Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Rare Flix: The Unholy

Unholy Guacamole!  Today's film is The Unholy, another obscure film on the generically-titled Horror Collection.  The set has been a real mixed bag in total.  You've got good films (Waxwork and...well, just that one), funny films (976 Evil 2, Chopping Mall, Class of 1999) and stupid-ass shit (C.H.U.D. II, Ghoulies III).  Slaughter High was...well, I'm still torn on that one.  So what will this one turn out to be like?  Well, it's somewhere in-between all of them.  It's not intentionally-ridiculous like Mall, it's not ineptly-bad like C.H.U.D. and it's not a confusing mix of Horror and Comedy like High.  It's the tale of a Priest seemingly-chosen to battle some sort of evil, whether he wants to or not.  It stars Ben Cross, who's Career has gone on such a downward streak in the 25 years since this movie that he's starred in such films as Stonehenge Apocalypse and *sigh* The Asylum's Jack the Giant Killer.  I know- I'm sorry for him too.  The film also features Hal Holbrook and Ned Beatty, not that either has much to do here.  To find out if this is a hidden gem or something your cat buried, read on...
A Priest is the last one in the Church one night (aren't they always) when a weird-looking statue turn into this lady from a Whitesnake video.  That or she's a Bellarian from Space Mutiny.
He gets killed by a scratch, which apparently makes the front of his throat come off.  This is all nice and gory, but seems a bit silly.

Somewhere out there, Adam Green is pleased...and probably masturbating.
Our hero- Cross- is approached by weird people and threatening graffiti.  Things can't get any worse though.
Oddly, the film suddenly jumps ahead THREE YEARS at this point.  So, nothing happened in that time?

After that, our Father gets called in to talk down a 'Jumper.'  The man pulls him out the window and he falls to his...lack of any injuries at all.   Weird.  That's enough for this blind Priest (not Roy Scheider) to give him a Parish, since he's been chosen...or something.
Is it worth mentioning that the Parish is the one that the guy from the beginning was killed in?  Maybe.  Was it probably obvious to you without me saying so?  Maybe.
He ends up getting involved with a girl from this Satanic-looking Nightclub.  She was the last person to talk to the last Priest.  As a bonus, her sort-of evil Boss is apparently haunted by the same evil spirits at work in the area.

Yeah, about that.  These same Spirits killed a Priest (mentioned later), killed another one (the one from the beginning), threatened Cross and then DID nothing for 3 Years.  I just wanted to reiterate that.
A bunch of crazy shit happens in the middle portion of the film- including a dog being sacrificed (Poor Bastard of Cinema induction coming), some guy vomiting blood and a random lady with fake boobs appearing for no reason.  This is the simplest way to convey all of that.
It all builds up to Cross facing off with the mysterious woman/demon after a pep talk from the blind priest and Holbrook.  Who will win?
Let's just say that 'a giant pit to Hell opens up and a creature falls in.'  That's an expression, right?

Oh and Cross goes blind at the sight of the Demon.  The End.
This is a strange one.  The crazy shit is fun and ridiculous.  Since it was made in 1988, it has no CG Effects and is all practical.  I love that.  Not only that, but they make good use of them.  I like the monster work for films like Xtro II (even though the film sucks) and Razorback, for example(s).  In contrast to those films, this movie's creatures move on-camera pretty well.  Here's the problem: there's not nearly enough of that.  The rest of the film is oddly-paced and kind of dry.  It's a lot of build-up, but it's not very interesting.  Cross does a good job, as do the rest of the Cast.  I wish that Actors like Holbrook had more to do other than stand around delivering exposition though.  In the End, The Unholy is a film worth checking out if you like 1980's Horror Films and their ilk.  It can be very dry at times though, so just bear that in mind.  Hey look- pointless T&A...
Next up, the final 'Chapter' in the Prom Night Series.  Will it end with a bang or a bore?  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. I loved that the effects were practical too, but in the end the film feels uneven, at times it feels like a serious horror film like The Exorcist, at times I got hints of Bava and Argento with the color schem, but then it kind of chickens out and becomes this monster film...still, I enjoyed it, reviewed it a while back in case your interested in checking it out.