The Unholy (1988)

R | 104 mins | Drama | 22 April 1988

Director:

Camilo Vila

Producer:

Mathew Hayden

Cinematographer:

Henry Vargas

Editor:

Mark Melnick

Production Designer:

Fernando Fonseca

Production Company:

Team Effort Productions
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HISTORY

Principal photography began on 27 Oct 1986, according to a 25 Nov 1986 HR production chart, and filming ended on 20 Dec 1986 at Limelight Studios in Miami, FL, as stated in a 31 Dec 1986 Var news item. Exteriors were shot in Miami and New Orleans, LA.
       On 13 May 1987, DV announced that Vestron Pictures had partnered with Interaccess Film Distribution to acquire worldwide distribution rights, with Vestron handling domestic markets and Interaccess taking over foreign sales.
       The film premiered on 19 Apr 1988 at Mann’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, CA, as reported in a 20 Apr 1988 LAHExam column.
       The Unholy marked actor Trevor Howard’s final U.S. feature film appearance before his death on 7 Jan 1988, but The Dawning, a British release, opened in 1989.
       End credits include: “Special thanks to: Gary Barber; Steve Schmidt; Maria J. Peckos; Susan Ilene Senk; Peter Marai; William G. Dunn; Dimitri Villard; Robby Wald; Sonia Farnsworth; Maxine Pryor; Pelayo Garcia; Michael Moenck; Marie Arnold; Lynne Mestier; Archdiocese of Miami; Reverend Gerrard T. LaCerra; Father Terry Hogan; Father Robert Tywoniak; Mt. Sinai Hospital; Bonnie Hance; Dorothy Bosco; Brian Burnside; Anthony Sirianni; John Boylan; Robert Carr; Drummond of Perth; Americana Book Shop; Cini Bookbinders, Inc.; The Book Warehouse; Frenchies; Patty Boyle; Metro Dade Film Commission; Florida Motion Picture Bureau; Florida Film Producers Association; Florida Film & Recording Institute; Coty International Talent & Modeling; The Weiser Family.” The picture was: “Filmed at Limelite Studios, ... More Less

