Plot: Mark Preston (William Shatner) knows that true evil lurks in the world, as he has sworn himself to keep those evil forces at bay. His family has protected a sacred book, one which if it falls into the wrong hands, could spell ruination and damnation for countless souls. The wrong hands would be those of Corbis (Ernest Borgnine), the leader of a sect of Satanists who will stop at nothing to get control of the book. After his family is attacked and usurped into the cult, Preston pushes on and tries to stay ahead of the evil doers, but they seem to be omnipresent. When he is tricked by Corbis and falls to the dark side, his brother Tom (Tom Skerritt) has to pick up the torch and try to take down Corbis and his minions. But Corbis is a powerful man, fueled by the devil’s magic, so is there even a prayer of ending his reign of terror?
Entertainment Value: This movie features Ernest Borgnine as the leader of a Satanic cabal and that should be enough to tell you The Devil’s Rain is a bad ass, wild drive-in ride that demands to be taken. As insane as the movie is in general, when you have Borgnine chewing scenes, throwing the sign of the horns, and transforming into a hideous goat man, the craziness feels like it is taken to a new level. He runs with the role, giving us evil eyes the entire movie and camping it up, in a performance that belongs in a b movie museum. Add in William Shatner, Keenan Wynn, Tom Skerritt, Ida Lupino, and Jon Travolta, giving this movie an impressive lineup of name talent. Not to mention Eddie Albert (!) is here and he is hilarious, putting almost no energy or care into his performance, but it is still beautiful work. The Devil’s Rain also features a host of off the wall moments, ghost town showdowns, and more Satanic good times than a single mind can handle. This one is just off the rails from the start and even when it tries to calm down and unreel some exposition, we’re thrown into the past with Borgnine as a pilgrim and poorly secured to a stake. The Devil’s Rain is the kind of movie cult film fans live for, massive fun throughout and an epic finale.
No nakedness. I know, we all wanted to see Borgnine bare it all and engage in filth soaked, devil inspired orgies, but sadly, that doesn’t happen here. The movie has a lot of effects work, but not a lot of bloodshed. But just because the fluids that ooze or splatter aren’t red, doesn’t mean the fun stops, right? A lot of goop is thrown around in this one, from splashy gun shot wounds and of course, the sense shattering, mind searing finale that seems as if it will never end. If you like to watch faces melt off, this is going to be your moment of triumph. The movie also sports some cool makeup effects like eyeless cultists and of course, Borgnine as a goat man. I mean, if Ernest Borgnine as a goat man doesn’t drive you wild, I don’t know what will. The dialogue is fun, with Borgnine in full scene devouring mode and making the most of the Satanic lingo. He is a blast to watch in this role, perhaps not his finest work, but certainly one of the more fun roles in his vast resume. I love Eddie Albert here as well, he seems totally disinterested and for some reason, that brings me immense joy. On the craziness scale, I don’t know what else one could want from this movie. The premise is outlandish, Borgnine rules over the cinema world, a colorful cast shows up, wild moments abound, and unlike a lot of cult movies, it delivers a wild, satisfying finale. Not the craziest movie out there, but it makes the most of every chance to go off the rails.
Blood (and goop): 5/10
Overall Insanity: 7/10