6.1/10
5,642
45 user 58 critic

The Believers (1987)

A New York psychiatrist finds that a brujería-inspired cult, which believes in child sacrifice, has a keen interest in his own son.

Director:

John Schlesinger

Writers:

Mark Frost (screenplay), Nicholas Conde (novel)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Martin Sheen ... Cal Jamison
Helen Shaver ... Jessica Halliday
Harley Cross ... Chris Jamison
Robert Loggia ... Lt. Sean McTaggert
Elizabeth Wilson ... Kate Maslow
Harris Yulin ... Robert Calder
Lee Richardson ... Dennis Maslow
Richard Masur ... Marty Wertheimer
Carla Pinza Carla Pinza ... Carmen Ruiz
Jimmy Smits ... Tom Lopez
Raúl Dávila Raúl Dávila ... Oscar Sezine
Malick Bowens ... Palo
Janet-Laine Green ... Lisa Jamison
Larry Ramos Larry Ramos ... Diner Counterman
Philip Corey Philip Corey ... Calder's Assistant
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Storyline

After the death of his wife, police psychiatrist Cal Jamison moves to New York. There he has to help in the investigation of the murder of two youths, who seem to have been immolated during a cult ritual. Jamison believes it's been Voodoo and, ignoring the warnings of his housekeeper, enters the scenery and soon gets under their influence. They try to get him to sacrifice his own son. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They exist. Fear them. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 June 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Ritual See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,342,732, 14 June 1987

Gross USA:

$18,753,438

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,753,438
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Orion Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One studio executive suggested having the Beastie Boys perform on the soundtrack. See more »

Goofs

When Jessica and Cal are participating in the Santeria ceremony, Jessica is sprayed with chicken blood. The blood initially hits the edge of her shirt near her neck. In a following shot, that part of her shirt is completely clean. See more »

Quotes

Customs agent: [Arriving at the airport] Open this please?
[first lines]
Palo: Just personel items... no need to look in there
[Palo stares deep into the man's eyes]
Customs agent: [Now in a trance like state] All-Right.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Trailer Trauma 3: 80s Horrorthon (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

La Finquita
Performed by Conj. Quisqueya
Courtesy of Latin American Music Co. Inc./A.C.E.M.L.A.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unpleasant big city crime drama with Martin Sheen that morphs into sorcery-oriented horror
9 August 2019 | by WuchakkSee all my reviews

A widowed therapist (Martin Sheen) moves back to New York City to find himself assisting the NYPD in a series of slayings linked to a Caribbean Voodoo-like cult. Things get worse when he discovers they want his son for a human sacrifice. Helen Shaver plays his landlord and possible romantic interest.

"The Believers" (1987) is an adult-oriented crime drama that gets increasingly horrific. The plot and tone are akin to "Wolfen" (1991), albeit with the brujería cult replacing the super-wolves. It's leagues superior to the similar "The Serpent and the Rainbow" (1988).

The diabolic angle makes for some ugliness (e.g. death due to electric shock, suicides, grisly sacrifices, snakes and creepy arachnids), but there are rays of light as well. Sheen is outstanding as the protagonist while Shaver offers her wares to the table. The shocking spider sequence was later ripped off by "Urban Legends: Bloody Mary" (2005).

The movie runs 1 hour, 44 minutes, and was shot in New York City & Toronto.

GRADE: B-


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