The Horror Honeys: Heaven help us all when The Devils Rain!

Heaven help us all when The Devils Rain!

A Supernatural Honey Review by Suzanne 

The Devil’s Rain (1975)

What do you get when you put Hollywood veteran actors like Ernest Borgnine, Tom Skerritt, Eddie Albert, William Shatner, Keenan Wynn and John Travolta together to make a movie about Satan? Well, nothing good.

I’ve always known about this film, but somehow never watched it. Could it be, even with my love of crappy horror cinema of the 70s, I instinctively resisted because somehow I knew I would not be able to embrace it? I would like to think so.

The plot is so convoluted, I’m not even sure I can adequately explain it. Ernest Borgnine is a goat who herds eyeless, wax people and abuses Captain Kirk because he didn’t return his library book. OK, no, that’s not it, but I think my explanation is more creative.
Satanists, led by Jonathan Corbis (Borgnine), are in search of a long lost book taken by a descendant of Mark and Tom Preston (Shatner and Skerritt, respectively), to bring about the Devil’s Rain. When Mark attempts to destroy Corbis and the gang, he is taken captive and tormented. Mark’s brother, Tom, goes looking for him and discovers the group, all of whom are missing their eyes. Magically, they can all still see. There are some confusing flashbacks. Corbis is sometimes a man and sometimes a goat. Borgnine is always off-putting so he was equally creepy in both guises. Tom’s wife is captured and intended as a sacrifice. Then it really lost me.

For a movie with so many talented actors, this was a giant suck-fest. Shatner did what he does with every role, overact the shit out of it and look ridiculous. Eddie Albert seemed entirely out of place. Skerritt was Skerritt and did a fine job. I’m not entirely sure why John Travolta got credited, since he didn’t really say anything and just moped through all two of his scenes, caressing a book like he now caresses his hair pieces.

The makeup was atrocious. While all of the Devil’s minions were supposed to be without eyes, the rubber masks the actors wore looked like rubber masks. You could also still the actors’ eyes fully functioning underneath. Apparently, they were supposed to be made of wax or something. During the final act, all the minions melt in the Devil’s rain. Melt they did, for an exceptionally long time. There was so much melting and raining, raining and melting. They melted for what seemed like an hour until they were just puddles of goo. It was the longest and dullest "climax" of any horror movie I've ever seen.

Taking a cue from my mom, who always finds something redeeming in everything, there was one bright spot. Keenan Wynn's presence on screen was my only happy moment. He was barely in the movie, maybe 10 minutes, but he he is always a joy to watch. And his mustache! Wow!

Because I do think my time is valuable, even though my social life consists mostly of me discussing the weather with my cat, I cannot commit anymore time attempting to figure this movie out, nor do I want to.

Supernatural Honey verdict: 1 man-goat out of 5 (that one is for Keenan Wynn)