Mike Hodges’ haunting and hugely underrated supernatural thriller boasts a terrific performance from Rosanna Arquette as Martha Travis, a fake spiritualist and medium who travels the American Bible Belt with her alcoholic father Walter (Jason Robards).
Martha is initially angered and embarrassed by her duplicitous ways and later terrified by the sudden development of what appear to be real psychic abilities as she begins seeing into the future – foreseeing the assassination of a local worker who is about to report his employer at a chemical factory for negligence in safety standards.
Cynical investigative journalist Gary Wallace (Tom Hulce) is hot on their trail.
As Martha’s prophecies all come true, she unwittingly becomes involved in a major conspiracy and number one on the killer’s hit list.
It’s one of the most intelligent and thought-provoking of the psychic phenomena movies that proliferated briefly at the end of the 1980s – more interested in theology, belief, fear and exploitation than in straightforward shocks and scares.
A subtle, clever and chilling thriller, Black Rainbow follows its own course and dares to be off-beat – cue baffled reviews and consignment to semi-obscurity.
Yet it’s brimming with beautiful images, intelligent and witty dialogue, and chillingly apocalyptic visions of nuclear disaster.
Lieutenant Irving Weinberg
Darla N Warner
Elijah Perry (as Jerry Rushing)
Joyce Leigh Bowden (as Joyce Bowden-Kirby)