Horror Movie Review: The Devil’s Rain (1975)

Sometimes you come across a horror movie that you can’t believe you’ve never even heard of before. One so uniquely absurd with a cast that beggars belief and a story that blurs the lines of real and movie-based Satanism. That is the case with The Devil’s Rain, a 1975 Satanic horror movie that has some very unique propositions about it.

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What are those? Well check out these!

It stars William Shatner, Ernest Borgnine and Tom Skerritt.
It is the feature film debut of John Travolta.
Anton LaVey is credited as the film’s technical adviser, He also appears in the film playing a minor role.
It sees Shatner don a mask of his own face, 3 years before Halloween would use a similar mask for Michael Myers.

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The plot surrounds the Preston family, specifically Mark Preston (William Shatner) and his older brother, Tom (Tom Skerritt). The former is at home with his mother, when the family patriarch returns having escaped the clutches of the Satanic priest, Corbis (Ernest Borgnine). The father warns his wife and son about Corbis saying he is after a Satanic book in their possession but when the rain starts, he melts before their very eyes.

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Mark takes the book and heads off to confront Corbis in the desert at an abandoned church. There the two do battle before Mark suggests a test of faith which he ends up losing coming under the spell of Corbis.

The Satanist priest reveals that Mark’s family line has been cursed ever since they betrayed him and his followers hundreds of years earlier. He needs the book to summon Satan and this where Tom comes into the movie. Along with his wife, Julie (Joan Prather) he sets out to find Mark eventually having to face off against Corbis and his followers which now include his brother.

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It’s a mess! An incoherent mess of a story, badly edited and told in the most roundabout way possible. It’s as simple as a Satanic cult needs a book to summon Satan,the  cursed family hold the book with a battle of good vs evil. See? Simple. So why is it that The Devil’s Rain has so much trouble telling it!?

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Messy story aside, The Devil’s Rain certainly has legit Satanism themes even if the cheesiness is ramped up excessively. The involvement of Anton LeVey certainly gives it much more weight, it’s just a shame it’s not used to create more of a horror movie. The Devil’s Rain is very light on scares and often very dull. It really should have been a sillier and fun movie but takes its subject far too seriously.

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This in the face of some hilariously bad melting effects and goat-man makeup that looks like a Jim Henson creation. It’s not a terrible movie and certainly deserves to be seen just so you can say you’ve seen The Devil’s Rain. It’s not as infamous as it should have been (considering its Satanist themes and Satanist input) and chances are that is because it’s ultimately a forgettable and dull film.




The Devil's Rain
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