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THE DEVIL'S RAIN (1975) Dir. Robert Fuest. Written by Gabe Essoe, James Ashton and Gerald Hopman. Starring: Ernest Borgnine, William Shatner, Ida Lupino, Keenan Wynn, Tom Skerritt, Eddie Albert, Joan Prather, John Travolta, and Anton Lavey.

Heaven help us all when the Devil's Rain!

The Devil's Rain could easily be considered, along with Race with the Devil, one of the more baroque opening shots of the Satanic Panic paranoia that started in the late 60's, flourished in the 70's and would eventually peter out in the 80's. While not quite the smorgasbord of Satanic shenanigans it appears to be, The Devil's Rain is on a scale of 1 to 666, pretty evil. Directed by Robert Fuest (The Abominable Dr. Phibes) and sporting a truly strange cast, The Devil's Rain is getting a nice new Blu-Ray release courtesy of Severin Films this month and I for one couldn't be happier. The tale of two families; The Prestons (Lupino, Shatner, Skerritt) with their ancient book of occult knowledge and the Corbis' Satanic cabal (Borgnine, LaVey) in desperate need of said book starts off strong with face-melting and ends strong with face-melting. The middle not so much, but really what more could you ask for from Satanists? How about Goatman Borgnine? You got it!  The start of the film sees good ol' Shat driving out to the middle of goddamn nowhere to confront Corbis and his cult for melting his father's face in the opening scene, but the Shat is no match for the Borg's tricks and before you can say Beelze-be-bop the Shat's got black holes for eyes and that ain't good. Enter the Shat's older brother Tom (Skerritt), his wife Julie (Prather) and Mr. Green Acres himself, Eddie Albert as a psychic researcher destined to have black holes for eyes just like the Shat. The Prestons arrive just in time to see Borgnine go full goat and all hell breaks loose including John Travolta's big break as . . . you guessed it, a melting face! In the end good wins out over evil, or does it? After all, King pseudo-Satan himself, Anton Levey plays a small role in the proceedings and was also a technical advisor to all the face-melting which makes sense because, how else, save the powers of the dark one, are you going to assemble a cast like this?!

   

 

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