The Devil's Rain (1975)

Nomination Year: 2015
SYNOPSIS:  We rooted around the movie stash until we came up with our second copy of The Devil's Rain, which we attempted to watch last year until the DVD broke.

On the first go around we learned that there was a mighty, mighty rain (of EVIL!) in the desert which washed out the road and Pa Preston. The Prestons worry so when there is a knock on the door, Mark Preston (William Shatner) runs to answer it. Lo! It's Pa Preston! Pa starts babbling about how Corbis wants his book back and then he melts a la Raiders of the Lost Ark but lamer and more bubbly. Ma Preston shows Mark where the book is hidden and stresses that Corbis must never get the book.

Meanwhile Eddie Albert is professoring about ESP with the help of Tom Preston (Tom Skerritt)'s wife while Tom looks on.

Back to the desert! Mark Preston goes out somewhere and in the interim EVIL! comes looking for the book in the form of crazy lights and things we can't really see which are happening to Ma Preston and the handyman. Mark returns to find the handyman (Keenan Wynn) strung up and Ma dead so he drives pell mell to the middle of nowhere to confront Corbis (Ernest Borgnine). Mark challenges Corbis to a faith-off ... putting up the book and his soul as the stakes. Things do not go well and our DVD died.

We picked up with the new DVD to discover that Ma Preston is part of Corbis's EVIL! congregation and that nobody who is part of Corbis's church seems to have eyes. Mark gets strung up on a cross in preparation for being EVILed and...

Tom comes home! The handyman, now the crazy handyman, gets Tom up to speed about the desert events of the movie and oh! Mark gave him THE BOOK for safe keeping. Would Tom like it? Yes, yes he would. Tom drives pell mell out into the desert to take on Corbis his own way ... with guns! He and his lame-ESP-endowed wife set out for the church of EVIL! with their supplies and run into a couple of eyeless EVIL! church goons (one played by no other than John Travolta) who Tom easily dispatches. Lame ESP Wife only sees in plot exposition so she's not so handy in general unless we want to know what's up with the book. Do we? It doesn't matter because we get Lame Psychic Flashbacks anyway.

Turns out a long time ago, Goody Preston was having second thoughts about hanging with Satan and the gang. In hopes of redeeming her soul, she outs the whole devil congregation and gives the book of names to the Christian minister. All the devilites, including Goody Preston, are then summarily burned at the stake, during which EVIL! pastor Borgnine curses the Prestons and all the future Prestons for their transgression. Also, EVIL! Borgnine wants the book back so he can actually lay claim on all the souls that signed it.

Having explained her plot point, Lame ESP Wife comes to the end of her usefulness and is grabbed by Corbis's crew.

Tom, with Professor Albert, take up THE BOOK and sneak back into the church and nick the Devil's Faberge TV. I think it's supposed to be the urn where all the souls who signed the book hang out until they can be sucked into hell or whatever, but what it looks like is a giant filigree vase with a TV cut-out perpetually tuned to the "miserable people getting rained on" channel. Huh ... I suspect that this must be the titular Devil's Rain. Ha ha. Whatever.

Professor Albert and Tom are surprised by Corbis so the two of them high tail it with the Faberge TV up into the choir loft. Of course, professor "Idiot" Albert drops the book and when Corbis discovers his TV is gone, he is greatly mollified by finding THE BOOK he has been looking for all these years. LET THE GOAT DANCE OF EVIL! BEGIN!

Oh wait, did I forget to mention that Ernest Borgnine gets made up into Ernest Goatnine when he's gettin' all jiggy with the deviling? Well, he does, and he also brings out trussed up Lame ESP Wife for the finishing touches on his GOAT DANCE OF EVIL! He dances, Tom likes this not, and spectacularly smashes the devil's Faberge TV (more or less). The whole church is then spectacularly struck by lightning and burned to the ground while outside it rains EVIL! Most of the parishioners melt into EVIL! bubbly piles of goo because the producers had lots of wax dummies and wanted to do more of that melting bubbling parishioner thing. All the Corbisites melt and Lame ESP Wife is released and all is well in Prestonville ... or is it?

Dun dun-whatever but remember kittens; check your Lame ESP Wife for EVIL! goat horns before collapsing into her arms.

Stupidest-Looking Monster

56 SLM -> Ernest gets Satan's goat

Worst Cover Copy

Cover

Crummiest Ending

1h24 Crummy End

Actors/Directors of Note
Actor Claim to Fame
Ernest Borgnine Was TV's "McHale," won an Oscar for Marty, then played lots of B-Movie and B-TV bit parts; ubiquitous 
Tom Skerritt born in Detroit during the Great Depression, so he could probably kick your heinie 
Eddie Albert "Oliver Wendell Douglas" of Green Acres 
William Shatner The one and only Captain James T. Kirk of Star Trek -- and infamous over-actor 
Ida Lupino only the second woman to be admitted to the Director's Guild of America 
Keenan Wynn Son of famous old-time comic Ed Wynn, was the villian in some Disney films (like Herbie Rides Again and The Shaggy D.A.); voiced the Winter Warlock in Santa Claus Is Coming to Town 
Erika Carlsson  
George Sawaya  
John Travolta from Welcome Back, Kotter to Saturday Night Fever, Grease to Pulp Fiction, Swordfish, Hairspray, the man's career simply won't quit 
Anton LaVey "Creative Consultant" on The Car, he founded the Church of Satan in 1966 
Director Claim to Fame
Robert Fuest  

Jeannette Quirk

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© 2011-2019 Bryan D. Cassidy, Greg Pearson, Matthew Quirk, and Kevin Hogan. All Rights Reserved.