"Steady There, Father Michael."
Oh yes, if classic sitcom FATHER TED was a mediocre horror film, it would probably be a bit like THE UNHOLY. And now you have the chance to decide for yourself as Camilo Vila's sluggish, semi-coherent, occasionally blood-spattered late 1980s devil movie is gets the Blu-ray treatment as part of the Vestron Collection from Lionsgate.
|"Down with this sort of thing!"|
Father Michael / Dougal (Ben Cross) miraculously survives a fifty foot plunge from a building where he's trying to talk down a suicide, Archbishop Mosely / Ted (Hal Holbrook) and Father Silva / Jack (Trevor Howard) suspect he might be the Chosen One - God's representative on earth to fight demons.
|The forces of darkness certainly had an effect on Mrs Doyle|
They send him off to the parish of St Agnes, where Father Dennis and Father Someone Else Before the Film Started have had their throats ripped out by a lady demon wearing (or rather not wearing) clothes probably designed by Jean Rollin. That doesn't stop Father Dennis from ringing Father Michael up, mind, just to remind him that he's waiting for him in hell.
Somehow the church 'hushed up' the priests' deaths, although police office Lt Stern (Ned Beatty) is around to give us some back story. He also never gets the chance to go to the toilet throughout the entire film which is a shame as from his constant uneasy movements he obviously desperately needs to.
|A rare shot of Craggy Island in the summertime|
An hour in and so far we've been graced with dull direction, some very silly dialogue and plot jumps that have all the grace of someone desperately trying to do a salvage job in the editing room. The climax involves vast amounts of vomited blood, a Bob Keen-designed monster and Ben Cross bellowing at it when he should have been saying 'Careful, now.'
Oh yes, THE UNHOLY really isn't very good, but if you want a good example of late 1980s trash this will remind you (if you needed reminding) that there was a lot of rubbish out there at the end of the decade.
|"Will ye no have a cup of tea, Father?"|
That hasn't stopped Lionsgate from doing their usual fantastic job packing this latest Vestron Collector's Edition with extras. These include an audio commentary from the director, an isolated score track & audio interview with composer Roger Bellon (who also did the music to WAXWORK), an audio interview with co-writer and production designer Fernando Fonseca with isolated sections from his unused music score, an interview with star Ben Cross, and the original ending (because it had to be reshot with a better monster) with an audio commentary from producer Mathew Hayden. You also get a trailer, TV spots, radio spots, stills and a storyboard gallery.
Camilo Vila's THE UNHOLY is coming out on Blu-ray as part of Lionsgate's Vestron Collector's Series on Monday 25th February 2019