The Church


My final review for Italian Horror Week is the 1989 horror film by director Michele Soavi called The Church (also known as The Cathedral of Demons or Demon Cathedral). This film is the official second sequel to Demons but Soavi insisted that this film be a stand alone film and have no continuancy to the other 2 films in the Demoni series and therefore the 1991 horror film Demons 3 otherwise known to us as Black Demons is usually incorrectly considered to be the second sequel in the Demoni series but isn't. 

The film stars Tomas Arana who starred in such films like The Last Temptation of Christ and Tombstone and most recently The Dark Knight Rises and the upcoming Marvel/Disney film Guardians of the Galaxy. Hugh Quashire who many will remember him from Star Wars Episode 1 as Captain Panaka. And a beautiful looking teenager at the time (14 when filmed) Asia Argento whose definitely no stranger to her fathers films as she has starred in numerous films of his, most recently being his Dracula 3D film.

I hold this film in a high regard cause its one of the few films that I found when I was 12 years old and using my paper route money cause at the time it was the only job a kid my age could really have and I remember it fondly as I found this film, Re-Animator, The Video Dead and a few other vHS tapes at the local flea market for under a buck, sadly those tapes never survived the constant moves in my life but soon I found them on dvd or blu ray as the years progressed and had them replaced. 

The films starts off in midevial times where knights set off and kill an entire village of "witches" and then bury their bodies and build a church over top of them burial site. The film jumps to present day where the churches new librarian finds a seal thats over top of the buried witches and he opens it out of curiosity of his ownself and releases the evil that was trapped inside the burial site of the witches. The librarian becomes possessed by the evil and even though he tries to attempt to contact someone he becomes too far gone that he hallucinates that he is ripping his own heart from his body. 

Its after the church's cook becomes possessed and after attempting to attack Father Gus, he makes a mad dash toward the cellar of the church where he kills himself with a jackhammer to gut the movement of the iackhammer touches the seal and causes the churches mechanical lock that were placed in case of the evil becoming freed begin to lock the church down. Trapping everyone from a group school students on a trip, a young and elderly couple and a wedding dress photo shoot group inside.

Death surely follows after this as the evil presence slowly takes control over certain people. Killing them in gory matters and ways, decapitated heads being banged against a church bell, a death via subway train gives new meaning to the word smushed and why meth heads scratch and claw at their flesh is a way one female character is killed.

Father Gus the only one not affected by the evil figures out a way to bring the church down on itself as a way to reseal the hole, but upon doing this dies himself. The sole survivor of the whole film is Lotte (Asia Argento) who at the end of the film as a tour is being done explaining the churches collapse, she explores the ruins only to find the seal and she opens it. A blue light surrounds her and it ends with her having a shit eating smile on her face.

Soavi has referred to the Demons series as "Pizza Schlock". Also 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. Now this film to me is one of my favorites and I am glad that I got to end my run this week with it. I had some fun with the movies I watched and reviewed for everyone. Hopefully I get asked back for next year but til then friends I will see you at this years Italian Splatterfest at the Colonial in August!

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