I love a good religious horror or demon possession film. My background as a Christian gives me a certain appreciation for what many critics call hokey sensationalist cinema and B-movie trash. I’ve seen the good ones (“The Exorcist,” “Devil”) and I’ve seen the bad ones (“The Exorcist Tapes,” “The Last Exorcism Part II”). Unfortunately, Uncork’d Entertainment’s “The Cloth” falls well below the threshold of bad and plunges into the abyss of laughably unwatchable.
Cases of demonic possessions are on the rise across the country. A faithless young man (Kyler Willett) is recruited by the Catholic Church into a secret organization of demon hunters. He teams up with a priest (Lassiter Holmes) as they track down the forces of evil and strive to put an end to Satan’s stronghold on humankind.
I can only describe “The Cloth” as a horribly made Christian film clumsily fashioned together by mainstream independent movie producers devoid of any real religious slant who own an HD camera and iMovie program. Imagine graduates of Roman Polanski or William Friedkin’s school of filmmaking being to blame for those “Tribulation” disasters and you get where I’m going with this. Its sexual content makes it pretty clear a Christian audience was not in mind while making the film.
Imagine an Asylum film completely devoid of the self-aware humor and wit we’ve come to expect from films like “Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus” or the more recent “Sharknado.” “The Cloth” takes itself seriously all the way to the closing credits. This makes scenes of a priest shooting possessed people with a demon-killing gun as they explode into digitally animated pieces even harder to sit through. As hard as it is to believe, the CGI is worse than anything you’ve seen in any Asylum movie or SyFy Channel original movie.
The one character in the film that I found humorous and likable was the guy who provided the holy weapons to the two lead characters. If the movie was focused on him, it would’ve been a lot more enjoyable. His British accent and punk rock look and sensibilities added a level of fun to his scenes that the rest of the movie is sorely lacking. The guy wears t-shirts with slogans like “Exorcise Regularly.” Need I go into any more explanation?
I will say that the scenes of demonic possession which aren’t cluttered with bad CGI look good. Whoever did the makeup and practical effects deserve some applause for the most part. The exorcism scene at the beginning showed promise that the rest of the film couldn’t deliver.
Danny Trejo is featured on the cover of “The Cloth” DVD as if he appears in the entire film. Be aware this is not the case. He is in what amounts to about 5 minutes of the 89-minute running time. Eric Roberts is also named as one of the main actors. He plays a priest and figures into maybe 5 minutes of screen time as well.
“The Cloth” includes a few extra features. I’m not sure anyone will care after watching it. There are two featurettes entitled “Making of ‘The Cloth'” and “Weapons of ‘The Cloth.'” Deleted and alternate scenes are also found. We’re blessed with a music video for the song “Hell and Back” as well.
As much as I hate saying this about any movie, “The Cloth” has absolutely no redeeming qualities. It’s a haphazard attempt at combining the elements of much better films like “Constantine” and “End of Days.” I hope Danny Trejo and Eric Roberts were paid well enough to justify them wasting their time and talents on this drivel.
“The Cloth” is available now on DVD.
For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:
“The Demented” Provides Minor Zombie Thrills and Chills
“The Fog” Rolls into Your Home on Blu-ray
“Detention of the Dead” Mashes Together “Night of the Living Dead” and “The Breakfast Club”