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Movies From the Black Lagoon: Rain of Fire
Movies From the Black Lagoon
Rain of Fire - 1977, Rated R
An industrialist is all that stands between the world and a nuclear holocaust in This "Spaghetti" take on the "Omen" films. Italy's genre film market cashed in on every trend by emphasizing the exploitation elements and they do a fine job with this material by focusing on end of days prophecy and, of course, a gory death every ten minutes.
Kirk Douglas slums, I mean stars, as the "Donald Trump" like Robert Caine. We first glimpse him in Israel where he is seen praising the glory of nuclear power and promising to end hunger with his new plant which is set to be constructed over some caves. After the demo he heads back to London where his corporate offices (which are constantly being picked by 'save the earthers') are located. At a celebration of their project commencing his wife, and corporate bigwig, reminds him that she owns more shares in the company and plans to sell off the project due to the bad press it has generated. Caine gets pretty angry but never gets a chance to argue the case as a knife-wielding lunatic chooses that moment to attack him. This actually turns out to be a good thing as the psycho accidentally kills Mrs. Caine during a struggle over the blade.
That's just the first of many happy accidents, which kill off supporting characters faster than you can remember who they are though each dies in such a spectacular fashion that you hardly care. The highlights include a helicopter blade decapitation and a steel door, which bisects a character just as he is about to reveal a major plot point. Soon enough Caine becomes convinced that his reactor will destroy the world but the worse news is that his own unborn child (now nestled inside the spunky reporter) may be the spawn of Satan.
Caine's behavior becomes erratic and his board of directors opt to have him committed to an institution (alongside the knife happy assassin who slew his wife) but that is just what his adult son, Angel, has wanted all along.
This one has a lot of fun with apocalypse prophesies and manages to weld them to nuclear power and make it the worst threat to mankind since mullets. Here everything is a clue and Caine gets plenty of help interpreting them from theologians and science professors. The only places they drop the ball here are in giving the characters obvious names (Angel Caine-cut me some slack) and a non-ending which sees Robert stand by and do nothing but cuddle his new child while Angel assumes control of the company and begins ordering up some Armageddon. Female fans of the Kirk-ster will really dig this one as it was made at the height of his "I'll drop my pants for any genre movie phase." Let's just say that Mr. Douglas appeared proud of his physique during this period, which included nude turns in mediocre fare such as "Saturn 3" and "The Fury". The formula breaks down like this-the chances of seeing more than you wish to of Mr. Douglas' anatomy go up as the quality of his moves go down.
Best Line: "We're not seven headed monsters unleashing a holocaust."
Tom Doty occasionally emerges from the Lagoon to check his e-mail. If you'd like to get a message to him, write to: email@example.com.
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