fredag 27 juli 2012

Race with the devil (1975)

Here are three reasons not to go on a holiday in January.

1. It is cold.
2. It is really, really cold.
3. The woods are full of satanists, most likely because there are no campers out there to interrupt their sacrificial rituals.

Two of the coolest actors of the seventies, Peter Fonda and Warren Oates, decide that they will go on a roadtrip with their wives in their new luxury RV (It has a microwave oven. Whoa.). Since the journey will be more fun with a bit of camping they decide to stop in the middle of rural Texas and chill a bit. While doing this they happen upon a satanic cult right in the middle of an orgy that end with the sacrifice of a naked woman and flees to the nearest city to report this to the local authorities. The sheriff in town goes with them to the scene of the crime but the only thing they can find is what appears to be dog blood. Our heroes takes a bit of the blood so that they can have it tested as soon as they get to a larger city, just in case that it might be human but find a strange note on their car that warns them not to dig any further into this. They continue on their journey but find that people are acting strange around them and when one of the couples dog is found dead while they stay in a trailer park and no one has seen anything they realize that they are in danger.

You cant really dislike this lovely movie, a mixture of occult horror, conspiracies and car-chases. Jack Starret, having cut his teeth on exploitation like Cleopatra Jones and Slaughter, was an excellent second choice as director after the first one got kicked off the set and he has captured the barren wastes of the Texas wilderness very well. Warren Oates and Peter Fonda are fine as the two old friends (the whole movie experience was treated as a paid vacation) and Loretta Swit and Lara Parker are both good in roles that basically only requires them to scream and make coffee for their husbands.
After the first part of the movie it all turns into a straight-out actionmovie as the Satanists start to block off roads and stage accidents and we get quite a few good car chases and stunts. As PG-horrors go Race with the devil isnt exactly one of the more gruesome ones but that is well compensated by good atmosphere and a stunning ending. Every fan of 70s horror should enjoy this, good simple fun.

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