Friday, October 2, 2015

Horrors of October - The Devil's Rain

The Devil's Rain (1975)

"Heaven help us all when THE DEVIL'S RAIN!" With a completely nonsensical tagline like that, you know that the movie is going to be idiotic beyond belief and be a real doozy. It was a doozy all right because I was nodding off throughout its tedious 86 minutes. Describing its plot is a bit of an enigma because it's so convoluted and hard to decipher what's going on: Immortal Satanic priest Ernest Borgnine needs a specific book where all of his followers' names are written in blood for some reason but the descendants of a former traitor have it in their possession. William Shatner tries to deal with him with some kind of pendant but then he is subdued and tricked into erotically kissing his mother, and then Tom Skerritt pops in with his ESP-powered wife, and there's a magical egg filled with souls, and at several points Borgnine transforms into a goat-man. This insanity may seem fun to laugh at but director Robert Fuest, the same man who gave us the DR. PHIBES movies, is unable to maintain a cohesive story for the viewer to understand as well as cluttering the proceedings with disjointed events and long, long, long stretches of the characters walking around. The low budget nature of the picture is clearly shown in all scenes save for its climatic ending; The Devil's Rain comes pouring down and all of the baddies melt viciously into disgusting piles of viscous slop. Satanism and gruesome gore, all in a PG rated film! Other than its infamous conclusion, THE DEVIL'S RAIN is often noted by film scholars and lovers for several major reasons: The filmmakers hired Anton LaVey as a Satanic consultant and had him appear in a small role; Shatner loses his eyeballs at one point, causing him to eerily appear as Michael Myers, five years before the horror icon was created; and John Travolta, who makes his debut as Borgnine's snitchy underling, would be introduced by a co-star to the Church of Scientology. Other than these factoids and its violent finale, this movie deserves to be washed away by time and far better B-movies.


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