.Michele Soavi's sophomoric directorial effort is a like car you pass by on the side of the street that's for sale. It looks great from the road; however, as you walk up to it, you began to see all the little scratches, dings, and signs of body work. It's still a nice car, but not quite the hot shit or sweet deal it first appeared to be.
The story of a gothic cathedral resting over a mass grave of supposed devil-worshipers that's "awakened" with the opening of their crypt is ultimately muddled by the film's bevy of writers. Characters we figured were important at first are marginalized into nothingness, events occur that should have much more impact on the story inexplicably don't, and there's a general sense that many of the finer points not adding up if pondered for any longer than three seconds.
That doesn't mean it's not worth checking out. Soavi intended The Church to be more serious than the low Italian horror degenerated to by the late '80s and it shows in both execution and style. Striking visuals and earthy atmosphere are available in spades as Soavi continues to cut his teeth on his way to The Sect (1991) and his last horror effort to date, Dellamorte Dellamore (1994). Columbia's VHS is uncut and in 1.85:1 widescreen just like Anchor Bay's DVD (and Blue Underground's re-issue).