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The Devil's Rain
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Three centuries ago, Jonathan Corbis (Ernest Borgnine) led a coven of witches. Ancestors of the Preston family had betrayed Corbis and his Satanists by concealing their sacred book in which Corbis had inscribed the names of the people who had given themselves to the devil. For hundreds of years, the Prestons, have been able to keep the book from Corbis and without the book, he is unable to deliver the souls to Satan. Corbis, vowing to avenge himself of his betrayers, begins keeping his promise. Delve into the rituals and practices of devil worship -- if you dare. The gruesomely horrifying consequences of Satanism and possession will chill you to the bone...the movie itself will leave you speechless... the ending is one of the most horrifying of any motion picture ever! See John Travolta in his movie debut! Bonus Features: Trailer, Scene Selection, Photo Gallery. Specs: DVD5; Dolby Digital Mono; 86 minutes; Color; 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio; MPAA - PG; Year - 1975.
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. --Sean Axmaker
- Photo Gallery
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So have you ever thought, "What if the victims of the Salem Witch trials were actually guilty?" Yeah I know, I haven't either, and it is the most meager element of "The Devil's Rain" but probably one of its best moments in terms of quality of camp.
I'll go ahead and say that this is one you should watch with friends to get a good laugh. Watching this alone was not great. It had its moments. The opening was exciting and funny. After that it takes a turn for the boring and was never scarry. I'll give credit to the fact that it took place in a ghost town that gave it a western horror vibe that was unique. The term "vessel" was used many times and I thought this was referring to William Shatner's character, whom oddly acted almost exactly like James T Kirk. The surprise to me was that it was actually referring to a macGuffin that housed the souls collected by the devil. While the movie was focused on Shatner's character it was actually pretty good, but that was given up for an infomercial on Satanism. There would be a Satanism craze in the eighties that horrified many parents so I'm sure this would have been perfect in that time but I'm not sure how it played in the 70's. In the middle of the movie came a look at the cult's existence during the Salem Witch Trials. I'm thinking that the film makers were assuming they had found a universal enemy to couch the cult to make them look cool. It really added very little and muddied the plot. Ultimately "The Devil's Rain" was aimless and confusing. It also didn't satisfy as camp as well as many other movies like "The Room" or "Firestorm" to name a few.
-some unintentionally funny moments
-all star cast list
-not campy enough
-too slow at times
-disjointed and confusing
Dave aka Aeneas