Nov 5, 2009

Rawhead Rex

When I think of Clive Barker, macabre philosophy comes to mind. Along with sadomasochistic tendencies, Barker infuses a potential homosexual "flaw" to his bookwork that coincides with the horror creating new planes of metaphysical and abstract terror and depravity, in other words: "future of horror, and its name is Clive Barker." Clive always had a way of creating both exceptional stories along with films but we know his work towards film and video games are always both a bit sketchy. So what would happen, if someone without a true merit for filmmaking attempted to recreate a fabulous tale of inhuman godless terror? Well, the true answer to all these questions and more lie within the process of both making Rawhead Rex and viewing Rawhead Rex. The film is an absolute chore to finish without pausing. Granted, their are some true die hard fans of the film but that being said, their happiness towards the creative property was most likely birthed off the film first and then the comic/short story.

Rawhead Rex started out as a godless "god." A creature undefinable by all modern science and judging by the contorted shape of its body, contemporary symmetry didn't exist either. Rawhead Rex looks as what would occur if Hey Arnold! fused with Pumpkinhead and it is nothing short of a lovely image, right? Wrong, Rawhead Rex was titled such as he was born of an undeniable 9 foot tall phallic image that looks of a wild, hairy, unnaturally shaped cock. Director George Pavlou decided to denounce Rawhead's fear of post-fertile women in order to change the scene into what seems to be yet another demonic possession film until we realize that one character, whom we expected to birth a hell spawn, is never approached by the lens again. Meanwhile, Rawhead Rex looks like an eight foot tall version of Donny from The Wild Thornberry's and we're supposed to take seventy more minutes of this seriously?. Something must have been lost in translation cause not even an incompetent coworker of mine could fuck up this badly this many times. It's purely shameful that this is the second film of Clive Barker's that he had disowned. My sadness is short-measured though because after this atrociously "almost entertaining" film, he directed Hellraiser.

Rawhead Rex begins like any other "Nature gone amok!" film would - a poor schmuck who does his duty disrupts/pisses off a species of creature or a single entity into a widespread panic and/or chaos. In terms of horror, this very plot line is normally eligible on a Tom Clancy level, as in you can mix and match names, archetypes, and settings and normally come up with a similar thesis to a monster film without sacrificing the amusing value of the genre. An everyman photographer is on a business trip with his family in Ireland's country side when a huge monolith is unearthed and a goofy looking behemoth is born from the soil. So is the page that Rawhead Rex begins on and it's not a very good page. There really is no starting point for this monstrosity. Rawhead Rex begins on a long note and features an emasculated, malnourished short note full of hypocrisies and text-to-visual error. Anything that the short story was known for is void on film - a toxic cinematic conundrum. It's very hard to wonder how such a simple plot could get so off track.

"There was clearly a misapprehension over what [Underworld] was all about - they told me they wanted a horror movie and then took all the horror out! [I said], 'Look, if I get involved in Rawhead and you take the horror out again, there's nothing left as this is a monster-on-the-loose movie.' As they owned the rights anyway I thought I'd write a first draft and at least have some control over the project. Frankly, I needed the money at the time as well. I wrote a draft and a half and that was literally the last I ever heard from anyone. I was never invited on the set, never saw the promised plane ticket for Dublin, and all I kept hearing were pretty lousy things about the way the film was progressing.
"I'll never understand why I was ignored. It still remains a complete and utter mystery to me. Even to this day I've never received an explanation why I was never consulted over any of the major decisions to change the thrust or details in my original script. Either they thought I was useless and wouldn't have anything to contribute or else they worried I might have some valid opinions which would make too many waves."

Rawhead Rex is simply another misconception from those assholes at the studios who simply do not value an artist's integrity. The tale of Rawhead Rex involved a monster who enjoyed feasting on children. In the film, Rawhead Rex, we get a movie about a Neanderthal creature with a receding hairline whom "grabs" a child and when the scene shifts angles in its cowardly way, we don't know if the kid is deceased or not. Or maybe that was just on my behalf. You see, after viewing The Host, I learned never to trust those "are they dead yet?" scenarios with children. A child is far too harmful to kill off camera or on and there within lies my doubt towards this experiment in faulty, belligerent filmmaking. As it seems, I remember now that Rawhead doesn't even kill in the manner of which it is supposed to. After a vicious mob attack, many suffer from missing faces and in this visual tale, it seems only chewing leads to slashed jugulars. Rawhead Rex may be entertaining in such a vain way as "Hey! I'm in the mood to turn on my television without having to waste a single brain cell thinking about any commercial values or sub-political messages. What's Rawhead Rex?" The title Rawhead Rex can only be mistaken for absolute trash but don't get it twisted. The short story was a wonderfully quick read, the film is a painfully dredging experience in films that go past their unwanted prime.



jervaise brooke hamster said...

Couldn`t you have considerably shortened the reveiw simply by saying that the main reasons why the film isn`t very good are that its British made and Clive Barker is a dirty filthy faggot, that would have been much more straightforward and easy to understand.

Anonymous said...

I grew up with this one and as a kid it was fun. That was as a kid though. It was years later that I read the short story. The film isn't a surprise at all. The makers of the film created another film atrocity before this one with Transmutations that make Rawhead Rex look like a great film. Really, now the only way you can watch this is with a 5th of Whiskey as that is the only way you can really enjoy the film. I will admit one thing though, if the monster were to have been used in another film (possibly Nightbreed) it would have worked better. Just my opinion.

Heather O`Rourke (posing as jervaise brooke hamster) said...

Its almost 3 months since your last reveiw again, whats going on.

Unknown said...

Is this blog still alive?

jervaise brooke hamster said...

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