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The Church (1989) – Episode 175 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“Gah! I hate that kind of talking and you know it. Why can’t you grow old gracefully you old cow.!” Don’t worry. Heinrich’s wife soon finds a better use for his head than coming up with lines like that. Join your faithful Grue-Crew – Crystal Cleveland, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr – as they go to church, only to find the oversexed goat demon in Michele Soavi’s The Church (1989).

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 175 – The Church (1989)

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An old Gothic cathedral, built over a mass grave, develops strange powers which trap a number of people inside with ghosts from a 12th Century massacre seeking to resurrect an ancient demon from the bowels of the Earth.


The Church, directed by Michele Soavi and produced by Dario Argento, is Jeff’s pick. The first time he watched The Church, the opening scenes gave him a definite Monty Python and the Holy Grail vibe. Once he got that connection out of his head, he was impressed with the detailed sets, inventive and gruesome kills, and could see the Argento influence in the colored light bathing and radiating up from the underground tomb. Chad loved the effects and adds that The Church is a creepy-ass, satanic/demonic-type, Italian horror film that still holds up and one that he can keep watching. Crystal is a bit sad that this is the first time she’s seen The Church. She loves some of the shots and thinks the music is fantastic. Predicting subsequent viewings will elevate the film in his estimation, Bil loves the imagery of the goat demon and the angel wrapping a woman in its wings. For him, The Church fits somewhere on a scale between Fulci on one end and Argento on the other. 

Your loyal Decades of Horror 1980s Grue Crew deems The Church a worthwhile watch! Sometimes referred to as Demons 3 (don’t let Soavi hear you call it that), is an ambitious film that hits on some levels and not on others. And please! Don’t think too hard about the plot. At the time of this writing, the film is available for streaming on Amazon Prime and as a Blu-ray disc from Doppelganger Releasing.

Every two weeks, Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1980s podcast will cover another horror film from the 1980s. The next episode’s film, chosen by Bill, will be the infamous Cannibal Holocaust (1980). You won’t want to miss that one!

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Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.