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The Church (1989)

La chiesa (original title)
R | | Horror | 10 March 1989 (Italy)
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.

Director:

Writers:

(dialogue: English version), (story and screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Father Gus
...
Evan
...
The Bishop (as Feodor Chaliapin)
...
Lisa
Antonella Vitale ...
Bridal Model
Giovanni Lombardo Radice ...
Reverend
...
Roberto Caruso ...
Freddie
Roberto Corbiletto ...
Hermann, the Sacristan
Alina De Simone ...
Lottie's Mother
Olivia Cupisti ...
Mira
Gianfranco De Grassi ...
The Accuser
Claire Hardwick ...
Joanna
Lars Jorgenson ...
Bruno
John Karlsen ...
Heinrich
Edit

Storyline

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 <nebiros@informador.com.mx>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It will make you squirm. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

10 March 1989 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Church  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (R-rated)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The design for the lizard-demon-gargoyle creature is taken from a infamous 1600s wood-carving depicting a man selling his soul to the devil. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Hermann, the Sacristan: [to Lottie] Filthy liar! Here we'll wash your mouth out with soap, here!
Lottie's Mother: Don't make me wait for those onions Hermann
See more »

Connections

Version of The Treasure of Abbot Thomas (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Imagination
Written and Performed by Simon Boswell
Courtesy of Greetings Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
It's a visual stunner!
20 October 2005 | by (Brentwood, USA) – See all my reviews

After making the excellent slasher Deliria (1987), director Michele Soavi collaborated with genre master Dario Argento to produce this above-average tale of demonic evils.

Church constructed upon the mass grave of some medieval witches begins to unleash demons upon its subjects.

Soavi gives La Chiesa such great visual style and inventive direction that it becomes one of the most beautifully atmospheric Italian horror films out there. The storyline falls short at times with some thin plotting, but there isn't a dull moment in this surreal journey. It's a solidly well made film, with some nice special effects, slick cinematography, and colorful imagery. There's a number of dream like scenes in the film and a few unforgettably shocking ones, like the subway escape scene.

Goblin and Keith Emerson provides a unique and beautiful music score that's downright powerful.

The cast also helps to carry the film. Attractive Tomas Arana and Barbara Cupisti make for good leads. Argento's daughter Asia Argento appears as a youngster in the film. The supporting cast is also in good form, despite the English dubbing.

All around, La Chiesa is a great European horror film, especially seen in a technical light or just for style. But horror genre fans will find plenty to enjoy as well.

*** 1/2 out of ****


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