The Devil's Rain (1975)

   
Directed by: Robert Fuest

Written by: James Ashton, Gabe Essoe & Gerald Hopman

Starring:

Ernest Borgnine .... Jonathan Corbis
Tom Skerritt .... Tom Preston
Joan Prather .... Julie Preston
Eddie Albert .... Dr. Sam Richards
William Shatner .... Mark Preston
Ida Lupino .... Mrs. Preston
Wooden Chambliss .... John

Special Appearances:

Keenan Wynn .... Sheriff Owen

John Travolta .... Danny

Release Date: Theatrical: July, 1975

*Images courtesy at: www.angelfire.com/movies/satanickeys/

 

 

 

Rating:

 

A family called the Preston's are cursed by a demonic cult as one of them named Mark (William Shatner) has a sacred book that the head cult leader named Jonathan Corbis (Ernest Borgnine) wants over the centuries which offers special powers as they kidnap him and turn him into one of his people in a ghost town where a boarded up church in which they practice Satan's power at.
Meanwhile another family member named Tom (Tom Skerritt) and his wife Julie (Joan Prather) tries to enter the ghost town and try to destroy the souls of Satan in which he was unleashed since Corbis finally got a hold of the sacred book to do his evil deeds as they find an object that traps souls called the Devil's Rain in which is the only way to destroy this cult.

 

We spot cheesy discussions between the main characters on a crisis that's happening as well as a nice shot on them outdoors in the rain staring a local looking zombielike in the rain with good shocked expressions on the rest and a nice moment with him melting which looked really creepy.
There's good shots on Mark Preston driving through a deserted area as well as shots on the ghost town. We spot a good approach by Jonathan Corbis demanding something from him.
There's many good camera takes after Mark enters a boarded up church showing satanic objects as well as a camera looking down on an organ with Jonathan speaking powerfully doing a ceremony and Mark trying to pray to God which looked interesting.
There's a good chase with Mark running away while we spot demonic zombie's chasing after him as it looked creepylike and you wonder if he will escape with the madness surrounding him.
There's a good shot on him lying tied down on an upside down crucifix with Jonathan's evil words towards him and then a good close up shot on Mark screaming with wide eyes and great frightened expressions.
We spot a nice shot on Julie Preston in a trance with good brief shots on a cult ceremony and then her snapping out of it screaming in rage which looked quite tense.
There's some good shots on both Julie and Tom Preston looking around the ghost town and then a nice shot on them looking in a church finding it abandoned.
There's a good flashback sequence with Jonathan getting demanding and aggressive towards his people about finding the book and telling them he can't save their souls etc. as it looked quite gothic. There's also good aggressive discussions between him and a high priest with his group of people with torches along with a good shot on Jonathan in a pit getting burned and him yelling that he will strike vengeance. It was cheesy but enjoyable on how it was done.
We spot a moment with Jonathan trying to summon up the devil and then he turns into the devil which looked a but phony and silly since it was supposed to look shocking and it fails due to the performances on all of this.
There's many disturbing camera shots on Jonathan doing his ceremony with Mark tied down and turning him into one of his demons.
We have some chasing scene's and struggling moments with Tom battling against the demonic zombie's but it looked a little lacking and amateurish.
There's a nice shot and good discussions between Tom and Dr. Sam Richards in an area discovering an object that has the devils rain and the souls inside it as the moments here almost gave this scene a magical and creepy feel to it all.
We have a good moment with Sheriff Owen approaching in the dark towards Sam and Mark showing that he's one of the demon zombie's and trying to attack them.
There's a great moment with Sam towards Mark on his faith in Christ and trying to convince him to destroy the devil's rain while Jonathan tryies to poison his mind about having more power which the peer pressuring moments looked good on a battle between good and evil as well as the devil's temptations.
We spot many great close up shots on the demon zombie's melting in the rain like Jonathan going wild while melting as he is turned into Satan again. All of this looked amazing but at the same time a little overly long.
Bottom line: This film barely carried a plot and the screen looked very grainy with what they made out of it but again it looks suitable for a typical 70's drive in type of flick. A movie tries hard to be scary but sometimes was a bit corny. Yet there are some disturbing moments too. Also, a movie that misinterpreted satanism which in reality is self worshipping as it featured a cameo by Anton LeVey who started the satanism belief.
This movie can be fun to watch with a group of friends who want to see a bad film and make fun of it.
The flick itself was very stale and quite bland but there are the odd neat moments with the devil's rain and a battle between good and evil. The zombie make up on the demonic cult looked interesting too.
We spot a nice ending with the devil's rain attacking these cult members which is what the film is mostly remembered from but it was a bit overlylong. There was a door left open to a sequel which never arose probably due to bad ratings at the box office.

The acting is a bit rough due to the low budget of this movie but they do the best they can with it. Lead actor Ernest Borgnine (Jonathan Corbis) seemed to try his best playing a demonic preacher in the flick but yet he seems a bit comedic with it all when he is supposed to be serious and evil. He does show great aggressions the odd time when he talks to his zombielike cult followers.
Tom Skerritt
(Tom Preston) pulls off alot of energy in the film and tried his best but this wasn't one of his most memorable films to say the least and can easily be forgotten since he moved on to do better projects over the years to come.
Joan Prather
(Julie Preston) was the best out of the cast as she really knew how to scream in terror and act incredibly internse as well as getting excited easlily along with acting calm in other situations too. She showed a nice diversive character acting with her performance in this one.
Eddie Albert
(Dr. Sam Richards) drew good attention with his role as a doctor in the film showing good energy and nice seriousness to his part in the flick.
A great aggressive moment with him in a scene towards somebody else on his faith in Christ and trying to convince him to destroy the devil's rain. I always enjoyed his performances in shows. Bless his soul.
William Shatner
(Mark Preston) however, was better off in his work on Star Trek as he seemed a bit rough with his performance but yet really knew how to act intense while being kidnapped by the satanic cult members as well as being reborn into the anti-christ and behaving like he's hypnotised. He does well by
screaming and crying which makes you cringe a little when he is about to be born again.
Ida Lupino
(Mrs. Preston) stood out well as a reborn antichrist zombie with the way she spoke which leaves a good chill down your spine. She can do well playing these types of roles for other shows.
Some of you may want to see John Travolta (Danny) in his on screen debut performance as he played one of the anti-christ zombie's and is seen briefly during a cult ceremony and well noticed melting away in the devil's rain. He thankfully moved on to do better things with his acting career.

Although this movie is rated PG we do spot many scene's where the zombie demons are melting in the devil's rain as well as being shot or stabbed with good splurting out.

The music sounded very toned out as you hear it cheesily sounding like with adventerous tones which even sounded slightly outdated for even a 70's flick. We also hear some deep drum rolling with the chasing scene's as well as some organ playing too during the cult ceremony's which wasn't too bad. All of this came together by composer Al De Lory whom was more famous as a songwriter for country artists like Glen Campbell than a music composer for motion pictures.

Mark Preston: CORBIS! God damn you!

Jonathan Corbis: Who calls me from out of the Pit?