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John’s Horror Corner: Rawhead Rex (1986)

March 8, 2013

The most straightforward, honest movie poster I’ve seen in a long time.

MY CALL:  The worst thing to happen to Ireland since the potato famine, red hair and liver failure.  But like these things, at least this made me smile.  [C-]  IF YOU LIKE THIS WATCH:  Not that this was very original, but I cannot come up with any suggestions of similar movies.

Before there were World of Warcraft orcs, there was Rex.

Rawhead Rex is a demon that is released by a curious farmhand and a random lightning strike on his imprisoning monolith in the middle of an Irish countryside. How’s that for a random, bad 80s horror premise?   I think we’re in for something good here!

Howard and Elaine (Kelly Piper; Maniac) have come to Ireland with their young children while Howard investigates something for work.  But when folks start dying, Howard is the only one in town who seems to know what they’re up against… a death-dealing demon cryptically prophesied in the local church’s stained glass windows.

Yeah, we have that stained glass pattern in my church, too.

Our demon looks like one of the 80s Evil Dead demons possessed a tall hairless gorilla with an ratty 80s hard rock mullet and glowing red eyes; he reminds me of a coked-up Gene Simmons.  He knocks lots of thing over and breaks stuff between POV shots of chasing his victims.

Meet Rawhead Rex.  His hobbies include proving that “red eye” removal was a great photo-editing tool, ripping of Irish people’s heads, listening to Danzig albums and ignoring sound dental advice.

When Rex claims a member of Howard’s family as a victim, it’s personal!  Howard finds clues in the church and discovers the pre-Christ origins and weakness of Rawhead Rex.

Rex actually reminds me a little of the Image Comics character Pitt.
Hmmmm..maybe Pitt isn’t so original.

They really pushed the bad special effects hard, but such a low budget packs very little punch.  We see prophetic visions in the form of video transformed by green prism filters and “lasers lights” producing laser-like lightning and laser-lit objects.  The gore is nothing impressive, but at least it’s sufficiently frequent later in the movie.  They tried–sort of.

Is this the GWAR concert?

Written by a young Clive Barker (the Hellraiser franchise), this prestigious film illustrates the respectable notion that paganism outranks Christianity in terms of credibility.  The short story on which this movie was based was quite good.  However, the movie itself, boasting a magic rock and a crappy light show that save the day, was not so good.

Eh, give it a chance if you ever come by the DVD. It’s rare.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Sweet Sugar permalink
    March 9, 2013 11:29 am

    I’d love to see a horror corner entry chronicling efforts to post these reviews on the movie’s or actor’s Facebook pages, if they exist. I’d bet they’d love to see review because they probably haven’t had a review in years, if not ever. It would prob drive traffic to the site too!

  2. johnleavengood permalink
    March 9, 2013 11:50 am

    I’ve only tried once. I requested that the lead actress of Deadgirl allow me to post my review of her movie on her FB page. She accepted. But I’ve never tried it on the movie pages. I’ll give it a shot!

    • Sweet Sugar permalink
      March 9, 2013 8:59 pm

      What scream queen wouldn’t want to see your review?!


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  4. John’s Horror Corner: Hole in the Ground (2019), an Irish horror about a sinkhole, a cute and creepy kid, and a Doppelganger dilemma. | Movies, Films & Flix
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