(director: George Pavlou; screenwriter: from the Clive Barker short story “Books of Blood”; cinematographer: John Metcalfe; editor: Andy Horvitch; music: Colin Towns; cast: David Dukes ( Howard Hallenbeck), Kelly Piper (Elaine Hallenbeck), Hugh O’Connor (Robbie Hallenbeck), Ronan Wilmot(Decian O’Brien), Cora Lunny (Minty Hallenbeck), Heinrich von Schellendorf (Rawhead Rex),Niall O’Brien (Det. Insp. Isaac Gissing), Niall Toibin (Reverend Coot); Runtime: 89; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Kevin Attew; Empire Pictures; 1986-UK)

The monster unconvincingly dons a rubber-suit and becomes more risible than frightening.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The low-budget horror pic was beautifully shot in southern Ireland. Too bad George Pavlou(“Transmutations“/”Underworld”/”Little Devils:The Birth”) ineptly directs from a short story in the third volume of Clive Barkers “Books of Blood,” ruining what should have been a good monster pic.

In rural Ireland a lightning bolt strikes a nine-foot tall monster, called Rawhead Rex, buried from the pre-Christian era, and a farmer inadvertently revives it by digging it up in his potato field. The pagan cannibal then goes to the nearby town on a killing spree, specializing in decapitation. For me the film’s highlight has Rex taking a piss on the vicar (Ronan Wilmot), to whom the monster ventures for safety and thereby showing the link Christianity has with paganism.

David Dukes stars as a visiting American historian, who is with his wife Kelly Piper and son Robbie (Hugh O’Connor) trying to find his family roots when the monster attacks.

I read the book, which I found enjoyable. The movie, however, stinks. Barker disliked the movie intensely and tried to back away from it. The monster unconvincingly dons a rubber-suit and becomes more risible than frightening. Which, I guess, makes this bad monster film at least unwittingly entertaining.

Rawhead Rex Poster