Wednesday, 28 November 2012



Yet another of those movies from the 1970s that you can't get in the UK: you've either got to import a Region 1 disc (it's pricey, you're not really supposed to, and in all honesty it's hardly worth it) or resort less legitimate means. By which I mean streaming it off YouTube. It's not been uploaded by the producers or the owners, and the picture quality is pretty poor (even when compared with other YouTube presentations - maybe it was sourced from a knackered VHS tape or something), but sadly that's all there is. If I could get it off Blockbusters or there was a chance it'd turn up on BBC2 or Film4, then clearly I would.

The Devil's Rain is a fairly unremarkable horror movie with two good reasons for catching it: a better than usual cast of familiar cult faces, and a final reel of surprisingly yukky gore effects. Other than that, it's pure hokum. Immortal Corbis (Ernest Borgnine) is still leading his flock of robed Satanists, desperate to track down a book stolen from them centuries before by the distant ancestors of the Preston family. Now, after Mark Preston (William Shatner) has failed in a battle of faith inside the cult's desert church, it's ultimately down to Tom Skerritt and Eddie Albert to unleash the Devil's Rain, and thwart Corbis and the Devil's plans.

At which point the movie basically stops for a showstopping series of gruesome dissolvings, as the devil worshippers are turned into puddles of blue gloop, like they're The Incredible Melting Man or something. Even allowing for the awful image quality it's suddenly rather good fun: considering that along with the strength of the cast - which also includes Ida Lupino, Keenan Wynn and a young John Travolta - you'd have thought someone would have put it out there properly: despite the slime it would probably get away with a 15. There are some nice moments - Borgnine offering Shatner some water in the desert, all the shots of the followers' eyes - but overall The Devil's Rain is ordinary at best. It isn't terrible, it's just one of those movies that isn't particularly good.


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