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View Full Version : Michele Soavi's The Church, terrible!


Surge92
02-01-2001, 11:23 PM
Hehe. It's by no means an upbeat, suspense laden film like say "Stagefright" but I thought it was cool and I'd buy it on DVD. There is a lot of neat imagery (goat headed devil, winged demon) in it, but I will admit that some of the scenes, especially when the people get locked inside the church, do get drawn out. I've only seen parts of "Cemetary Man" but from what everyone says, it must be great.

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"I could easily kill you now, but I'm determined to have your brain!"

--- Dr. Abrero in "Dr. Butcher M.D."
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Oogie Boogie
02-02-2001, 06:55 AM
I just watched Michele Soavi's The Church for the 1st time, and man is that a boring, uneven, uncomprehensible piece o'! Don't get me wrong, I love Dellamorte Dellamore and always will, but this film, presented and partially written by Dario Argento, is top of the line yawn! it's not frightening, it's simply, on all levels, badly done. The only cool thing WAS the church, and that got so little attention! instead we're dulled to nausea with a transparent plot line involving two boring fools and a suprisingly good Asia argento as a little girl who hates being home. Over acted, over written and over rated! I sought this out, only to be let down!
PLEASE NOTE: no hostility please, I have simply made an observation, and this is my (god forsaken, I'm sure) opinion. I am entitled to one, and am sharing this in hopes of getting your intelligent opinion in response. thanks http://www.horrordvds.com/forum/smile.gif

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"Angel to some, demon to others"

[This message has been edited by Oogie Boogie (edited 02-01-2001).]

Peter Vincent
02-14-2002, 06:24 PM
I'm livening up this old ass, "dead" topic to find out your opinions on The Church & lay on me, a guy who's never saw it but wants to further his Euro horror experiences, your opinions on this flick!

1st off I do like the Demon movies & according to AB's synopsis, this was even called Demons 3 at one point! Also, Soavi's Dellamore Dellamorte is a movie I can't wait to come out on Region 1 (if it ever does), needless to say I like that too!.....will I like this flick?!?!? Hook me up with the 411 fellas!!!
If its anything like the Demon movies, I'd buy it on the spot!

http://www.anchorbayentertainment.com/files/013131174892.jpg

Nice cover by the way!!!!

mazzariniuk
02-14-2002, 07:29 PM
for THE CHURCH is terrific, AB did themselves proud using the image from the Italian Locandina.

bruce h
02-14-2002, 07:34 PM
I'll agree The Church is a bit too slow for it's own good but I don't think it's nearly as bad as the above posts make it sound. Soavi is very adept at composing a beautiful scene and visually the film is stunning, with several jaw-dropping camera set-ups that'll have any fan of gorgeous cinematography jumping for joy. It also has enough wild gore setpieces to satiate fans of the red, and I think the score is phenomenal.

I can't help but think that these posters that're calling it "badly done" haven't seen very many "badly done" films to compare it to. It stands head and shoulders above most genre films, but I'll be the first to agree it's pacing problems do hurt it and keep it from being a masterpiece.

ParmagentoCheez
02-14-2002, 07:37 PM
Originally posted by bruce h
I'll agree The Church is a bit too slow for it's own good but I don't think it's nearly as bad as the above posts make it sound. Soavi is very adept at composing a beautiful scene and visually the film is stunning, with several jaw-dropping camera set-ups that'll have any fan of gorgeous cinematography jumping for joy. It also has enough wild gore setpieces to satiate fans of the red, and I think the score is phenomenal.

I can't help but think that these posters that're calling it "badly done" haven't seen very many "badly done" films to compare it to. It stands head and shoulders above most genre films, but I'll be the first to agree it's pacing problems do hurt it and keep it from being a masterpiece.

yeah, what he said. :D the church is bad ass.

Paff
02-14-2002, 07:58 PM
Originally posted by Peter Vincent
I'm livening up this old ass, "dead" topic to find out your opinions on The Church & lay on me, a guy who's never saw it but wants to further his Euro horror experiences, your opinions on this flick!



If you don't mind waiting till this weekend or so, my review will be up pretty soon.

Here's the Cliffs Notes version of my review though: Great imagery, but more than a little lacking in the storyline.

Sure, I've seen better, but I've also seen a LOT worse...

Chris Peeples
02-14-2002, 09:48 PM
Well when I first watched The Church awhile ago I hated it,but after re-watching it I loved it.I really should have paid attention to the other things besides for the story that make this film great.I have enjoyed Soavis other work and this film secures Soavis place as a master filmaker.

Black_Mandarin
02-14-2002, 09:55 PM
I've always been very lukewarm on the Church. Its style always impressed me, but the story is a big bore. Theres far worse out there, but far better too, definitely doesnt really show the promise of how great Dellamorte/Dellamore would be.

AlkanFan
02-15-2002, 01:34 AM
The Church is a really cool movie, somewhat similar in spirit to the Demons films but with a lot cooler music by Philip Glass (the song Floe from his CD Glassworks is played throughout the knight sequence and the end of the film), Simon Boswell (Stagefright, Hackers), Keith Emerson (Inferno), and Goblin. If you liked Demons then chances are that you'll like this one.

Trout
02-15-2002, 01:50 AM
When I first saw this film I was expecting another demons type movie so I was a little let down, but it has grown on me in recent years. Now with the AB dvd, I actually enjoy this film quite a bit.

skinnypuppy6
02-15-2002, 03:44 AM
I thought the film was decent far from great but good:)

piggwinn
02-15-2002, 02:05 PM
I thought it was exellent but was somewhat dissapointed with Stage Fright. Dellamorte is Saovi's finest so far I think.

