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Film / Race with the Devil

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"They witnessed an unspeakable act... it may cost them their lives!"

Race with the Devil is a 1975 action/horror/thriller film directed by Jack Starrett, starring Peter Fonda and Warren Oates.

Best buddies Roger Marsh (Fonda) and Frank Stewart (Oates), a pair of motorcycle mechanics and former dirt bike racers, set out on an RV trip from San Antonio to Aspen with their wives Kelly (Lara Parker) and Alice (Loretta Swit). Barely a day into the trip, however, they witness a Satanic cult sacrificing a young woman under the full moon. Now, the four are running for their lives as the cult chases them across Texas to silence them in a... race with the Devil!


  • B-Movie: Nudity, explosions, and cheesy acting galore.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Especially when apparently half the state of Texas is in on the cult.
  • Bar Brawl: "There goes! First one of the night!"
  • Bolivian Army Ending: The heroes/protagonists are in their RV, surrounded by the cultists and their ring of fire.
  • Chairman of the Brawl: Used during the Bar Brawl in the nightclub/restaurant that the couples' leave at its start.
  • Cut Phone Lines: Human-Operator-worked phone service, ex. payphones are "broken" when "Roger" tries calling the state Highway Patrol long distance for help, attributed to a "big wind from 'up north.'"
  • Downer Ending: The movie ends with the group trapped in their RV with the Satanic cult surrounding them with a ring of fire.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: One vehicle-the red truck that was spying on them-blows up in midair when it goes over a bridge railing.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Kelly's dog Ginger. It gets hanged from the RV's door by the cultists.
  • "Hey, You!" Haymaker: A variation. Roger calls out to one of the cultists on the roof of the RV, causing him to stand up and get creamed by the overpass.
  • Hollywood Satanism: They're evil Satanists who do evil things for no established reason other than it's part of their evil religion. Also, they have Aztec roots, even though Satan definitely wasn't part of Aztec mythology.
  • Honor Before Reason: The reason why Frank doesn't turn around. He just wants to go to Aspen for his long awaited vacation.
  • Human Sacrifice: And possibly a Virgin Sacrifice, too. Also implied to happen to the heroes at the end.
  • Mayincatec: According to the books Kelly and Alice steal from the library, the cultists are rooted in an ancient Aztec religion.
  • Molotov Cocktail: One of the cultists try use these against the protagonists during a chase scene, but after he falls off Roger takes the bottles and use them against the other cultists.
  • Neutral Female: During the big chase scene toward the end, the two wives do nothing but scream and cower.
  • Police Are Useless: Sheriff Taylor and his deputies are also the cultists, and are covering up this fact and the crime itself.
  • Religion of Evil: The Satanic cult.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The cultists hide a pair of rattlesnakes inside the RV.
  • Runic Magic: The cultists leave a rune on the back of the TV the first night, which a book on witchcraft helpfully identifies as a rune of witchcraft.
  • Screaming Woman: Kelly and Alice, unmitigatably so.
  • Secret Circle of Secrets: The cult, with lots of members in very high places.
  • Stepford Smiler: The Hendersons, the couple that the heroes meet at the RV park.
  • Stern Chase: Pretty much the entire movie consists of the couples trying to get away from the evil cultists out to murder them and ultimately failing.
  • Tempting Fate: "We don't need anything. We are self-contained, baby!" Turns out the RV isn't so invincible...
  • They Know Too Much: The lead two couples in this film are targeted by the cult after Roger and Frank witness their ritual sacrifice.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: The small town that the heroes arrive in after witnessing the sacrifice, and the RV park that they go to later. Ultimately extended to the entire Bandera County in the climax, where we learn in the end that everyone there is a member of this cult.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: The cult stages a school bus accident in the hopes of ambushing the group when they stop to help. They realize it's a trap both because a school bus wouldn't be out on a Sunday and when they notice that none of the children appear to be injured.