Thirsty for blood, an ancient creature is awakened and set loose into the Irish countryside.
Watching Rawhead Rex is a bit like watching Friday the 13th Part VII. You know what you’re supposed to be watching…and then you realise what you’re actually watching… One hell of a weird-ass supernatural slasher monster movie. And it may as well be a slasher considering that it makes about as much sense as most of them.
For instance, most of the country folk that fall prey to the beast only appear on-screen one of two minutes before they are violently dispatched. Our protagonist – though he barely deserves the title – Howard Hallenbeck, is one of the few aware of the true danger of the outdoors, and yet he still makes a series of confounding and fatal mistakes when he takes his family for a trip out.
As a filmic piece, they manage to put together some creepy images and scenery in some of the night sequences. Apart from that, most of the death scenes are clumsily executed and the finale is just a shambles, with wooden stunt performers, cheesy acting and unnecessary characters popping up out of nowhere.
On the one hand I get Barker’s disappointment at not having his original idea of the villain put to use. But on the other, being the 80s, I’m guessing we would’ve ended up with some greasy-looking animatronic dick puppet. That’s right. Dick puppet. So was being replaced with a crossbreed between Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles’ (1987) Bebop and one of the goblins from Legend (1985) such a bad thing after all? The Troma fan in me does take slight pause.
Sadly, this is what happens when the creator is ignored and not only forced to take a backseat, but kicked out of the damn car altogether. However, if you like cheesy creature effects, as I must admit I do, this misinterpretation of a potential Barker classic can easily be enjoyed as a silly monster movie.