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Unholy


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Product Details

  • Actors: Adrienne Barbeau, Nicholas Brendon, Siri Baruc, Richard Ziman, Cheyenne Casebier
  • Directors: Daryl Goldberg
  • Writers: Daryl Goldberg, Sam Freeman
  • Producers: Daryl Goldberg, Chris Chan, Ivan Saperstein, Josh Blumenfeld, Kim Koby
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • Release Date: Sept. 4 2007
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B000PWQP8O
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #106,260 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Barbeau/Brendon ~ Unholy

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Format: DVD
If only the movie itself were half as good as the marketing campaign created for it, Unholy could have been a pretty good film. It certainly sounded promising, with its talk of a conspiratorial government project experimenting with the "unholy alliance" of time travel, invisibility, and mind control - not to mention the return of Adrienne Barbeau to the horror genre. Adrienne has long been one of my favorite horror starlets, so - despite the fact that she's no longer the beautiful young woman she used to be - I expected big things from this movie. The end result was quite a disappointment.

Adrienne Barbeau plays Martha, a Pennsylvania widow who helplessly watches her daughter kill herself in the cellar of their home. Hope's final words to her mother are "Beware of the experiment." She has no idea what the "experiment" could be, but she certainly knows something incredibly strange is going on. Earlier that day, she had an unsettling encounter with the world's creepiest fruit stand vendor, a man who told her that "they are playing with your future." With the help of her son Lucas (Nicholas Brendon of Buffy fame), she begins searching for a reason why Hope would have killed herself. This somehow leads her to a secret government conspiracy to continue the unethical experiments of a certain Nazi "necromancer." While this might sound interesting, it really isn't because we never learn any real details about any of it. We mainly just watch Martha and her son go out demanding answers during the day and then come home again, as if their lives aren't in any danger whatsoever, to the one place where bad things continue to happen to them. Suspense and paranoia increase (among the characters - not the audience) until the truth is finally revealed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 24 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
An Unholy Mess Oct. 13 2007
By R. Schultz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This movie has very little plot or coherence. It's a stew containing uncooked lumps of time-traveling entities, apparitions in basements, and figments inducing people to commit suicide.

Actually, the director's commentary on this DVD is better than the movie itself. In addition to providing some behind-the-scenes insights into how a bunch of buddies get together to make an Indie film like this, he talks about how he went about casting "Unholy." He says he was sure from the start that he wanted Adrienne Barbeau in the film because he'd remembered her as the all-night DJ in "The Fog," where she'd won him over with her "sexiest voice ever."

Barbeau's presence in "Unholy" is in fact the film's only redeeming virtue. It's good to see her on screen again, but it's unfortunate it had to be in a mishmash like this. So whether you are looking for sex appeal, or for a movie with at least some suspense and semblance of plot - it would in fact be better to go back to the source and check out "The Fog." Watching this movie will just leave you in one.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
OVERLY BIZARRE...PICK A GENRE... Nov. 9 2007
By Tim Janson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Unholy is not an easy movie to classify...part horror, part sci-fi, part psychological thriller, it isn't great in any one area but it is an interesting `small' movie. I use the word small because the two stars, Barbeau and Brendon, ad onscreen throughout almost the entire film. This isn't a scary movie, per se, but it is creepy. It's one of those films that makes you wonder just what the heck is going on throughout most of the movie but a twist at the end brings everything home.

Barbeau is Martha who returns home with flowers for her teenage daughter, Hope. But Hope has locked herself in the outdoor storm cellar with a gun to her head, babbling incoherently about some experiment...just before she pulls the trigger. Brendon plays older brother Lucas in a role not unlike `Xander in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He's slightly timid and tries to make up for it with humor. Martha wants to know why her daughter would take her own life and what this experiment is that she referred to before she took her own life. They find a hidden room in the basement with a painting of a crazed looking man wearing Nazi symbols. Martha falls asleep several times only to find herself in this room, strapped into a chair, and listening to an old record phonograph playing some crazed, cult-like chanting.

