Devil's Rain1975

Genre: Horror
In the wake of Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist, the devil and his disciples became prime subject for independent filmmakers. The Devil's Rain is one of the better films that came from the flood. Corbis (Ernest Borgnine) hunts a Midwest family as he searches for "The Book," an ancient tome stolen centuries ago containing the names of the devil cult's disciples written in their own blood. As he turns the family one by one into dead-eyed soldiers for Satan, surviving son Tom Skerrit struggles to free them and keep the tome out of Corbis's hands. Robert Fuest, who directed the offbeat cult classics The Abominable Dr. Phibes and Dr. Phibes Rises Again, cranks up the ghoul factor with arresting images of the black-eyed zombies wandering through a desert ghost town. The cast (including a stiff William Shatner and a tired Ida Lupino) is more solemn than spirited. Only Borgnine sinks his teeth into his role, preaching the word of the devil with gusto and theatrical flourish and transforming into a horned demon in a blood ceremony. It's an inconsistent picture but Fuest creates moments of gripping horror and builds to a dynamic climax that delivers the promised devil's rain with sizzling results. The film has garnered some fame as John Travolta's film debut, but he's practically unrecognizable as a hooded cult follower. --Sean Axmaker

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