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Film / Rawhead Rex

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He's pure evil. Pure power. Pure terror.

Rawhead Rex is the 1986 film adaptation of a short story by Clive Barker. The film has a dubious reputation for certain reason and changes made within the production.

Our main story still mostly stays the same. An evil monster with a hunger for children has been unleashed from his underground prison and boy does he have some plans.

Examples from the film adaptation:

  • Achilles' Heel: Rawhead still has his.
  • Adaptational Modesty: Rawhead resembles an ogre that's dressed for a heavy metal concert, whereas in the short story it was a naked being which was essentially a giant walking penis (with its own penis).
  • Antagonist Title
  • Big Bad: Rawhead Rex, an ancient monster terrorizing an Irish village.
  • Decapitation Presentation: Rawhead is seen hoisting the severed heads of a few victims.
  • Dirty Cop: Deputy Inspector Isaac Gissing is corrupted by Rawhead and aabotages the police standoff by intentionally spilling gasoline and blowing up several police cars and setting numerous officers, himself included, in fire.
  • The End... Or Is It?: Rawhead is seemingly sealed away by an ancient totem, but he bursts out of the ground at the end of the film.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Rawhead kills anybody unlucky enough to either come across him or be in his path, but spares the life of a woman once he discovers she is pregnant.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Ronan Wilmot is clearly having a ball chewing the scenery as Declan O'Brien, the Priest that Rawhead corrupts to serve him.
  • Gender-Restricted Ability: Apparently only women can use the ancient idol that can seal away the demon.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Rawhead Rex loses the sadism of the book, and is just a rampaging monster who was sealed away long ago and rampages again when released.
  • Gothic Horror: A typical aspect considering it's the brainchild of Clive Barker after all, though that aspect is downplayed in this film adaptation of his short story compared to Barker's later movies. Otherwise, it can be considered to be a gothic monster movie.
  • Idiot Ball: Zigzagged; Howard Hollenbeck pulls the car over and allows his daughter to walk a significant distance across a field to wee behind a bush, even though he knows full well a rampaging monster out for blood is on the loose. Even more baffling, the road and field are seperated by a large brick wall only feet from the car, so she can have easily gone wee right beind the wall. The zigzagging comes in when this does not result in her being killed; a dead rabbit spooks her, her mom and dad come running over, leaving the son behind in the car who becomes Rawhead's next victim.
  • Karma Houdini: Unlike in the original book, Rawhead is revealed to still be alive at the end of the movie.
  • Large Ham: Declan plays this role.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Dep. Insp. Isaac Gissing, under Rawhead's control, blows up several police cars and causes several officers under his command to burn alive. He himself catches fire and burns to death before Rawhead can indoctrinate him.
  • Monster Delay: Averted, it was Clive Barker's intent to make the monster as visible as possible early in the film.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Rawhead has a pair of glowing red eyes.
  • Sinister Minister: Declan is a priest that falls under the control of the titular Rawhead Rex.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: A heavily pregnant woman is inexplicably spared by the monster. Her husband? Not so much.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The pregnant lady Rawhead terrorizes and traumatizes is never seen again after being taken away by paramedics, nor is the wellbeing of her unborn child after her having witnessed her husband murdered and having to run from a bloodthristy rampaging monster that came within seconds of ending her life.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Rawhead has no qualms devouring children, though he does not kill women carrying unborn children.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Compare the design of this version of Rawhead Rex to his design in the book, and you will see they both look nothing alike.