DefJeff
02-19-2002, 06:54 PM
so i finally saw this yesterday. i found this movie to be complete crap. im not a fan of the first 2 demons movies, but they are amazing compaired to this flick. the only thing this movie had going for it was a few decent gore shots. its cool to see these movies being released, but i wish i didnt pick this one up.
oh yea, that little girl (asia argento i think) looks like alyssa milano when she was young on whos the boss. :)

DavidHess
02-19-2002, 08:59 PM
Fiore Argento was HOT in this film. Dancing in the disco, climbing underneath the church, word up...

She can come and play in my library any time she wants.

skinnypuppy6
02-20-2002, 12:15 AM
Originally posted by DavidHess


Fiore Argento was HOT in this film. Dancing in the disco, climbing underneath the church, word up...

She can come and play in my library any time she wants. Fiore was in the movie too?? or are have you been sniffing glue again?http://www.unknown553.f2s.com/smilies/alcoholic2.gif

BlazingMagnum
02-20-2002, 12:39 AM
Wasn't Fiore dead by then?

I thought The Church was okay. It sure wasn't Stagefright though.
The opening scenes were beautiful, and it contained some awesome cinematography, but could have done with a few less screen-writers - 4 seems like too many, and the different styles only seem to have served to make the plot incomprehensible.

La Setta, and Dellamorte Dellamore are cool!

suspiria
02-20-2002, 01:14 AM
don't know what you guys have been sniffing but thats ASIA in The Church NOT Fiore!

i actually enjoyed The Church more so over Stagefright.. It was MUCH better visually IMHO and featured some really good atmosphere whereas Stagefrifght was very bland... I'm not much of a slasher fan but always LOVE Argento's giallos.. Stagefright was just plain stupid to me.. On many occasions the characters would just act stupid and do stupid things... eg. the show's director would just stand there while the killer cuts his arm of with the chainsaw... why didn't the director make an attempt to hit him with the damn axe his was carrying?!! dumb dumb dumb...

Paff
02-20-2002, 04:22 AM
Originally posted by BlazingMagnum
Wasn't Fiore dead by then?


Dead? Fiore Argento is very much alive...

DavidHess
02-20-2002, 04:57 AM
And I was sniffing glue, but that's not important.

skinnypuppy6
02-20-2002, 05:19 AM
Originally posted by DavidHess
And I was sniffing glue, but that's not important. ...sniffing glue "pays off".

Werner Von Wallenrod
02-20-2002, 07:48 AM
The Church rocks.

BlazingMagnum
02-20-2002, 03:40 PM
Dead? Fiore Argento is very much alive...


You're absolutely correct! - Appologies to Fiore.

Unfortunately, Anna was Dario's daughter - killed in a car accident.

mac-hammer-fan
03-09-2002, 07:50 PM
"The Church" was the only Michele Soavi movie that disappointed me. I admit it has some stylish parts but the story doesn't convince me. "Stagefright" is a better movie and "The Sect" and "Dellamorte Dellamore" are highly recommended.
:rolleyes:

suspiria
03-10-2002, 03:56 AM
i'm still uncertain about "Stagefright".. I'm a big Soavi fan and have seen all his films till Dellamorte Dellamore but I don't know what it is about Stagefright that I dislike..

I think its mainly the REALLY cheesy acting and soundtrack.. Its way to 80s and Soavi should have opted to make the film a little more timeless as does Argento rather than go for what was "cool" at the time... And some of the character's expressions and behavious are plain ridiculous...

DefJeff
03-10-2002, 04:42 AM
ah man, i loved the 80s ... i love 80s cheeziness too...

suspiria
03-10-2002, 04:44 AM
i dont hate the 80s but they sure are forgettable in many ways :-)

when it comes to film, i think a director should opt to make his film somewhat timeless and not so in with the times...

Lindane
03-10-2002, 10:22 AM
Amen Hess! Asia is a fucking goddess if Iv'e ever seen one! Absolute grade A, eye candy! She'll knock yo dick in the dirt. I enjoyed The Church very much! I have yet to be disappointed by a Soavi flick. Sure, it wasn't Dellamorte in the least but still man, Dellamorte is a fucking masterpiece. It's easily on my top 20.

MISFITZ
03-11-2002, 11:17 PM
I know "THE CHURCH" was 'gonna' be a 3rd DEMONS installment, but I hardly see how. It just doesn't seem to carry the same feel as the other DEMON movies. Yes people get trapped in a building and try to escape while people are transforming, but it didn't carry a 'DEMONS' feel to it.

The people looked more 'zombie' and hypnotic rather than a gory mess of teeth falling out and claws and shiny greasy skin!!

Seeing the demons in DEMONS, i grinned and cheered for them. I smiled and said "HELL YEAH" when that hooker's pimple/scratch popped and gushed out puss and ooze! Here in the CHURCH, it has a more religious battle feel than a gory ghoulfest.

I dunno. I'm glad it was never released here as Demons 3.

I like the CHURCH by the way. Though the musical 'burst' of chimes and keyboards seems to not fit at all in some scenes. LOL!!

