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The Church (1988)

Hugh Quarshie , Tomas Arana , Michele Soavi  |  R |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Hugh Quarshie, Tomas Arana, Feodor Chaliapin Jr., Barbara Cupisti, Antonella Vitale
  • Directors: Michele Soavi
  • Writers: Michele Soavi, Dardano Sacchetti, Dario Argento, Fabrizio Bava, Franco Ferrini
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: February 19, 2002
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005RYLA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #233,636 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Church" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Michele Soavi biography

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

In medieval Europe, crusading knights massacre a village full of suspected devil worshippers and build a large gothic church above the cursed remains. It is now present day, and this elaborate cathedral still stands. But when its sealed crypt is accidentally reopened, a group of people trapped inside the church become possessed by the fury of the damned. Can the blood of the innocent survive this unholy communion or will the ultimate demonic evil be unleashed upon the world?

The Church was co-written and produced by maestro Dario Argento (Suspiria) and sealed the reputation of director Michele Soavi (Stagefright, Cemetery Man) as the new master of Italian horror. Originally known as Demons 3, this visually stunning shocker co-stars Tomas Arana (Gladiator) and Asia Argento, features a remarkable score by Goblin and Keith Emerson, and is now presented uncut, uncensored and fully restored from original vault materials.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish and Odd October 24, 2004
Format:DVD
This is a great atmospheric, gothic horror film with a bit of gore to spice things up. There's not much going on as far as plot is concerned. We have a prologue showing a group of Templars massacreing a supposedly Satannically obsessed pack of villagers, and then building a cathedral over top of the burial ground. Fast forward to the modern day, where a demonic curse is released by an overly curious librarian, leading to havoc and the trapping of a number of individuals within the cathedral. That's about the short and long of it. People are possessed by demons, demons run amuck, the cathedral is shot ominously, it's all rainy, characters do little but release demons/be possessed by demons/be killed by demons etc. The plot doesn't much matter, and Soavi doesn't let it get in the way of the good stuff.

This has got some really good production values, and the acting is generally quite good by the standards of this sort of fare.(I particularly the librarian, during the day after he was possessed, but before things really go crazy.) Virtually all the performances are acceptable, at the very least, with the exception of the whiny old man, who is very annoying. I'm not as impressed by the demon effects as some are. Personally, I think they are simultaneously quite impressive technically, and a bit hokey in design. However, they are given a minimum of screen time, and work pretty well when used in such a manner. The gore is generally very well executed, with the exception of the decapitation in the opening scene, which is a bit weak. The highlight is, obviously, the suicide by Jackhammer. A hideous concept executed beautifully.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making Church Fun April 5, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Being a fan of Argento's works, I will say upfront that my views are slightly skewed in his favor. Still, this work, teaming Argento with Michele Soavi, is something of a favorite of mine. As viewers, we find ourselves introduced to a church that was, in times past, erected to contain the pesky menace of its vengeful, longtime occupants. To illustrate this, we get a lovely sequence showing the seeming slaughter and subsequent burial of all an entire village. It looks like brutality at its finest at first, but then, as hands grasp at those who try to trap the damned here, the crusaders seem to have found more than they can handle. So, how do you handle this? Why, seal it up and build a church on it, of course! Fastforwarding to the future, the church and its guarded secret is threatened and, of course, unleashed upon those unlucky enough to be trapped inside. Of course, this leads to an ending most befitting.
This film brims with an eerie atmosphere that, most deservedly, helped gain Soavi a reputation as an excellent filmmaker, plus it has some nice Darioesque qualities as well. Asia Argento is here, just begging to become victimized by yet another manifestation of evil, and Goblin gives us another work of art. Combining these qualities with the fact that even the subway, a normally defunct "roadblock" at best, finds itself an unlikely killing machine, I'd have to recommend it as something to use to tuck the children in.
Strengthening the family ties with the fear of demonic possession, that's the trait of a loving parent. Buy it today!
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Was I the only one who gave this a chance? March 29, 2002
Format:DVD
I don't know why so many people chose to ignore this movie. While I love Fulci and Argento, many critics of Church consider mediocre efforts such as New York Ripper, Phenomena, and Demons to be "Italian Horror Classics". This movie makes those films look like boring puddles of puke.
Sure, there are things wrong with this movie, but I've made a list of reasons why this deserves to be a classic:
1. The church itself is amazing! While many "Catholic Metaphysics" horror films come off as un-researched and exaggerated, this movie seems truly authentic.
2. The style of this film, worked by director Michele Soavi, has the same level of atmospheric moodiness that made movies like "The Beyond" and "Suspiria" classics. Any time you can make the day seem creepy you've done something right.
3. ... horror movies ... because if they aren't plain cheesy, they lack anything distinct and memorable that you could recall ten minutes after watching. (example: New York Ripper)
This film is LOADED with all sorts of creative and twisted gags, I can't even remember all the things that stood out to me while I watched it.
4. It has a crazy score by Goblin (for those uninitiated, sorry)
5. The subject matter and subtle historical references are intriguing and mostly accurate. (I never knew anything about alchemy or Fulcanelli, but now i'm scouring the internet for it)
6. Most "we're trapped in the haunted house" movies reduce themselves to frantic pandemonium reminiscent of the end of "Project X". Soavi shows incredible restraint in using body counts, gore, or cheap predictable pops to maintain the action.
(Although there is gore, and creative gore at that, it doesn't become a crutch)
7. This movie has total party value.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Gateway To Hell
I waited forever it seems like for this to come out on DVD, but it was worth the wait. Another Italian horror movie that has great special effects and lots of gore. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Larry G. Boyle
5.0 out of 5 stars The Church vs bad reviews
Steadily unwrapping the film from it's package, the urge to submerge myself into an Italian GORE FEST. The bad reviews on "The Church" make no sense. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Larry David
4.0 out of 5 stars classic
If you like these types of movies then I would recommend purchasing and watching it for your enjoyment. Great watching material.
Published 12 months ago by rdavey
5.0 out of 5 stars unappreciated classic
The Church is a wonderful work collaborated by Dario Argento that is not given its due respect for its originality and cinematography. Read more
Published 24 months ago by fibertech81
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must See Italian Horror Film
If you even have the slightest interest in horror (especially Italian Horror) Then you HAVE to see this film. Read more
Published on April 6, 2009 by R.A. Cervantes
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent Italian Horror Flick
In present day Rome, an ambitious cathedral librarian unearths a demonic plague trapped in the ground by knights in medieval times. Read more
Published on January 8, 2009 by Monty Moonlight
3.0 out of 5 stars Soavi in 1989 > Argento in 1989.
La Chiesa (Michele Soavi, 1989)

Michele Soavi's Dellamorte Dell'Amore remains one of the best horror-comedies of all time, so when I got a chance to see one of his... Read more
Published on October 10, 2008 by Robert Beveridge
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite good and bizarre Italian horror flick!
In the medieval ages, christian knights massacred a possessed village and buried all the folks who worshipped Satan to a large burial ground. Read more
Published on January 31, 2008 by John Lindsey
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent movie mostly saved by the visual side
The Church is the 2nd feature film from director Michele Soavi who was dubbed as the savior to Italian horror. Soavi came around when Italian horror was on its last legs. Read more
Published on October 31, 2007 by Dave. K
3.0 out of 5 stars Raped by the devil...the devil sucks in bed.
I'm not gonna lie...the ONLY reason i ordered this is because i seen a preview on cemetary man showing this naked woman being violated by a full prosthetic application... Read more
Published on August 8, 2007 by Michael J. Todd
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