Film Review - Rawhead Rex
Starring - David Dukes, Kelly Piper, Niall Toiban | Directed by George Pavlou | Artisan DVD FF R 89min 1986
Review By Xmortis
Clive Barker's short story from the Books of Blood, Rawhead Rex comes alive in this 1986 film. Farmers in a field remove a stone that is in fact the only thing keeping a giant pagan god named Rawhead Rex from being free and killing anything that would get in its path. Howard Hallenbeck, his wife Elaine and two kids Robbie and Minty are traveling around the country side sight seeing and taking photos for a book he's writing. In the church he also meets Deacon O'Brien, a strange man of the faith and a man who is taken over as a slave for the newly awakened Rawhead. Howard and Elaine fight about being away from home too long, as Rawhead roams the country side and attacks a couple in their farm house. He kills the man and scares the wife so badly she loses her mind. The cops are called in. They don't fully understand what they are up against but forge on to look for the murderer. Meanwhile rawhead is hiding out in woods by a trailer park eating his dead farmer. When a brat kid stumbles onto his meal, the monster unleashes hell on some of the trailer park people. Howard spots the monster on a hillside, goes to the police with his story and is treated as a joke as they don't believe his story. Howard goes back to the church, and Deacon O'Brien smashes his camera. On the way to Dublin, Robbie is attacked and killed by Rawhead! The cops start to believe Howard's story when an eyewitness draws the red eye monster he reported. Howard goes to the church for answers as Rawhead once more attacks and unleashes hell on the trailer park. Rawhead then attacks and kills some police officers and then goes to the church to kill the Reverend. Howard can't wait anymore and goes back to the church to help. There he finds a weird statue on the alter that is a key to beating Rawhead. Rawhead kills O'Brien and hurts Howard, but his wife Elaine shows up and uses the statue to beat the pagan god. It sends him back into the Earth. In the end Rawhead Rex once again comes from the earth leaving it open for a sequel that never happened.
This is a great horror cheapie written by the master of macabre horror, Clive Barker. The film is very much a bad movie and has one of the most ridiculously stupid looking rubber suited monsters of 80's cinema! It's very slow paced and has lots of really silly moments that in parts drag the film down to a snail's pace. The acting is pretty hammy, and most of the people over act as the monster attacks which helps add an almost 50's horror film element. The character of Howard, played by David Dukes, is a mix of full blown asshole and sweet family man looking to stop a blood thirsty monster, which is a weird mix for a hero of a horror film. The special effects are very much b-grade cheesy, but when Rawhead does kill there is lots of the red stuff that if viewed in the right light looks passable. Now onto Rawhead Rex himself. When I was a kid I used to see pictures of Rawhead Rex and think 'wow he looks great.' Upon finally seeing this film in my teens I thought 'wow what a goofy looking suit!' While the concept of Rex is great, the costume is silly and has some hysterical moments like when the head bounces as he runs! This film is a guilty pleasure for me and is one of my favorite bad films of all time! If you want to watch a great monster flick with some gore and great scenery, then this is a great creature feature for you.
The DVD is super barebones and only has a chapter selections menu. The DVD cover is great and eye catching with the picture of Rawhead walking through the white light doorway being super kick ass.
A giant monster with glowing red eyes, over acting from the cast, lots of monster attacks, blood and gore all make RAWHEAD REX a fun bad movie watch! While this DVD is out of print and very expensive, I would suggest diehard horror fans buy it and all others rent it.