***/**** Image A Sound A- Extras B-
starring Ernest Borgnine, Eddie Albert, Tom Skerritt, William Shatner
screenplay by James Ashton, Gabe Essoe, Gerald Hopman
directed by Robert Fuest
by Alex Jackson SPOILER WARNING IN EFFECT. The Devil's Rain is like a bad song you can't get out of your head. It isn't a successful film, or even a particularly good one, but it's made with sincerity, verve, and an understanding of the horror genre's potential for kinetic filmmaking and potent allegory. Moreover, it isn't a cheat--this isn't just another cheap cash-in on the "Satan" craze of the 1970s. The last thing director Robert Fuest and screenwriters James Ashton, Gabe Essoe, and Gerald Hopman are looking to do is take your money and run. And though this is largely a trend of the mid-to-late-'80s onward, they aren't looking to vindicate their reputations by condescending to the material, either. I actually feel a little protective of The Devil's Rain; its failure is one more of incompetence than of cynicism, and that's really rather reinvigorating in an age where self-consciousness reigns supreme in horror films both good (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning) and bad (See No Evil).