Race With the Devil (1975)
What’s It About: Two couples are off on a RV-fueled (fueled RV?) vacation and run (drive?) afoul with evil
hippies satanic cultists bent on killing them for interrupting their ritual sacrifice.
Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:
- So far so good. Great opening credits with very decent horror-themed music. It puts all the other movies I watched this far to shame.
- Warren FUCKING Oates!
- I wish Warren Oates was my boss.
- Warren Oates’ wife is Loretta “Major Houlihan” Swit!
- Thanks for your 2 cent tour of your RV Warren Oates!
- So how exactly did Peter Fonda and his girl get their dog, Ginger, in Oates’ RV without Oates knowing? Oates drove to them and picked them up!
- “The girls are getting tired Frank, we should stop.” You’re in an RV! With a bed!!
- They said they found their “hidden road of seclusion.” Did they happen upon this hidden road or were they looking for it? It ain’t easy to find something hidden in seclusion I would imagine.
- Warren Oates was asked if he ever skipped rocks and he replies: “When I was a kid? I was never a kid.” I sure can believe that.
- Decent dirt-bike race cinematography.
- Oates just said “I’m too old for this shit!” 12 years before Danny Glover did!
- “Best damn vacation you’ll ever have in your lives.” Wow that’s some bold statement.
- Well that’s just great. Satanists having a black mass right outside Oates and Fonda’s vacation spot. This will sure put a damper on their best damn vacation ever.
- In the cult’s defense, that is one perfect creepy tree for a black mass.
- Why is the head satanists priest wearing an Egyptian Ankh?
- Oates and Fonda are admiring the black mass’ lack of clothing. Oates himself is excited that this may be an orgy.
- That is until the human sacrifice that they witness. Bummer.
- The satanists don’t take too kindly to the vacationers crashing their blood orgy.
- Why would they not carry a firearm on this vacation? I mean, they’re in Texas in an RV in the middle of nowhere, I would take a weapon to defend against wolves or coyotes or satanic cults.
- Shot in the dark here but I’m going to bet that the friendly sheriff is the cult leader. Call it a hunch.
- The sheriff is blaming those “hippies” for ruining the area.
- Damn Hippies!!!
- There’s a deputy that the sheriff referred to as ‘Booger.’ Why do they call your deputy booger? I dunno.
- The satanists somehow left a note on the broken window of the RV which tells them to stay quiet or else, yada yada yada. But they also had text with Nordic Rune symbols. The wives then decide to investigate the rune message by going to a local library. Every local library has a witchcraft and black magic reference section right?
- You can tell this guy is a mechanic because he has grease all over his face.
- Fonda and friends are seriously turning into the Scooby gang right about now.
- Fonda is also acting like Gil Grissom now by picking up blood soaked into the dirt at the crime scene to take to another police department to analyze. Looks like he got some ‘dirt’ on the suspects.
- I turn around for one second and they’re at some RV camp and the girls are swimming in a pool. Aren’t they involved in a mystery? Is a swim really necessary.
- And wait just a cotton-pickin’ minute! This is January! How are they swimming in an outdoor pool?! I know this is Texas but earlier in the film they were wearing heavy coats.
- Warren Oates is really zealous about getting to Aspen to ski. And no satanic cult/mystery is going to stop them!
- Now they’re at a country/western bar listening to music and drinking beers with some other RV couple. Who I’m sure will turn out to be satanists as well.
- It’s almost an hour in and I still haven’t seen Oates kick any ass. Hell, he hasn’t even raised his voice.
- Now I want to try Pearl Beer.
- “This is the greatest time I ever had in my life.” says Oates. He must’ve lived some sad and lonely life if this is the highlight of it so far. Plus, did he forget the whole evil satanist cult ordeal?
- BAR BRAWL!
- Damn Hippies killed Ginger the dog!
- Now Oates is getting pissed! Finally!
- Rattlesnakes in the pantry! Those damn dirty Hippies!!
- Of course Oates lost control of the RV and crashes it into a tree.
- Oates vs. Rattler! Oates ain’t doing too well. Either is Fonda. It’s not helping that the girls are screaming the whole time. See, this is why they need a gun!
- The shop owner here says that his shotgun costs 2-19 plus tax. Two dollars and change for a shotgun?!
- Hey, this gas station attendant is Galt from First Blood! WHO also happens to be this film’s director. I had no idea Galt was a director.
- So that’s the second pay phone that is busted that Peter Fonda tried to use. Are the Satanists cutting all the lines just to spite the Scooby-Oates Gang? Can’t be coincidental that these two places happen to have the lines down.
- Fonda is surprised that the truck in front of him stopped short so the RV would ram it. He actually says “What would make him do that?!” Hey Fonda, remember that nasty gang of satanic hippies that have a blood feud with you? Perhaps they are still after you. Ya think?
- I think we’re in the titular “Race” with the Devil now! Awesome!
- Oates shoots at this other truck’s cargo area/side like that’s going to do anything to stop it.
- Apparently shooting the truck in the same spot again did the trick and made it lose control and crash. So what do I know?
- Hahahahaha!! Fonda veers the last truck off a bridge and as the car flies off the rails it explodes for no logical reason!! YES!
- Hahaha! Moments later they’re driving along and there’s an auto accident involving a school bus. As they come closer they’re not sure what to make of it but Oates wises up to the hippy trap and says: “I don’t trust a school bus on Sunday!” and races past the wreckage.
- Nice! One of the hippies is on top of the RV roof when he doesn’t notice the overpass coming and gets a nice dose of concrete reality to the face.
- Fonda is throwing Molotov Cocktails at the hippie’s cars! This movie rules!!!
- Add to that a stunt involving a car driving on it’s two side wheels at a 45 degree angle!!
- Fonda destroys that stunt when he releases his dirt bike on the road!! I love this movie!!!
- Five minutes left and I cannot wait for the grand finale!
- They spot a detour sign up ahead. I’m sure Oates doesn’t trust construction on a Sunday either!
- They stray off the highway because in the chase they damages both headlights and never made it to a town to fix it. And now they’re making martinis. They sure are relaxed for nearly dying and killing hippies.
- OH no! They settled right into a hippy satanic cult trap! YOU FOOLS!!!
- And yes, it’s the sheriff as I predicted.
- Not a bad ending as they are doomed and not the happy ending I was sort of expecting. But how in the hell did the Satanists find them unless they were followed.
Scare Level: Sadly, this movie never gets out of first gear in the scary department.
Gore Level: This movie’s engine stalls in the gore department as well.
Nudity Level: No sowing of Warren’s wild Oates
Best Line: “I don’t trust a school bus on Sunday!” Solid advice in my opinion.
Best Scene: The chase scene revs it on the red line for sure!
Worst Scene: The fact that two able-bodied men couldn’t defend themselves effectively against a snake was kind of a bummer scene.
Level of Hell: While not as “satanic” enough to be truly called a Devil-themed horror flick for my liking, it was still one of the better exploitation pieces of schlock I’ve seen recently.
Overall: I really should’ve reviewed this flick during our last 666 Schlocktoberfest but I felt it just wasn’t devilish enough, nor schlocky enough either. It was an entertaining little gem with equal amounts of horror and action. The finale’s chase scene was very well done and worth the viewing alone. I wouldn’t ‘race‘ to see it again but I would have zero complaints also. I mean, it’s kinda tough to dislike a movie where Warren Oates shoots cultists from an RV window while racing down a highway.
Score: 8 Pints of Pearl Beer (out of 10)