Monday, July 10, 2017

Popcorn & Coffee: The Unholy: Vestron Video Collection Series

Lionsgate; Rated R; 102 minutes; Amazon

Now available on Blu-ray for the very first time from Lionsgate Home Entertainment is the 1988 horror-thriller The Unholy, the 10th title in the Vestron Video Collection Series.

Written by Phillip Yordan and Fernando Fonseca, and directed by Camilo Vila, the film stars Ben Cross, Ned Beatty, William Russ, Jill Carroll, Hal Holbrook, and Trevor Howard.

The Unholy centers on Father Michael (played by Ben Cross), a priest who recently survived from falling out of an apartment window. Shortly after the incident, Archbishop Mosely (played by Hal Holbrook), assigns Father Michael to take over the St. Agnes church. The two previous priests at the church were both murdered.

After reopening the church, Father Michael takes it up upon himself to solve the priests' murders. His only lead is Millie (played by Jill Carroll), a young waitress at a Satanic nightclub. He starts a friendship with Millie, and helps her to escape from her abusive older boyfriend, Luke (played William Russ), who happens the be owner of the Satanic nightclub.

At the Satanic nightclub, Luke has live fake sacrificial shows to entertain his customers. Through one of the performances, he accidentally released a demon known as the Daesidarius (played by Nicole Fortier), who is hellbent on sending any sinner's soul to hell.

Special Features on the Blu-ray are:

  • Audio Commentary with Director Camilo Vila
  • Isolated Score Selections And Audio Interview with Composer Roger Belton
  • Audio Interview with Production Designer and Co-Writer Fernando Fonseca, Featuring Isolated Selections from His Unused Score
  • Featurettes
    • "Sins of the Father" with Ben Cross
    • "Demons in the Flesh: The Monsters of The Unholy
    • "Prayer Offerings" with Fernando Fonseca
  • Original Ending: Featuring Optional Commentary with Producer Matthew Hayden
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots
  • Radio Spots
  • Original Storyboard Gallery
  • Still Gallery

Final Thoughts: Wow! I had completely forgotten about the horror flick The Unholy, well, until I heard about the new Vestron Video Collection Series Blu-ray release. I recall watching the edited version a few times on television during the 1990s. The film is a blend of The Exorcist, The Omen, and The Ninth Gate, but with crazy 80s' special effects.

The picture and sound quality are topnotch on Blu-ray. Lionsgate Home Entertainment has out did themselves by providing tons of featurettes and bonus extras, which will satisfy any horror fan.

Overall, The Unholy is an underrated, forgotten horror gem that is finally available on Blu-ray. It's a slow burning film, but with a terrifying ending. Yes, the special effects are a tad outdated, but it's still fun to watch.

* I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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