How do you feel about ridiculous looking monster makeup? This week’s film was a longstanding request, and one of Clive Barker’s very first films. He was less than impressed. In fact, the results led him to decide that he needed much more creative control over his next movie (Hellraiser). Loads of fun to talk about!
Rawhead Rex (1986)
Episode 297, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw.
Todd: hello and welcome to another episode of Two Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Todd.
Craig: And I’m Craig
Todd: Today’s movie is Craig’s pick. It is a long-standing request. I think from our listener named John, this is 1986’s Rawhead Rex. It was one of the few movies directed by George Pablo and it is a screenplay written by Clive Barker. I name, you might know. My understanding is that, uh, George Pablo and Clive Barker did work together on a movie before this probably I think one of his first forays into cinema called, uh, in the U S I think it was called trans mutations, but in, uh, it was originally called underworld.
And I guess that went well enough that they decided to, uh, collaborate on Rawhead Rex, which I believe, and you would know more about this than me Craig, but because I know you’re a big Clive Barker fan and you’ve read a lot of his stories. Um, he, it was a story in one of the Books of Blood, right? One of his debut series of, of, of, um, books of short stories, right?
Yeah. The third one. Yep. Okay. Have you read the story? I
Craig: ha I know that I have, because I’ve read all of the books. But I don’t remember it. And as you know, this will come as a huge surprise to our regular listeners. We picked this movie at the very possible last second. Um, and, uh, my copies of my books of blood are at school.
Uh, I would have liked to have re-read it, but I couldn’t find it online. Um, and I, I don’t really remember it, frankly. Uh, but I, I know that I’ve read it at some point. I was trying to do some quick internet research seeing, you know, what the major differences were and, and apparently, you know, Barker wrote or, yeah, I Barker wrote the screenplay himself.
And so apparently as far as plot character and setting our concerns. It follows the story very closely. Um, but Barker, one of the things that he’s most known for is the element of sexuality in his books, uh, and short stories. He’s a dark writer. And, and so, uh, the, the, the sexuality that he weaves in often has dark elements to it.
Uh, I mean, if you’re familiar with nothing of Clive Barker is aside from the Hellraiser series. I mean, even the hell raisers series, you know, is full of sadomasochism and, um, tons of sexual suggestion and stuff like that. And that was, uh, intended in the story and intended in the screenplay, but was toned down a lot by the filmmakers because this.
Came out at the height of the video nasties phenomenon, uh, in Europe. And so they were really afraid of having the film censored or, or blocked entirely. And so they toned a lot of that down and ultimately Barker was really, really disappointed. Um, And the way the movie turned out.
Todd: Yeah, my understanding was he was so disappointed that that’s what kind of ERT, um, drove him to take more control over his next project.
And he ended up, um, I think his very next project was taking the reigns as director for hell raiser. Right. And that worked out quite well for him. I read a quote, uh, that he did. I think it was about a year after the movie was released. I believe it was released in the UK theatrically limited, uh, had a very limited release in the U S and then pretty much went straight to video the same year at a time when things didn’t go straight to video as fast as they do now.
Right. And he said, uh, I think generally speaking, the movie follows the beats of the screenplay. It’s just that monster movies by and large are made by directorial oomph rather than what’s in the screenplay. I’d like to think the screenplay for RA had Rex had the possibility of having major thrilled. I don’t think it was quite pulled off.
And he even said that he wanted to do a remake of this. I think it was like in the 2004, he said he wanted to do a remake of it mentioned in some interview, but nothing’s really come of that. I have to say that while I was watching the movie, I thought this could have been a pretty interesting, good movie.
Uh, it does seem to have all the elements of a movie, like, uh, I dunno, I dunno why I was thinking pumpkin head was coming to me. There’s a little bits of the omen. It does follow that sort of, um, oh gosh, there are illusions to other films that you don’t look now is kind of referenced in this movie oddly enough.
But it, it also made me think of the Wicker man. It made me think of a lot of pagan folk legends come to life, uh, this type of thing. Right, right. You know, it’s a common theme and it’s something that we welcome in our horror movies. It’s, it’s ripe territory for thrills and chills. And I felt like. The movie did a good job of mining that and hitting all the beats that I would expect in a horror movie like this, there’s some ancient monster that’s awakened, and it starts wreaking havoc.
