Rawhead Rex (1986)

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If you go back to the first page of this thread, you will find my first ever recommendation, and that was this film, Rawhead Rex. Not many people payed much attention, so here it is again, and you will fucking listen to me this time!!!  I don’t know what it is about this film that appeals to me so much, but blimey i love it. It was a childhood favourite that i would often watch, so maybe thats why i love it so much. I did watch it a year or so ago, and for me, its lost non of its appeal. Based on a Clive Barker story, Rawhead is a demon who has been buried under a huge rock in the middle of a field after terrorising locals. Hundreds of years later he’s back, helped by a Priest who has turned to the darkside. A superb score and creepy birdlike sound effects have stayed with me for years, and Rawhead’s roar is something that still gives me the willies if i’m walking in the woods

A man is passing through a small Irish town when he becomes involved with this Demon. A church photographer, he comes across the now evil priest and becomes suspicious of him. A bizarre and quite haunting stained glass painting is in the church which has a picture of the demon, in his tomb and telling the story of how to keep him there. A red light is coming from his eye, Rawhead is ready to come back! Local farmers decide to remove this giant stone in their field, not knowing what is for, and in a great scene, the beast is let lose and he lets out a dark and threatening roar. The small Irish town, basically, is in deep shit! A house on the edge of the woods is attacked and the police are worried, especially by the huge claw marks on the front door. The Priest is hiding a strange sort of gateway in his Church, and is growing blisters on his face!

At night you can hear the monster roar, and i must say it is very creep indeed. I think what really works here is the setting, a small Irish town, the woods,  and some of the daylight scenes are truly scary. Witness the Demon attempt to steal the photographers son from his car parked at the side of the road by the woods, while he checks on his daughter who is having a piss in a bush. In broad daylight, and looking like a country road you have been on a million times, it makes for uncomfortable viewing. The Demon himself looks great, and with no CGI its refreshing, however, some of the effects are a bit dated now, like the light bulbs in his eyes and the blue lightning effects. However, he is still threatening and extremely vicious and i am surprised they passed the dvd as a 15.

Its filled with some wonderful scenes that have stayed with me forever. The photographer is walking in the woods at night having a fag when he looks up the hill to see a massive figure just stood there, in the shadows watching him. He drops his fag, and after bending down to pick it up, he looks up again to see the beast has gone. To this day it still scares the shit out of me. Another superb set piece is Rawheads superb attack on a caravan park in the woods. At one point he RUNS at this guy, and even now it scares me!  Its a vicious attack, made all the more unsettling by the characters who are just normal, everyday people doing everyday things. The film, for me, has created an atmosphere with the help of its superb sounds that i will never be able to forget. It has a superb setting that makes it all the more terrifying, great lead characters, a superb monster and just the right amount of shocks and gore. They certainly don’t make them like this anymore! I know there are plenty out there who either don’t think of it as much as i do, or maybe even hate it, but i really love it, really really love it. Its one of my many horror guilty pleasures that i never ever tire of watching

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

Matt Wavish
About Matt Wavish 10125 Articles

A keen enthusiast and collector of all horror and extreme films. I can be picky as i like quality in my horror. This doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be a classic, but as long as it has something to impress me then i’m a fan. I watch films by the rule that if it doesn’t bring out some kind of emotive response then it aint worth watching.

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