DavidHess
03-14-2002, 06:03 AM
The Church doesn't fit into the Demons mold because it was directed by Soavi, who seemed very much caught up in the concepts of Falconetti mixed with religion and sexuality. While I enjoy Demons 1 and 2 and watch them repeatedly, I think I got the main concept of the films right from the start. After watching the AB dvd of The Church, I almost feel as if I need to digest the film a few more times before I can truly get everything.

Was Dellamorte Dellamore the usual Zombie film? Of course not, and why the hell should it? Soavi seems to have a very interesting and thoughful style that goes over people's heads.

EPKJ
06-21-2002, 02:48 AM
"Soavi seems to have a very interesting and thoughful style that goes over people's heads."

I have only seen Soave's first two films, Stagefright and The Church, but they are not over anyone's heads. They are bad films. I enjoy things in them because I am a fan of the genre, but, I nevertheless recognize that these two films are actually crap. What in Stagefright goes over my head? It certainly isn't the silly plot. It can't possibly be the terrible acting. So, what is it? Inquiring minds want to know. I will not comment on any of Soave's other films until I see them, but based on his first two, calling him the new master of Italian horror is an insult to Italians. It is akin to calling Joe Eszterhas the new Shakespeare!

suspiria
06-21-2002, 03:05 AM
you'll quickly be told to shut your mouth and stop being silly pal :) until you see Soavi's masterpiece "Dellamorte Dellamore" (aka. Cemetary Man) you should hold back your comments...

and while The Church, The Sect and StageFright may contain silly plot holes and crappy acting, is this not the case with the majority of EuroHorror? the bottom line with a Soavi film, as is the case with any Argento film, is the atmosphere and visuals... Dellamorte takes that a step up and inserts philosophical poetry into the equation...

skinnypuppy6
06-21-2002, 03:46 AM
see dellamorte dellamore then comment on Soavi

CJ
06-21-2002, 03:50 AM
I actually quite like The Church. Not Soavi's best work, admittedly, but still very good with plenty to recommend it.

It has a great gothic atmosphere to it and Soavi directs competently, if a little uninspired. There are some great gore set-pieces, though the film does suffer, as has already been said, by a rather lacklustre pacing.

Not nearly as bad as some would have you believe, but not a masterpiece either.
Essential viewing if you're a fan of Italian horror cinema though.

EPKJ
06-21-2002, 04:40 AM
"and while The Church, The Sect and StageFright may contain silly plot holes and crappy acting, is this not the case with the majority of EuroHorror?"

This is true, but the directors of these other films are not being hailed as the new master of Italian horror, are they?

The atmosphere and visuals in both Stagefright and The Church, the only two films of which I am writing, are lousy. The cinematography is terrible.

If one takes the first films of true masters such as Mario Bava and Dario Argento, one sees masterpieces. Both Black Sunday and Bird With The Crystal Plumage are superb films. Stagefright is a cheap slasher flick with no style at all.

EPKJ
06-21-2002, 04:47 AM
"see dellamorte dellamore then comment on Soavi"

I intend to buy it when it becomes available in Region 1, but, based on his first two films, I don't expect much. Further, a director must be judged on the entire body of his work, not just one great film. I loved A Clockwork Orange and Paths Of Glory, but Kubrick still made lousy films in The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut. I rate him an above average director, but his quality is too erratic to earn the title of great. Now, I am willing to reconsider Soavi based on later works, but, you must be willing to account for the crap he produced in his first two films.

crank
06-21-2002, 04:55 AM
While I'll grant you that Stagefright is a pretty silly afair, I can't even begin to see how you could say it has no style. Style is the one thing that movie has going for it, and the one thing that pulls it above being just a crappy slasher.

I won't even comment on "but Kubrick still made lousy films in The Shining". I'm sorry, but that is just ignorant.

I personally find The Church to be a bit slow at times, but overall it is a very dark and rewarding affair.

Also, how can your not liking Soavi's first two films somehow not make him the new face of Italian horror when you havn't seen his "Masterpiece". True, Bava and Argento pretty much shot right out of the gate, but what if you were having this conversation about Fulci in say, '65. He would have directed a few films at that point, even 10 years later, but he had yet to really break out. Or what if you'd only ever seen that Bava "girl bomb" movie with Vincent Price, but not seen his other work. You certainly wouldn't agree in his genius.

I think I'm done rambling now.

crank

EPKJ
06-21-2002, 04:55 AM
Please note that I actually enjoy both Stagefright and The Church in some ways. My problem is not really with Soavi. If he and these films had not been hyped so much, I would probably be less harsh. Stagefright is a bad film even for its genre, and its only redeeming quality is that it is unintentionally funny. The Church is actually an average film, and is a vast improvement over Stagefright. So, perhaps Soavi gets better, but, this does not excuse people fawning over his first two efforts as if they are brilliant.

Jog
06-21-2002, 04:59 AM
Originally posted by EPKJ
I loved A Clockwork Orange and Paths Of Glory, but Kubrick still made lousy films in The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut.

Ah, but after the amazing period contained within those films, was there anywhere to go but down? You should see The Killing too, if you haven't yet...

I thought Stagefright had nice cinematography. It was the overkill of 80's "style" that harmed it for me...

hell ya!
06-21-2002, 05:38 AM
I bought both Stagefright and The Church and really didn't like them all that much. I enjoyed both to some extent but there was too many plot holes. I have not seen Dellamorte Dellamore yet so i will not completly judge Soavi yet, untill i see that movie. But again if his first 2 were not that good then he can't be that good of a director if his only other movie is The Sect which is not supposed to be a masterpiece anyways. What are some of his other movies so i can judge him a bit better?

