Unholy – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com


Daryl Goldberg


Adrienne Barbeau Martha
Nicholas Brendon Lucas
Richard Ziman Storeowner
Merwin Goldsmith Charlie
Siri Baruc Hope

DVD Release Date: September 4, 2007
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 86 Minutes

The Movie

Martha is a widow with two grown children, Lucas and Hope. Everything seems to be right with the world until one day she returns home for her daughter’s birthday and finds Hope down in the storm cellar with a shotgun pointed at her head. As much as she tries, Martha just can’t convince her to put the gun down and she watches Hope blow her head off right in front of her. Martha is now down one more family member.

It just doesn’t seem right that her happy-go-lucky and beautiful daughter would be troubled enough to kill herself. Martha enlists the help of her usually drug-induced son Lucas to figure out why Hope is no longer with them. They first come across a tape in which Hope describes some horrible experiments performed by the Necromancer. The experiments have plenty to do with longtime government secrets dealing with cults, the Nazis, witches, and the Unholy Trinity which consists of time travel, invisibility, and mind control. Upon deeper research, Martha realizes that the Unholy Trinity has been secretly being performed on her, Lucas, and Hope.

It’s rather hard to go any further into what happens in Unholy. I’m not trying to avoid giving anything away; I just don’t know what else to say. It is essentially either five different films rolled into one or a film that should have been three hours long. If forced to sit through either of those scenarios then I think stealing the shotgun from Hope would be my only chance at sanity. The film just really doesn’t make any sense and with good reason. Director Daryl Goldberg tried to cram as much as possible into an hour and a half with a budget of most likely six bucks.

Perhaps shock value is what they had in mind with the multiple violent deaths, Nazis, time travel, and a completely absurd sex scene that you would have to see for yourself to believe. It just went away from shock turned more into a big amount of “huh?” As for value; well it was just never there to begin with except for some of the cast that got involved. Adrienne Barbeau and Nicholas Brendon do great work with the horrible material they are given to work with. Even Siri Baruc was fantastic in the short five minutes or so she was on screen as Hope.

The severe lack of budget and execution is what hurts Unholy because believe me, the creativity is certainly there. If only all the ideas thrown into this film could have been spread out more, explained, and even showcased so they would work then it is possible that an enjoyable film could have come out of it. Perhaps on Goldberg’s next film, he can get someone else to direct it and hopefully get a grant from someone because he’s almost there. He just needs that extra push to take his film from horrendous to at least watchable.

The Video

The film is shown in 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen format looks pretty good. The colors are bright when they need to be and the darker scenes are able to be seen nicely without looking black.

The Audio

The film is heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and sounds great. The music comes through very nicely setting the mood for a lot of scenes while never overpowering the dialogue. You can set the volume on one level and leave it there the whole time which is a bonus.

Special Features

Audio Commentary – Director Daryl Goldberg and writer Stephen Freeman sit down to discuss the film and do they ever discuss it. They actually break down every single scene in depth and really explain what is going on and why they did it. That helps to some extent for the more confusing moments in the film that just didn’t make sense during the first viewing. It is actually one of the most energetic commentaries I’ve ever heard because they just seemed to really have a good time making it. Well worth the watch although it was a bit strange that all sound from the film was muted entirely instead of just being lowered a bit as they spoke. They are worth listening to like I said, but maybe in the background or something so you don’t have to watch it again.

Photo And Still Gallery – A handful of behind the scene shots involving the cast and crew. There are a few showing the blood and gore of the film, and even some the posters. Nothing special.

Theatrical Trailer

TrailersHatchet, Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon, Masters Of Horror: The Black Cat, Masters Of Horror: Valerie On The Stairs, and Masters Of Horror: We All Scream For Ice Cream

The Inside Pulse

They tried and I’m giving them at least an A for effort here because it’s almost as if they thought this may be their last shot so they needed to get in everything they ever wanted. There’s just entirely too much going on in Unholy for you to possibly pay attention and comprehend. By the time you somewhat understand what the Nazis have done, then time travel and a witch are in the picture. The special features just there with a semi-interesting commentary and a bunch of trailers tossed in. Check it out one day as a rental if you’ve walked the entire video store four times and haven’t found anything yet. Other then that, don’t expect it to ever show up on the “watch this when you don’t feel like thinking” channel.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Unholy
(OUT OF 10)






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