“The Devil’s Rain” is a wonderfully odd and well-acted genre gem — a devil of a good film sanctioned by the Church of Satan.
This week’s recommendation is an oddity of cinema that includes a star-studded cast, amazing special effects, and even includes a technical advisory credit to the founder of the official church of Satan.
Starring William Shatner in the lead role and including John Travolta in his debut role, this week’s Tubi Tuesday is The Devil’s Rain.
The Devil’s Rain is an absolutely bizarre film made during a time where horror movies often weren’t scary. There is a large collection of horror films from the 70s where there are no jump scares, no spooky imagery, and no thick tension, The horror came from the absolutely horrifying events taking place on the screen.
Although this film includes torture, satanic cults, bizarre rituals, and hundreds of melting people, it plays out more like an adventure film than a traditional horror film.
The story centers around Mark Preston (William Shatner), who witnesses his father melting during a rainstorm. His father warns of a Satanic cult leader named Corbis (Ernest Borgnine), who is searching for a mysterious book. After his father’s melting, Mark heads to the desert to confront Corbis and his cult of zealots but soon finds himself captured and tortured. Mark’s brother, Tom (Tom Skerritt), and his wife decide to search for Mark with the assistance of a psychic researcher.
They come across the ghost town where Corbis and his cult reside and attempt to save Mark before his soul can be taken and put inside of a weird bottle containing “The Devil’s Rain”, an ancient artifact that contains souls captured by Satan.
Before Tom and crew can save Mark, Corbis transforms into a red-skinned, horned goat version of Satan and his eyeless, soulless minions attack.
The depiction of Satan in this film is very bizarre, to say the least.
In horror history, we have seen various unique representations of Satan, from suave businessmen to giant monsters and everything in between.
What’s interesting about the Satan we see in The Devil’s Rain is that he is almost a cartoonish version of the fallen one. Red skin, goat-like horns, and a pointy red tail is not something you would suspect to see in a film where the founder of the Satanic Church, Anton Szandor LaVey, acted as a technical advisor. Many of the imagery and rituals in the film are unique and seem authentic, but the red-horned, cartoonish Satan seems a bit out of place.
Overall, the film is absolutely fantastic in tons of ways.
William Shatner’s overacting works well considering the dire consequences of the situation, Ernest Borgnine’s portrayal of satanic cult leader Corbis is absolutely haunting, and if you look close enough you might catch a cameo of not only a very young John Travolta but also a pioneer of woman directors in horror Ida Lupino.