RACE WITH THE DEVIL
Seven Years Earlier
Football stands as the unifying force within this troubled community, providing hope and escape. At the center of it all is Danny Sullivan, the high school quarterback who captures the Devil’s attention. The Devil tempts Danny with promises of fame and fortune, aiming to ensnare his soul in a devilish pact. Yet, despite facing financial hardships and witnessing his father’s struggle with alcoholism, Danny remains steadfast and rejects the demonic advances.
On the brink of defeat during the State Title Championship game, the Devil materializes before Danny, offering him a tantalizing victory in exchange for his soul. Danny rejects the Devil’s offer and throws a Hail Mary pass to win the game. Furious over Danny’s rejection, the Devil turns his gaze to Dickie Sullivan, Danny’s old man—a man who’d hit rock bottom and couldn’t pull his weight for the family.
Dickie also played for the same high school football team, but his dreams of athletic glory were cut short when his girlfriend Maggie became pregnant with Danny. He did the honorable thing and married his girlfriend at the young age of 17. Before he knew it, his little family grew with the arrival of Danny’s sister, filling his life with financial responsibilities. His luck took a turn for the worse when he found himself out of work with debts piling up. Unable to hold a job and their home at the brink of foreclosure, Dickie turned to alcohol. To help pay the bills, his son Danny hustled his way into the underground racing scene ruled by the notorious Slade, a ruthless thug who ran the books and kept a close eye on the racers.
Maggie, in a state of constant worry that her son’s path was paved with danger and hurtling down a highway to Hell, started attending the local prayer meetings led by the enigmatic and mysteriously suave pastor, known to all as “The Righteous One.” This charismatic leader had a way of weaving tales of hope and transformation that bewitched the local wives. The promise of a better life, a life far from the clutches of dysfunction and despair, tugged at Maggie’s heartstrings. After all, her own family was rife with struggles—a husband burdened by his own failures, a runaway daughter entangled in the web of drug addiction, and a son embracing danger with open arms. And so, the night before the big game, with a heavy heart and unresolved dreams, Maggie walked away from it all, leaving Dickie crushed. In the moment of his son’s greatest triumph, his father hanged himself, leaving Danny’s victory bittersweet.
Meanwhile, Danny’s uncle Bez, burdened by failing crops caused when the railroad company bulldozed through his farmland, makes a dangerous deal with Slade. Desperate to save his family’s farm, Bez secretly bets against the home team, hoping for them to lose the State Title game. However, Danny’s heroics result in an unexpected victory, leading Bez to face the consequences of his ill-fated wager. Bez is given three days to turn over his farm. In desperation, Bez makes a deal with the Devil, who reveals the location of buried Confederate gold under his barn, making Bez very wealthy.
During the post-game celebration, two high school students vanished into the woods, sparking rumors of devil worship and human sacrifice. Adding to the intrigue, a tall, mysterious figure without eyebrows arrived in town, seeking information about an otherworldly skull found on a local resident’s property.
The town plunged deeper into darkness as unsettling events unfolded, illustrating the Devil’s malevolent influence. Mickey, the bar owner, consumed by sudden rage, accused his wife of infidelity, leading to her murder. Their 13-year-old son, Petey, already a victim of recent trauma, witnessed the gruesome act, subsequently beating his father to death before resorting to self-mutilation in despair. When the Sheriff arrived, their toddler daughter, left alone at the bar, disappeared with the mysterious tall stranger. At just 16, their daughter Mary found herself inheriting the bar in the midst of financial turmoil. In a bid to rescue her family’s business from overwhelming debt, she decided to tie the knot with Bez, Danny’s uncle.
After failing to tempt Danny, the Devil knows that eventually Danny’s fascination with the captivating tales from the men’s adventure magazines would ultimately lead to his downfall, intrigued by the lurid adventure stories that seem to mirror the sinister secrets hidden in his own town. Danny digs deeper into the dark underbelly of his community and uncovers the Satanic cheerleaders at his high school, belonging to a dangerous and powerful cult. When Honey, his girlfriend, stumbles upon a video capturing his interaction with the cheerleaders, jealousy and insecurity take hold of her. Vulnerable, she succumbs to the Devil’s tempting offer of eternal beauty. When Karl, her faithful Shepherd dog, interrupts the ritual, a mysterious fire engulfs Honey’s home. Rushing in to rescue her, Danny finds the Devil has already taken her straight to hell. He narrowly escapes death and is left with severe burns on his hands and arms—a devastating outcome that shatters his football dreams as his scholarship slips away.