And there’s some religious element to it. Uh, there’s some somebody kind of who knows a little bit, but they’ve kept it hidden and kind of the deep, dark secret of the town that’s long forgotten, or maybe just protected by a few people in the know. And then, you know, they have to unravel that mystery in order to find out how to, how to send it back to where it came.
And for that I thought the movie could have been effective. The problem is I just don’t think it was very well made. Some of the acting is really over the top. It’s a little slow. It gets very laughably, melodramatic at points. And of course, like, I think it’s gotten the most criticism for. Absolutely awful creature costume that apparently they only had four weeks to put together and it shows, uh, and again, it could have been really good, but it just looks terrible.
And that is so distracting. I think that it’s hard to take it seriously and it just comes across as a schlocky monster. You know, it probably like, like Clive Barker said I’m, I’ll bet the stories better. Um, I, I read a little bit, we’ll probably talk a little bit more about the difference between the S the story and what, you know, this, his screenplay, but I also feel like the screenplay itself probably could have been a better movie.
Fitted had been in better hands.
Craig: That’s what I was thinking too. I felt like this was an example of you’re given really good material and then you just don’t execute it. Well, um, not to say necessarily that the script or the screenplay is perfect or amazing. I, I don’t think that it’s Barker’s best work, but you do see some potential, um, all of the things that you said that the melodramatic acting, especially from some of the smaller characters and, and especially the creature design.
You know, I’m sure the sketches for it looked great, but, uh, it, it just wasn’t executed well. And, and, you know, that’s as a result of time constraints and budgetary constraints, which I’m sympathetic to, but it just doesn’t work. I mean, it looks like a guy in a suit. It
Todd: looks like a guy in a suit who can’t see out of it very well.
He’s kinda tumbles around a bit. Right.
Craig: Well, and I, I, yeah, you know, I was talking to Alan last night and I was like, you remember when we were kids and every Halloween that store would pop up in the mall, the Halloween store, and there would be those masks up on the top shelves that kids couldn’t reach that would sell for like three, $400.
That’s what this looks like. Yeah. Well, I mean, they did look awesome, but they were just masked, like there’s, there’s no articulation or movement. And, uh, that’s what this looks like. It looks like a good, expensive Halloween mask, but not a movie costume.
Todd: No. And, and you can almost see the points in which it attaches to the rest of the body.
For some reason, he’s kind of an armor, but the whole front of his chest is open and exposed. It’s almost like you can practically see the seams in this thing. And then when it, when it runs, when it runs, he’s sort of hopping along. That was once one scene in particular where he runs after somebody, I almost fell out of my chair laughing because I was like, when did he get this kind of like happy gate to himself, this monster?
Craig: Well, and, and when he runs like that, you can see. The rubber mask jiggling.
Todd: Yeah. And it should be cool. Right. Actually it reminded me of what was that other movie that we saw? Uh, that was, he was about a comic book. Oh yeah. It’s like a tales from the crypt. Was it also based on a Clive Barker store? I can’t remember it, it started the guy from ReAnimator and it was a about, you know, he was a comic book artist.
Who’s comic book drawing came to life. And I remember in that movie, And we were talking about, we were saying like, you know, in the fight scenes and things, you didn’t get really good glimpses of the monster, but then it was like they had a day with the mask where they would just film a whole bunch of closeups of it’s snarling and looking left and looking.
Right. And although you do see a lot more, unfortunately you do see a lot more of this monster. Full-size on the screen running around and doing. There’s an awful lot of that. And it’s looks so cheesy to have this almost immobile mask in your face with very limited articulation, trying to look snarling and menacing.
And it also has these like sort of light up eyes that are supposed to look like they’re glowing, but it really just looks like they’re a little lights twinkling behind the highlights. The eyes
Craig: were so weird, cause it was like they glowed red, but they also like, it was like a red light circling around his pupil.
It reminded me of like when you’re waiting for a webpage to load and there’s that little circle that goes around and around. That’s what it looked like in his eyes. And it was weird. It wasn’t.
Todd: The fact, like they used fiber optics to do that, but I mean, it’s unnatural, of course it’s a supernatural creature, but it just, it doesn’t even work as a supernatural creature.
It just looks like some very constructed, very bad, special effects.
