In 1975, newspaper ads and posters for THE DEVIL'S RAIN shouted that you wouldn't believe the last 15 minutes of the film. So scary, so terrifying that you better be in good health.
They proudly announced it was the most amazing conclusion of any movie, EVER!
Whoa there, you might want to calm down on the claims folks.
There are a lot of decent actors stranded in this incredibly silly, never scary attempt at thrills.
William Shatner manages to belt loose a "Khaaaannnnnn!" like scream at the villain, Ernest Borgnine as Corbis. Corbis is apparently the return of a Salem Witch hunt era satanic preacher who was burned in his church along with his flock.
Now he's back to terrorize the Prescott family, including Mark (Shatner) his mom,the cleverly named Mrs. Preston, played by Ida Lupino, who is only about 13 years older than Shatner.
Tom Preston (Tom Skerritt from "Alien") arrives with his wife to track down Corbis and his current crew.
The whole movie makes very little sense. The Devil Cult is hiding in an old New England style church in the middle of what looks like an old set from a B western.
Every time there's a risk of being bored (and that's a LOT) they throw in another TV actor like Eddie Albert or Keenan Wynn to spruce things up.
This was John Travolta's first film. He's almost unrecognizable and rarely present as Danny.
Director Robert Fuest made a name for himself with the American International horror hits "The Abominable Dr. Phibes" and it's sequel, but ruined his career with this shlockfest, sinking into obscurity after it release.
The entire budget was spent on that last "greatest of all time" 15 minutes in which a rain falls down on all the devil's disciples, melting them into puddles.
Imagine the scene in Raiders where they open the ark of the covenant and all the Nazis melt.
Of course someone with Spielberg's talent realized that the only way to make melting baddies entertaining is to make the head to skull transition process take about 2 seconds.
Not here. Fuest makes every melting take an agonizing 15 minutes. If you've ever watched a candle melt for a quarter hour, you know how exciting this can be.
Speaking of Raiders, film editor Michael Kahn worked on this film and would later edit "Close Encounters" "Raiders" and "Saving Private Ryan" for Spielberg. Well done Mr. Kahhhhnnnnnn!
Seeing Ernest Borgnine run around in ram's head makeup has it's entertaining side, matched by Shatner's overacting and some of the worst stunt work I've ever seen.
The scariest part of the movie is the opening credits, which play over the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch. Those images are far more terrifying and imaginative than anything that follows.
THE DEVILS RAIN is a downpour of cheap film making, badly assembled into a forgettable mess that has a memorable place in seventies schlock.
I'll give it a D because I laughed, a lot. I mean, I wasn't supposed to, but.......