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The Devil's Rain (1975) - Blu-ray Review

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The Devil's Rain (1975) - Blu-ray Review

4 beersSatanic Scooby Snacks for everyone!!!  Yea!!!!

With a tiny church at its center, The Devil’s Rain gets some seriously good notes when it comes to its use of imagery and its overall quick pace.  It is also seriously whacked out, going gonzo with no thought on clarity.  Cars are blown up.  Shadows loom large.  And two brothers are on a mission from God to defeat the hordes of clay-faced people, all led by Satan’s earth-bound lieutenant. 

Sandy Howard’s extremely wonky production starts with explicit human wailing; the droning loop of human cries and a pleading to be freed from captivity pulls us into this delirious B-movie.  At once, we figure out that souls are at stake.  Along with those cries, there is the gnashing of teeth and it’s not all from the over dramatic acting styles of a clenched-fist William Shatner either. 

That growing wetness under your armpits?  That’s not sweat, dear watchers, that’s the deep stank of The Devil’s Rain and no shower can cleanse you of its filth.  Severin Films, further securing its front row seat in Hell, deliver this demonic title on Blu-ray with a newly restored HD sheen.  The results – considering this is the same effects team responsible for Planet of the Apes – are sticky and stupendous in 1080p.  

Thanks to the expressive paintings of Hieronymus Bosch, human suffering is what we see as his fantastic imagery in “The Garden of Earthly Delights” guides this Satan-themed crazy carnival ride through a ghost town in the desert as one family goes up against a very ancient and evil church.  What we hear is something else entirely.  These are cries for help in trying to figure out what this desert town showdown with Satan himself is struggling to say.

Eight minutes out from the opening credits, we are watching a man’s face melt into wax and bubbly goo as he stands in the middle of a rainstorm, pleading for a book to be delivered to a man named Corbis.  Forget about making sense of this story.  Seriously.  This is a movie made to highlight melting men.  Yep.  This is your entry into the bizarre world of The Devil’s Rain, one of the odd horror-type movies William Shatner made in the career gap before Star Trek: The Motion Picture was launched.

Director Robert Fuest (The Abominable Dr. Phibes) tries to makes sense of a batshit crazy script and winds up mudding up the tale even more with a style of direction that is both wildly out of place and surreal.  We have voodoo dolls, supernatural situations, and one cracked moment after another in this spooky story as Hell reigns supreme.   What we don’t have are the reasons behind much of it.  We just know that a ghost town gets top billing as Shatner and Tom Skerritt dukes it out with ol’ horny toad himself.

Starring Shatner, Skerritt, John Travolta, Ida Lupino, Edie Albert, and Ernest Borgnine as the devil himself, the film highlights the need for real satanic churches to be more pronounced in the American southwest.  Maybe then this flick might have a chance of making sense.  But seriously, when the results are this off the wall, who gives a flying fuck about clarity?!

Borgnine unloads in a seriously disturbing portrayal as the horned one.  He is unhinged and severely threatening as the red hooded Satanist who wants the book Shatner’s family is hiding.  He also has an army of meat masks at his disposal as he chases Shatner out of church and on down the road.       

The film features Satanist Anton LaVey in a minor part.  He also served as the technical advisor, making sure that one devil-ready flick got it right.  Or, at least, goes so far out of the realm of possibility that it can’t help but be a head scratcher of a flick.  With this offering, Severin Films continues to do the devil’s work. 

“Where is the book?  Where is the book?”  The question is echoed as Shat gets strapped to a cross and hung upside down.  But just as we get to the good stuff, the film flips the script and starts following a psychic researcher before identifying him as Shat’s brother and we start all over again, diving into a rural madness that is as wicked as it seems.    

What in the name of Satan?  Exactly.

The Devil's Rain (1975) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
86 mins
Director
: Robert Fuest
Writer:
Gabe Essoe, James Ashton
Cast:
Ernest Borgnine, Eddie Albert, Ida Lupino
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
Heaven help us all when The Devils Rain!.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Who calls me from out of the Pit?"
Theatrical Distributor:
Bryanston Distributing
Official Site:
Release Date:
July 1975
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 31, 2017
Synopsis: Take an all-star cast – including William Shatner, Ernest Borgnine, Eddie Albert, Keenan Wynn, Tom Skerritt, Ida Lupino and even John Travolta in his movie debut – at their most hellishly over-the-top. Add one of the most visually inventive filmmakers of the era – director Robert Fuest, of THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES fame – and thrust them into an insane tale of rural occult carnage, featuring Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey as Technical Advisor. Watch in infernal awe as it all hurtles towards the most eye-popping, flesh-melting finale in grindhouse history. Now experience this devilishly infamous classic as you’ve never seen or heard it before, restored in HD for the first time ever and oozing with all-new Extras approved by Lucifer himself!

The Devil's Rain (1975) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Limited Edition Slipcover

Home Video Distributor: Severin Films
Available on Blu-ray
- October 31, 2017
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0;Spanish: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0; French: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Severin Films presents The Devil’s Rain on blu-ray with an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a soundtrack supporting a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 delivery.  The results are solid.  The film looks crisp and colors are bold, with special gooey attention paid to the melting aspect of the effects.  It’s unlike any other version of the movie released thus far; focused and detailed.  Doesn’t look cheap at all.  Black levels are strong throughout and, as it full of browns due to the desert locale, the new HD transfer brings a beauty to its location not previously seen.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  •  Provided by Director Robert Fuest, your experience of this resurrected title is not complete without sitting through this informative spiel.

Special Features:

The supplemental items about The Devil’s Rain have been approved by Satan himself, it seems.  Seriously.  Take a look at what all is included and you will see why the claim is made.  We get a commentary by the film’s director, a look at the make-up, NEW cast interviews, interviews with members of the Church of Satan, and a reversible cover!

  • Confessions Of Tom – Interview With Actor Tom Skerritt
  • The Devil’s Makeup – Interview With Special FX Artist Tom Burman
  • 1975 Archive Interview With Actor William Shatner
  • First Stop Durango – Interview With Script Supervisor Ana Maria Quintana
  • Consulting with the Devil – A Conversation with the High Priest & High Priestess of the Church of Satan
  • Hail Satan! – Interview With Anton LaVey Biographer Blanche Barton
  • Filmmaker / Horror Collector Daniel Roebuck On The Devil’s Rain
  • On Set Polaroid Gallery Of Script Supervisor Ana Maria Quintana
  • Radio Spots
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots
  • Poster/Still Gallery

The Devil's Rain (1975) - Blu-ray Review

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