Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Rawhead Rex (1986)

Directed by:
George Pavlou

Routinely directed, often unintentionally hilarious monster movie has decent pedigree from the very start, being a Clive Barker adaptation and all (he also scripted from his story in "Books of Blood"), but the end result is middling thanks to a silly monster costume. In Ireland, a man digging around a large stone accidentally awakens an evil presence, lightning strikes and a hulking, 9-foot tall, cannibalistic Pagan creature with red glowing eyes (played by big guy Heinrich von Schellendorf) is unleashed. Victims are clawed, eaten, decapitated and dismembered, or as one local puts it in his thick Irish accent, "Jesus Christ! It's a bloody massacre!" There's also American historian Howard Hallenbeck (David Dukes), his wife Elaine (Kelly Piper, the nurse in MANIAC) and their two small children, who arrive just in time to get in the middle of things. The best character though is Declan O'Brien (Ronan Wilmot, wonderfully overacting) a psychotic clergyman who screams "Get upstairs fuck face!" to a reverend and lets the ghoul piss on him in a graveyard! Although Barker disowned this film, its fun-filled nonsense that moves at such a fast pace you have little time to realize just how stupid it all is. There's plenty of gore, the acting is decent and it's all well photographed and scenic. And unlike the 1985 Barker adaptation TRANSMUTATIONS (aka UNDERWORLD), at least it's not boring.


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