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The Devil's Rain

By Sean Axmaker

In the wake of Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist, the devil and his disciples became prime subject for independent filmmakers. The Devil's Rain is one of the better films that came from the flood. Corbis (Ernest Borgnine) hunts a Midwest family as he searches for "The Book," an ancient tome stolen centuries ago containing the names of the devil cult's disciples written in their own blood. As he turns the family one by one into dead-eyed soldiers for Satan, surviving son Tom Skerrit struggles to free them and keep the tome out of Corbis's hands. Robert Fuest, who directed the offbeat cult classics The Abominable Dr. Phibes and Dr. Phibes Rises Again, cranks up the ghoul factor with arresting images of the black-eyed zombies wandering through a desert ghost town. The cast (including a stiff William Shatner and a tired Ida Lupino) is more solemn than spirited. Only Borgnine sinks his teeth into his role, preaching the word of the devil with gusto and theatrical flourish and transforming into a horned demon in a blood ceremony. It's an inconsistent picture but Fuest creates moments of gripping horror and builds to a dynamic climax that delivers the promised devil's rain with sizzling results. The film has garnered some fame as John Travolta's film debut, but he's practically unrecognizable as a hooded cult follower.

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"The Devil's Rain is a great example of a Super70s Horror Film.

You put a bunch of familiar TV Actors (William Shatner, Ernest Borgnine, Joan Prather, John Travolta)add a low budget, throw in lots of screaming and a ooey, gooey ending. What everyone remembers about this one is the end. I don't want to spoil it for those who've never seen it. This one is worth it just to see Mr. Borgnine with His devilish ram's horns. See it, you won't be disappointed!!"

--Michael C.

 

FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Robert Fuest

Stars: Ernest Borgnine, Ida Lupino, William Shatner, Tom Skerritt, Eddie Albert, Keenan Wynn, Joan Prather

Released: July 25, 1975

Availability: DVD VHS


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