BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Rawhead Rex (1986) - Blu-ray Review

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Rawhead Rex - Blu-ray Review

4 beersFew of us can say that we’ve been baptized by a hot stream of piss.  That’s probably not something people list when asked about their individual life goals.  I’m sure there’s someone out there that thinks being on bended knee in front of a gigantic pagan God as he whips out his 10-inch dong and proceeds to piss all over them, open mouthed, is pretty damn cool, though. 

I wonder if Declan O'Brien (Ronan Wilmot) thought that through.  The poor guy; all he did was place his hand on an alter and – BLAMMO! – suddenly he is in league with the looming monstrosity that is the mighty Rawhead Rex.  Oi! Oi! Oi!

Welcome to Clive Barker’s imagination, Horror Hounds!  Rawhead Rex, complete with a stunning (and brand new) 4k restoration, has arrived on Blu-ray thanks to Kino-Lorber Studio Classics.  And this punk rock beast is just as angry as he was in 1986.  

Two. Glowing. Red. Eyes.  That’s the most important detail surrounding the rural myth of Rawhead Rex.  It’s those eyes that haunt the locals and it is those eyes that pierce the veiled darkness, igniting even the stained glass window of the local parish’s chapel.  And it does not go unnoticed by the man leading the congregation in song; he's just powerless to do anything about it. 

In this screenplay of Barker's original short story, Rawhead Rex is a no-necked monster; a pagan god angered by his removal from history and he’s incredibly pissed off at the Christian faith, ravaging more than one innocent soul as he returns to his primal dominance.  His resurrection, thanks to the wicked imagination of Clive Barker, begins with the removal of a phallic-like stone pillar from within an otherwise idyllic Irish countryside…

…and all Hell is unleashed behind him.  Not really, though, it’s mainly just Rawhead Rex who, with a punk-rock edge to his mohawked skull, looks like a hopped-up Frankenstein in search of his Harley.  Women are pulled from vehicles, boys are eaten, and a whole hell of a lot of pilfering occurs while this unholy monster unleashes a fury unmatched upon this once peaceful Irish community. 

Starring David Dukes (Dawson’s Creek) as researcher/photographer Howard Hallenbeck, this horror b-movie features Kelly Piper, Niall Tóibín, Cora Venus Lunny and Donal McCann, the horror film is drastically different from Barker’s original design.  As the monster looks like a leather-clad ogre ready to pogo at the sock hop, the god-awful creature designs have undeniably locked this b-grade flick in the cult category.  And, for this incarnation, it definitely suits the rest of director George Pavlou’s wonky adaptation.

That’s not to say that Rawhead Rex isn’t appreciated.  It is – just ask its cult followers – and it certainly works to create an unforgettable experience thanks to a creature suit that is far too difficult to move in for Heinrich von Bünau (the poor dude inside) to handle and an entire town that knows nothing about this pissed off monster nor the magic box that aids in its arrival.  There’s a lot to poke holes in when it comes to this b-grade flick.  There’s a lot to just drink to, as well, and that’s what we prefer, damn it.   

Enjoy the HD debut of Rawhead Rex and his golden showers!  Just don’t get a drop of that unholy liquid on me.

Rawhead Rex - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
89 mins
Director
: George Pavlou
Writer:
Clive Barker
Cast:
David Dukes, Kelly Piper, Hugh O'Conor
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
He's Pure Evil. Pure Power. Pure Terror.
Memorable Movie Quote: "He was here before Christ, before civilisation. He was king here!"
Theatrical Distributor:
Empire Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
April 17, 1976
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
April 17, 1987
Synopsis: Ireland will never be the same after Rawhead Rex, a particularly nasty demon, is released from his underground prison by an unwitting farmer. The film follows Rex's cross country rampage, while a man struggles to stop it.

 

Rawhead Rex - Blu-ray Review

 

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Kino Lorber
Available on Blu-ray
- October 17, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

 

Kino Lorber Studio Classics presents Rawhead Rex on 1080p with a brand new 4k transfer mined from the original 35mm negative.  The results are fantastic.  Framed in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio and sporting a new DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track, there’s a lot to appreciate with this release.  While there is an age to the sheen on the film, this is the absolute best the film has ever looked.  Details are crisp – especially out in the countryside and within the walls of the church – and colors look sharp.  Black levels are deep and solid.  The gore is expressive and contrasts are good throughout.  This will please fans.

 

Supplements:

Commentary:

  •  

    Included with the release is a feature length audio commentary with director George Pavlou.  It is moderated by Stephen Thrower, the author of Nightmare USA: The Untold Story of the Exploitation Independents.

     

Special Features:

Kino Lorber Studio Classics is all-in with this release.  Included with the purchase of the blu-ray are interviews with the cast and the crew that help fill in some of the gaps of this b-movie, especially what went on UNDER the mask.  We also get a booklet and corresponding essay by Film Historian Kat Ellinger, a slipcover with new cover art by Sean Phillips and reversible cover art.

  • Call Me Rawhead: Interview with Actor Heinrich von Bünau (21 min)
  • What the Devil Hath Wrought: Interview with Actor Ronan Wilmot (12 min)
  • Rawhead FX: Interview with SFX/MU Crew Members (23 min)
  • Rawhead Rising: Interview with Cameraman Sean Corcoran (21 min)
  • Animated Behind-the-Scenes Image Gallery (2 min)
  • Theatrical Trailer

Rawhead Rex - Blu-ray Review

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