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THE DEVILíS RAIN ($15) is a film Iíve come to enjoy more each time I see it. Sure, THE DEVILíS RAIN is a masterpiece of camp horror, but the film features a once of a kind cast that alone is worth the price of admission. The plot of THE DEVILíS RAIN tells the tale of Jonathan Corbis, who was the leader of a coven of Satan worshippers about three hundred years in the past. Unfortunately for the chief Satanist, a member of his own coven betrays him, leaving Corbis and his other followers to face the wrath of the religious authorities. In other words, Corbis and his coven are burned alive at the stake, but not before cursing those that betrayed him. Three centuries later, Corbis does return, to take vengeance from members of the Preston family- the descendents of his original betrayer.

Vengeance, as it turns out, is only an added bonus, the primary reason Corbis returns to the mortal plane is to retrieve the book that contains the names of all the coven members that sold their souls to Satan. It seems that without the book, Corbis is unable to fulfill contractual obligations and deliver the promised souls to his dark master. Of course, Corbis puts the Prestons through hell to get the book back. The "all star" cast of THE DEVILíS RAIN features Ernest Borgnine, Ida Lupino, Keenan Wynn, Eddie Albert, William Shatner, Tom Skerritt and John Travolta in his movie debut. Just for the sheer pleasure of seeing this group of notables ham it up, THE DEVILíS RAIN is a must see. Sure, the plot is occasionally a bit silly and the special effects are somewhat cheesy- Borgnine's demonic transformations sure cover both categories. However, these are amongst the simple pleasures that make THE DEVILíS RAIN so much fun to watch.

Dark Sky Films has made THE DEVILíS RAIN available on DVD in a 2.35:1 widescreen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. The transfer looks pretty great for a modestly budgeted film from the early seventies, delivering a sharp and rather nicely defined image. Colors are fairly vibrant, rendered without significant flaws and reproducing natural looking flesh tones. Blacks are solid and deep, while the whites are crisp and stable. Contrast is generally smooth and the level of shadow detail is more than adequate. The film elements are in great shape for their age, although minor blemishes do crop up in places. Film grain is also fairly mild. Digital compression artifacts are nicely camouflaged.

THE DEVILíS RAIN comes with a pretty solid Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack. There are no significant signs of background hiss or other sonic anomalies, which would seem to indicate a bit of a digital cleanup. Dialogue is crisp and always perfectly intelligible, the voices maintain a good sense of character. As expected, limitations in fidelity render the music a bit thinly, but it does hold up at normal listening levels. No other language tracks are offered, but English subtitles are present.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few extras. Starting things off is a running audio commentary with director Robert Fuest, whom is accompanied by Marcus Hearn. Also included on the DVD is a Theatrical Trailer, brief Newsreel Footage of Church of Satan High Priest Anton LaVey, Radio Spots and a Still Gallery.

As I stated above, THE DEVILíS RAIN is good campy horror fun with a cast of notables hamming it up for your enjoyment. Dark Sky Films DVD looks great and sounds just fine, making this version of THE DEVILíS RAIN a must have for those so inclined.



The Devil's Rain (1975)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2006 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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