Satanists start bounding across the river towards them as the mobile home skids off into the night as if the Devil was after them. And of course, he kinda is. The four drive to the next town where they report the crime to the local sheriff who (I'm sure I won't be spoiling anything when I tell you this) is IMMEDIATELY obvious as a member of the Devil Cult himself. I mean, the way R. G. Armstrong plays the part, the way his introduction is shot and just the way he looks SCREAMS he's one of the Satanists. And of course, knowing this is a 70's movie, there could be no other option. Truly, while I was watching the first shot of the sheriff it's almost like a loud bell went off proclaiming "Villain"! After examining the scene of the crime, the Sheriff finds a dead dog and intimates the four probably mistook what they saw and were probably drunk besides. We the viewers, of course, know different -- and so do our heroes. As the drive off towards their far off destination, they keep encountering devil worshippers who beat the living hell out of their mobile home. Suspicious people are everywhere the quartet stops and, after the movie passes its first hour of running time, things really begin to heat up.
That nicely bleak, downbeat 70's thing can be found especially at the end of the movie (and come on, were you REALLY expecting anything different from a 70's movie?!? As Bugs Bunny said at the end of "WHAT'S OPERA, DOC". . . .well, you know what he said. I suppose RACE WITH THE DEVIL loosely qualifies as a horror film; although it's more of a car chase thriller owing to the fact that the occult trappings of the Satanic cult are only seen during two scenes of the film. All the rest of the time the Satanists are almost impossible to tell from the everyday rednecks populating the rural highways and byways. The rather nice thing about the film is that our four protagonists are not blissfully unaware of the machinations lined up against them; from the very beginning of trouble they are ALWAYS pretty sure that some skullduggery is afoot. Witness the surreptious way that Peter Fonda secretly picks up his OWN blood sample at the bonfire site; already suspecting that the local sheriff isn't going to prove too helpful. The problem is the four are simply unable to wrest themselves loose from the seemingly endless parade of Satanic cult members hounding them across the highways.