Race with the Devil
Urlaub in der Hölle
Wes Bishop, Paul Maslansky (executive) for Saber Productions
directed by Jack Starrett
starring 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, Joyce King, Tommy Splittgerber
written by Wes Bishop, Lee Frost, music by Leonard Rosenman
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Roger (Peter Fonda) and Frank (Warren Oates) take their wives (Loretta
Swit, Lara Parker) on a trip to the country in their new fully equipped 22
ft van. But already at their first stop, they wintess a ritual murder
committed by some Satanists. Thing is, the Satanists catch them watching
them and come after them ... and only just do our heroes make it to the
next village, where they report everything to the Sheriff (R.G.Armstrong)
- but also receive a threat from teh Satanists.
At their next stop, an
official camping ground, their dog is hanged and some ratlesnakes are left
in their van - and they figure the Satanists have followed them and they
find tehmselves on the run, soon trying to shake off car after car that
tries to drive them off the street, with nothing but a pumpgun to defend
Finally they think they have shaken their pursuers off -
about time too, since their van is almost wrekced - and they make an
overnight stop somewhere in the woods - when they find themselves in the
center of a burning circle, with the Satanists closing in when ... when
the movie is over. Good night, everybody.
Very silly and
simplistic horror film that mixes motives from the classic Deliverance
with with a bit of Satanism, but replaces all atmosphere a movie
like that would need (rather desperately, too) with a carchase. Apart from
this carchase, which is at least well-done, the film suffers from terrible
pacing and a wagonload of scenes that simply do not help to advance the
plot in any which way. Plus, the ending is completely unsatisfying and
robs the film (and the viewer) of a much-needed finale.
The worst aspect
about Race with the Devil though are its horribly old-fashioned
gender stereotypes (and believe me, normally I'm not even very picky about
things like this): While the men are regular he-men, heroes who are
resourceful in each and every situation - who are for no apparent
narrative reason depicted as dirt bike racers -, the women are simply here
to scream on command and rely on their knights in shining armour, and the
only thing they ever do in this film is stealing two books out of
the library. And this aspect of the film is played up to no uncertain
amount, until it gets nothing short of annoying. I mean, hasn't anybody in
the 1970's heard of women's lib?
A complete waste of time that for some
reason refuses to vanish into obscurity.