Satanists. You gotta hand it to them, they’re usually not the most friendly kind of people. In ‘Race With The Devil’ Peter Fonda, Warren Oates, Loretta Swit and Lara Parker run into more than a whole bunch of them during their vacation. The only thing for our foursome left to do, is get in their vehicle and drive… Racing away right up until the terrifying climax.
‘Race With The Devil’ is a nice little occult road-movie classic from the 70′s. Decently paced and engaging. Of course you have to wait for more than an hour before the racing starts, but the climactic last 20 minutes make up for it. Fonda, Oates, Swit & Parker are on a holiday with their mobile home and witness to a satanic ritual killing during one night. Naturally, the local authorities have some difficulties believing all this, and soon the two couples find themselves being harassed and eventually chased by several cult-members. The sense of paranoia this film has, is quite superb. Just about everyone in this movie could be a satanist follower. Peter Fonda is cool as always. This time he uses the word “terrific” a lot as an expletive, instead of “groovy”.
But we’re straying off topic here. How does the film end? After the exciting & exhausting racing sequence, Fonda & co seem to have lost the satanists. So they park their vehicle in a somewhat deserted field. I can imagine they’d want to catch their breath for a while with a dry Martini, maybe even sleep off the nightmare they’d just been through. But granted, it’s not the smartest thing to do with a whole bunch of murderous satanists somewhere out there. And this pays off badly for our friends.
Suddenly, out of the dark the satanists appear, dressed in black capes. While Peter & co already start to move in terrifying slow motion inside the mobile home, a ring of fire is being lit around the vehicle.
Surrounded by a horde of chanting satanists, the circle of fire closes, leaving the protagonists severely outnumbered inside their vehicle. This nightly spectacle is filmed from a helicopter, and it’s this foreboding shot that freezes.
The chantings and scary sound effects fade, and the credits start to roll over the frozen frame. With on the soundtrack nothing but icy cold wind blowing. Now that’s a terrific ending.
Trailer on YouTube.