually impressive, but ...
7 June 2002 | by (Croatia) – See all my reviews

This work o Michele Soavi looks like stilistic exercise - plot is pretty weak but camera work is simply AMAZING! Movie contains one of the best steadycam and crane shots I've ever seen! But poor story definitely does not improve entire impression...

Anyway, mood, atmosphere and stunning camera work are really remarkable and worth seeing and that keeps movie from falling down.

Still, Dellamorte Dellamore is the best Soavi's movie I've seen although camera work here is much better.


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