The Unholy (1988)


Directed by: Camilo Vila

Written by: Philip Yordan & Fernando Fonsica


Ben Cross .... Father Michael
Jill Carroll .... Millie
William Russ .... Luke
Ned Beatty .... Jacey
Hal Holbrook .... Archbishop Mosely
Trevor Howard .... Father Silva
Claudia Robinson .... Teresa
Nicole Fortier .... Demon
Norma Donaldson .... Abby
Peter Frechette .... Claude

Release Date: Theatrical: April 22, 1988

*Images courtesy at:








A priest named Father Michael (Ben Cross) is battling a Demon (Nicole Fortier) who kills people who are sinners in the act of sinning and takes on the challenge with getting involved within the crimes of everything as he is tormented in his nightmares or being awake by demonic forces and tries to help a troubled young woman named Millie (Jill Carroll) who is mixed up with the surroundings on all of this.


There's an interesting opening credits with some animated rips showing which seemed to look like a traditional 80's type of cheesy horror flick and then we spot a cathedral with a priest doing a prayer in front of a statue as well as exposing the female demon trying to tempt him which looked awfully cheesy and corny to watch all of this as I was wondering if I was gonna be in for a bad movie.
There's a good scene involving the lead character Father Michael talking to someone who is about to jump off a building which looked powerfully done which makes up for the beginning of the movie as well as him about to reach his hand as this was carefully shot and well focused giving you a sinking feeling that something is about to happen and when it does almost makes you jump for sure.
We also have a moment when Father Michael is being cautious while he is walking down the stairs in the dark to open a door suspecting that something spooky is gonna happen which was supposed to make you shiver in suspense and supposed to make you jump when he ipens the door but neither of these work at all.
Yet good strong discussions between Father Michael and the police detective Jacey in which this looked well focused on the deadly situations that were happening with good camera shots on the two of them.
Also some perfect situations between Father Michael and Millie at a satanic lounge as well as good crafty shots and lighting effects on a sacrifice happening on stage which looked amusing and entertaining while their conversations are happening adding nice timing here.
Perfect effective nightmare sequences involving Father Michael in his home and a hooded figure lurching about as well as him struggling against some evil force grabbing at him with smoke flying about as the effects looked pretty good while spotting all of this.
A perfect shot on Father Michael looking out his window when it's raining and we spot the female demon standing there staring back at him offering a perfect horror touch here.
More good discussions between Father Michael and Millie when discussing a situation as this was drawn in perfectly within the two of them showing a nice dramatic moment here.
Perfect camera shots surrounding Father Michael while checking on unusual situations while we spot Luke sleeping with close up shots on objects like a window or ice in a glass stirring as this for sure makes you wonder if a demonic presence will happen and nice suspenseful moments when something does happen just lashing out big time which changes the silent motive big time.
Things seem truly disturbing when Father Michael gets demanding towards Luke and things start to fire up between the two of them as this looked powerfully done and nicely written in too.
Also great moments between Father Michael talking to Millie in a quiet room in which things looked perfectly intense when we spot on what's going on there as there's alot of powerful craziness going on which grabs your attention big time.
More great effective moments when Luke approaches a supporting character named Abby and she screams out of fear towards him as this for sure leaves a nice mysterious moment on him being a suspect to the demonic happenings making you wonder if he's a part of it all.
Then we have the perfect showdown at the cathedral with a shocking grizzly piece of art on a corpse hung upside down on a crucifix as well as spotting some ghoulish demons attacking Father Michael along with Millie which all these shots looked fast action and suspenseful plus good effects and camera shots looking down on a floor breaking through pitted against Father Michael trapped on a crucifix and keeping you in suspense if he will be dragged into hell or not. Alot of these scene's seemed almost familiar with the cult flick Ghoulies.
Bottom line is that this film is half good and half bland and cheesy. Yet well done in alot of the spots mentioned here. It's a typical 80's horror low budgeter that tries hard to be scary and intense but has some leaky holes in it too. It has some admirers though.

