Schlocktoberfest 666 – Day 29: The Church


The Church (1989)


*Spoilers Throughout*

the-church-posterWhat’s It About: The demons (re: Demons and Demons 2) are back AGAIN… sort of. There really aren’t that many demons. Like 1 1/2. And they don’t really do anything besides bone some lady. It’s… pretty bad. 

Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:

  • I should really enjoy this picture. I’ve been inside a church like two or three times!
  • So this was supposed to be Demons 3, but the director was all, “Fuck that.” and Dario Argento was like, “Ok.”
  • Why is the guy knights follow to some strange place always some hunchbacked weirdo?
  • Usually movie witches are either total hags or total babes, but these witches are in between. 
  • I guess you can tell a witch by the crosses on the soles of their feet. I don’t really get that, shouldn’t it be like pentagrams or a goat’s face or an Iron Maiden cover or something? These knights have crosses all over their uniforms, but that’s ok? Maybe I don’t understand crosses, so hopefully this movie will teach me. 
  • It’s always weird seeing bare boobs on an actress who’s alive in real life but her character is dead. Mixed feelings. But not too mixed…
  • Speaking of arousing, the person wearing the basket on their face isn’t arousing suspicion? Well, a goose suspects, but no one cares what a goose thinks, since they’re nature’s biggest asshole. 
  • Oh hey I think Basketface is a young Asia Argento. She was also in Demons 2. I thought nepotism was punishable by crucifixion in Italy?
  • Oh hey that chick was in Stage Fright.
  • Oh hey “Church” kind of sounds like “Cheech.”
  • So the chick from Stage Fright is Lisa and she is I guess an fresco restorer working in the basement of the church. Evan is her librarian lover. There’s a dickhead father. A priest, not your dad. And also a dickhead father. Asia Argento’s dad. Not Dario, a character in the movie. I don’t know if Dario Argento is a dickhead. 
  • Evan is trying to tell Lisa about the mysterious parchment she found, but she acts like she could give a shit. I’m right there with her. 
  • Three nuns in church on a hot day decide to remove their robes because of the heat. Not an unusual habit on a hot day. So about a half hour later, the door bell rings while their robes are slumped over pews clear across the huge chapel.

    They ask who it is. “The blind man,” a voice replies.

    The three nuns decide to simply open the door because the man is blind. He walks in, looks at the nuns and says, “Nice tits! Where do you want me to install these blinds?” 

  • Oh hey Father Gus is played by the one sensible character in The Phantom Menace. Captain Panera, or Baraka, or Shakma, or something.

    Yeah that's the guy. I wonder which movie he looks back on more proudly?

    Yeah that’s the guy. I wonder which movie he looks back on more proudly?

  • Never read from an old tome you found in a church. 
  • Wow after the witch slaughtering opener this movie is now as dull as a Tuesday afternoon sermon. 
  • Invisible ghost horse!
  • The head priest at a church was out for the day, so he asked the deacon to do confession for him.  The deacon agrees, and the first person that comes says, “Forgive me, for I just gave a guy a blow job.” He says, “You have sinned.”

    Then the deacon looks at the sheet on the wall that had punishments for certain sins on it, but blow job was not on there, so he went out to ask one of the altar boys what the head priest usually gives for a blow job. The altar boy answers, “Oh, about five dollars.” 

  • Random scene of Father Gus doing archery. You know, I bet that comes into play later. [ed.: Nope, it never does]
  • Spinal Tap’s stage production of “Stonehenge” has more creepy atmosphere than this demon movie. 
  • Well now this numbnuts Evan is going to open the sealed witch tomb.
  • So Evan is turning into a demon just because he scratched himself on the tomb. So he rips his own heart out and holds it up to the red sky. I look forward to getting back to more sensible storytelling after this month. 
  • A window breaks in Lisa’s bedroom. She runs and calls the cops. Runs outside and the cops are there, in literally like 6 seconds. She yells that a monster attacked her. I saw no such monster. Rewinding it I did, but it’s very quick.
  • Holy shit Evan is typing a bunch of 6s this is way scarier than The Shining
  • Asia Argento’s character is named Lotte. Like the drink, but spelled different. 
  • Anyway, demon Evan is trying to molest her, and she’s like 13. 
  • Wow that demon mask was on par with Troll 2
  • A married couple wants to take pictures in The Church. Father Gus says ok, but “Go easy on the flash.” Why? Is he tired from all that running?
  • Lotte’s dad impaled itself on a jackhammer, I guess. And that set off some kind of ancient Rube Goldberg machine. Which is ironic since he was Jewish. 
  • I guess that just closed the front door? And it was the only door? Demonshit!
  • Jesus H. Christ how about some god damn demons already?
  • Oh. There’s a demon with garbage bags for wings. 
    This costume looks like something a frat guy would throw together the morning of a Halloween party. And he'd still get laid just like this!