This is a film where virtually every character they encounter is some kind of nut or seems to know something about what's going on...from the guy who runs the flower shop to Martha's old next door neighbor, Charlie. Martha and Nicholas discover that the man in the painting was a Nazi scientist working on an experiment with the U.s. Government on what they called the Unholy Trinity: Time Travel, Mind Control, and invisibility. The more they discover, the more strange things become...there's encounters with strange kids in cemeteries, Nazi soldiers, and something morphing out of Martha's own living room floor and grabbing her ankle. You really do wonder where all this is going as it's just so over-the-top bizarre.

REVIEWED BY TIM JANSON
Reminded me of Donnie Darko... Oct. 25 2010
By Robert L. Hood - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
...except that THIS movie ultimately made sense.

This movie does start off as very disjointed and bizarre, and it seems like most of the reviewers here never got past that. Once the investigation starts, though, the pieces begin to come together and make sense, in exactly the way that Donnie Darko - The Director's Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition) should have and never really did. The key difference is that Unholy is completely unconcerned with explaining how the weird stuff works (it's Nazi magic; deal with it and move on), while Darko falls apart unless you can somehow magically understand all of the weird rules that govern its peculiar version of time travel and alternate reality...and even then, you might want to hit Wikipedia and see if you got it right. Darko hangs a semblance of a plot on a poorly-explained idea; Unholy is a well-crafted mystery that doesn't fully make sense until you put the final pieces into place. (In other words, it's a well-crafted mystery.)

Unholy gives you all the clues you need to understand it, but unless you were watching closely or jump right back in for a rewatch, you'll miss some. Yes, there are still a couple of holes that could have been (more explicitly) filled in, but they're side issues and you should be able to figure them out with a little thought. Just about every Weird Random Thing gets explained, either explicitly or by implication.

It also helps tremendously if you listen to the three "radio broadcasts" that are played over the end credits; those are the final pieces of the puzzle, and playing them with the credits may have been a miscalculation, as many people will miss them. (Subtitles would have been VERY useful for this movie, for those and for Hope's taped journal. Both are sources of critical information, but they can be hard to hear clearly. If this gets a Blu-ray release, I hope subtitles will be part of the upgrade.) It also helps if you know enough history to understand the significance of the first two broadcasts, but if not, the last one (and the credit cookie at the very end) makes it Really Obvious what has happened.

This is not a movie to turn on as background noise while you're doing something else and turn off when the first credits show up. If you do that, it'll make no sense and you'll think it's crap. This is a movie to focus on for an hour and a half, from the moment you hit "play" until the DVD comes back to the menu after the credits. All of the answers are in there, and everything really does come together in a coherent fashion. If you're confused after the first viewing, a second time should clear everything up nicely.

Conclusion: If you're looking for mindless blood-and-guts horror, stay away from this one; you won't like it. If you like puzzle box plots (in the way that the best time travel stories are), pick it up, watch closely, and maybe watch it again.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Borderline Genius Sept. 10 2007
By Billy Loomis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've seen some reviews calling this movie genius, and some calling it a mess...I definitely agree with the first. This movie is brilliant. Especially for direct to video standards. That being said, it is NOT for everyone. It is not a slasher. It is not a straightforward horror. It's DRAMA/THRILLER. If you want a straight forward horror movie, go see any of the countless DTV options. If you want a movie that makes you think, and one of the few movies I've seen where you can watch the entire thing TWICE and it be like seeing two different movies...watch UNHOLY. It's quickly becoming of of my faves...
Inventive, Bizarre, Twisty and somehow. . .Lean April 13 2008
By L. Veal - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This one will get reviews all over the place because it doesn't fit any mold. It's not the regular glossy splatter horror we're used to. It has no over the top, technological edge special effects. And the production values seem. . .spare-- purposefully barebone.
Yet, it's Different. Think of it not as a Horror "movie"-- but like a Horror "Play". Yes, the bodies start piling up in a mondo-funny way, but the actors are not playing this as 'Camp'. It's contained, inward-spiralling madness.
Best watched Late Night-- after Midnight.
Time Travel, Torture, Mind Control, cold blooded murder and Nazis who may or may NOT be dead.
This one has the feel of a new cult classic to me.


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