THE STORY: This is yet another movie I saw on HBO when I was a teenager and it scared the hell out of me then. Its not really that bad of a movie....cheap, yeah. but not that bad for what its worth.
Father Michael (Ben Cross) has a strange thing happen. The victim in a car accident he happens upons begs him for help by name even though he has never met this person before. Three years later a mancalled Claude that is about to jump of of a building asks for him by name. Police Lieutenant Stern (Ned Beatty) gets Father Michael to come to the scene. When Father Michael tries to talk Claude off of the ledge, Claude throws him off to fall 17 stories to the ground. Amazingly Father Michael is not injured at all. This prompts the Archbishop (Hal Holbrook) and the blind priest Father Silva to conclude that Michael is 'the one'. the give him his own parish, St. Agnes, a church that has been closed because the last two priests have been murdered. Fathers Dennis and Collins were killed just before Easter Sunday and both on the altar. The archbishop only informs Father Michael of Father Dennis' death though.
Spooky things start happening when Father Michael takes charge of St. Agnes. Millie, a waitress in a weirdass nightclub, the "Threshold" comes to Father Michael. She claims her boss, Luke the owner of the club "The Threshold" is the devil. Lt. Stern and the archbishop both tell Father Michael that she was involved with Father Dennis and that her story was the same then...its a publicity stunt engineered by Luke to get business for his club. Luke claims this is not true...his satanic rituals at his club are just an act, but he thinks he did conjure something up by accident and its haunting him. Luke gets Father Michael to stay with him one night to witness the paranormal events. Michael does so and witnesses poltergiest-like activity. Millie goes nuts shortly after that and after a short stay in the psycho-ward moves into the parish with Father Michael and his housekeeper, Theresa. Millie is distraught to find a book of demonology in her room one night and Father Michael is convinced that Luke has been responsible for the weird goings on and the murders of Father Dennis and Father Collins. Luke, however is innocent. But when he begins to discover the truth the demons kill him and hang him in the church. Claude returns to help Father Michael at the same time the father finds Luke's body, but the supernatural force kills him too. Father Silva and the Archbishop tell Father Michael the truth...every year between Ash Wednesday and Easter, Satan's demon Daisy-Daruis (I know I'm spelling that wrong) can walk the earth and hunts down virgins and priests for the devil. Thats what happened to the other priests...Daisy-Darius kills sinners in the act of sinning....appearing as a beautiful woman it tempted Father Dennis and then killed him. Father Silva tells Father Michael that if he can resist the demon he'll see its true form.
Daisy-Darius attacks that night. Father Michael resists and sees the hideous beast for what it is. Even though the he has resisted the demons nail his hands to the altar and proceed to torture or tempt him....but Millie enters the church then and Daisy-Darius goes after her. Praying for strength from God, Father Michael frees himself and banishes the monster back to Hell...but at the cost of his eyesight. Now he has been blinded in the same fashion as Father Silva.
Not a bad movie. I liked it, but I didn't expect a whole lot in first place.
best lines: "Don't underestimate the power of the church! We can close this place , put you and all this trash out of business!"-Father Michael to Luke, making a threat when he thinks Luke is behind the paranormal tricks at St. Agnes.
"Ooh, Father, you sound like a gangster!"-Luke's response to Father Michael's threat.
"Father Michael....this is Father Dennis...I'm waiting for you, in HELL!"-A phone call Father Michael recieved from the hoary netherworld.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?:
1.) Who is Father Michael? Duncan McCleod? Captain Scarlet?* He fell seventeen stories and he's not even freaking bruised? Man if that happened to me I'd go power-mad!
2.) Why didn't Father Michael bring someone else with him to Luke's apartment? Luke admitted that his satanic rituals at the club were all an act and he's good at it. So why wouldn't Father Michael bring another priest or a friend to Luke's as an observer? Doesn't it make sense that Luke would try to trick him?
3.) Millie reads in the Demonology book that the demon Daisy-Darius, AKA the Unholy, kills sinners in the act of sinning and is particular about priests and virgins...so she wants Father Michael to have sex with her so she's no longer a virgin. What kind of sense does that make? Asking a priest to screw you in a church is not going to save ya, babe....think about why...(the killing sinners while sinning part)
4.) Daisy-Darius has breasts! I mean in its demon form! which looks really wierd since it walks on four legs. The special effects are of course old in today's standards, but its a nice touch since the demon is identified as female.
NUDITY AND SEX: In its form as a seductress, Daisy-Darius is in a see-through nightie. Millie bares her breasts for Father Michael.
HUH?: What the hell did the car crash victim scene have to do with anything?
Ummm---how can Daisy-Darius, a demon from hell manifest itself in a church?
Well, Daisy-Darius has killed Father Dennis and Father Collins in the past but what does it want with Millie and Luke? I don't understand why they are involved at all....if the demons left Luke alone, Father Michael probably wouldn't have gone to the Archbishop and Father Silva and thus the Unholy would have been able to take him by surprise!
Father Michael says he doesn't believe in the devil.(before the demons kill Luke) What? I can understand his reasoning, but let us be honest...the church gained its power in the middle ages by promoting the belief in the devil!
Who the hell is Claude!? We never find out!
The Tally: I think that the version of this film I rented is different than ones I've seen in the past. When Millie takes her clothes off you only see her from the chest up, but I remember seeing on HBO and a rented version years ago seeing her standing there totally nude...her whole body. Not a big deal. (I only remember that because I was a horny teenager when I first saw it) Well, this movie is no "The Exorcist" , but its okay.
* Duncan Mcleod is the lead character in Highlander: The Series. he's immortal and cannot be killed. Captain Scarlet was a kid's action show from the 60's done in 'Super-marionation'. Captain Scarlet was indestructible and every time he was killed or horribly mangled he would come back to life good as new.