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|Index||64 reviews in total|
This film just doesn't get the credit it merits, its a cheaply made film which inevitably relies on the viewer to accept the limitations of the genre and "go with it", just as an old tom baker doctor who episode never had anything going for it except the characters and storyline so it goes with rawhead rex,the story and characters are good enough to carry the film, the setting in celtic ireland and the roots of the beast from the underworld are classic horror fare and i just don't see what more you can expect from this genre, its a blast from start to finish with gore and an unusual baptism scene for good measure, I've seen much worse major budget films, some of the acting . particularly the irish priest is gloriously over the top and all the more entertaining for it, its funny and gory at the same time, it sort of meets hammer and the evil dead and comes up with an entertaining movie, i voted a ten to hype the figures lol but its a good seven if truth be told:)
Im the kind of person who alot of the time will buy movies before I have even seen them. That was the case with this movie. I loved this movie! People say it was cheezy, maybe a little but if you love cult horror, get this movie. Its defently a fun little satanic film and I would recomend it to anyone that are fans of the horror / cult genre.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
`Rawhead Rex' is one of the more unusual monster movies to come
A photographer, Howard (David Dukes) comes to Ireland to do a book on sacred church sites. He stumbles across a site where three workers are raising a giant stone. Unbeknown to Howard, the stone is the resting spot for a creature called Rawhead Rex. As Howard checks around the town with various members of the church for permission to photograph the church, Rex kills one of the men who raised the stone. As Howard's wife (Kelly Piper) displays her dislike of the town, he goes to visit the man since the local priest, (Niall Tobian) gave him permission to do so. He stumbles across the murder and alerts the police. They believe that the murder is caused by someone in the town wanting revenge on the man, and start their investigation. Another couple nearby, arguing, walks off into the woods and leave their son. He finds Rex's first kill in the woods, as do the couple, and they race out of the woods, leaving only the woman and the son to reach safety. As the murders continue, the police chief (Naill O'Brian) realizes that a monster is behind it. Howard begins to suspect that the local verger for the church, Declan O'Brian, (Ronan Wilmont) is behind the monster's appearance, and he searches for the truth before Rex finds him.
The Good News: `Rawhead Rex' is a better movie than people give it credit for being. The locale switch to Ireland is a great twist and is very creative. It allows Ireland's landscape to be fully exposed to the outside world, and it's sweeping landscapes, dense forest, and luscious mountains are put on full display. The locale also gives Rex tons of hiding places to pop out of, allowing for some nice scares. Almost all of his appearances are great scares, having him pop out or showing up unexpectedly. Some were better than others were, but all in all the shock of his first appearances allow for some nice scares. The monster's roar was also very creepy. It was very deep, very loud, and very chilling. It sent a chill down your back when you heard it. It was effective for Rex in that a monster of that power and ugliness had a roar to match it. The killings in the film were also very gory. Rex had a violent end for all of his victims, and made the film a bit better to stand, with the gore in it. The gore was very realistically done, with as much burned or damaged skin as cut and bleeding. The blood flow wasn't as great as would be expected, but it was more of the aftereffect that provided more bloodletting. However, the best part of the film is easily the creativity used in telling the story and setting up the plot. No real reason is given for Rex to appear, but was certainly clever in allowing the characters to get into the plot and get it going. Harry's character is given an interesting job and a reason to be in the location when the events go down. His job of locating ancient sacred places where churches are now built is a great new, creative job to have in a horror movie. The ending is also very creative and was one of the more unusual endings in horror movies.
The Bad News: For being the central character, Rex was one really weird monster. It was an unusual movie, but Rex needed to be designed better. He looked imposing only in very few scenes and his power was displayed only in one scene, towards the end. As the central character, he needed to be a better monster. The main problem was his face. It resembled too much that of a gorilla on steroids, with the exposed lower jaw, fanged teeth, and human-ish face. His eyes were creepy, and could be left alone, but the rest could've been altered. The move to Ireland was creative, but that means that the viewers have to sit through the Irish accents for most of the movie. Only harry and his family are not Irish, so the rest of the cast has the almost indistinguishable accent that will probably hinder some viewers from enjoying it, as they should.
The Final Verdict: `Rawhead Rex' is an unusual film, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. It will grow on you after repeated viewings, but most may not make it to repeated viewings. That is a shame, since it is a creative movie that will surprise the casual horror viewer as well as those who want to see a new twist in horror films.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language.
I've given this a 10 to bump up the average, because 4.2 doesn't
reflect the core 'horror' quality that is a strong undercurrent to this
movie. I saw Rawhead when I was quite a bit younger but all those who
saw it with me said the same thing; that this movie contains a genuine
flavor of something you can't quite put your finger on, but other
directors / collectors of horror should take note of.
Don't dismiss this movie, its stupid on many levels, but like Evil Dead (One) contains that low budget horror magic that only a few directors can capture.
Am I wrong?
The short story Rawhead Rex is a gory and stomach churning piece of
literature appearing in Clive Barker's Books of Blood Volume 3. Reading it
one sees the possibilities of a good old fashioned monster on the loose
movie. Unfortunately, most of the graphic violence of the story is removed
from the film that followed. Although many of the character details remain
the same, except that the protagonist and his family are Londoners instead
of Americans in the short story. The setting, score, a few actors and the
occasional scare make the films worth seeing for true Clive Barker
completists. Be warned, what does make the proceedings less alluring is the
fact that Rawhead himself is a great disappointment; the direction somewhat
poor and from a script by Barker himself I expected more. Not even in league
with his superior Hellraiser, effective Candyman or intriguing Nightbreed.