AlkanFan
06-21-2002, 05:41 AM
I've been meaning to ask about the Stagefright DVD. When I used to watch the VHS (put out by Imperial Entertainment) I was amazed by the film's style arising out of the combination of visuals and Simon Boswell's wonderful score. When I watched the DVD, however, I thought that the film had somehow lost its power. After some comparison between the two, I've come to the conclusion that the power of the audio track was somhow lost in the mixing (the example that comes to mind is the aftermath of the killing of the actress on stage. In the VHS track, the music overpowered the dialogue, which, in combination with the lighting effects, engendered a surreal piece of cinema. In the Anchor Bay version, the music seems to be somehow downplayed in favor of the dialogue, which subsequently takes away from the power of the scene). Am I imagining things here or has somebody else noticed this?

As for the Kubric films, I think that you should try rewatching them. I caught Eyes Wide Shut on HBO and found it to be very hypnotic (you have to love the use of Ligeti and Liszt's Grey Clouds in the soundtrack). As for the The Shining, it is one of my favorite horror films of all time. You definitely need to give these another viewing.

EPKJ
06-21-2002, 05:50 AM
To date, Michele Soavi has directed the following full length theatrical non-documentary films:

1: Stagefright
2: The Church
3: The Sect
4: Cemetery Man

Now, that means that the film everyone raves about is his last film, and only constitutes one fourth of his work. So, hell ya!, you can see that you already don't like 75% of his films. I don't hold out much hope for the Cemetery Man, but, we shall see. I might be surprised.

suspiria
06-21-2002, 05:50 AM
1. Kubrick's "The Shining" is one of the greatest horror films ever made.

2. Soavi was dubbed as the new master of Italian horror post-Dellamorte so please hunt that title down before writing him off.

3. The Church features some GREAT cinematography IMHO. Some geat camerawork etc.

4. When Bava and Argento made their first films the giallo/horror market was the "in" thing at the time and funding was easily available. When Soavi made his first few films his budget paled in comparison.

:) my opinions of course....

suspiria
06-21-2002, 05:54 AM
Originally posted by EPKJ
To date, Michele Soavi has directed the following full length theatrical non-documentary films:

1: Stagefright
2: The Church
3: The Sect
4: Cemetery Man

Now, that means that the film everyone raves about is his last film, and only constitutes one fourth of his work. So, hell ya!, you can see that you already don't like 75% of his films. I don't hold out much hope for the Cemetery Man, but, we shall see. I might be surprised.

You haven't seen The Sect and no one has commented on it so why dub that as being crap as well? And why on earth are you so bitter and negative? We're trying to tell you that Soavi is brilliant with Dellamorte and you hold little hope.

In the words of Eric Cartman, "You got a little sand in your vagina there Kyle? Does it itch?"

:D

EPKJ
06-21-2002, 06:01 AM
Suspiria, this is from the back cover of Anchor Bay's edition of Stagefright:

"Stagefright marked the stunning directorial debut of Dario Argento protege Michele Soavi (The Church, Cemetery Man) and instantly sealed his reputation as the leader of Italian horror's new generation of filmmakers."

The following is from the back cover of Anchor Bay's edition of The Church:

"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."

Now, do you begin to see why I am reacting as I am. These quotes do not claim that these are early efforts by the man who directed Cemetery Man. They claim that these works are masterpieces which sealed his reputation! This is absurd

suspiria
06-21-2002, 06:04 AM
I totally agree with you in regards to Anchor Bay's comments... Soavi can, by no means at all, be dubbed the new master of Italian horror from StageFright and The Church alone.. if he had made just those two films I wouldn't even call him a good director but Dellamorte Dellamore literally blew me away... if you're into philosophy and Peter Jackson's "Dead Alive/Braindead" mixed with better-than-Argento direction it'll be your next favourite film of all time....

EPKJ
06-21-2002, 06:45 AM
Well, Suspiria, I think that we have come to a meeting of minds. I am quite willing to judge Cemetery Man on its own merits. I want to be blown away. Once again, I don't hate Soavi's early films, I just resent the hyperbole surrounding them. I love Pieces, and actually purchased the Diamond version because no other company has released it. Pieces is a really bad film, but it is so funny that I love watching it.

Atmims
06-21-2002, 03:48 PM
I am quite willing to judge Cemetery Man on its own merits. I want to be blown away

I wanted to be blown away too. I first heard of Cemetery Man and then for about a year all I could read was people saying how perfect it was and what a masterpiece it was. I finally saw it a few weeks ago and I got to admit I was dissapointed. I can't think of anything wrong with it and it did had some really good parts except overall I don't think it should be hyped up so much.

I also really didn't understand the ending and that was the main thing that dissapointed me. I usually wouldn't question the greatness of a movie, but me and my brother both had the same opinion after watching "Dellamorte...", that it was dissapointing. I would like to know if there is anyone else that was a little dissapointed by the movie after reading so much great comments on it?

Overall I would rate it a 7/10 unlike the 10/10 I was expecting. In my opinion it was just an above average movie, far from being one of my favorite movies.
Adrian Mims

AlkanFan
06-21-2002, 08:28 PM
I normally try to keep my comments strictly to DVDs and try not to place value judgements on the films themselves, but here I feel the need to interject. If you are at all into existentialism you'll absolutely love Dellamorte Dellamore. I don't want to comment on the ending because I'd hate to give it away, but, without giving away too much, I can say that it turns the whole movie on its head and - gasp - makes the viewer come to his own conclusions (similar in a way to the cliffhanger ending of The Ninth Gate but with superior execution). This is not to say that people who didn't like the ending are braindead or anything; it's just to say that they didn't view the ending in the right context.