The acting is in fine shape as lead actor Ben Cross (Father Michael) really proved off his part well coming across as perfectly serious and calm especially when he tries to talk sense to someone else. This looked very strong in which he shows a beliveable patience throughout all of this. Plus he shows off a perfect amount of energy when he flies off the handle by getting aggressive and losing his temper offering some nice intense energy here too. Does a decent job whenever he is struggling during the terrors surrounding him just rolling with the punches here.
Jill Carroll
(Millie) was a real attention grabber who was one of the best cast members to expose herself onto the camera. She shows a good slick behavior in the beginning of her performance at the satanic club. Then bounces off acting disturbed and innocent when she asks for help and becomes very silent like offering a nice versatality here. Afterwards really lunges into being insane while being in a quiet room crying and screaming hysterically like a madwoman in which she knew her craft terrifically here and studied this scene incredibly well too. Plus does a good job by going in a trance acting disturbed while trying to act forceful by being seductive. Yes this girl has it all.
William Russ (Luke) seemed to need a bit of a push with pulling off some characteristics and seemed to be mainly a line reader but he does seem to try his best and does well by getting in your face showing off some decent energy within that I must say. He also does a nice job getting aggressive too within all that he does making him a perfect suspect.
Ned Beatty
(Jacey) really proved his part well like he does in most of his shows that I've seen him in portraying a perfect detective and meaning business with his seriousness. Plus he really knew on how to get into a heavy conversation concerning a crime which was done perfectly and really stressing a situation which showed off perfect energy on his behalf. He had the right appeal for all of this too and studied his part inside out.
Hal Holbrook
(Archbishop Mosely) lived to portray this role in which he had a perfect smoothness in his speaking and seemed to do well as playing someone in charge of stuff acting very businesslike. He was very clear in his speaking and shows off a good no nonsense type of behavior and a perfect seriousness too.
Trevor Howard
(Father Silva) was another perfect actor as he was truly believeable portraying a blind priest in the film knowing his movements like he can't see and also presents himself perfectly mysterious with his speaking and acts as if he has a dark secret too. He was another real attention grabber for everything that he does here.
Claudia Robinson
(Teresa) really showed an effective supporting role acting as the main maid in which she showed a nice and caring type of personality really knowing on how to do her job within this. Plus she showed some nice sad emotions or getting to the point with stuff in other areas. She for sure knew her craft and had the right looks for this too.
Nicole Fortier
(Demon) had the perfect hot wicked looks and silent motive for this role. She was perfect acting soothing and softly approaching someone lustfully. Also does well lashing out or showing some good wicked expressions. Proves that even if she didn't really have any lines could do the trick with what she does within her presence here.
Peter Frechette
(Claude) didn't have alot of scene's in his supporting role but shined off the most out of the whole cast in which he does perfect with his disturbed behavior in the beginning making his part seem truly dark and depressing. Also he was perfect by lunging into action near the end of the story acting insane and speaking coldly with his hissing and just acting like a perfect maniac. Plus showed alot of wild expressions and intense within his blocking too which also looked powerfully done on his behalf. Yes he was a true character actor too.

The Demon's blouse is see through and her breasts are fully exposed and in another scene her vagina is exposed too.
A woman's breasts are revealed during a sacrifice in a satanic lounge

A person's neck is bitten off.
A woman is stabbed in a sacrifice with blood dripping down.
A person pukes out blood and guts.
Person's insides are torn out while hung upside down on a crucifix.
Person's wrists are nailed to a crucifix.

The composing by Roger Bellon sounded rather cheesy and Z-grade like but some of it wasn't too bad. We do often hear the odd chiming sounds coming from a synthesizer as well as some piano sounds of the same theme too. Also there's light airy type music too and calm effects along with windy sounds which seems pretty passable for the scene's involved with these. Plus we have nice 80's type drumbeat rhythm and having it sound echoey especially used for the opening credits. Also there's great strong violin and chanting sounds for the near end of the film with the main priest in this film trying to put an end to the evil madness going on which really works in terrifically.