Shatner...SHATNER I SAY!!!
Thomas Dunham | Catonsville, Maryland United States | 12/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is so awful I love it. Think about it:
1) First of all, SHATNER VS. SATAN!!! Is the world really a better place if either of these guys wins?
2) Ernest Borgnine as the Devil!!! WWWWoah....
3) Anton LeVay, founder of American Satanism, is not only a consultant, but IN THE MOVIE!!!
4) A young Tom Skerrit - the protagonist!!!
5) A veritable who's who of 70's stars backing up the main players.
6) Melting people, devil stuff, death and general destruction!!!
It's a hoot.
John Travolta is usually advertised as being in this movie, and he is-but if you didn't know it going in, you would never pick him out of the group EYELESS DEMON WORSHIPPERS(!!!).
NOW, you would think that with a plot like this, and this level of tricked-out 70's talent, "Devil's Rain" Couldn't miss.
BUT- its suck is such a complete and perfect suck that it actually UN-SUCKS! Robert Persig said that sanity is round, like the globe, and if your nutty-butt keeps going in one direction you will eventually wind up sane.
This movie proves that theory."
The Godfather's Goo
danger ex machina | Philadelphia, PA | 01/15/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In the wake of "Deep Throat", the Peraino family was swimming in cash and looking for a way to give it that squeaky clean shine. You see, the Perainos were members of the Columbo family, and odd as it seems to those of us raised from the Eighties onward, porno flicks and the storefront loops that preceded them were very much an illegal commodity to produce. So, Louis "Butch" Peraino headed west and decided to open his own production and distribution house called Bryanston Pictures. Bryanston made quite a name for themselves by distributing material that other studios wouldn't touch, like "Andy Warhol's Frankenstein"; the still unavailable-on-DVD "Coonskin"; and their crown jewel, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". A D.A. in Memphis, eager to make a name for himself, indicted Peraino and other members of his family, and soon after their conviction in April 1976, Bryanston's west coast office closed for good. A much more detailed version of this story is contained in Legs McNeil's wonderful book "The Other Hollywood", which I can't recommend strongly enough. So you came here looking for a description of melting satan worshippers and not a history lesson, eh? Well, it's coming, just let me finish ;) The reason for the spiel about Bryanston is that "The Devil's Rain" just happens to be one of the last films they handled. And among such stiff competition as "Frankenstein", probably the strangest.
"TDR" can get confusing, but the basic story goes something like this. 300 years ago, Puritans caught wind that there was a group of the devil's minions in their midst. Now, this was a strange scene, kittys, seeing as how they were lead by Corbis (Ernest Borgnine in Pilgrim garb) and counted among their number William Shatner. Ol' Billy's wife takes Corbis' big book full of blood pledges to Lucifer to the Puritan chief, and bam, we've got a full scale stake burning. Flash forward to the present day, and either Corbis or his descendant (it's never made clear) is after that book, and the Preston family that harbors it. Sounds fun, huh? Well, where else can you see Shatner crucified upside down? Or Borgnine hamming it up in goat makeup? Heck, "The Devil's Rain" cornered the market on melting the enemies of God six years before "Raiders of the Lost Ark"!
Anton LeVay was some sort of consultant to the producers, and even makes a cameo during the black mass. I guess he had a sense of humor. Director Robert Fuest is better known for the two "Dr. Phibes" films he made with Vincent Price, and the critical and commercial reception to this picture relegated him to television movies. Even so, "TDR" had an impact on the history of horror films well beyond what anyone could have imagined at the time. Check out Shatner's face after he becomes an eyeless zombie. Look familiar? That mask would become very, very famous a few years hence.
Time to upgrade, folks. Dark Sky makes the previous DVD edition obsolete. This new transfer from the 35mm negative is stunning by comparison. The extras include an audio commentary with Fuest, which I had a rather difficult time paying attention to, probably because both Fuest and the moderator have very dry, soft British voices. There's a short black-and-white clip of LeVay performing a marriage ceremony, the film's trailer, some production stills and a Dark Sky catalog. Turn off your mind, don't wonder why the Prestons haven't simply destroyed the book, and this might make a good beer and popcorn flick. It's very much of the mid-70s, which may be a good or bad thing depending on your particular perspective."
Robert | Los Angeles, CA USA | 05/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Lots of fun, although sometimes confusing. The book explains it better. Notable for having both the High Priest and High Priestess of the Church of Satan - Anton and Diane LaVey, in bit parts. Their inclusion gives a true Satanic presence to this movie - they wrote that humor is important to Satanists. Anton was technical advisor, and you can see many of his influences, such as the trapezoid designs and the Satanic chants. Some of the Satanic designs used are beautiful and interesting. It was filmed in Durango, Mexico. The filming has interesting stories to it, such as Anton LaVey trying to teach chants to extras who did not speak English. As was his custom, Shatner did nothing to make friends with the cast, and one suspects they symbolically enjoyed his character's treatment in the film. Anyone who likes good old sci fi and horror or camp, should love this film."
Boy, Sure Is Raining Cats And Satanists Out There
Stanley Runk | Camp North Pines | 11/07/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Devil's Rain is one of those films that brings to mind that old saying, "they sure don't make em like this anymore". It's true, they certainly don't. This movie was one of those satanic 70s horror films, though more unintentionally amusing. It's not an actual "good" movie like Rosemary's Baby, but wildly original and bizarre. If the Exorcist was Jurassic Park, then The Devil's Rain would be The Land That Time Forgot. Most likely to be enjoyed by B movie lovers as well as connoisseurs of classic forgotten horror films. The plot is more or less Tom Skerritt and his brother, William Shatner, carrying out a generations-old battle with a group of satanists in a ghost town. Since 95% of the film is shot in the ghost town, this must have saved money, money probably spent on the actors' salaries and the fx, which look rather impressive considering the time and budget. It's actually hard to believe this film passed with a PG rating. The subject matter alone is at least worth a PG-13, and the country was a tad more religious in the 70s than it is now. Plus add the melting bodies(a scene that may not be a gorefest by today's standards, but makes the melting nazis in Raiders Of the Lost Ark look like child's play), and some eyeless satanists, and it's hard to believe you got a movie that shares the same rating with Flushed Away. The MPAA were much cooler in the 70s, weren't they? Anyhow, the film may not make your top ten, but it sure is a fun ride. By the time you get to the scene where Ernest Borgnine appears from a rather silly explosion in full devil makeup and bellows, "Who calls me from out of the pit?", you know this is a fun film. The picture's been touched up, but still looks a bit rough. As for bonus features, all there really is, is a commentary. Don't be fooled by the Anton Levay Newsreel footage bonus feature. It's literally about 20 seconds long. By the time you light up a smoke and kick back, the damn thing is over with. No big deal though, after all we buy the dvd for the movie, right? Give it a shot, Satan will thank you for it."