6.2/10
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88 user 92 critic

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:

Michele Soavi

Writers:

Dario Argento (story), Franco Ferrini (story) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

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

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 want a horror movie to be shot there. 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

Joanna: Where the fuck have you been? I've been looking all over for you.
Bruno: Joanna we have to get out of here.
Joanna: Well what are we waiting for, huh?
See more »

Alternate Versions

All videos for The Church in the USA come in two formats: R Rated or Unrated/Uncut. There are mistakes on all boxes and tapes about the running times: All videotapes and boxes say 110 minute running time on the back cover and 102 minute running time on the cassette no matter if its the rated R version or the 110 minute unrated version. It will correctly state on the box & tape that it is rated or uncut/unrated. See more »

Connections

Featured in Dario Argento: Master of Horror (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

 
It's a visual stunner!
20 October 2005 | by Nightman85See 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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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian | Hungarian | Latin

Release Date:

10 March 1989 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Church See more »

Filming Locations:

Budapest, Hungary See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (R-rated)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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