HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
That Most Important Thing: Love
Man on the Run
First Love
Countess from Hong Kong, A
Storm Boy
Storm Boy
Frozen II
White Sheik, The
Whalebone Box, The
Hunt, The
Invisible Man, The
Honey Boy
System Crasher
Judy & Punch
Bacurau
Battling Butler
Vivarium
Seven Chances
Dogs Don't Wear Pants
Navigator, The
Knives Out
Hit!
Charlie's Angels
Passport to Shame
Le Mans '66
Keep Fit
Doctor Sleep
Friend or Foe
Brass Target
Mine and the Minotaur, The
Sky Pirates
Syncopation
Sea Children, The
Ghost of a Chance, A
Go Kart Go
Great Buster, The
Seventy Deadly Pills
Wings of Mystery
Treasure at the Mill
VFW
   
 
Newest Articles
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
Godzilla Goes to Hollywood
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
   
 
  Race with the Devil Hot On Their Heels
Year: 1975
Director: Jack Starrett
Stars: Peter Fonda, Warren Oates, Loretta Swit, Lara Parker, R.G. Armstrong, Clay Tanner, Carol Blodgett, Phil Hoover, Ricci Ware, Paul A. Partain, James N. Harrell, Karen Miller, Arkey Blue, Jack Starrett, Wes Bishop
Genre: Horror, Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: Best friends Roger (Peter Fonda) and Frank (Warren Oates) are a motorcycle racer and a motorbike garage owner respectively, and the pressures of the business are considerable, especially when Roger's bike doesn't perform as well as he thinks it should. To get away from it all, the duo decide to take Frank's new mobile home and head off to Colorado to enjoy themselves in a skiing holiday with their wives, Alice (Loretta Swit) and Kelly (Lara Parker), a journey that will take them through Texas. All is going well when they two couples stop off at a secluded riverside spot, but what they don't realise is that by accident they have made the biggest mistake of their lives...

The belief that there is a network of Satanists at large in the United States is one that refuses to go away, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, but back in the seventies such worries of God-fearing folk were fuel not to news headlines, but to the entertainment industry. Blame Rosemary's Baby for the vogue for devil-worshippers in big screen fiction, and it was an idea that horror movie makers in the U.S.A. capitalised on pretty extensively. One entry into this genre was Race with the Devil, which was lumped in with the Satanism pictures, but was actually closer to the era's equally popular fashion for road movies.

The spot that Roger and Frank have chosen is coincidentally one which, across the river and in full view of the men that night, is the location a coven of Texan Satanists use for their human sacrifices, one of which is being put to death as they watch. At first they think it's an orgy, but when the knife is plunged into the young victim they immediately understand they are in danger and wake their wives, then zoom off. Naturally there is a bit of bother when the mobile home's wheels get caught as they drive through the river and the coven are running after them, but thereafter that signature feeling of this decade's thrillers, the mounting paranoia, goes into effect.

This is because everyone they meet once they report the incident to the police seems to be in league with the Satanists, not that our heroes can be sure. But the most intuitive characters, who turn out to be Kelly and her little dog Ginger have the sense that the bad guys are closing in on them even before they do, and while the notion that so many people would be in on the black arts is hard to believe, it is a nice twist on the Easy Rider version of travelling through America's South where everyone was a redneck whose conservatism pitted them against the lead characters. It's not long before Kelly's teary suspicions are confirmed, of course.

Race with the Devil could just as easily have been the story of two holidaymaking couples who stumbled across a Ku Klux Klan lynching, or some other non-supernatural event, but it's the Devil they are to race, which does make for a more acceptable and fantastical explanation for why they are so hounded across so wide an area by these sinister strangers. The police are not much help (could they be in on it?), and every telephone they try to call the authorities on is out of order, so after a while it appears as if there is a conspiracy against them. It's interesting to see Fonda and Oates, who we are so used to starring in roles of capable men, have their solid worldview twisted into something menacing, but not much is made of it and after a while it grows clear what the filmmakers were really looking forward to was the lengthy and stunt-filled chase sequence that climaxes the movie. Still, as it stands it's nicely done and amusing, if not particularly scary. Music by Leonard Rosenman.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2532 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Jack Starrett  (1936 - 1989)

American director of pulpy thrillers like The Losers, Slaughter, Cleopatra Jones and Race with the Devil; he also worked in TV, directing episodes of Starsky and Hutch and The Dukes of Hazzard. Acting roles included parts in Hell's Angels on Wheels, The Born Losers, Blazing Saddles and First Blood.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: