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"The Devil's Rain" - CinemaDave

Jan. 22nd, 2009 08:21 am "The Devil's Rain"

As I began 7th grade, the television commericials for "The Devil's Rain" were being run on UHF independent stations with a fever. It was one of those deep voiced announcers that shouted the name of the cast,
ERNEST BORGNINE!
EDDIE ALBERT!
WILLIAM SHATNER!
IDA LUPINO!

Aside from Ernest Borgnine's energetic performance, the television commercials were the most exciting aspect of "The Devil's Rain." This flick is less than ninety minutes long, but some of the scenes drag out that it seems like one hundred and eighty minutes long. This film features too many shots of the devil's rain melting food coloring that is supposed to look like human flesh. Parents feeding babies in high chairs could easily recreate this magic moment. "The Devil's Rain" does conclude with a genuinely creepy moment.

In the tradition of Walter Huston, Ernest Borgnine performance must have been an inspiration to Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino. Eddie Albert appears to be reading cue cards in a Professor Van Helsing role. Ida lupino appears in the opening scenes and once she is photosynthesized into a zombie, one wonders if a body double with a mask portrayed her.

At this point in his career, William Shatner was making a career in B movies like "The Devil's Rain" and "Impulse" and "Big Bad Mamma." Shatner has two costars from "Big Bad Mamma," Joan Prather and Tom Skeritt. Like Shatner, Tom Skeritt is supposed to be the hero of this movie, but the 1970's cynicism seeps into the plot development. Joan Prather is the heroine.

For a middle school boy, Joan Prather was Venus on a Halfshell. When cable entered American homes during the 1970s, she was the nude girl who kicked Tom Skeritt in the groin in "Big Bad Mamma" or was the beauty queen in "Smile" with Bruce Dern and Melanie Griffin. After a recurring role on "Eight is Enough," Prather disappeared from screen acting.

What ever happened to Joan Prather?
This would be a question that I would ask from time to time.
Prather did make the news in the past six months, for all the wrong reasons.
In 2008 she was arrested for reckless driving in California and her case is pending as of this writing.

The second piece of news is Prather's association with Scientology. Prather introduced L. Ron Hubbard's science fiction theology to one of her costars - John Travolta.

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