THE RAIN KILLER is a conventional serial-killer story that goes easy on the violence and heavy on the atmosphere. If the film's story and performances were as compelling as the photography and the art direction, it would be a little gem.
Detective Vince Capra (Ray Sharkey) of the L.A.P.D. takes on the case of the "Rain Killer," a serial murderer who preys on wealthy, single women, striking only when it rains. His investigation leads nowhere, and insult is added to injury when an FBI agent named Wesley Dalton (David Beecroft) is
assigned to work with him. One of the victims, Dalton reveals, was an FBI informant relocated to Los Angeles with a new identity after she testified in an important drug case. Dalton and Capra discover that all the victims had belonged to a recovery group called the "Sewing Circle." Dalton
realizes to his horror that his ex-wife Adele (Tania Coleridge) is also a member. He and Capra pay a visit to warn her, and Adele and Capra fall in love. A wealthy young man named Rosewall (Woody Brown) is arrested for the murder of a prostitute. His high-powered attorney gets him out of jail, and
a mysterious note lures him to Adele's apartment. Dalton--who is really the Rain Killer--gets there first and murders Adele, then kills and frames Rosewall. Capra alone suspects the truth, and confronts Dalton. There is a shootout, and Capra kills Dalton.
Though obviously a low-budget project, THE RAIN KILLER doesn't rely on closeups of knives slicing through flesh to generate interest, and its neo-film noir look is effectively realized. The streets of normally sunny Los Angeles are drenched with rain and shadows cloak the corners of every
interior. Exteriors come in two varieties: dark and darker. Ray Sharkey, an accomplished actor whose erratic career has bridged the mainstream and exploitation film, stands out as Capra, but as Dalton David Beecroft is stiff and unconvincing. Because the thin story rests on the tension between the
two characters--they're both rivals and friends, linked by the fever of the investigation and their conflicting relationships with Adele--THE RAIN KILLER could only work if the performances were of equal intensity, and they're not. Adele is little more than a prop, and the rest of the characters
exist only to move the plot along.
Director Ken Stein produced Larry Brand's THE DRIFTER --whose look and tone are very similar to that of THE RAIN KILLER--for veteran exploitation filmmaker Roger Corman's Concorde/New Horizons. THE RAIN KILLER is his first film as director, and he doesn't do a bad job with the material--he just
wasn't able to rise above its weaknesses. THE RAIN KILLER played only brief theatrical engagements before being released on videocassette. (Violence, sexual situations.)
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- Released: 1991
- Rating: R
- Review: THE RAIN KILLER is a conventional serial-killer story that goes easy on the violence and heavy on the atmosphere. If the film's story and performances were as compelling as the photography and the art direction, it would be a little gem. Detective Vince… (more)