Atmims
06-22-2002, 02:26 AM
AlkanFan,
I don't think I viewed the ending in the right context when I first saw it. To me the ending has a meaning to it but I guess I just don't like coming to my own conclusions. I want to know the "right" conclusion because I don't believe Soavi made the movie without his own idea in mind. I could be wrong of course. If this is ever released in region 1 it MUST have a commentary.
Adrian Mims

Andrew
06-22-2002, 02:49 AM
There's an Italian (PAL, I think) release from MEDUSA that contains an audio commentary, however it's in Italian. Perhaps someone with this disc could shed some light as to what Soavi had to say about the ending...?

BlazingMagnum
06-23-2002, 07:18 PM
Oh well - some like it, and some don't.
If you're one of those who do - then do!
If you're one of those who don't - don't!


Simple.:D

Hellbilly
06-23-2002, 10:28 PM
I thought it was ok. Not the best and not the worst either.

Cydeous
06-28-2002, 07:55 PM
Why all this Michele Soavi bashing? Personally, I think that he's a good director. I'm not a big fan of <B>Stagefright</B> but that's how he got "his foot in the door."

Believe it or not but <B>The Church</B> has a deeper meaning to it. He mentions the alchemist Fulcanelli, which is interesting. I read the alchemist's book called "Mysteries of the Cathedrals" and it's very cool. There's a lot of hidden meanings in the cathedrals... the mystery alone kept me intrigued. Okay, the script was a hack between <B>Demons 3</B> and original material and that's why the film isn't as good as it should have been.

I'm looking forward to Anchor Bay's release of <B>The Sect</B>... is this EVER coming out? This film is along the lines of <B>The Church</B>, IMO, but a little more polished.

<B>Dellamorte, Dellamore</B> is a masterpiece!

One more thing... I can't believe that someone posted that <B>The Shining</B> and <B>Eyes Wide Shut</B> were bad films... WHOA!!! No wonder he didn't like <B>The Church</B>... what do these films have in common? They all have a deeper meaning that everyone has a different take on. My advice: stay away from David Lynch movies!!!

DrJOnes666
01-30-2003, 08:35 AM
Let me, at my turn, revive this thread a bit. I didn't know its existence until I viewed the CHURCH today and posted in the GENERAL section of this forum.
I thought I'd repost my comments in here, since it feels most appropriate to do so.




Yesterday, I was at a local DVD store. I purchased the CHURCH out of the blue because I had read very good things about it. Also, since it was made under the working title Demons 3, I thought to myself that I couldn't go wrong with this title.

Boy! was I wrong!
Why so many people like THE CHURCH, I will never understand. Sure, there are a few visual shots in there that, when taken seperately, are very interesting. But the script is uterly boring and is lacking so much rythm, I just don't see how this got a theatrial release in the first place... and how it got a cult following after that!

After viewing the film, tonight, I immediately went at www.imdb.com and read some users reviews. I will take the liberty to copy/paste an entry from the user Kastore which I believe best describes how I feel about this movie.

******** SPOILERS ************

"I don't even know where to start with this movie. Supposedly, some people like it for its heavy style. That may be, thanks to Michele Soavi's expert directing under the tutelage of Dario Argento. I also understand that "The Church" is somehow meant to be a sequel to "Demons". At first, my question with the movie was: Where are the 'demons'? Unfortunately, once the demons showed up (sort of), my question became a more valid one: Where, oh where, is the script? This movie has what is probably a record number of writers for a non-anthology film: 7. Despite the talent that this writing team entails – Argento, Soavi, Bava, Sacchetti – it undoubtedly seems like all their individual inputs got lost in the shuffle. Almost no explanation is given for anything in this movie, and the last half is a seemingly endless stream of scenes that just simply don't make sense.

How do the police show up so quickly after the woman calls 911? How did they even know where she was, since she didn't give her address to the dispatcher in the first place? What's keeping the demons from escaping the church through the route Asia Argento has been using all these nights? Was Asia's character a reincarnation of the basket-hooded figure from the beginning? How does the sacristan come back to life to kill with a gate after he puts a jackhammer through his own chest? What the hell is a ‘sacristan'? Did the kooky old woman rip her husband's head off to ring the church bell with it? And if so, why? Where were the gears that the bride got her gown caught in? Who was that weird-looking kid sleeping in the pews, and why does he run up and try to bite one of the schoolkids through a sheet of plastic? Can anyone explain the ‘your best friend has your face' part? What was the point of all those hallucinations? What in the hell was that slimy formation of writhing bodies at the end?

I can go on, but you get the idea. There are some great instances of camerawork (i.e. – the first pan of the interior of the church), nightmarish lighting, and clever death scenes. But all the style that Soavi can muster just can't distract me from an atrocious patchwork of a script. At one point, "The Church" was at a prominent place in the Bottom 100 (if I'm not mistaken, it was #1 for a short period). As far as I'm concerned, it can go back up on that list. 2/10"
------ end of Kastor's review --------


I totally agree with his post. Soooo MANY things go unexplained, it's simply too much. It just doesn't make sense. I understand that in order to appreciate B-Movies, in particular Italian horror flicks, one must sometime put his logic on the side for 90 minutes. But a minimum of logic is needed to at least have a coherant story. I mean, the Church is in no way Suspiria. Enough with the dreamlike sequences that mean absolutely nothing in a "normal context".
And PLEASE, WHERE were the Demons?
Sure, the Demon fucking the girl at the end was quite a nice view. But by that time, even if he did a 69 with her, it wouldn't have saved the film.


