Digging Up “Rawhead Rex”
“…Would you like some tea?”
“How about you go fuck yourself?”
What began as background viewing to kick off a dreary Halloween weekend morning became giddy appointment viewing, my soul revived by the first Uruk-hai committed to the silver screen: Rawhead Rex, quickly converted to his satanic ways.
Normally, I’m a proponent for digging up and uncovering our past traumas, but let’s try not to dig up monstrous idols, okay? Especially in a lonely hamlet called Rathmore (get it?).
This creature feature, with familiar ingredients to fill out your horror movie bingo card (sleeping policemen, scary kid’s drawings), written by one Clive Barker, is elevated by its Irish locale and a committed cast delivering dialogue that legitimately made me laugh out loud on multiple occasions.
It’s a treat to see David Dukes (Dawson’s Creek) and his on-point sweater collection. There’s a moment when Ol’ Rawhead goes after his son Robbie, and he freezes — consumed by terror. It’s shameful, heartbreaking and realistic. We’d all like to think we’d be Hero Dad’s, but have you seen Rex’s nails?!
On the other end of the spectrum, Ronan Wilmot’s gonzo performance as Declan, a priest converted to a truer God (Rawhead), made me want to act.
If you haven’t seen this film, get on it, fuck-face. You can’t keep God waiting.
Rawhead Rex is streaming on Shudder.