The Devil's Rain
is a 1975 low-budget horror film
, directed by Robert Fuest (maker of the sly, stylish The Abominable Dr. Phibes)
. The film is remembered primarily for its ending, in which most of the cast melts. It was one of several B-films
in which William Shatner
starred in the hiatus between the original Star Trek
television series and Star Trek: The Motion Picture
. Other familiar names in the cast included Tom Skerritt
, Ernest Borgnine
, Eddie Albert
, Ida Lupino
, and Keenan Wynn
. John Travolta
at the time was also beginning his role as Vinnie Barbarino in the sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter
. Satanist Anton LaVey
is credited as the movie's technical advisor.
The Devil's Rain received a uniformly negative critical response, with the chief complaint being the incoherent storyline. The film's refusal to provide adequate scares was also widely criticized. Vincent Canby in the New York Times noted that "The Devil's Rain is ostensibly a horror film, but it barely manages to be a horror...It is as horrible as watching an egg fry." Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times said "All of this would be good silly fun if the movie weren't so painfully dull. The problem is that the material's stretched too thin. There's not enough here to fill a feature-length film." He gave the film 1½ stars out of four.
The movie's disastrous reception arguably killed off director Fuest's career. Fuest had previously directed The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971), Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972), and The Final Programme (1973). The Devil's Rain suffered such a critical drubbing that Fuest immediately was forced to retreat to television, directing several nondescript TV-movies and series episodes over the years. He has made only one additional theatrical feature, Aphrodite (1982), a softcore sex romp shot in Greece.