Principal photography began on 27 Oct 1986, according to a 25 Nov 1986 HR production chart, and filming ended on 20 Dec 1986 at Limelight Studios in Miami, FL, as stated in a 31 Dec 1986 Var news item. Exteriors were shot in Miami and New Orleans, LA.
       On 13 May 1987, DV announced that Vestron Pictures had partnered with Interaccess Film Distribution to acquire worldwide distribution rights, with Vestron handling domestic markets and Interaccess taking over foreign sales.
       The film premiered on 19 Apr 1988 at Mann’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, CA, as reported in a 20 Apr 1988 LAHExam column.
       The Unholy marked actor Trevor Howard’s final U.S. feature film appearance before his death on 7 Jan 1988, but The Dawning, a British release, opened in 1989.
       End credits include: “Special thanks to: Gary Barber; Steve Schmidt; Maria J. Peckos; Susan Ilene Senk; Peter Marai; William G. Dunn; Dimitri Villard; Robby Wald; Sonia Farnsworth; Maxine Pryor; Pelayo Garcia; Michael Moenck; Marie Arnold; Lynne Mestier; Archdiocese of Miami; Reverend Gerrard T. LaCerra; Father Terry Hogan; Father Robert Tywoniak; Mt. Sinai Hospital; Bonnie Hance; Dorothy Bosco; Brian Burnside; Anthony Sirianni; John Boylan; Robert Carr; Drummond of Perth; Americana Book Shop; Cini Bookbinders, Inc.; The Book Warehouse; Frenchies; Patty Boyle; Metro Dade Film Commission; Florida Motion Picture Bureau; Florida Film Producers Association; Florida Film & Recording Institute; Coty International Talent & Modeling; The Weiser Family.” The picture was: “Filmed at Limelite Studios, Miami.”
More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Jul 1988.
---
Daily Variety
13 May 1987.
---
Daily Variety
25 Apr 1988.
---
Hollywood Reporter
25 Nov 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 May 1988
p. 8, 16.
LAHExam
20 Apr 1988.
---
Los Angeles Times
23 Apr 1988
p. 10.
New York Times
23 Apr 1988
p. 18.
Variety
31 Dec 1986.
---
Variety
27 Apr 1988
p. 13.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Vestron Pictures and Limelight Studios present
A Team Effort production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d unit dir
Unit prod mgr, New Orleans
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod, Vestron
Exec prod, Vestron
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Lighting and vis consultant
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
3d asst cam
Gaffer
Best boy
Best boy
Key grip
Grip
Lighting & grip equip
2d unit dir of photog
2d unit asst cam
Still photog
2d unit dir of photog, New Orleans
2d unit asst cam, New Orleans
2d unit 2d asst cam
Best boy, New Orleans
Elec, New Orleans
Elec, New Orleans
Elec, New Orleans
Elec, New Orleans
Grip, New Orleans
Grip, New Orleans
Grip, New Orleans
Still photog, New Orleans
Key/Dolly grip, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art asst
Asst to the prod des
Asst to the prod des
Draftsperson
Draftsperson
FILM EDITORS
Addl ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Asst set dec
Prop master
Asst props
Const coord
Prop maker
Prop maker
Prop maker
Prop maker
Prop maker
Prop maker
Prop maker
Prop maker
Prop maker
Head scenic artist
Scenic artist
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward supv
1st asst ward
MUSIC
Mus comp by
Mus supv
Mus supv
Addl mus
Orig score rec and mixed at
Fairlight programming
2d eng
Female vocals
Female vocals
Female vocals
Female vocals
Vocal arr
"Threshhold" mus by, ©1987 Vestron
Choral treatment by
Scoring mixer
Scoring mixer
Scoring mixer
Mus ed
SOUND
Sd mixer
Supv sd ed
Sd FX ed
Sd FX ed
Sd FX ed
Sd FX ed
Dial/ADR ed
Dial/ADR ed
Sd apprentice
Foley walker
Foley walker
Re-rec facility
Re-rec facility
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec vis eff dir by
Spec eff seq by
Spec eff seq prod by
Spec eff seq co-prod by
Make up eff des and created by, Spec eff, Florida
Make up eff des and created by, Spec eff, Florida
Eff mechanic, Spec eff, Florida crew
Eff asst, Spec eff, Florida crew
Eff asst, Spec eff, Florida crew
Eff asst, Spec eff, Florida crew
Ef asst, Spec eff, Florida crew
Dir of photog, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Prod mgr, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Art dir, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Film ed, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
1st asst dir, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
2d asst dir, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
2d 2d asst dir, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Script supv, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
1st asst cam, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
2d asst cam, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Gaffer, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Best boy elec, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Key/Dolly grip, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Best boy grip, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Grip, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Sd mixer, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Boom op, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Prop master, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Asst prop master, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Makeup/Hair, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Ward, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Spec eff by, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Spec eff prod coord, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Spec eff tech, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Spec eff artist, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Spec eff artist, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Creature crew, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Creature crew, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Creature crew, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Creature crew, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Creature crew, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Creature crew, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Creature crew, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Creature crew, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Creature crew, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Creature crew, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Creature crew, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Creature crew, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Creative fabricator, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Creative fabricator, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Story board artist, Spec eft, Addl spec eff unit
Pyrotechncian, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Asst film ed, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Asst film ed, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Asst film ed, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Still photog, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Prod secy, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Dir asst, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Apprentice coord, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Prod asst, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Prod asst, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Prod asst, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Extras casting, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Const coord, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Const foreman, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Carpenter, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Carpenter, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Painter, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Modelmaker, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Const crew, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Const crew, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Craft service, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Craft service, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Asst craft service, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Caterer, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Sightline by, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Sd des by, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Sd des, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
1st asst sd des, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
2d asst sd des, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Sd ed, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Sd ed, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
1st asst sd ed, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
2d asst sd ed, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Prod auditor, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Prod representative, Spec eff, Addl spec eff unit
Main title seq
End titles
End title photog
MAKEUP
Hair and make up des by
Make up asst
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting, Reuben Cannon & Associates
Unit mgr
Scr supv
Unit pub
Prod auditor
Asst prod auditor
Prod accountant
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Asst to the prod
Miami casting
Los Angeles casting asst
Los Angeles casting asst
Transportation co-captain
Transportation co-captain
Driver
Driver
Animal talent
Snake wrangler
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Los Angeles legal services
Los Angeles legal services
Miami legal services
Craft services
Asst craft services
Caterer
Prod office coord, New Orleans
Asst office coord, New Orleans
Loc mgr, New Orleans
Asst loc mgr, New Orleans
New Orleans casting, New Orleans
Transportation coord, New Orleans
Prod asst, New Orleans
Prod asst, New Orleans
Prod asst, New Orleans
Prod asst, New Orleans
Prod asst, New Orleans
Prod asst, New Orleans
Prod asst, New Orleans
Prod asst, New Orleans
Prod asst, New Orleans
Prod asst, New Orleans
Prod asst, New Orleans
Craft service, New Orleans
Caterer, New Orleans
Post prod supv
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timing
Dailies processed by
Col by
DETAILS
Release Date:
22 April 1988
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 22 April 1988
Production Date:
27 October--20 December 1986
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Lenses and camera by ARRI®
Duration(in mins):
104
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

