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

 -  Horror  -  10 March 1989 (Italy)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 3,559 users  
Reviews: 66 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.

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Writers:

(dialogue: English version), (story), 6 more credits »
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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Father Gus
...
Evan
Feodor Chaliapin Jr. ...
The Bishop (as Feodor Chaliapin)
Barbara Cupisti ...
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:

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

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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

In total the film had eight writers, both credited and uncredited, who worked on the script. 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 »


Soundtracks

Civil Wars
Written by Philip Glass
Performed by "The Goblins"
See more »

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User Reviews

Not quite the sum of its parts. Excellent pedigree but disappoints.
8 October 2006 | by (England) – See all my reviews

On paper, "The Church" appears to have a winning formula. Its pedigree consists of direction by Argento protégé Michael ("Dellamorte Dellamore") Soavi, input from the master, Dario Argento, in both writer and producer roles, a soundtrack by the likes of Goblin and Keith Emerson, and a capable cast.

Despite this, the film is a hesitant recommendation. For me, it doesn't quite gel. It's a little like "Demons" but without the cheesy charm and outrageous pace (it comes as little surprise that this film was almost named "Demons 3"). I didn't expect a brilliant plot but the film is genuinely clunky and makes the unforgivable error of actually losing tension and descending into boredom territory. I found myself clock watching at more than one interval during the proceedings. There are some excellent set-pieces, though, the best of which uses a simple windscreen to glorious effect. Also, fans of rubbery demons (of which I count myself as one) will not be disappointed.

Despite the talent involved, the soundtrack manages to be a little overpowering and repetitive.

Turning to the cast, Asia Argento fans will be able to see her in one of her earliest roles, before she became one of cinemas true "bad girls". The excellent Hugh Quarshie (genre fans will know him as the immortal Kastagir from "Highlander" and Panaka from the dreadful "Phantom Menace" but UK television viewers will know him as Ric Griffin from "Holby City") is a solid lead.

The film's worth watching if you're a fan of Italian supernatural horror. It's not for everybody, though. Aside from "Suspiria", "Demons" is probably a stronger bet for the newcomer than this offering. As a little Jedi would say, "Strong visuals alone do not good films make!"


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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