Catacombs title

AKA : The Curse 4 : The Ultimate Sacrifice

Tag line : Dare you enter the labyrinth?

CatacombsSet in Northern Italy, American school teacher Elizabeth Magrino (Laura Schaefer) is visiting the monastery of San Pietro to brush up on her bible studies. Whilst there, one of the monks excavating the remains of the catacombs underneath the abbey stumbles across an ancient tomb.

After removing the seal from the tomb (never a wise idea in a horror film) the monastery is rocked by the mysterious disappearance and death of several of the monks. The extremely pious Brother Marinus (Jeremy West) immediately blames these events on Elizabeth's arrival, believing god is punishing them for allowing a woman into their order.

Befriended by a fellow American, a priest named Father Durham (Timothy Van Patten) who's staying at the monastery to try and find his 'calling' in life, they begin to investigate the old legends surrounding the catacombs and discover the tomb is said to contain an ancient demon, that was supposedly sealed up inside by the Inquisition during the mid-1500's. A story Brother Marinus insists to be true.

Of course the Father Superior, Brother Orsinni (Ian Abercrombie), thinks these old tales are nonsense. However, as more people disappear and demonic manifestations begin to emerge in the catacombs below, could Marinus actually be right?

Directed by David Schmoeller, Catacombs is one of the many horror films to have come out of the Charles Band stable, the guy that gave us "Puppet Master", "Demonic Toys" and numerous other films. As with Band's other output, this is a respectable medium-budget horror pic, though my main criticism would be that after the introductory pre-credits scene with exorcism and imprisonment of the films demon, the rest of the movie takes too long to get going and so some may find this a bit on the slow side.

Overall Marks : 5/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag line "The corridors of Hell".

  • The movie was completed in 1988, but because the studio went bankrupt shortly afterwards, the film rights got caught up in a lot of legal red tape and so was subsequently shelved. The film was finally released in 1993.

  • Timothy Van Patten, who plays the lead character Father Durham, also played gang leader Peter Stegman in the cult film "Class of 1984". He has since gone on to become a prominent US TV director, his credits including "Homicide - Life on the Street", "Sex and the City", "Deadwood" and "The Sopranos".

  • The original US release was under the title "The Curse 4 : The Ultimate Sacrifice", though like the other films in that series bore no actual connection to the first film.

  • Jeremy West, who plays Brother Marinus, also played a Cardinal in the 1988 film "Man in the Iron Mask", a priest in the 2001 short film "Aizea : City of the Wind" and another monk in the 2004 film "Messiah". Fans of "The Howling" series may recognise him as Lester from "Howling 6 : Freaks".

  • Director David Schmoeller also directed the 1979 cult movie "The Tourist Trap" as well as the films "Crawlspace" and "Puppet Master".

  • Feodor Chailiapin Jr, who plays Brother Terrel, also played a monk in the 1986 Sean Connory film "Name of the Rose" as well as playing a bishop in Dario Argento's "The Church".

  • Producer Charles Band was also responsible for the "Pupper Master", "Demonic Toys" and "Subspecies" series of films.

Extra Info.

Cast & Crew.

 
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