Here’s a mouldy oldie from deep in the cheese vault. I haven’t seen this for many years since I saw it on TV sometime in the 80s (I remember a time when old horror films were regularly shown on TV). This review will have spoilers
Mrs Preston (Ida Lupino) is worried that her husband is missing and so her son Mark Preston (William Shatner) goes to confront the Satanist sorcerer Corbis (Ernest Borgnine) who has kidnapped his father in an attempt force the Preston family to return a book to him stolen from him by one of their ancestors who betrayed Corbis. This book has the signatures of all those whose souls he has captured but he can’t return to Hell with the souls until he has the book. Preston challenges Corbis to battle of faith which he loses and so he too is captured by Corbis.
It is now up to a team made up psychic investigator Tom Preston (Tom Skerrit), his wife Julie (Joan Prather) and Dr Sam Richard (Eddie Albert) to confront Corbis and try to rescue Tom’s family from Corbis’s clutches. Their first attempt fails and Julie is captured to used in their next ceremony. Tom and Dr Richard discover a jar full souls in torment, The Devil’s Rain. Just as Corbis’s ceremony reaches its peak Dr Richard confronts Corbis and smashes the jar, unleashing the Devil’s Rain on the cultists. There is then a long drawn out scene where the whole cult melts.
This is not very entertaining film. It is quite amusing to see Shatner earnestly hamming his way through the opening scenes in the film and I was giggling quite a lot at Shatner’s rewrite of the Lord’s prayer as he battled for his faith. But then the film switches to an unfamiliar group of characters who are now the main protagonists and the early part of the film seems to have been demoted to an extended prologue. I don’t know if this why the film just fails to build up any sense of tension but certainly didn’t help. The big melt scene at the end is not only long and unpleasant to look at, it is a major anti-climax.