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The Devil's Rain (1975) - dir. Robert Fuest

Technical consultant & actor, Anton LaVey graces the film with his presence & arcane knowledge of the occult, & the visage of his wife Diane at the time dwells herein also. John Travolta, Eddie Albert, & Tom Skerritt also star in this Satanic thriller about a cult of devil-worshippers haunting a ghost town.

Since the Dr. is the technical consultant, all magical text herein is from THE SATANIC BIBLE. Ernest Borgnine plays a most convincing Satan, with LaVey as, most appropriately, the High Priest.

William Shatner (yes, Capt. Kirk himself!) went where no man had gone before, playing the protagonist Mark Preston, whose bloodline is under the curse of Corbis (Ernest Borgnine), because of his ancestors' betrayal of the group centuries before, & the subsequent loss of the Book of Souls, chronicling those who have sold their souls to Satan, which Corbis had been obsessively searching for ever since. The group was murdered by the pyre, much like the Knights Templar, but Corbis swore to rise again, his "shadow covering the land again & again..."

Until the book is recovered, Corbis cannot manipulate & control the souls, or free them to do his bidding, as they remain imprisoned in a beautifully ornate container bearing the form of the Baphomet goat.

Then, Mark Preston's brother (Skerritt) teams up with a Parapsychologist (Eddie Albert) to retrieve his brother & mother from the clutches of the "evil" Corbis ("...Evil? There is no evil here. Only purity...")

One of the more typically moronic actions done by the normals was when Preston was talking with Corbis in one of the scenes & reveals his insecurity & false heroism, as he proclaims that he'll "face whatever lies behind those doors" of that old church (wait until you see that altar!), while parting open his jacket & displaying a gun. Where's the "faith"? Well, that made no difference, as you will see -- neither did his pathetic, snivling prayers, or his god of weakness.

The Devil's Rain has quite a line-up, & quite a plot. It is thoroughly entertaining & many of the effects, make-up, & prosthetics were advanced for that time, & continue to be fascinating today. Notice the undertone of black noise in some of the scenes.

This rare film remains one of the more Satanically-inspirational & influencial pieces of underground art. It has been featured a few times on Elvira's "Movie Macabre" show, but she unfortunately lacked perception on this one.

It IS so unique, because it features actual Satanic rituals & ceremonies that have been unearthed by Dr. LaVey. Every Satanist worth their sulphur will want to have this in their collection.

[- Draconis Blackthorne]

Don King: Only In America (1997) - dir. John Herzfeld

Throughout Don King: Only in America, Don King is portrayed as a true Satanic warrior: someone who believes in nothing but his own abilities. King’s special ability is exploiting others' abilities; he helps others to the extent that their success is beneficial to him. Despite all his “immoral” or “unethical” deeds, King always survives with his financial assets and his wits intact, reminiscent of Walter Huston’s character in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

The film follows his life from age 23 to 67, from the time of his first murder to the time the film was made. In between we see the strength of his will propel him in status from a street hustler to America’s top boxing promoter. On the journey he negotiates with boxers, Muslims, Mafiosi and an African dictator. The dominant motive behind all of King’s actions is his need for respect. He doesn’t need people to like him, or accept him, but he does need people to recognize his extraordinary talent as a promoter.

Wanting to save space, I’ll refrain from expounding on the amazing acting and direction of the film, and focus on the Satanically significant points of the story.

Just as the Satanist discards all other collective identities in favor of the only truly accurate one -- Satanist, so does King separate himself from all groups, preferring to be recognized for his individual accomplishments. King never believes in brotherhood, but he knows how to appeal to others’ sense of brotherhood to gain their trust (which he then exploits to its fullest). When he needs something from a Jew, he’ll emphasize the similarities between blacks and Jews. When he wants to convince Muhammad Ali to fire his Jewish promoter of good standing, he evokes Ali’s sense of “racial loyalty.” When he wants a white heavyweight boxer to fight Ali, he promotes the man as a working-class hero who is given the chance to take on the champ. Collective identities are very meaningful to the masses, and can be utilized by the Satanist for personal gain.

Throughout the film, King senses what others want to hear and then gives it to them. To return to Walter Huston in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre: “People pay a lot of money for you to tell them what they want to hear.” King is portrayed as a master manipulator, who exploits all that is sacred.

Just as Sir Basil Zaharoff was a peddler of death, who profited from man’s inhumanity to man, King is a peddler of desperate hope. This is also very similar to Stanton Carlisle in the quintessentially Satanic novel, Nightmare Alley. He has no scruples against taking bets from working-class people, people who are supposedly “his people.” He calls it the “Hope business.” He raises people’s hopes, then convinces them to take financial risks. Whether it is as a numbers runner in Cleveland in the nineteen fifties or as a heavyweight boxing promoter forty years later, King always profited from others’ hope. He followed W.C. Fields’ maxim, “Never give a sucker an even break.” Also like Zaharoff, King uses the “system” that plays both sides against the middle.

The film does an extraordinary job of seducing the viewer into liking this man without whitewashing his crimes. In light of just how much of a criminal Don King is, this accomplishment of the film is itself a remarkable crime. It is a thought crime. The perceptive viewer will quickly discern that King is not the most reliable narrator; no matter. This merely makes the film all the more intriguing. Similar to Death Wish, this film allows the protagonist to create his own justification for his criminal activities. And the viewer is seduced into agreeing with him out of respect for his continuously victorious will. Victory is, after all, the basis of right.

From the beginning to the last scene, King openly confronts the audience, speaking directly to the camera. The film becomes darker and King more devilish in the second half of the film. He points out the hypocrisy of a people who use one hand to wave the finger at him, and use the other hand to pay money for his boxing fights. Feebly the public plays the Devil’s game, and hypocritically they condemn the man who promotes and sells the game. King is portrayed as a Devil who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men. Regardless of whether the real Don King is a de facto Satanist, in Don King: Only in America, he IS the accuser.

[- Miles Jacobsen]