Utterly boring. I place it high up there in my list of AVOID AT ALL COST, with films like "Manhattan Baby", "Madman", and "Sleepaway Camp 2 and 3".

Fortunately, Dellamorte Dellamore was a much better film and proved that Soavi could direct an interesting movie... Even if this one also did contain a pretty chaotic script, it was at least coherant, well acted, and visually stunning.


DrJOnes666

Grim
01-30-2003, 10:47 PM
I like Stage Fright, and I liked the last half hour of the Church, I vaguely remember seeing Dellamorte Dellamore under the "Cemetery Man" title on Bravo. I personally think Stage Fright was kick ass, I'd have to give Dellamorte Dellamore another viewing though. I was like 10 when I saw it so I'd need to watch it again.

suspiria
01-31-2003, 01:03 AM
well i dont know what all your problems are... i watched The Church again the other night and loved it.. sure it has heaps of plot holes (which eurohorror films doesn't!?!) but I love the film's "feel", the general story concerning the cathedrals is great and the visual style plus soundtrack is awesome...

quit ya complaining... :glasses:

if The Church ain't up to scratch for ya then go watch "Fast and the Furious" or some other polished rubbish...

Grim
01-31-2003, 02:20 AM
True. If The Church does have something on it's side it's atmosphere and the soundtrack.

zombi3
01-31-2003, 07:14 AM
I like the Church, even if it is a bit slow. Dellamorte Dellamore is definitely Soavi's masterpiece.:cool:

mcchrist
01-31-2003, 10:47 AM
Am I alone in thinking that Soavi's only truly good movie was Stage Fright? Dellamorte Dellamore was severely overrated, and The Church was awful IMO.

Grim
01-31-2003, 07:11 PM
You know they could have divided the church into two movies and it would have worked fine, maybe shoot some more scenes to make it longer, because it's like two movies in one.

EPKJ
02-02-2003, 10:26 PM
Well, I agree that all The Church has going for it is style, and the style isn't good enough. Soavi isn't fit to lick Argento's boots when it comes to style. Crediting Soavi with a genius for style is actually an insult to Argento, who is a true master of style.

dwatts
02-12-2004, 01:25 PM
Oh boy, old thread coming back atcha!

I saw this for the first time last night. It was certainly nothing like I was expecting - but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Since I'm not a huge Demons fan, I didn't want a movie like that anyway.

However, this one has a very lazy pace, actually, it never really kicks into gear. The set pieces are great though, and very well done. Soavi was certainly finding himself here, and he shows a lot of flair. I'll watch this one again, no doubt. It caught me by surprise a bit, after everything I have read about it, I really didn't think I wanted to own it. In a moment of weakness I paid out though, and I'm glad I did.

All in all then, I think this was a pretty good film. It trips up in all the usual ways such films do - some terrible dubbing (Asia's dubbing is comical) and some lazy scripting, but that's par for the course. I liked it, and look forward to seeing it a few times into the future.

Shannafey
02-12-2004, 03:10 PM
I, too bought it and watched it for the first time last month and feel about the same way you do. I need to watch it again myself and really make a better judgement. Most Euro films are like that to me.

Tawny
02-12-2004, 05:08 PM
I saw it for the first time about a month ago, and I was blown away! I thought the music was great.(very haunting.) The "subway" scene was too cool, I had to rewind it just to show somebody. I will admit that some of the f/x were a little bit cheesy, but oh well. I think that Michele Soavi has a good sense of humor. :D

The Chaostar
02-12-2004, 08:41 PM
Oh boy, old thread coming back atcha!

yeah, gave me the chance to get a glimpse of those EPKJ posts!
:lol:

Ash28M
07-04-2005, 01:08 PM
I gave this film another shot yesterday after being under whelmed by it the first time I saw it a couple of years ago. I really enjoyed it allot more this time. Soavi was really paying attention when Argento was showing him the ropes. It had a great atmosphere and a really nice comfortable surealness about it. This film has not had the respect it deserves IMO. After really enjoying stage fright last week. I'm going to have to seek out The Sect. As I have become quite the fan of Soavi recently.

Katatonia
07-04-2005, 07:01 PM
Personally, I love The Church...even the first time I watched it.

Crystal Plumage
07-05-2005, 09:38 AM
Personally, I love The Church...even the first time I watched it.Yeah me too.Always a big fan of Goblin and Emerson too.

The Chaostar
07-11-2005, 05:06 PM
Watch it stoned.

soxfan666
07-11-2005, 05:24 PM
Personally, I love The Church...even the first time I watched it.

I too am a fan of The Church.

Mortis
07-11-2005, 06:55 PM
The same goes for almost any movie.

Watch it stoned.

BoredSeal
07-11-2005, 07:00 PM
The Church is probably my most favorite Italian horror (beside Opera) :)

sacateca
07-12-2005, 02:41 PM
Just saw the title of this thread and i have to agree. And for those who say Soavi isn't match for Argento in style, i believe it is exactly Argento who ruined this movie, as Soavi's movies without Dario are all much better. The bad things about this movie all have the Argento-trademarks...of the two, i find Soavi much sharper filmmaker. Dellamorte Dellamore in my opinion is a masterpiece and way beyond Argento's better efforts.

