The Devil’s Rain

The cast includes Ida Lupino, John Travolta, William Shatner and Ernest Borgnine

In his review of 1975’s The Devil’s Rain, Roger Ebert, the Chicago Sun-Times film critic, said, “All of this would be good silly fun if the movie weren’t so painfully dull.” (That quote alone launched the horror film into the “this is a cult classic because it’s so lame” stratosphere.) Australian author and film reviewer Michael Adams had a slightly different take. He called the flick “the ultimate cult movie.” He continued: “It’s about a cult, has a cult following, was devised with input from a cult leader, and saw a future superstar indoctrinated into a cult he’d help popularize.” The cult leader he mentions is Anton LaVey, founder of the Satanic Church, who plays the devil and is credited as a consultant on the film. The future superstar is John Travolta, who was just starting as Vinnie Barbarino in Welcome Back, Kotter.

We admit the plot is a little incoherent (something about a Satanist and a family he’s out to destroy in order to get a book that will give him superpowers), but there’s no denying the casting was brilliant. Besides LeVey and Travolta, there’s Oscar-winner Ernest Borgnine as the Satanic priest, Eddie Albert as a psychic researcher and William Shatner as a member of the family who confronts the evil priest with disastrous results. Ida Lupino and Tom Skerritt are also in the mix. Stick around for the surprise ending (even for a horror film, a slew of people melting in the rain is out of the ordinary — oh, wait, did we say too much?).  8:30 p.m. Domy Books, 1709 Westheimer. For information, call 713-523-3669 or visit www.domystore.com. Free.


Mon., Oct. 4, 8:30 p.m., 2010

 
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