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Race with the Devil - 20th Century Fox - DVD Print E-mail
User Rating: / 3
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Written by Jay Creepy   
Saturday, 06 January 2018
Severed Cinema review of Race with the Devil on DVD from 20th Century Fox http://severed-cinema.com/images/dvd_review.jpg


BUY
RACE WITH THE DEVIL

AKA: Vier im rasenden Sarg, Djaevelsk terror, Corrida Com o Diabo, Course contre l'enfer, Ecelle yaris, Urlaub in der Holle, Djavulsrallyt

Directed by: Jack Starrett
Written by: Lee Frost, Wes Bishop
Produced by: Lee Frost, Wes Bishop.
Cinematography by: Robert Jessup
Editing by: John Link
Special Effects by: Richard O. Helmer
Music by: Leonard Rosenman
Cast: Peter Fonda, Warren Oates, Loretta Swit, Lara Parker, RG Armstrong, Jack Starrett, Wes Bishop, R.C Keene.
Year: 1975
Language: English
Country: USA
Runtime: 1hr 24mins

Distributor: 20th Century Fox

Race with the Devil is a road trip which totally oozes the seventies with the style of clothes, the look, and even the way everybody talks. I totally adore films of this era because, for most of the time, films in the horror genre dared to be varied. I It is unfortunate that the same compliment cannot be given to Jack Starrett's 'Satanists let loose on posh folks' movie right here because it's one of those I have heard interesting things about so I placed it in my mind belonging to the same category as the wonderful, Devil's Rain. Oh hum.

I mean, how could it go wrong? You have two of that eras cinema giants together, Peter Fonda and Warren Oates, plus a nice role for recognised genre face, R.G. Armstrong. You have music, you have some of those ‘70s smash the hell out of cars and other vehicles action set pieces, plus to top it all, creepy, if stereotypical, ritualistic Satanists. Oh, and M.A.S.H. babe, Loretta Swit. Great.

Frank and Roger are involved in dirt bike racing and decide they need a long deserved vacation in Roger's new RV. Thus they and their all teeth big hair wives come along too -- plus a cute dog.

The first part of their road trip kind of acts like an advert for motor homes back in the mid ‘70s. “Color TV, microwave oven...” as Frank Stewart shows buddy Roger around the place. “The saloon.” Roger grins at the array of drinks. “Now you're talking, big fella!”

Finally stopping off for an overnight rest, the lads shoot off on their dirt bikes for high jinx and Frank sinks into a pool of water as his younger buddy laughs. Yes it's all fun and games now but this is the brutal and gritty 1970s so you won't be chuckling for long! Meanwhile the ladies and the dog wait around. The hound is rather disturbed by something in the air. We have a brief atmosphere change as Roger's wife, Kelly, sees an old gnarled tree in the distance. Something chills her about it.

Later as the night falls, they all get lovely and drunk. Frank and Roger sit outside the RV and discuss a few things which symbolise how close they are as pals. Suddenly they see flames spew up around the gnarled tree. Grabbing a pair of binoculars they head off to spy. Both are loving the fact that there are naked women dancing around so just put it down to maybe a few hippies. One happens to be wearing a sinister mask, but fair enough. “They've all dropped their clothes. What is it? An orgy maybe?” It's amusing how all the naughty bits are blurred by the heat of the fire or by smoke. Anyway, all this changes somewhat as soon as they witness a nubile girl stripped and lifted in the air. The high priest in his mask plunges a blade deep inside her. Frank and Roger basically shit their pants.

Then Frank's wife, Alice, pops out calling their names, no matter how much they try to shush her up. Too late, the Satanists see them. They drive out of the enclosure as tons of cloaked half-naked people run after the vehicle, hanging off the back, breaking windows and shit. As for Kelly, she screams and screams and screams as Roger smacks the hell out of any face he sees through the broken glass. The bitch just screams and screams. She doesn't raise a hand to help, just uses her pipes like the Satanists will hold their ears and cower away! “For fuck's sake! Shut up!” cursed my Horror Soulmate.

Finally free of angry half-naked men, they speed off looking for help. Enter R.G. Armstrong as the Sheriff who could perhaps have something to do with the murderous cult, hmm? It's no spoiler because he's so guarded about the whole scenario. He and his deputy take the lads back out to the tree seeking clues. “Bunch of hippies moved in this area, smoked their shit, stuffed garbage up their nose, then in their arm. When respectful people like you come along. Well it's not such a beautiful place.” says the Sheriff. “These weren't hippies that we saw.” states Roger. The older lawman shrugs stating they're all the same. There's blood in the dirt but also a hacked up dog hanging nearby. The Sheriff says he'll have it all tested to see whether it's human or hound. Unbeknownst to anybody else, Roger collects his own sample. Whilst this is all happening, the girls discover a note on the back of the RV and figure out a connection to witchcraft. They head to the local town library for more information.

Finally on their way again, wherever they stop, Kelly is the one to notice the look on people's faces as they stare at them. It feels like everyone has something to do with the cult. Or they heard her pathetic screaming earlier on. After a brief few hours listening to country and western music, the poor doggy has been slaughtered at the motor home. Off they go again and there are snakes in the RV now! From then on it's chaos as our heroes purchase a shotgun and various vehicles chase them, only to get smashed up like the best pile-ups within Mad Max.

Too Hollywood! Anton LaVey and films like Rosemary's Baby had revealed another side to the deep dark boogie-boogie pit which all good Christians feared. Clichι devil worshippers with absolutely no characters or personalised accounts kind of drops the script to a pantomime. It's totally obvious as things kick off that all people along the way are out to get them. Perhaps one person could have helped, maybe on the run themselves. It may have halted the predictability somewhat. Also, there are so many plot lines tumbled into nothing. The books on witchcraft deem pointless, other than they work out that they witnessed a blood sacrifice on the night of the full moon, and it would have been nice to have seen the high priest again. However, let's face it, the writing duo behind this has such exploitation titles as The Black Gestapo, The Thing with Two Heads, and Love Camp 7 on their CVs.

Race with the Devil is fun and it is one of those let's have a giggle and smash loads of cars kind of things. It does contain some marvellous action set pieces. They aren't gripping knife edge level, but are exciting due to the over-the-top way things go as the finale approaches. Nobody can be trusted.

Race with the Devil is a ‘70s boys film. The men are tough, the Satanists are evil, and the women just scream. Lots of stunts, lots of noise. Switch off your head and view it as it is -- a slice of high octane metal crashing madness.

The UK 20th Century Fox DVD has a bad cover and a basic setup menu. The quality of the film has a slight grain which is always a good thing for authentic grab yer beer grindhouse viewing. Top marks for the audio. It is as clear as you want it (or don't want it) when Kelly does her shrill shrieks.

 

CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE

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 RATING:
 VIDEO: 1 
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 AUDIO: 1 
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 DVD: 1 
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 MOVIE: 1 
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 DVD SPECS:
 Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1, 16:9
 Region: PAL R2
 Audio: Dolby Digital Mono 2.0


 SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL:
 – Trailer

 

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