Rawhead Rex Blu Ray Review

Outside of the rumours of Clive Barkers interest in directing a remake of this, Rawhead Rex returns to raise up and kill more villagers. A mythical beast meets a land of history and fertility. Deep in the Irish country side is a small hamlet positioned near a famous stone that depicts the power of sex. Near to this is a pub and a church. Howard Hallenbeck (David Dukes) writer and historian has vacationed to this place.  He is here in order to study ancient religious items that have deep significance. However what he uncovers is a beast that will kill everyone just for another taste of flesh.

Rawhead Rex climbs out of the ground and onto our screens with a reputation second to none. Does it deserve it? No. Clive Barkers undisputed masterpiece is HELLRAISER. This Barker inspired film has none of that intelligence or power. It lacks body and drives a very hard bargain. The belief in a preposterous creature with mashes of mythology and iconography. Though not all bad I fear that reminiscence has began to cloud even sensible Arrows selection of films. Yes I remember it as a great film from my youth, that younger self sometimes wore rose tinted glasses. Now long in the tooth I find what was subversive, is now not. Its a creature feature which fails on ever count sadly. However this is the reason why Arrow have come to it as they have. Its an absurd film that is hilarious if taken so and awful if not taken so.

The extras and the 4K restoration. The VHS version is a distant memory but it seems to have cleaned up the monster scenes and the church scenes. Both for me then emphasis the diabolical creature which is comical and silly. The top 5 extras are director George Pavlou commentary which is moderated by the brilliant author Stephen Thrower. It is absorbing in that it digests the situation into its stupidity and the sad reality they knew on set. Rawhead Rising is a fantastic exploration of how you can succeed from failure. Here its clear to see Bissette talent and ideas. Brand new audio commentary with The Hysteria Continues places the film into a camp parody of stupidity and monster awfulness. It is also quite funny. Kat Ellinger piece I sadly have not seen but know that it will be well worth reading. Finally that Rawhead FX: A Cock and Bull Story. Its a pleasure to hear why some people though it worked and then hear how they feel it failed!

 

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS

  • 4K restoration from the original camera negative
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original Uncompressed Stereo and 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Brand new audio commentary with The Hysteria Continues
  • Audio commentary with director George Pavlou, moderated by author Stephen Thrower
  • Brand new audio introduction to the film by George Pavlou
  • Growing Pains: The Children of Rawhead – a brand new interview with stars Hugh O’Conor and Cora Venus Lunny
  • Rawk ‘n’ Roll: The Rex Sessions – a brand new interview with composer Colin Towns
  • Brand new audio interview with George Pavlou
  • Call Me Rawhead – an interview with actor Heinrich von Bünau
  • What the Devil Hath Wrought – an interview with actor Ronan Wilmot
  • Rawhead FX: A Cock and Bull Story – interviews with creature effects artists Peter Mackenzie Litten and John Schroonraad, special effects supervisor Gerry Johnson, second unit cameraman Sean Corcoran and make-up artist Rosie Blackmore
  • Rawhead Rising – artist Stephen R. Bissette on the aborted Rawhead Rex graphic novel adaptation
  • Image gallery
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Wes Benscoter

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector’s booklet featuring expanded liner notes by Kat Ellinger

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Simon Kennedy

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