More of a Drain

William Shatner in The Devil's Rain (1975)

Hidden in the floor of the Preston home is an ancient book, a book which the members of a satanic cult lead by Jonathan Corbis (Ernest Borgnine) are desperate to get their hands on. And the Preston's family's protection of the book has come at a cost with people killed and others going missing including Mark (William Shatner). When Mark's brother Tom (Tom Skerritt) learns of his disappearance he along with his clairvoyant girlfriend Julie (Joan Prather) and business partner Dr. Richards (Eddie Albert) head to the abandoned town of Red Stone where they find themselves battling the satanic cult lead by Corbis for the souls of their missing family.

I read some where many years back that "The Devil's Rain" was one of the worst movies ever made, maybe it was back in 1975 when it was released with advertising making it out to be more than it ended up but watched 40 years later it is not as bad as I expected. Don't get me wrong as considering the calibre of those involved "The Devil's Rain" is still less than you expect it to be and the special effects are less than special but it isn't down there in the ranks of the worst movie ever.

Tom Skerritt in The Devil's Rain (1975)

So what is wrong with "The Devil's Rain"? Well it is a combination of many things starting with the special effects which are meant to show people's faces melting but look like the dodgy masks people would wear a decade earlier in sci-fi movies. Then there is the acting and whilst William Shatner in the right movie entertains his over acting in this drama really stands out even though he is not alone when it comes to the acting not being right.

But for me the biggest problem with "The Devil's Rain" is that it is ambitious and is trying to make some big thriller about Satanists but the basic material isn't there to warrant such an ambitious movie. And so scene after scene ends up over blown with over the top acting to try and make it seem more than it is. And when it isn't being over blown the remaining scenes are unbelievably dull even when it tries to be clever and explain the satanic cult and how it came to be it fails to impress.

What this all boils down to is that "The Devil's Rain" is a poor movie and you would have to be a really dedicated horror fan to love it. But it isn't one of the worst movies ever made, just one which doesn't live up to its potential and the calibre of its cast.

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