Ratings Key



★★★★
= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
★★★
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Race with the Devil (1975)

Directed by:
Jack Starrett

For some reason, most major critics seem to hate this lightning-paced, action-packed and sometimes creepy horror thriller. It's actually not as bad as they lead on. Four friends (younger couple Peter Fonda and Lara Parker and older couple Warren Oates and Loretta Swit) are vacationing in rural Texas when they witness a human sacrifice deep in the woods. The culprits naturally are the local Satanic coven and the rest of the movie is spent with non-stop car chases, close calls, brushes with death and double crosses by local townspeople, all of whom seem to be in on things. Although it suffers from a very weak and irritating open ending and some plot inconsistencies, RACE delivers suspense, action and scares throughout in the effective 70s drive-in tradition. Also be on the lookout for smaller roles played by Paul A. Partian (Franklin from the original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE) as a mechanic, director Starrett as a gas station attendant, co-writer Wes Bishop as a deputy and R.G. Armstrong as a sheriff.

★★1/2

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