Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Rawhead Rex (1986, George Pavlou)

Rawhead Rex, 1986, directed by George Pavlou)

Version reviewed: Region 2 Prism Leisure DVD.

A year later, the team behind the (not a) hit Clive Barker adaptation "Underworld" (aka. Transmutations) reunited for another bash at low-budget British nonsense. At one point in "Rawhead Rex", footage from "Underworld" is playing on a TV (much like when Tobe Hooper had a TV playing his previous movie in "Invaders from Mars"). Actually this scene is really funny - a guy asks his younger brother "Why aren't you watching the film?" (actually, he said "fillum") and I was laughing already, hoping against hope, he would say "Because it's shite!". Unfortunately he says "I've seen it before", which isn't nearly as funny (or accurate...who's seen "Transmutations"?). Also, you will notice thankfully that the music in "Rawhead Rex" is a much better (and orchestral) score than the horrible 'Duran Duran-go-gothic" synth thing on "Underworld".

Yes, this one is a lot better than "Underworld", even if the cast isn't nearly as good. Here, some numbskull farmer in Ireland upsets a huge rock in his land that's keeping a secret buried. No longer so, the monster named "Rawhead Rex" is now free to murder.

Rawhead Rex in the flesh, with some other flesh.

As per Clive Barker's (England-based) original story, which appears (I believe) in his third "Book of Blood", Rex is the last of his kind, a pre-human species that raped, murdered and did what ever it liked. Actually, Clive Barker imagined it was a giant DICK (even resembling such) which did whatever it wanted with disregard for anyone else. In the film, however, it's this kind of hokey monster that looks a lot like Goro from the "Mortal Kombat" film, but crappier.

The actings all really hokey and the 'plot' unfolds in a totally inexplicable manner, but the film is just plain entertaining. While in "Underworld", Pavlou used his music video background just to light everything in a supremely cheesy manner, here it is definetely a great atmospheric tool - this is a very good looking b-movie for either a British or an Irish production. The music adds to the film this time out and you will enjoy seeing the locals scream and cry at this silly monster.

I recommend it to b-movies fans, especially British ones, and the curious Barker fans with a sense of humour may well enjoy it too.

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