Clive Barker has had a whole lot of success on the display screen. However then, after all, there are the flicks that got here early in his profession. Barker was so dissatisfied along with his early work in movie as a screenwriter that it led to him directing Hellraiser himself. And although Transmutations is really a function simply as unhealthy because it’s made out to be, Rawhead Rex isn’t with out benefit.
Primarily based on a narrative from the third quantity of Barker’s fantastic Books of Blood collections, Rawhead Rex is an quaint monster story about an historical primordial deity resurrected to ravage the Irish countryside. Irish horror is considerably of a rarity, and whereas the movie takes many liberties with the brief story, the roots of Celtic lore and legend inherent within the fiction do survive the method of adaptation.
Within the brief story, Rawhead is described as primarily a nine-foot phallus. He kills the whole lot he comes throughout, consuming most of that which he encounters, together with two youngsters. He’s an historical, Celtic being, a attainable deity. He’s a consultant from a barbaric previous set forth to demolish the civilized current. Whereas the movie will get a whole lot of flack for altering the look of the monster—as right here Rawhead appears to be like extra like a cross between Pumpkinhead, Conan, and the entrance man of a loss of life metallic band—many of the vital and darker story components are preserved. Together with the loss of life of a kid.
Most of Barker’s work offers with faith, normally in overt and un-subtle methods. He desires the purpose to be clear. Rawhead Rex is an early instance of this. It is a film about Paganism versus Catholicism. Rawhead is a relic from a chaotic, primal previous. He’s the furthest factor from the order and construction of a faith that may be very a lot what drove him into the bottom within the first place. In that method, Rawhead Rex is a revenge story. As a lot as it’s a bloody, gory monster flick, it’s a story of a king reclaiming his kingdom. Therefore the title.
Whereas Barker could also be English, that is inherently an Irish monster story. Rawhead Rex is exclusive in the best way it explores Celtic horror merely in that it brings Celtic horror and Celtic beliefs and beliefs again to the forefront. The truth that these concepts and beliefs had been misplaced, stolen and adopted by the religions that took their place, is a significant theme working all through the function. As a lot as it’s a foolish B-Film, there’s nonetheless some extent to it. For that we in all probability have Barker to thank, provided that he wrote the script for Rawhead Rex himself, even when he wasn’t totally proud of it.
Possibly essentially the most notorious and but additionally essentially the most poignant scene in Rawhead Rex comes when the creature urinates on the top of a priest, who takes this as a baptism, renounces God after which begins to serve the monster. That is the proper instance of Rawhead reclaiming his kingdom. He’s taking again what was taken from him; he’s destroying the civility of the fashionable world and particularly of the faith that has come to rule since his time. Rawhead is the face of the outdated world, of outdated faith, and so as a substitute of consuming the priest he causes him to easily change his religion.
Rawhead Rex is in regards to the current colliding with a darkish previous it tried to bury. And even in case you’re not desirous to test it out for Barker’s concepts on paganism and outdated world religions, it’s nonetheless a neat monster film that can on the very least hold you entertained.