The Chaostar
07-12-2005, 02:48 PM
The same goes for almost any movie.

I like you Mortis. However, being stoned, actually enhances plot-less films. I guess I should have pointed that out. :glasses:

Tye
07-12-2005, 03:52 PM
The thing that gets me is that there are zero likeable people in the film.
I so wanted everyone in the film to die. I'll have to watch this one again....maybe I can find one halfway decent person to cheer for.

Cydeous
07-12-2005, 06:11 PM
The thing that gets me is that there are zero likeable people in the film.
I so wanted everyone in the film to die. I'll have to watch this one again....maybe I can find one halfway decent person to cheer for.

You even hated Asia?

soxfan666
07-12-2005, 07:03 PM
The thing that gets me is that there are zero likeable people in the film.
I so wanted everyone in the film to die. I'll have to watch this one again....maybe I can find one halfway decent person to cheer for.

sometimes i like it when every character sux and i want them all to die. I usually want the bad guys to win.

Tye
07-12-2005, 07:26 PM
You even hated Asia?
She was okay, I guess.... :D

Tye
07-12-2005, 07:30 PM
sometimes i like it when every character sux and i want them all to die. I usually want the bad guys to win.
:lol: Nice one....I know what you mean.

Crystal Plumage
07-12-2005, 08:30 PM
Just saw the title of this thread and i have to agree. And for those who say Soavi isn't match for Argento in style, i believe it is exactly Argento who ruined this movie, as Soavi's movies without Dario are all much better. The bad things about this movie all have the Argento-trademarks...of the two, i find Soavi much sharper filmmaker. Dellamorte Dellamore in my opinion is a masterpiece and way beyond Argento's better efforts.Although I like Soavi's output very much,I think he is more of a "video clip" director.
All very stylish and flashy (I like that,don't get me wrong) but no real depth to his direction.
Argento is the true master.
If Argento hadn't been involved in the making of "The Church",Lamberto Bava would've directed it and you wouldn't want that,now would you!
And while Dellamorte Dellamore is a unique film,I don't think it's a classic.It's a nice and funny little zombie film with some strange characters and ...Anna Falchi.......*sigh*.But it's a tiny affair when compared to Argento's best ie. Suspiria,Deep Red,Inferno or Tenebrae.
Just my opinion.

The Chaostar
07-12-2005, 10:01 PM
Anna Falchi... (*sigh in agreement*)...

wizzer
06-23-2010, 05:23 AM
i watched this movie a long time ago and everytime since then when i pass it up in my collection, i would tell myself "hey thats a good movie and i like it but i just don't wanna watch it right now". anyway, i finally decided to give it another go and i don't know what kind of drugs i was doing the first time i watched this but this movie was damn near terrible. and then i was reviewing the posts on this thread and more than one dude said asia argento looked hot? what the fuck? she looked like she was 11 years old. anywho, i was watching along the whole time but it felt like i'd turn my head to the side for one second and then 10 minutes of the movie went somewhere. i did like the part where the mom is more concerned with dinner or something while the dad is punching the daughter in the mouth with a bar of soap after she was trying to tell him that the librarian almost raped her. i'm gonna go wash this movie off with some other italian something or other ASAP.

dave13
06-24-2010, 12:17 AM
i remember liking it....hmmmm

MisterTwister
06-24-2010, 01:50 AM
I found The Church to be pretty dull myself. I much prefer Stagefright and Cemetery Man.

dave13
06-24-2010, 02:41 AM
I found The Church to be pretty dull myself. I much prefer Stagefright and Cemetery Man.

i watched stagefright around the same time, and i recall liking them both, but the church more....i need to watch them again.

Novosibirsk
06-24-2010, 05:03 AM
The Church is great. Slow at points, but overall A+++++.

Crystal Plumage
06-24-2010, 08:56 PM
Been a while since I watched it, but IIRC this isn't a bad movie perse.
Some great setpieces and some gore. Especially the first sequence with the Templars(?) is worth your $$ IMO.

MorallySound
06-24-2010, 09:18 PM
Count me also not really a fan of this film.

The Church is just like going to church, it's a bore.

Shlockjock81
06-24-2010, 09:19 PM
Like Crystal said, it had some great set pieces and atmosphere, but as a whole I found this film to be a total mess. You have people trapped in a church and getting picked off one by one... one person even gets impaled on a gate. And the rest of the survivors in the church act like nothing is happening!! It's just a complete MESS of a film!

unclefred
06-24-2010, 09:25 PM
Good film imo. A tad slow at times but i find that preferable to the shallow, fast cut films they churn out these days. Cemetery man, while fun, is not very exciting at second watch and is simply another horror comedy. The Church is worth a watch every so often. The look of the film is superb and it holds my interest. The art direction is very good. I really don't see the need to 'root' for characters, nor to like them in a film. Grim nihilism has it's attractions too.

Crystal Plumage
07-12-2010, 10:57 PM
Rewatched this today. Better than I remembered. I watched with a "different eye" so to speak.
Some very ingenious shots. Great tracking shots as well. The "Templer" sequence is great ofcourse, but some of the more down to earth horror sequences are shot with the same vigour.
Dubbing isn't the best with all characters but good enough. I've heard worse.
Tomas Arana is great. His mental metamorphosis is executed very well. Will rewatch "Body Puzzle" soon, just to see if he's really that good :)

CrazyFatEthel
12-18-2010, 06:47 PM
I watched this movie "under the influence" amazing film! Maybe that made the difference?

