I’ve been trying to figure out how to celebrate Halloween on my blog for a while. It’s been super busy at work, so I don’t think a marathon is going to be an option. But I want to do something to mark the holiday, my absolute favorite holiday ever. I’m a thirty-year-old woman who still dresses up! This year, I’m being Tina from Bob’s Burgers. Anyway, I was riding the bus when I spotted a Jack Chick tract. Bazinga! I collect those. Sadly, it’s a new one and those aren’t as demented as the older ones that told us why Dungeons and Dragons and heavy metal were going to send us to hell. I got a copy of Spooky where I learned that Halloween is the Devil’s birthday. This gave me the idea to have the most Satanic Halloween ever!
The perfect way to kick this off is with 1975’s The Devil’s Rain. This movie is amazing and I love it and I don’t care what anyone else says. Look at this cast. Ernest Borgnine and his eyebrows! Ida Lupino! William Shatner! Keenan Wynn! Tom Skerritt! It’s the most seventies cast ever!
William Shatner stars as Mark Preston and Ida Lupino is his mom.
He comes home one night and his mom’s upset because dad, Steve Preston (George Sawaya), is MIA. Dad comes home but he’s all melty. His face looks like Robin Williams’ mask in Mrs. Doubtfire and he has hollow, creepy eyes. Plus, he’s actually melting in the rain.
Dad tells Mark to “give Corbis what is his!” Who’s Corbis? Apparently, Jonathon Corbis (Ernest Borgnine) lives in a ghost town and is fighting with the Preston family over a book.
Mark brings the book to Corbis who challenges Mark’s faith. It turns out that Corbis is a Satanist and has a whole church of devil-worshipping types.
They bum-rush Mark and use him as some kind of sacrifice, I guess? It seems like Corbis wants to summon the soul of a past follower into Mark’s body for some reason. I don’t know why, since this follower and his wife betrayed Corbis.
Mark’s little brother, Tom (Tom Skerritt) and his wife, Julie (Joan Prather), are part of a demonstration about psychic powers when Tom gets the message that his whole family is MIA. Tom has the grooviest seventies moustache I have ever seen.
Tom and Julie see that Mark is a hollow-eyed ghoul. Tom tells Julie to take the car and run while Tom takes on the cult with Dr. Richards (Eddie Albert.) Unfortunately, there’s a cult member hiding in the car and Julie crashes. Apparently, she never saw Zombieland.
Julie becomes the cult’s next sacrifice. Corbis summons the devil and becomes a kind of demon/Dr. Zaius hybrid.
Luckily, Dr. Richardson and Tom find the Devil’s Rain. It’s the tackiest urn possible and holds the souls of those that Corbis has turned to the devil. They smash it and the church explodes and a rain starts to fall on the Satanists. The Satanists all melt and Tom, Julie, and Dr. Richardson escape unscathed. Except for Tom’s family I guess. Plus, Tom hugs Julie and it turns out he’s hugging Ernest Borgnine! AHHHHHH!
I love this movie so much and I don’t care what anyone else says. Critics have panned it but I think it’s pretty much the best. Anton LaVey actually has a bit part in it and was a consultant. It’s a movie about a cult with a cult-leader consulting for the cult movie. What more can you want? Sure, there’s loads of scenery chewing but it’s just so much fun watching Shatner and Borgnine overact. Plus, the desert looks kind of like the set where Captain Kirk fought the Gorn captain. Now imagine if Kirk and the Gorn fought Satanists.
Mostly, I find the idea intriguing. I like the idea of something secret being hidden in your community. That’s something I consider creepy, even though I officially don’t believe in the devil. This movie came out before the Satanic Ritual Abuse panic really started in the U.S. and you can see some of that fear in this movie. The Satanic church is pretty packed. How can people in the community not know that everyone else is turning into ghouls?
This movie is really a must-see, even if it doesn’t scare you, if only for the cult value.
- Scarina--the authoress and editrix of this site. I like scary movies and have dedicated my free time to cataloging horror--the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes there are books too.
There's film criticism, literary criticism, and humor here. I can be highbrow but there's lots of pop culture too. And feminism.
I fervently love "Twin Peaks" and wish it were a real place so I could move there. I can't list my favorite scary movies because they change depending on my mood, the season, and how much coffee I've had.
I'm an artist looking for ways to blend creepy with cute. I try to channel my childhood nightmares, my love of horror, and my experiences with sleepy paralysis.
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