My ungodly experience with The Unholy


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.

unholy crucified

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.

unholy leather mask

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.

unholy demons

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.

unholy jockstrap

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.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at
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2 Responses to My ungodly experience with The Unholy

  1. joshuaskye says:

    I saw this when it first came out. I was 13, and probably had no business actually seeing it. Loved it then, still love it now. I wish they’d release it in a stand-alone special edition – until then, I’ll very much enjoy the 8 movie set it comes in now.

  2. Pingback: I SAW IT ON CABLE: from revenge to religion, Lovecraft to lesbians - BOYS, BEARS & SCARESBOYS, BEARS & SCARES

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