Sunday, June 30, 2019

THE CHURCH (1989)

"This cathedral is infested with evil."

Hundreds of years ago, a group of Teutonic knights confront a woman who's been accused of witchcraft.  At first, they're all "WWJD?", then, after a few seconds of deliberation, they decide to slaughter everybody in the entire village.  Women, men, children...even the animals!  After spreading the message of Christ, they bury the bodies in a large pit and construct a church on the site to prevent the vengeful spirits of the villagers from returning.  That works out pretty well, up until the 1980's when some construction workers uncover the seal that's holding back the demons.  Not to worry though, because the quick-thinking priests immediately cover the seal back up and everybody lives happily ever after.  Yay!  The End.

Nope.  Just like in a million other horror films, our heroes simply leave the extremely dangerous object completely unprotected until somebody stupid wanders over and fucks with it.  After the seal is broken, the evil spirits explode out at a snail's pace to leisurely go about the business of possessing a few people and getting crazy.  You'd think that after being locked up for seven-, eight-, whatever-hundred years, the demons would be excited as Hell to get out, but no, they take their sweet time.  Maybe they're just gaining strength?  Whatever the excuse is, they don't do nearly as much as I had hoped for.  No...seeing a demon wash out a kid's mouth with soap is not my idea of excitement.

Jackhammer suicide, neck stabbing, demon fucking, lots of talking, typewriter button smashing, good music, cool looking filming locations, solid direction, mild violence, very mild nudity, slow pace that never pays off, totally badass demon costume that's onscreen for like 10 seconds total.  I like the idea of THE CHURCH, but it simply didn't live up to what I had pictured in my handsome brain.  For some odd reason, I was picturing a bunch of innocent tourists getting trapped in an European cathedral (THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL-style) and then being tormented by demons!  That would have been awesome!!!  Instead, things were just kind of...meh.

THE CHURCH is worth checking out, but it could have been way better.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

STAGEFRIGHT (1987)

An actress, while practicing for a play in a small playhouse, strains her ankle.  Naturally, she goes to the nearby mental hospital(!!!) for some medical attention.  While there, she captures the attention of a psychopath who recently murdered and dismembered 16 people.  He escapes and makes his way over to the playhouse where the director, in a fit of temperamental rage, secretly locked the doors to the playhouse and gave the only key...to the woman who immediately gets stabbed to death on stage in front of everybody.  Chaos ensues.

I liked STAGEFRIGHT.  The beginning is a little bit too slow for its own good, but once things got moving, it was a fun film with great spurts of sudden violence.  Things would be going along fine...then out of nowhere a dude would get this arm and head chopped off or a girl would unexpectedly get ripped in half!  It was awesome!!!  That said, there were a few drawbacks.  For example: the characters were all too bland and, honestly, looked a lot a like.  I kept getting them confused.  Another thing is, they were all dumb as hell.  Maybe they didn't have fire alarms back in Italy in 1987, but I know that if I ever get trapped inside a building with a looney tune motherfucker wearing an owl mask and sporting a chainsaw, I'm pulling the fucking fire alarm!

Uneven pace, impressive directorial debut by Michele Soavi, great colours, interesting camerawork, dumb ending, a fair amount of blood, script by that tall butthole from ANTROPOPHAGUS, horrible attempts at fighting back, minor nudity, a Cramps shirt.

STAGEFRIGHT isn't life changing, but it's interesting (and enjoyable) enough to watch.  Recommended for horror fans.