Chris Piers asked me if I wanted to contribute to this year’s 30 days of Halloween since I did such an amazing job “reviewing” Communion last year but really just talking about one scene and the impact it had on my young-adulthood into adulthood, namely, making me paranoid of aliens. I replied, “Absolutely, I want to do something on Rawhead Rex,” and he replied, “Never heard of it, sounds great!” and I replied, “It was one of the many cheesy horror movies I watched when I worked in a video store,” and he replied, “Can’t wait to hear about it! Don’t let me down! Also, I think you’re the coolest guy in the world who has a great eye for forgotten film masterpieces and I know, with extreme confidence, that you will knock this review out of the park, much like everything you do.”
I just said, “Of course I will. Stop writing me, please.”
So I sat down to think about Rawhead Rex. I remember precisely three things about the movie:
- Clive Barker wrote it, or something.
- It was based in Ireland, or something.
- Rawhead Rex was a monster that kind of looked like Harry from Harry and the Hendersons but with fangs, I think. He had a large forehead. I believe he was gray. There is a scene when he urinates on a priest, or something.
I saw Rawhead Rex when I was 15 or 16. I’m now a 37 year old man who can hardly remember the plots to movies that I saw LAST YEAR that I actually liked. Like the Skeleton Twins. I remember leaving the theater and being like, “Oh, that was so pleasant. What a wonderful little piece of cinema! I’m going to recommend it to all my friends!” The only thing I remember about that movie is that Bill Hader and Kristin Wiig were in it. They were siblings, and I think they were gay. No idea what the plot was.
So, yeah, I remember NOTHING about Rawhead Rex. I think the only reason why it stuck with me is because I got into the habit of calling people with big foreheads “Rawhead Rex” so as to come off as this Quentin Tarantino-esque obscure film buff. I remember the urination scene because I watched it with my cousins RJ and Luis and we could not stop laughing at it (RJ, Luis and I watched cheesy horror movies every Friday night, along with Monty Python and the Holy Grail, History of the World, and sometimes Luis would convince us to watch a Police Academy movie, not the first one, it had to have Zed in it). I remember the fact that Clive Barker wrote it or produced it or something because I was fascinated with Clive Barker as a kid.
By the way, I remember nothing about Clive Barker’s work these days, either. I vaguely remember some scenes from the first Hellraiser and I very vividly remember the rave/mutilation scene from some later Hellraiser (could be part 3, could be part 20. No idea) and, god, how embarrassing would this article be if Clive Barker didn’t even make Hellraiser? One thing I definitely remember about Clive Barker is that he wrote this book that was called something like The Illusionist that I read when I was a teenager and there was this one scene where this guy (who could have been a Satanist) tried to have sex with this girl but he either couldn’t get it up or finished before he started and they just went to bed and while she was sleeping he put it in her butt. I remember reading that as a teen and thinking, “Holy crap, you can do that?” (Short answer, kids: probably not! (Wait, do kids read these articles? (Am I allowed to talk about buttstuff? (Who am I kidding,buttstuff is all the rage these days…))))
So, you’re reading this article and saying, “Jesus Christ, Jason – talk about Rawhead Rex!” Well, I wanted to get the DVD but for some reason it’s like $100. It’s apparently on YouTube, but the resolution is poor and I hate watching things on my computer and don’t really feel like hooking my HDMI-out cable into my TV because it’s gonna look like crap on my dope TV and that’s not right.
“At least read the Wikipedia page!” you say.
“Fine, I’ll base my review on the Wikipedia page,” I reply.
So, Rawhead Rex sounds like it was a pretty generic monster movie. Religious something, lightening strikes a thing, monster comes out. Kills some kids who were having sex. Some sort of ex machina spirit shoots him with lightening, considering the religious angle she was probably an angel or a previous victim, final shot is Rawhead Rex coming back to life. I can tell you one thing, however. This scene: “Rawhead arrives at the church to baptize O’Brien by urinating on him.” is awesome.
Another thing that’s awesome? Calling someone with a big forehead “Rawhead Rex” and, when asked who that is, replying, “The titular monster in some obscure 80s horror movie you never heard of, you goddamn rube.”
I don’t even know what originally made us (the aforementioned Friday Night Team of RJ, Luis, and I) want to see Rawhead Rex, honestly. The cover looks ridiculous. And I worked at a video store with a very large selection of horror movies so, to pick out that one…seems odd. Now House II – that movie had THE FRESHEST cover (I remember nothing else about House II (Holy Crap! Do a Google Image Search for “House II movie,” that movie looks awesome!)). Maybe we saw Rawhead Rex because of my Clive Barker fascination. Maybe I thought he’d put buttstuff in this movie, too. Maybe it was the fact that DILLHEAD REX sounded funny.
Oh, right. So, RJ, Luis, and I used to play this game at the video store where we’d read off movie titles but replace one syllable with “dill,” as in, slang for penis. So, 976-DILL, INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DILL, DILL OF THE SPIDER WOMAN, etc. It sounds lame, I’m sure, but we were teenage boys and we entertained ourselves for HOURS doing this. I don’t know if we ever said, “DILLHEAD REX,” but that’s really funny, even to this 37 year old man, and I can totally see that inspiring us to watch that movie.
“If ‘dill’ can be inserted into the title so effortlessly, it must be good!”
Looking back, that makes total sense.
So, in conclusion, big forehead, urinating on a priest, buttstuff, dills.
(Oh my god, as a kid I thought the word ‘dill’ was in reference to dill pickles, I just realized it was probably derived from ‘dildo.’ Try to learn something new everyday! That’s my motto.)
See you next year, when I’ll undoubtedly review House II.