RACE WITH THE DEVIL: The Perfect 1970s Satanic Road Trip!
You just gotta love a solid road trip flick and one of the best ones around is easily RACE WITH THE DEVIL. The 1975 horror action thriller hybrid that pits an RV against a wicked satanic cult! I’d say as far as 70s action horror films go this one is a huge home run, with a excellent cast of characters played by Peter Fonda, Warren Oates, Loretta Swit (Hot Lips from M.A.S.H.) and Lara Parker. Road trip flicks just simply don’t get any better than this!
One thing I’ve always been a big fan of is a damn good road trip film and one with a giant ass RV is even better. Now add in an evil Satanic cult for the icing on the cake as well as some grade A car chases and we’ve got a bonafide cult (no pun intended) classic. Roger (Peter Fonda), along with his good buddy Frank (Warren Oates) are two hot shot motocross dudes who’re pumped to head out onto the open road with their wives Lara Parker (Alice) & Loretta Swit (Kelly) in their huge RV for some relaxation, drinkin’ and of course some motorbikin’!
Headed from San Antonio to the boonies of Texas, they stop off for the evening at a remote campsite. All seems fine when Roger & Frank decide to get wasted and hang outside under the moonlight to shoot the shit. All is not quiet though. They spot a Satanic cult across the river and witness a murderous ritual. They’re caught watching the Satanists devious ritual triggering a vicious game of cat and mouse on the highways and small towns of Texas. Roger, Frank, Alice and Kelly are on the run from a wicked cult who’s membership extends farther than they could ever imagine.
‘Race with the Devil’, directed by Jack Starrett, mostly know as a TV director, really hits all the right beats here. A sweet cast of likable characters are the perfect crew to root for making this easily one of the best road trip horror thrillers out there. Obviously the RV makes for the perfect cozy setting for a rad road adventure, and this thing is seriously decked out.
There’s so much to enjoy here as well for horror fans, the cult is creepy and relentless in a time where people couldn’t just pull out their phones for GPS or call the cops at any moment. In the 70s you had to have your wits and genuine ingenuity to escape an evil cult in hot pursuit. There’s not a dull moment here either, ‘Race with the Devil’ moves at a brisk pace and keeps you on the very edge of your seat until it’s final moments. It features cool locales, campsites, dive bars, trailer parks all host the intrigue, dread and even a few laughs along the way.
As soon as you settle back down to safety, something rears it’s head to remind you nothing can be trusted on the backwoods roads and our gang is in it for the long haul. It’s low on blood & gore but bursting with thrills, chills and some fucking great action sequences, proving you don’t always need a high body count to deliver a well crafted horror film. The 1970s were an awesome era for film, the fashion and the gritty realism make a movie like ‘Race with the Devil’ even more potent now in a sea of cheap looking modern bloated CG conveyer belt film making. It doesn’t get much better than THIS. There’s also a cool double feature blu ray from Shout Factory of it.