Back in jolly old Medieval times, any wild-eyed geriatric with a membership to the church foaming at the mouth with religious fervour, was given absolute power over military factions to rape, pillage and ransack any persons they saw fit. So anyone unlucky enough to not be a white man of affluence, or those who were beginning to sense that the overall system might be a touch flawed and maybe we should re-evaluate this because the labourers are getting a bit of a raw deal, and – I say, that sword looks pretty sharp. Be careful with that, someone could get hur– mmf!
THE CHURCH (1989)
Director: Michele Soavi
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After receiving a tip off from a highly reputable looking individual and his fluffy mole about the whereabouts of an evil witch, a group of Crusaders assemble on small village of hapless peasants and start hacking and slashing their way through the meaty collective faster than you can say “Heinrich Hofmann. Heinrich Hofmann? Who’s Heinrich Hofmann?” and conduct a Google search that will end in inevitable disappointment.
Welcome back! Having massacred every living thing in the vicinity on the presupposition that they were infected with a demonic entity that chose to passively accept death and behave remarkably like a group of terrified villagers, the bodies are dumped into mass grave along with one of the Knight’s brethren and his clumsy horse, who after slipping a few feet into the shallow pit and suffering no injuries whatsoever, are nonchalantly covered with dirt and buried alive by the unstoppable workforce, comprised of three chaps with spades.
Determined to ride out this farce for murdering civilians, the old coot in charge decrees a church be built on the site. Already committed to wasting more unnecessary man hours on this excursion, he decides to go the whole hog, sow and their litter of piglets and raises a giant gothic cathedral on the land.
Having now ensured a constant stream of human traffic over the resting place of the souls of the damned for years to come, time passes uneventfully until the arrival of one very pushy librarian, Evan, who wastes no time in securing a date with Lisa, the artist working to restore sections of the church.
Lisa’s team of workmen, who are playing their part in the restoration by taking pneumatic drills to the foundations of the building, are forced to stop working upon the discovery that there may well be a cave beneath the church. Disregarding this, Lisa pokes around anyway and finds a piece of parchment which she immediately hands over to her new librarian squeeze rather than the Bishop who’s running the place and paying her wages.
Preferring parchment to pussy, Evan abandons the opportunity to rummage through her stacks for deciphering the mouldy text and learns of a hidden secret beneath the church. Kitted out with only a torch, a teeny tiny knife and his extensive knowledge of shifting books from one shelf to another, he descends into the catacombs to excavate whatever lies beneath.
What wallows under the brickwork is a demonic collective of entities called into existence by the vengeful souls of the murdered peasants, out for the blood of the innocent and for whom the irony of this entire situation is completely lost.
As the demonic possession spreads through the church, the doors are mysteriously sealed shut, allowing the infestation to spread through the various groups of visitors locked inside. Evan and a few other choice bystanders head down to the catacombs to watch Lisa get ploughed by Mr. Tumnus’s understudy, whilst old ladies and children take to murdering those as yet unaffected.
Escape seems impossible, until Lotte – the caretaker’s wilful daughter who regularly sneaks out through the bowels of the church to get jiggy at the uber hip discotheque down the road – returns to the pandemonium and promptly finds the only other sane person on the premises – Father Gus. Having adopted the role of the lead, Gus gets up to speed on the seedy history of the church thanks to Lotte, who witnessed the initial slaughter in a previous incarnation.
Having served her purpose, Lotte scarpers leaving Gus to scour the building for the not-so-concealed secret failsafe built into the structure that will collapse the church and bury all those within. Will Gus be able to prevent the plague of evil from spreading beyond the walls of the church? Or is this a battle he doesn’t think he can win? Because he’s Captain Panaka from Star Wars and that’s what he said to – never mind. If you want to find out, steel yourself and venture into The Church!
Author Gamer Girl writes for FrontTowardsGamer.com and GamerGirlTalk.com. It is highly recommended you follow her on Twitter.
Previously in Poison Popcorn: GOTHIC! See previous Poison Popcorns right fucking here!