Sunday, September 25, 2005

Short Cuts: Race with the Devil (1975)

Two married couples—Warren Oates and Loretta Swit, Peter Fonda and Lara Parker—decide to head it on out to the highway in their behemoth deluxe-equipped RV(!), taking it easy as they meander from Texas to Aspen, Colorado. That’s the plan, at any rate. But the first night on the road, after some good food and lots of drink, Oates and Fonda witness a bizarre and startling satanic sacrifice near the wooded area where the couples camped for the night. The satanists spot them and the chase is on, baby. Haulin’ ass through rural Texas is never an easy endeavor, but when the Dark Prince’s minions are bent on bringing thy ass down low, you can expect more than a heap of trouble along the way. Race with the Devil is simply a pure, unpretentious B-movie, and I mean that with all respect. Damn, they sure don’t make ‘em like this any more. Oates and Fonda are a whole lot of fun to watch, as are the numerous character actors that come in and out of the picture—like the always reliable R. G. Armstrong as a suspicious sheriff. Great stunts, an ever-increasing mood of paranoia, and plenty of suspense make this little movie one helluva good time. It may not be the best horror movie ever made, but it sure is more enjoyable than you’ll think it’ll be. Hell, it’s better than most of the horror crap seeping out of Hollywood today, no question about it.


Schlockstar said...

First, great site. Been reading your reviews and essays all morning. Re: "Race with the Devil," that's one great under-appreciated flick. I remember seeing it as a kid and being shocked that the bad guys "won."

Derek said...

Hey, thanks for the kind words. It's funny how many people I've talked with recently who saw "Race with the Devil" years ago and still have it burned in their imaginations. "Brotherhood of Satan", made in the early-1970s, has a similar tone and is just as freaky. Very underrated little movie.