I frequently think back to the glory days of VHS. Obviously, you can tell that from reading this blog. One title that caught my eye at the video store was The Unholy. The box design had a cool black and red theme, with a demon, complete with an evil, glimmering eye, in the background. One look at that and it was a must rent! The store that I frequented at the time had a big poster for the movie on the front window, so even if you missed the VHS box, you certainly weren't missing the front window.
The Unholy is about a demon who murders sinners in the act of sinning. This sends their souls to hell. A priest discovers this and must stop the demon. This falls firmly into the genre of religious horror, which has been done better and worse in the past. The movie has a lot going for it. The acting is way above par. They managed to grab some legit fantastic actors like Ned Beatty (who is great in everything that he is in) and Hal Holbrook. The rest of the cast is good too and the solid acting really helps raise the quality of the movie, especially since the script can get real silly in spots.
There is also a lot of practical gore, which also adds energy to the film. I remember a gory still in an issue of Fangoria, featuring an eviscerated man hanging upside down on a cross. That was definitely a memorable picture and moment in the movie!
The movie does run out of steam towards the end and seems a bit overlong, but this fact doesn't ruin the movie. In fact, the ending achieves a cool level of absurd ridiculousness that isn't really done in movies anymore. It's so over the top and silly, that it's hard to be like, "that's retarded, I hate this!" It was more like, "what the fuck, that is retarded, I love it!"
Anyway, The Unholy is a lost 80's horror movie with a religious twist that I think is worth a watch or two.