Rawhead Rex

Rawhead Rex is a silly film, even by low-fi B horror standards. Usually I’m all for this kind of craptastic, schlocktacular fun but something about this one just didn’t have me wanting to join the party. Maybe the mood I was in, or maybe the fact that it didn’t sell me on the one most important element of any monster movie: the monster. Set in rural Ireland, it tells the incredibly simplistic tale of Rawhead Rex, a giant muscle-bound demon who rises from a Druid enchanted grave of cursed earth and wreaks havoc in the townspeople like some kind of rampaging WWE wrestler… and that’s it. An American family vacationing come across it, some deranged preacher worships it, or at least knows its power or maybe both, and it all unfolds cheaply, tediously and without much fun had, at least by me, the viewer. Here’s my beef: no matter what your budget, whether it’s two bucks or two million, you make a convincing, competently crafted and aesthetically pleasing monster if you have the creative drive, talented artists on set and a bit of elbow grease. This Rawhead thing looks like a giant rubber dildo sitting atop a large man’s shoulders, the mask is obvious, the face/jaws don’t move like they should and every closeup had me going “are you kidding me?” These may seem like nit-picky points to scrutinize but I take my horror, even the dollar store stuff, quite seriously and there’s just no excuse for a lacklustre monster, goddamn it. I could provide examples all day of films with tinier budgets that have wonderful, inspired creature effects but that’s redundant, I’ll instead just not recommend this full effort instead. I wanted to love it and proclaim its cult status eccentricity and charm from the Irish hilltops but it simply didn’t sell me, on pretty much every level. Shame, because the posters suggest a way better film.

-Nate Hill

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