Body Boy
12-18-2010, 09:08 PM
I tried watching Suspiria on wee-...err, stuff. And I didn't get enough enjoyment from it. But The Church may be a different story.

fceurich39
12-19-2010, 12:57 AM
i enjoyed this for the most part this is the best of the 3 demons part 3 films

Spit
12-20-2010, 10:30 PM
If this was suppose to be Demons 3, why does Asia look so much younger than she was in Demons 2. Did the 'Demons 3' label get stuck on this later? When and Why?

Demoni
12-20-2010, 11:48 PM
If this was suppose to be Demons 3, why does Asia look so much younger than she was in Demons 2. Did the 'Demons 3' label get stuck on this later? When and Why?

There is no Demons 3...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbegGD-NRJE

SaxCatz
12-21-2010, 03:59 AM
I agree with the (long ago, far away) OP.
This film is horrendously boring. I tried to watch it as part of my October marathon and ended up fast forwarding and, ultimately, surrendering before it was through.

fceurich39
12-21-2010, 04:44 AM
If this was suppose to be Demons 3, why does Asia look so much younger than she was in Demons 2. Did the 'Demons 3' label get stuck on this later? When and Why?

in an interview i seen elsewhere they said the church originally started as a 3rd demons film then problems arose they changed it around alot of italian movies have sequels look at fulci's zombie over there it is zombi 2


black demons and demons 3 the ogre are the other too supposedly demons 3 movies

Crystal Plumage
12-21-2010, 07:32 AM
What he said.
I revisited The Church some time ago, and I still like it. Sorry :D

dave13
12-21-2010, 03:11 PM
in an interview i seen elsewhere they said the church originally started as a 3rd demons film then problems arose they changed it around alot of italian movies have sequels look at fulci's zombie over there it is zombi 2


black demons and demons 3 the ogre are the other too supposedly demons 3 movies

aaaaahhhhhh! punctuation please! you're making my brain hurt! :lol:

dave13
12-21-2010, 03:13 PM
What he said.
I revisited The Church some time ago, and I still like it. Sorry :D

no "sorry" about it! I liked it too! some great cinematography and set design, if i remember correctly. it has been a while, but i remember liking it a lot. more than stagefright, i think.

DVD-fanatic-9
12-24-2010, 05:19 AM
I agree with the - what - 55% majority here. This movie is garbage.

Sure, it had a tiny bit of cool atmosphere and a few good images. But- nothing happened after the first 10 minutes. Not a damn thing. People walking around as though in a daze. Shitty special effects. Crude, friggin' stupid dialogue. None of it means anything. And it rips off Rosemary's Baby. Badly. Shot-for-shot. That is SUCH a huge no-no in my book. Everyone who bitches about Psycho '98 is duty-bound to deduct points from this movie for this reason. I also think it looks like shit or like some stupid Italian Indiana Jones flick. But, like with Don't Look Now, I admit a slight bias against movies in ugly places. It's a little too easy to say: movie is great because that place is so oppressive / unpleasant feeling. Yeah, it is. So what? Any movie shot here would have been.

But, if it means anything, I really liked the first 10 minutes.

Demoni
12-24-2010, 08:07 AM
And it rips off Rosemary's Baby. Badly. Shot-for-shot. That is SUCH a huge no-no in my book. Everyone who bitches about Psycho '98 is duty-bound to deduct points from this movie for this reason.

The Church rips off Rosemary´s Baby??? That´s a first.

dave13
03-06-2011, 02:08 AM
The Church rips off Rosemary´s Baby??? That´s a first.

I assume he's referring to the satan-sex scene.

Just watched it again tonight, and while i understand where people who think its slow are coming from, i really like it. the way he films the cathedral, and the catacombs below, as well as some of the external cityscapes, is really breathtaking. The movie really is all about the atmosphere.

Demoni
03-06-2011, 02:46 AM
I assume he's referring to the satan-sex scene.

Just watched it again tonight, and while i understand where people who think its slow are coming from, i really like it. the way he films the cathedral, and the catacombs below, as well as some of the external cityscapes, is really breathtaking. The movie really is all about the atmosphere.

You hit the right spot there. The movie gives us a very atmospheric horror.

The Chaostar
03-06-2011, 05:16 PM
And it rips off Rosemary's Baby. Badly. Shot-for-shot. That is SUCH a huge no-no in my book.

Oh come on now DF9, you know that that scene is a reference. You may dislike the film, and you have every right to, but reference is one thing and theft is another. You are exaggerating - and I am sure you know that yourself. You left your dislike for the film take the better of you. Michele Soavi is a cinephile and his films are filled to the brim with references to other movies he adores. Of course it is shot for shot! He wants us to remember Rosemary's Baby! Just like Tim Burton wants us to remember Black Sabbath in Sleepy Hollow (when Johnny Depp discovers his mother's body).

As for me, the beauty of La Chiesa lies in exactly what you hate: I see the film as a wonderful patchwork, a collage of images and scenes that have to do with very different styles and emotions. I also like the strangely optimistic finale. It is an ambivilent film, surely not one of the best of it's era, but has a charm of its own.

Demoni
03-07-2011, 04:00 AM
Michele Soavi's The Church, terribly great!