An American Werewolf In London (1981) dir. John Landis
The Wolf Man (1941)
9 ft tall phallus with teeth terrorizes Irish Country side…
Before you begin rolling your eyes I want you too know it wasn’t me that called Rex a phallus. I have to much respect for my childhood to go around bashing every monster that made me love horror movies. Rex is certainly one of those monsters.
Rawhead Rex is a fun little movie based on a short story by Clive Barker. Released in 1986, it’s about a pagan deity that is inadvertently released from its place of rest by an Irish farmer. You’re probably scratching your head at that but remember this is the British Isles were taking about. King Arthur, Stonehenge, Monty Python, Dr. Who… a lot of weird shit going on over there.
Anyway, Rex is pissed (as in angry, not taking a piss) and proceeds to kill everyone he comes across. Pretty simple concept but the movie is fun and gory, not taking itself too seriously but also not playing for laughs. The phallus remark was made by Clive Barker in an interview back in 2004, at which time he was supposedly working on a remake that never seemed to happen.
So what’s the verdict?
Rawhead Rex is a fun 80s horror movie. Phallus or not Rex is a formidable evil that lays waste to a small Irish village. It’s bloody, gory, and dark (in a campy 80s sort of way). I’d recommend to watch it on DVD but it’s out of print and costs a small fortune to buy. If you don’t believe me click to top picture and see what their asking for on Amazon.
Fortunately someone uploaded the full movie to YouTube. Enjoy!
Lost Boys artwork that doesn’t disappoint.
Movie Art Circa 1960s Is Gorgeous
Heavy Metal Horror Done Italian Style
The 1980s horror craze wasn’t strictly an American phenomenon. Across the pond and to the south a handful of filmmakers were crafting their own vision of gore and mayhem. Their craft, vision and technique set them apart in many ways. Some good, some not so good.
One of the stand-outs is Demons. Released in 1985 it’s possibly the most popular and/or successful (in the U.S.) of Lamberto Bava’s work. Co-wrote and produced by Dario Argento (Suspiria, Deep Red), Demons is a hard rockin horror in which moviegoers at a midnight premire get trapped with an evil force inside the theatre. It’s a zombie survival style movie done with possessed living humans rather than undead corpses.
The American version’s voice over (if in fact it is voiced over) is pretty bad, adding a large dose of campy/silly to an otherwise fun over the top gore fest. Trust me when I say gore fest. It was the 80s and practical effects were cutting edge and horror movies were always trying to push the boundaries. Much like Evil Dead 2, this film has a ton of yellow, green, blue, and red fluids oozing out of every opening, socket, pore and membrane. Some of it’s is silly and some of it is done really well.
Adding to the awesomeness is the soundtrack. Bava those in songs by Motley Crue, Billy Idol, Rick Springfield, and Go West. Then he slathers on even more awesome sauce by having Claudio Simonetti write additional score for the film. Who is he you ask? He’s none other than the keyboard player for Goblin, the band who scored Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, Argento’s Suspiria, and more!
This film is universally reviled as poor, but equally loved as a mainstay of 80s horror. When you consider the hero not only hacks away demons with a katana while cruising a dirt bike up and down the aisles how couldn’t this film be a keeper!