Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Devil's Rain, Satanism takes Hollywood

Scientology has taken Hollywood.  Tom Cruise, Will Smith, and John Travolta are just some of the A-Listers who espouse the rantings of L. Ron Hubbard.  However maniacal the tenets of this so-called religion may seem, it is not the first cult that has taken Tinseltown  by storm.  Today's feature, 1975's "The Devil's Rain" boasts Anton LaVey as its technical adviser.  Mr. LaVey, who died in the late 1990s was America's favorite satanist.  He was a regular on talk shows, especially the Phil Donohue Show.  From 1965 to 1975, Mr. LaVey was a Hollywood darling, and a frequent guest at A-List parties.  Several starlets, including Jayne Mansfield and Elke Sommer,  even bragged of their relationship with LaVey. Today....Mr. LaVey is all but forgotten, but thanks to "The Devil's Rain," we can reminisce about a time that Scientology didn't rule Hollywood.
The Preston family is cursed.  Responsible for stealing a holy book for satanists, the Prestons are pursued unmercifully by satanic priest, Jonathan Corbis (Ernest Borgnine).  Today, the modern day descendants of the Prestons still hold the stolen volume.  After the abduction of most of the Preston family, including Mrs. Preston (Ida Lupina) and Mark (William Shatner), Tom Preston (Tom Skerritt) is called to action. Him and his psychic wife, Julie (Joan Prather) find their way to a ghost town where Corbis rules Satan's minions.  There, Tom must come face to face with Corbis.
Tom may be spunky, but Corbis has the wisdom of the last 300 years. Joining our hero is Dr. Richards (Eddie Albert). He brings a tinge of intellectualism and reason to this clash. Unfortunately...when satanists are in the picture....reason leaves the house. Though the minions seem like easy pushovers, they are eyeless, Corbis has some aces to play...most notably...he has abducted Joan, our psychic damsel.  Tom must now save his wife, who has been tied to an altar, and defeat Satan and his minions.  Oh yes..Tom also has the opportunity to free all the souls under Corbis' power. Will Tom prevail over the forces of evil?  Is Tom's war on satanism merely a stunt to get Scientology into Hollywood?
The ghost town proves to be a very atmospheric setting for this film, filmed in Durango, Mexico.  One ironic note: John Travolta had a bit part in this film.  Mr. Travolta, today, is an influential force in Scientology, which has replaced satanism as Hollywood's favorite religion.  Unlike Scientology, LaVey's satanic beliefs were above board.  He published books about them and spread his wisdom on any media outlet that would listen to him.  In contrast, Scientology is veiled in secrecy, and hardly above board.  See "The Devil's Rain" and be reminded of a good old Hollywood where good and evil were both visible without ambiguity.    

1 comment:

  1. A def B-rate here! LOL! I enjoyed your review on this, and although this might not be one I will place on my must see films, your perception of the underling angles of comparative eras of zealous Hollywood leaves me with a tickle to go out and find this movie regardless :D!