Though I must admit I must've seen this film about eight times since it was
Trivia note: The mother of the American Family is the actress who plays the nurse Joe Spinell skewers in Maniac.
"Rawhead Rex" was one of several "unknown" films I prided myself on
"discovering" during the late 1980s, when friends would visit for a day or
four. I seemed to have a knack (seemingly lost, now!) to pick out videos I
had never heard of, which turned out to be surprisingly quite good. Rawhead
Rex was one of these.
I found it a quite riveting, scary movie. As with almost all horror movies, I thought a few things could have been done better. Still, Rex was infinitely more satisfying to me than a number of present-day "horror" flicks which center on someone hacking people up with a knife for no apparent reason or which drift confusingly between reality and halucination.
I thought the monster looked pretty convincing -- then again, I was weaned in the pre-Speilberg era. I have to agree with the reviewer who said the scene where Rex kills the farmer in the shed and the wife sees him from the kitchen window, then tries to hide, is quite scary. So was the boy glancing up from his comic books in the van, to see Rex standing outside.
I loved the touches with the stained glass puzzle & the chief detective's stunned "I'll be d****, the Yank was right" when he looks at the horrific crayon drawing made by the young survivor of the trailer park attack, too stunned to speak. (The severed arm was a very nice touch, too.)
Anyone who thinks Rawhead Rex was "hilarious," is no horror fan. It may not have been one of the genre's best efforts ever, but it was one of a number of very meaty horror flicks of the 1980s which are still have plenty bite today (pun intended)!
It's really simple: dire film, fantastic short story concerning entities older than organised religion, which also looks at the idea of the female as divine, without being preachy or even vaguely normal. Like all Barker horror stories; dark, twisted and original, if you don't own the Books of Blood, you should. For the uninitiated the Books of Blood (1-6) are collections of short stories. As well as containing the short story 'Rawhead Rex', the Books of Blood also contain the short stories 'The Forbidden'(which was filmed as Candyman), 'The Last Illusion' (filmed as Lord of Illusions), 'The Body Politic' (filmed as part of Quicksilver Highway)and 'The Yattering and Jack' which was also committed to screen as an episode of Tales from the Darkside. The only good thing about this film is that it prompted Clive Barker to start making his own text to screen adaptations, starting with Hellraiser.
To sum up the movie, overall: Rawhead Rex is a monster that hunts and
devours young boys, stopping only to violate women, and be worshipped
as a God. How does he react to the worship? He pisses over his
followers, which they eagerly accept as a blessing from their God.
This movie is one of the creepiest and most disturbing ever made, and it doesn't matter how cheesy the makeup is. It's creepy and disturbing for the same reason all of Clive Barker's stories are: it's as much sexual fantasy as it is horror.
Clive Barker is the creepy old man that sits on his porch all day, asking the young boys who pass if they'd like to sit on his lap and hear a scary story. We're too young to realize why these stories include so much torture and sado-masochistic imagery, and we understand even less why the storyteller seems so excited as he tells it, made all the more excited by the young listener's fear. As a straight, relatively well adjusted man, these dark dreams are all the more chilling, especially at a young age, when everything is already so confusing. Ultimately, no Clive Barker movie is ever as scary or disturbing as the concept itself, and no movie studio will allow the story to be as dark and horrifying as Clive Barker wants it to be.
That's why Clive Barker's stories are so great. It's not really about selling books. It's about satisfying dark urges, and terrifying young boys.
What I'm getting at is that it doesn't matter if Rawhead Rex looks scary. It's what he does, and the mere concept of his existence that is both terrifying and disturbing, made all the more terrifying when you're young, because let's face it: If Clive Barker dreamed of hunting and devouring young boys, then plenty of others have dreamed it to...and perhaps they aren't as willing as Clive is to merely allow his dark dreams to remain a fantasy.
Like it or laugh at it, the story of Rawhead Rex is a dark reflection of the author's soul, and it is that reflection which is truly horrifying.
God - lighten up people! Why everyone is so down on this movie I'll never know. Yes, if you're expecting a state of the art wam-blam-sh*t-godd*mn thriller this is sure to disappoint....but I feel there's a real old-school 1970's 'British Lion' feel to 'Rawhead Rex' (a la 'The Wicker Man'). And, in that sense, it was probably the last of it's kind: whereas now all British genre films try desperately to ape the US brand of quick cutting MTV 'horror', 'Rawhead' takes one back to the 'abandon all hope thee who enters the country inn' type of chiller that Britain used to excel at (and one that was equally aped by US directors for the likes of 'Straw Dogs' & 'An American Werewolf In London'). Not that this makes 'Rawhead Rex' a good film - just one that time will probably be kinder to than all those current 'hip' US teenflicks..
I remembered seeing this picture when I was very young & liking it so
when I spotted it at my local pawn shop I bought it. And although the
film was not as incredible as it was back then (The film did have it's
slow spots) all in all it still turned out to be the awesome horror
flick I remembered. Based on a novel by Clive Barker (He also wrote the
screenplay for this) The story centers on an ancient demon that use to
rule the earth, that was defeated & sent back to the very bowels of
hell, whom is accidentally unearthed in a village near Ireland. Upon
it's release, it hypnotizes people to be it's servants & goes around
ripping up the usual humans that happen to stumble upon him in the
woods. The monster himself in particular is terrifying, with it's
glowing red eyes, quick speed, huge teeth & it's unearthly growls.
Horror fans should have a fine time. What a shame Rawhead never came
back for a RAWHEAD REX 2! Directed by GEORGE PAVLOU whom also helmed
another Clive Barker project called TRANSMUTATIONS & like that film,
Clive later disowned this.
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