When a suicidal young man named Claude threatens to throw himself from a hotel ledge, Father John Michael reports to the scene, hoping his religious faith will help save Claude’s life. As Father Michael reaches for Claude, the boy transforms into a demon and pulls the priest through the window, causing him to plummet to the street below. However, Father Michael survives without injury. Keeping the phenomenon a secret, Archbishop Mosely appoints Father Michael to Saint Agnes parish, where two priests were murdered exactly one year apart under mysterious circumstances. There, Father Michael is spellbound by visions of a beautiful, demonic redhead, but he does not believe in the devil and regards the apparition as a fantasy. Late one night, police Lieutenant Stern arrives at Saint Agnes, searching for clues about the unresolved murder cases. He warns Father Michael that Archbishop Mosely is concealing information from the public, and cautions that the young priest’s life is in danger. Showing Father Michael the appointment book of his predecessor, Father Dennis, Lt. Stern reports that a young woman named Millie visited the priest before he was murdered. Although police are unable to connect Millie to the crime, Father Michael tracks her down at a sex club called the Threshold, where she works as a waitress while Satanic rituals are performed on stage. Millie is not forthcoming about Father Dennis, but she later visits Father Michael and admits that she gave confession just before the priest was murdered. While Millie is terrified by Luke, her boss at the Threshold whom she believes to be “the devil,” Father Michael is adamant that Satan ... +


When a suicidal young man named Claude threatens to throw himself from a hotel ledge, Father John Michael reports to the scene, hoping his religious faith will help save Claude’s life. As Father Michael reaches for Claude, the boy transforms into a demon and pulls the priest through the window, causing him to plummet to the street below. However, Father Michael survives without injury. Keeping the phenomenon a secret, Archbishop Mosely appoints Father Michael to Saint Agnes parish, where two priests were murdered exactly one year apart under mysterious circumstances. There, Father Michael is spellbound by visions of a beautiful, demonic redhead, but he does not believe in the devil and regards the apparition as a fantasy. Late one night, police Lieutenant Stern arrives at Saint Agnes, searching for clues about the unresolved murder cases. He warns Father Michael that Archbishop Mosely is concealing information from the public, and cautions that the young priest’s life is in danger. Showing Father Michael the appointment book of his predecessor, Father Dennis, Lt. Stern reports that a young woman named Millie visited the priest before he was murdered. Although police are unable to connect Millie to the crime, Father Michael tracks her down at a sex club called the Threshold, where she works as a waitress while Satanic rituals are performed on stage. Millie is not forthcoming about Father Dennis, but she later visits Father Michael and admits that she gave confession just before the priest was murdered. While Millie is terrified by Luke, her boss at the Threshold whom she believes to be “the devil,” Father Michael is adamant that Satan is not real. Insulted by Father Michael’s dismissal of her concerns, Millie returns to the club in despair. Sometime later, Luke comes to Saint Agnes to warn Father Michael about Millie. The club owner explains that he stages Satanic rituals at the Threshold as a gimmick, but the theatrics have become more legitimate lately, and some regulars, including Millie, mistake fantasy for reality. Despite his skepticism about the devil, Luke fears he has become possessed and asks Father Michael to protect him. The priest is dubious, but he visits Luke’s hotel room that night and witnesses a supernatural spectacle. When Father Michael describes the event to Archbishop Mosely, the cleric dismisses the incident. However, he introduces the young priest to Father Silva, an aged, blind demonologist. Referring to Father Michael’s fall from the hotel window, Father Silva explains that the priest’s miraculous recovery is evidence that God has “chosen” him to fight the devil at Saint Agnes. A demon lurks at the parish in the form of a redheaded temptress, who killed Father Michael’s predecessors. Despite recent events, Father Michael remains doubtful about Father Silva’s claims. Sometime later, Millie is hospitalized for psychosis but she escapes the sanitarium to seek refuge at Saint Agnes, where she slowly regains her sanity. When Luke unsuccessfully tries to lure Millie back to the Threshold, he warns Father Michael that the girl will try to seduce him, and threaten his priestly vows. One night, Millie finds a book about Satan and tells Father Michael about “The Unholy,” a demon who remains on Earth to prey upon priests and virgins. Admitting to her lack of sexual experience, Millie begs Father Michael to make love to her, so she will be safe from “The Unholy,” but he refuses to betray his oath of celibacy. When Father Michael later accuses Luke of planting the book in Millie’s room, the club owner defends his innocence and suggests it is time for the priest to accept the existence of Satan once and for all. The next day, Father Michael is terrified to discover Luke’s disembowled corpse hanging upside down from the Saint Agnes altar. Just then, Father Michael sees Claude, the man he tried to rescue from suicide at the hotel. Referring to the parish’s redheaded demon, Claude explains the seductress forced him to throw Father Michael from the window and begs forgiveness, but the priest’s blessing does not protect Claude from the demon’s vengeance, and the boy’s body ignites in flame. Now convinced of Satan’s power, Father Michael returns to Father Silva, who declares there will be a battle against the devil at Saint Agnes. That night in the parish, Father Michael watches the redheaded demon disrobe and transform into Millie, but he pushes her away. As Father Michael is nailed to the altar by midget beasts and tortured by the devil, Millie hears commotion and steps into the chapel sanctuary. Although Satan goes after the girl, Father Michael regains his strength and the ground opens, swallowing the devil and sending him back to hell. Blinded and frail from the battle, Father Michael asks Millie to guide him away from Saint Agnes and they walk down the aisle, unaware that a statue of Archangel Michael is bleeding tears from one eye. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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