Craig: Right. And in the hands of more skilled filmmakers, I feel like these are all things that could have been worked around if they would have shown less of the monster or, or done more from the monsters perspective, which the story I read is in part told from the Monster’s perspective.
So they could have done more monster POV. You know, this monster is running around. Biting people’s faces off and biting people’s necks off, but its mouth is just this big open toothy mall that doesn’t move. So, uh, I mean it just really takes you out of it. I was looking forward to watching this, like you said, it’s a long standing request.
It’s kind of, it’s infamous. It’s, you know, it’s something that we’ve talked about before. And so I thought, you know, it’s, it’s going to be schlocky, but maybe it’ll be, you know, so bad. It’s good kind of thing. Maybe it’ll be funny and fun. And in some ways it was, but it just didn’t go far enough. It just lost something in translation and it ultimately just became a standard.
Almost, I don’t think it was lazy, but it feels lazy monster movie. And I read Barker said monster on the rampage stories are about the phallic principle, large males run around terrorizing women. Now the gag only works. If you understand the subtext, otherwise it’s about this dumb monster running around.
I couldn’t get them to understand the whole movie had to smell of sex. When this thing appeared, you had to think it was a Dick, but they didn’t get the joke. And it was a joke. That was the point. He meant it to be satire and they played it straight, ultimately just in work. And like I said, I was looking forward to it.
And so I, I thought, you know, I’ve been gauging things a lot based on IMD B user reviews. Uh, cause I feel like people are honest one way or another. They either love it or they hate it. And a lot of the reviews were very positive saying, you know, it’s a monster movie, it’s fun. It’s it’s way underrated. And then I watched it and I was disappointed.
It’s not, we’ve seen worse. Um, we’ve seen much, much worse and, and I can also see how, if we had seen this movie when we were kids in the eighties, I think we would’ve thought it was fun.
Todd: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I kind of see what you’re saying. It’s not schlocky enough to be fun. It kind of in a way is taking itself a little too seriously.
Whereas a lot of the horror movies that we review that are schlocky and fun to make fun of and fun to laugh at, they have a sense of humor about them. And so they kinda, you know, they almost openly admit, we, we know this is a dumb movie to make money, so we hope you enjoy yourself one way or another. And you know, you sort of do, but with this one, it also.
Like, like you said, these elements of what we’re, uh, obviously the original screenplay and the original story they poke through just enough. There’s some disturbing elements here that kind of come out of left field and it does make for an odd juxtaposition against the goofiness of everything else. I think what I read about the original story, like you said, he was literally meant to be a giant phallus and there was a graphic novel version of this done.
Uh, I don’t know, almost like eight years later where it was. You know, drawn that way. And so it’s supposed to be this, you know, kind of male chauvinism run a muck kind of thing where this monster is just unrelentlessly and brutally kills all, everything it comes across has no problem killing children and has no problem killing women and raping them.
And, uh, it’s quite, quite violent and quite brutal. But this idea of just male sexuality gone crazy, which obviously doesn’t come through in this movie because a it’s been toned down B the imagery isn’t there of the giant phallus is a little bit of it that you can, you know, that’s kind of hinted at when I talk about this demon as being sort of an ancient fertility demon, but it’s, it’s almost a throwaway line.
And then there’s a scene earlier in the movie when he neglects murdering a woman, obviously because she’s pregnant, which is a little confusing. Um, I, right. You would think that. He would have no trouble doing that, but I guess sort of pregnancy discuss him, or I guess something too feminine, right? Some something that exudes female power,
Craig: maybe it really doesn’t read it.
He knows like I didn’t, I didn’t fully get it. And I mean, it, it, it ties in, in the end, but seemingly without explanation, and I feel like one of the main characters almost has to throw in a line to kind of try to explain what’s happening, but it just doesn’t, it doesn’t read. And yeah, I read that in the story, you know, uh, the demon himself has this sadomasochistic hatred of women and that doesn’t come through here.
If anything, like I was in that scene where he spares the pregnant woman, I almost got the suggestion that he was. In some way, sympathetic to women. That’s what I thought. Like, like that’s the line I won’t cross, you know, like, I, I can, I can rip everybody else’s faces off and I can there, and there were some parts of that shocked me now.
I didn’t remember the story. Well enough, apparently in the story he murders multiple children. Um, but, uh, he, he does murder a child in this movie and I was surprised. In fact, when it, when it happened, I was wondering for a while, did he really kill the kid or did he just take the kid and they’re going to rescue the kid later?
