A bonkers example of the kind of 80s madness we all know and love, “Devil Story” is nonsensical insanity, and you’ll love every minute.
Mutant Nazis. Pirate Mummies. Ghost ships that explode through mountains. An endless rainstorm with no rain. Possessed horses and the men who hunt them. All of this and more can be found in this week’s Tubi Tuesday recommendation, Devil Story.
There have been a lot of batshit crazy covered in this series over the years, but the 1986 French horror film Devil Story (aka Once Upon a Time…The Devil) might be the most batshit crazy of them all.
The movie opens with a mutant zombie slasher killing stranded motorists in the French countryside. When a young couple’s car breaks down, you might be thinking, “Oh, they’re gonna get killed by the mutant zombie, too.” But you’d be wrong.
Instead, a black cat crosses their path, and a crazy thunderstorm forces the couple into a creepy old castle.
The young couple seeking refuge in the creepy old castle is told a ghost story about pirate ships and treasure chests. All of this freaks out the young woman, and she puts on her rain boots and rain jacket and takes off into the storm. Except, there is no storm. It’s like the director, Bernard Launois, wanted to film the movie during a rainstorm, but mother nature did not cooperate, and he just filmed it like there was an actual rainstorm.
Again, you might be thinking you know where this is going, but you don’t.
You might think, “Oh no, the young woman is going to get chased by the mutant zombie.” Nope.
Instead, there is a black horse. Now, this is not an ordinary horse. Apparently, it’s possessed. So a town local heads out with his shotgun to hunt the horse. And he does… all night long. Seriously, while everything else is going on in the film, there are random shots of the old man shooting into the darkness with a shotgun while the horse runs around and neighs endlessly.
Meanwhile, the young woman in her rain gear stumbles into a cemetery where the mutant zombie and his mother try to bury her alive. But she is saved by the possessed demon horse, who kicks the zombie in the face and peels open his face. It’s a really odd sequence of about 10 minutes of the mutant zombie groaning in pain mixed with the young woman’s screams, the neighing of the horse, and the random cracks of thunder.
Literally, nothing happens except everyone standing around making noise.
Soon, a pirate ship explodes from a nearby mountain, and a mummy comes out and chases the young woman because she looks like an old witch he once knew. The old man gets the horse but is undone by a black cat, and the young woman falls into a hole before the credits roll.
Nothing makes sense; it’s all weird. It’s all ugly, loud, and gory — and, honestly, all the things we love from 80s horror!