Monday, July 24, 2006

The Church (1989)

Originally titled Demons 3, The Church was produced by Dario Argento and directed by Michele Soavi (who later would direct Cemetery Man. This film starts off strong, but after the first opening scene it kinda just dawdles along. While this does hurt the film a bit, I believe this is still one original flick worth watching.

It begins in the 13th century, with the Knights Templar wiping out a village of pagans. They bury all the bodies in a gigantic pit, and decide to build a cathedral atop the mass grave to keep the evil at bay. Flash forward to present day, where the cathedral still stands. Unfortunately, the cathedral is undergoing some renovation, which reopens the the crypt where the evil dead are buried. A bunch of people (including an old couple, a young couple, a group of school kids, a model and her photographers, and the priests) get trapped in the cathedral as one by one they become possessed and turn into demons (much like the movie Demons, duh).

It's all good and fun, but the middle of the movie just drags...The different characters don't feel like they are developed enough and it took a while for anything to happen. There were some pretty cool concepts, like the fact that the architect of the building built a device that would lock down the cathedral if the crypt was opened. And the gore was pretty good. Soavi also included memorable and haunting images when the cathedral goes into lockdown mode. The surreal, creepy images, the creative use of gore and the original story make up for the fact that this film loses some "oomphf" near the middle.

Good to watch on a hot summer day with a Bloody Mary in hand.

Order it on Amazon!

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