In 1988, Freddy, Michael Myers, Jason, and Chucky reigned supreme, and yet the devil tried to make a comeback in The Exorcist III and The Unholy. Other than an infamous hallway scene that has somehow made The Exorcist III debacle a classic in the minds of many, the devil really should have stayed dead.
But I’ll give The Unholy some credit. For starters, the 80s vibe is awesome. Plus, Hal Holbrook basically reprises his priest role from The Fog and Ned Beatty doesn’t squeal like a pig despite endless moral reflections on the relationship between sex and God in the film. Also, it turns out that Peter Frechette, the awesome Louis DiMucci in Grease 2, actually appeared in another film…this one. And since The Unholy takes such a strong stance on sexuality, I was hoping he’d break into a chorus of “Let’s Do It For Our Country.” He doesn’t.
Apparently, The Unholy was written in the 1970s after The Exorcist and The Omen became big. Difference is, this one is really preachy—and priesty. It’s all about a priest, the perversion of sex, and temptation. And essentially, it rips off The Sentinel. Blind priest has to be the protector of something and needs to be replaced by another blind priest. Oops! Sorry. Gave away the end. I can’t help it. I’m just so excited to finally see the religious based urban legend that sex makes you go blind come to life….
The good news is that, while there is obscene, gratuitous religion and church in this film, there’s also plenty of boobage, bush, lesbian kissing, and even man body.
Plus, the final confrontation involves classic 80s slimy rubber demons. Totally awesome that this amazingly boring and way too philosophical and theological film completely melts into a puddle of steaming hot cheese at the end. The last 10 minutes actually make the first awful hour and a half worth sitting through.
Aside from an uber-creepy statue in the church throughout the film, there’s nothing scary. Then all of a sudden, along with the rubber demon, we get some incredibly gruesome and cringe worthy imagery that surpasses the eerie clips from the videotape in The Ring.
Surprisingly, my favorite part of The Unholy is NOT the satanic worshipping stud in the g-string and leather mask.
It’s when he points out that it is quite ironic that the priest spends all his time telling everyone they’re going to burn in hell for their sins but then doesn’t buy it when hell actually comes calling. Also, watch out for the fricking spiritual hymn that plays during the closing credits of this horror film.