    This costume looks like something a frat guy would throw together the morning of a Halloween party. And he’d still get laid just like this!

  • So a school group is also trapped in the church. Their teacher gets impaled through the throat by Lotte’s dad, then the very next scene is the kids acting bored. I guess she wasn’t well-liked. 
  • This movie is a stupid mess. So pretty much on par with most Italian horror I’ve seen. I’m sorry, it’s true.
  • Sooooo Father Gus and the old priest who runs the place are on an open air piazza at the top of the church, can they not get down from there somehow??
  • There’s also some kind of motorcycle couple, the woman falls down a hole and gets splattered by a subway train. Ok, so there’s yet another way out. 
  • Barely visible bare breasts!
  •  Four nuns were standing in line at the gates of heaven. Peter asks the first if she has ever sinned. “Well, once I looked at a man’s penis,” she says. Peter motions to a basin full of holy water and said, “Put some of this holy water on your eyes and you may enter heaven.” Peter then asks the second nun if she had ever sinned. “Well, once I held a man’s penis,” she replies. “Put your hand in this holy water and you may enter heaven,” he says. Just then the fourth nun pushed ahead of the third nun. Peter asks her, “Why did you push ahead in line?” She says, “Because I want to gargle before she sits in it!” 
  • And now here’s a scene from Rosemary’s Baby

    Now that’s one adorable demon. He’s even smiling! He must be enjoying himself, the scamp.

  • Also, there’s not one window that opens? They can’t smash one of the ugly stained glass windows? Everyone’s whining about getting out, but nobody’s trying anything!
  • So Lotte has a flashback to her past life, and explains everything, but also explains absolutely nothing. 
  • I have no idea what happened to all the school kids. They’re just not around anymore. 
  • Long story short, the church collapsed. Nothing much ever happened. What a god damn waste of time. 

Scare Level: If you’re deeply, deeply religious, you’ll probably be thinking that the architecture of the church is pretty nice, but it’s not scary.

Gore Level: A few gory moments, but aside from some witch decapitations in the beginning, the fence through the throat, the bride ripping her own face off, and the jackhammer through the chest, this was much lighter in the gore department than its spiritual antecedents.

Nudity Level: Some light boobing when Lisa gets intimate with a studly demon.

Best Line: After a long, dry sermon, the minister announced that he wished to meet with the church board following the close of the service. The first man to arrive and greet the minister was a total stranger. “You misunderstood my announcement. This is a meeting of the board members,” explained the minister. “I know,” said the man, “but if there is anyone here more bored than I am, then I’d like to meet him.” 

Best Scene: I guess the jackhammer impalement and Rube Goldberg follow-up? That was… something, I suppose.

Worst Scene: Again, like Demons and Demons 2, there’s a group of punks, and they have literally nothing to do with anything. But this time they’re not punks, they’re school children, who are punks in a different way. They’re inside when the shit goes down, and have a couple of scenes where they either cry or make fun of people, right after their teacher was brutally murdered, and then they’re never referred to again. You see one kid’s body, I guess, at the end like encased in sheet plastic, for some reason. It’s never addressed.

Level of Hell: An utter and complete waste of time. Some nice visuals, but much better movies also have nice visuals. At this point using Dario Argento’s name was more of a marketing gimmick.


Overall: Wow, did I hate this. It’s such a mess and so many things go absolutely nowhere that I honestly thought I was watching some kind of heavily edited and truncated version of it, but turns out I wasn’t. The one I watched was the full 110-minute “unrated” version. There is a 102-minute R-rated version as well, and somehow it must be even worse. Although maybe they trimmed just enough nonsense to help with the overall story, but that would be a fucking miracle. And it’s puzzling, because the director, Michele Soavi, directed Stage Fright before this, which was pretty good, and Cemetery Man not long after, which is great. He also directed The Devil’s Daughter, not to be confused with To the Devil a Daughter. Then that was it for him in the Italian horror genre, just like this movie will be the last Italian horror film I’ll ever watch in my lifetime because it was so terrible. Well, that’s probably not true, but I’m taking a break for a decade at least. Although to Soavi’s credit, visually it looked good. Except for the garbage bag wings.

Score: 1 Way Out of the Church Aside from the Many Other Ways (out of 10)

One thought on “Schlocktoberfest 666 – Day 29: The Church

  1. Pingback: Schlocktoberfest 666: Recap of the Beast! | Hard Ticket to Home Video

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