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The Church (film)

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Title: The Church (film)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: M. R. James, Keith Emerson, Church, Feodor Chaliapin, Jr., The Stendhal Syndrome, Demons (film), Michele Soavi, Dardano Sacchetti, Krieg (band), List of Blue Underground releases
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The Church (film)

The Church
Italian film poster
Directed by Michele Soavi
Produced by Dario Argento
Mario Cecchi Gori
Vittorio Cecchi Gori
Screenplay by Dario Argento
Michele Soavi
Franco Ferrini
Dardano Sacchetti (uncredited)
Lamberto Bava (uncredited)
Fabrizio Bava (prologue)
Based on The Treasure of Abbot Thomas 
by M.R. James
Starring Hugh Quarshie
Tomas Arana
Asia Argento
Giovanni Lombardo Radice
Music by Keith Emerson
Philip Glass
Fabio Pignatelli
Cinematography Renato Tafuri
Editing by Franco Fraticelli
Studio ADC Films
Cecchi Gori Group Tiger Cinematografica
Distributed by Cecchi Gori Distribuzione
Vivivideo (Italy) (VHS)
South Gate Entertainment (1991, USA) (VHS)
Release date(s) 10 March 1989
Running time 110 min.
Country Italy
Language English
Budget $3,500,000 (estimated)

The Church (Italian title: La chiesa), also known as Cathedral of Demons or Demon Cathedral, is a 1989 Italian horror film directed by Michele Soavi. It was produced by Dario Argento with Mario Cecchi Gori and Vittorio Cecchi Gori, and written by Argento, Soavi, Franco Ferrini, Dardano Sacchetti, Lamberto and Fabrizio Bava.[1] It stars Hugh Quarshie, Tomas Arana, Barbara Cupisti, Asia Argento, Feodor Chaliapin, Jr. and Giovanni Lombardo Radice.[2]

It is the official second sequel to the Dèmoni series, although it has no direct thematic link with the first two parts, and therefore the 1991 horror film Dèmoni 3 (also known as Black Demons) is usually associated as the third film of the saga.


In medieval Germany, the Teutonic Knights massacre a village of supposed "witches" and build the titular structure over their dead bodies. Flash forward to the present day where an assorted group of tourists are visiting the church. When the seal of the crypt is inadvertently broken, the malevolent spirits of the villagers attack the tourists. Father Gus (Hugh Quarshie) and Lotte (Asia Argento), the Sacristan's daughter, must try to combat this evil force before it is unleashed upon the outside world.


  • Hugh Quarshie ... Father Gus
  • Tomas Arana ... Evan
  • Feodor Chaliapin, Jr. ... The Bishop
  • Barbara Cupisti ... Lisa
  • Antonella Vitale ... Bridal Model
  • Giovanni Lombardo Radice ... Reverend
  • Asia Argento ... Lotte
  • Roberto Caruso ... Freddie
  • Roberto Corbiletto ... Hermann, the Sacristan
  • Alina De Simone ... Lottie's Mother
  • Olivia Cupisti ... Mira
  • Gianfranco De Grassi ... The Accuser
  • Claire Hardwick ... Joanna
  • Lars Jorgenson ... Bruno
  • John Karlsen ... Heinrich
  • Katherine Bell Marjorie ... Heinrich's Wife
  • Riccardo Minervini ... Schoolboy
  • Enrico Osterman ... The Torturer
  • Micaela Pignatelli ... Fashion shoot photographer
  • Patrizia Punzo ... Miss Brückner
  • John Richardson ... Architect
  • Matteo Rocchietta ... Younger Schoolboy
  • Michele Soavi ... 1st Policeman at Lisa's House


The Church was originally conceived as the third film in the Dèmoni series; however, director Michele Soavi insisted that the film stand alone and not connected with the first two entries.[3] In an interview Soavi derisively referred to those films as "Pizza Schlock", and expressed that he wanted The Church to be more sophisticated.[4]

Soavi, in an interview with Cinefantastique, explained that he wished to move beyond with his creations following the film's release, and because of that he declined to keep working with Argento as a team.[5] It is known in Japan as Demons 3.[6]


The score was composed by the British-American duo Keith Emerson and Philip Glass. The Soundtrack featured tracks from Goblin and Fabio Pignatelli.[7]


The film premiered in Rome on 10 March 1989 and was released in the Italian cinemas on the same day.[8]

Critical reception

The Church was generally well received. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 67% based on nine reviews, certifying it "fresh".[9] Allmovie called it a "gothic-drenched apocalyptic nightmare" that builds "a suffocating sense of quiet dread".[10]


External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • AllRovi
  • Rotten Tomatoes
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