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Rawhead Rex (1986)

Ireland will never be the same after Rawhead Rex, a particularly nasty demon, is released from his underground prison by an unwitting farmer. The film follows Rex's cross country rampage, while a man struggles to stop it.


George Pavlou


Clive Barker (screenplay)

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1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
David Dukes ... Howard Hallenbeck
Kelly Piper ... Elaine Hallenbeck
Hugh O'Conor ... Robbie Hallenbeck
Cora Venus Lunny ... Minty Hallenbeck (as Cora Lunny)
Ronan Wilmot ... Declan O'Brien
Niall Toibin ... Reverend Coot
Niall O'Brien Niall O'Brien ... Det. Insp. Isaac Gissing
Heinrich von Schellendorf ... Rawhead Rex
Donal McCann ... Tom Garron
Eleanor Feely Eleanor Feely ... Jenny Nicholson
Gladys Sheehan Gladys Sheehan ... Ena Benedict
Madelyn Erskine Madelyn Erskine ... Alice Gibson
Gerry Walsh Gerry Walsh ... Dennis McHugh
Noel O'Donovan Noel O'Donovan ... Mitch Harney
John Olohan John Olohan ... Dennis Nicholson


Ireland will never be the same after Rawhead Rex, a particularly nasty demon, is released from his underground prison by an unwitting farmer. The film follows Rex's cross country rampage, while a man struggles to stop it.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Someone has awakened him. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



UK | Ireland | USA



Release Date:

17 April 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

RawHeadRex See more »


Box Office


£1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


According to director George Pavlou on the Kino Lorber dvd commentary a brief scene which showed a woman wearing a red coat was meant as a homage to Don't Look Now. See more »


The police have "Police" on their body Armour. Since this film is set in Ireland, they should be known as "Garda". See more »


Det. Insp. Isaac Gissing: Obviously we'd appreciate your assistance.
Howard Hallenbeck: Well, I've given your man here everything. Every sickening detail. We've done maps, we've done drawings.
Detective: [looking at the crude drawings of Rawhead Rex] It's the same as what the boy saw, sir.
Det. Insp. Isaac Gissing: God, what is it?
Howard Hallenbeck: [sarcastically, referring to an earlier conversation] Of course, darkness can be deceptive.
Det. Insp. Isaac Gissing: I was wrong. I'll grant you that.
Howard Hallenbeck: Oh, thanks.
Det. Insp. Isaac Gissing: Believe me, we're gonna find your son's killer. The valley's being searched by armed officers. We'll find it.
Howard Hallenbeck: ...
See more »


Featured in Trailer Trauma 3: 80s Horrorthon (2017) See more »


The Lord's My Shepherd
Lyrics by Francis Rous
Music by Jessie Seymour Irvine
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

No wonder Clive Barker wasn't pleased...
27 April 2006 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

There is a scene in this movie in which someone screams "He is god!", and then we cut to a shot of a big guy in a ridiculous rubber mask. That pretty much sums Rawhead Rex up, as the movie is so completely ridiculous that the audience is never allowed to take it seriously. However, believe it or not; horror fans have a lot to be thankful for when it comes to Rawhead Rex, as it was the crappiness of this movie (and the earlier 'Underworld' by the same director) that lead to Clive Barker's decision to direct Hellraiser himself...and that turned out pretty well. The plot is based on the story by Clive Barker, and features his typical ideas of otherworldly evil. The story takes place in the British countryside, and we follow the idea of a farmer who accidentally unearths a demon. After plaguing the English countryside for a while and upsetting a few people by doing things such as killing children and smashing up kids' toys, it soon becomes apparent that there may be more to this demon than just a daft-looking killing machine, and perhaps the church has the answer...

It's easy to see why Clive Barker wasn't happy with this adaptation of his story. The themes of good against evil and religion are put across rather well, and the story behind Rawhead Rex is full of intrigue. The screenplay isn't bad either, and while the story feels stretched (despite the 85 minute running time), it's usually at least entertaining. The reason why it's brought down if you ask me is almost completely down to the demon itself. After the ridiculous intro scene, it's impossible not to approach every scene that the monster is in without laughing; thus making being scared impossible. The demon at the centre is supposed to be absolute evil...but if absolute evil really did exist, I doubt it would look as silly as it does here. The murder scenes aren't bad, though, and the British countryside bodes well with the story and provides an excellent location for having victims picked off in. I liked the way that the characters speak with thick country accents too; it gives the whole piece a little bit of credibility, which it lacks in so many other areas. Many viewers pass this film off as absolute rubbish, and while the film is terrible; I've got rate it more as a shame than anything. I'd be pleased if Barker himself one day decided to remake it.

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