The Devil’s Rain


This movie sets a gloomy mood right off the bat. The opening credits linger over HEIERONYMOUS BOSCH‘s visions of hell while we listen to a loop of suffering screams and pleas from the damned. Then, rather than being introduced to our characters in happier times before the trouble starts, we’re plopped right down into a dark, rainy night and it appears that the proverbial shit has already hit the fan. Mark Preston (WILLIAM SHATNER) and his Mom (IDA LUPINO) try to get the viewer up to speed by revealing that the patriarch of the household has gone missing and that Mom’s been having psychic dreams foretelling this night for some time. Soon the missing Pop shows up, warns them about a cult and a book, and then promptly disintegrates into a hill of goo. If the film had kept this level of action up throughout it could have been a contender. Unfortunately, IDA and WILL are both abducted shortly thereafter, and we are introduced to yet another member of the family, brother Tom (TOM SKERRIT), who must carry the rest of the picture on his own comparatively boring shoulders. Looking like a spaghetti western observed through a stained glass window and directed by ROBERT FUEST who is responsible for the VINCENT PRICE DR.PHIBES films, THE DEVIL’S RAIN is all dressed up with nowhere to go. It lollygags, beats around the bush, and chases its tail until it’s finally time to unveil its true reason for existence. Its piece de resistance is a still impressive, longer than ever could be necessary, special effects bonanza that turns most of its cast into slime mounds that look like dropped ice cream cones on a boardwalk. I’m still not sure if I understand the what, why and how that makes the Devil’s rain work; I only know it is a downpour from the heavens that melts JOHN TRAVOLTA and that has too be a good thing. With such a promising opening and a definitely worthwhile conclusion, it’s a shame the Oreo center is so slack. Still, there’s always something strangely disturbing about a seventies Satanist flick and this is no exception. There’s no denying there are dry spells but trust me, when it rains it scores.indelible scenes

  • Who can resist the cast? Besides the already mentioned SHATNER, LUPINO and SKERRIT you also get ERNEST BORGNINE as villain Corbis and my new hero EDDIE ALBERT!
  • That weird genie lamp thingamabob with all the damned inside
  • Sheriff KEENAN WYNN shows off his new peepers
  • A great unhappy final shot
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13 years ago

I have developed a new found appreciation for Ernest Borgnine. Not only is he on SpongeBob Squarepants as the redoubtable Mermaid Man but in reaction to the release of Brokeback Mountain has produced my all time favorite quote: “…If John Wayne were alive, he’d be rolling over in his grave.” And of course, he looks great as a satyr.

11 years ago

Yeah, Borgnine really got into his role here! And Shatner is hysterical….”CORBISSSS!!! DAMN YOUUUUUU!!”