No, he did kill the kid, but, uh, again, it’s, it’s in the source material. It’s suggestive. It’s not suggesting. Firmly enough to make sense.
Todd: There was even one other scene too. There’s a, there’s a younger, there’s a younger couple, uh, who wander off into the woods and they’re like making out like crazy. And she S it seems like she keeps saying a couple of lines.
Like, we need to talk, or I want to talk to you about something. And so I thought, oh, she must be pregnant too. And so, you know, that’s gonna come into play. And when they do run out, like the monster gets the guy and the girl escapes. And so I thought, oh, okay. That, you know, this is the through line here, but again, like you said, it just doesn’t, it doesn’t make sense.
And it doesn’t go anywhere. And we don’t ever hear that she was pregnant. Right.
Craig: And then he does kill women later. So it’s not like he is only killing men. It’s, it’s messy. It is all at the same time. It’s a straightforward narrative. I mean, it’s, it’s a monster movie, you know, this, this family. Howard played by David Dukes, uh, who I recognized.
I looked at his profile. The only thing that I remembered him from was the Stephen King original mini series, rose red, which I actually really enjoyed. He’s a writer, I guess. And, um, he has brought his family to rural Ireland because he’s doing research for a book now. I, I was never really sure what if he’s a writer of fiction or if he’s a historian, but he’s, he’s interested in this church and kind of the relics in and around this church.
And like you said later, he talks about ancient pagan sex that existed pre Christianity in that area. And he’s interested in that. I mean, he just says that, you know, like we don’t, we don’t really get any more information about it, but he’s there with his wife, Elaine, uh, played by Kelly Piper. I wasn’t familiar with her and his kids, Robbie and minty little, a little boy and a little girl, mentee, mentee, and so cute in the beginning, in the very, very beginning.
One of the very first things we see is this farmer trying to remove a stone pillar from a field. And it’s just, it’s a very odd phallic, frankly, pillar in the middle of a field. We see him struggling with that. And then we see Howard at the church and inside this church, we see that there is a stained glass window, a stained glass window with an image of what will be the monster whose name is RA.
This is in Ireland. So I assume this is a Catholic church and I just, it was bizarre to me to see demonic imagery in the, in the stained glass. I’m Catholic. I’ve never been to a church that. Demons in, in the imagery, in the church
Todd: demons with the laser eyes,
Craig: laser eyes. Yeah. Like the light shines through its eyeballs and these beams of light, you know, come through.
So anyway, so, uh, he’s in this church, he sees, you know, this image of the demon, and then we go back to the farmer struggling and all of a sudden these dark clouds start rolling in and in his last ditch effort to topple the pillar, he’s actually successful. But all of this steam shoots up out of the ground and then raw had just like burst out of arms in the air, roaring to the sky, you know, silhouetted against the sun, behind the clouds for a
Todd: little while the movie seemed fine.
Like I, even to this point, I thought, all right, this is going to be kind of fun, you know? I, it didn’t seem silly. And at this point there was enough intrigue with the cause it kept cutting back to the church as well. And the there’s the, the vector, I don’t know what a Verger is, but,
Craig: uh, I don’t either. I’ve
Todd: never heard of that.
It must be a European thing. But anyway, yeah, the Verger in the church, there’s the pastor and there’s the Verger. And he’s like, you know, kind of looking back and forth and he’s looking at the eyes beaming out and he just seems kind of shady.
Craig: And then he, he touches the alter. His name is O’Brien and he touches the altar and he has like a vision, like, like a
Todd: POV of maybe from the monster running through the woods
Craig: or something moving through the woods.
But then there’s like a campfire in the woods or something. I don’t know. It’s very unclear. It’s never explained. But the last thing that he sees is kind of just raw. Head’s big. Toothy mouth. And when it, when it comes back to him, he laughs and looks like he’s completely lost his mind, which apparently he has.
And again, this, this really isn’t explained, but it turns out, I mean, it it’s projected, but it turns out that he’s. Uh, RA had disciple now for unexplained reasons who knows whatever Howard talks to Reverend coot.
Todd: That was so funny.
Craig: It’s so like, it’s funny that Barker wrote this and I wonder what tone he intended, because it just seems like such a throw away joke. Howard asks O’Brian like, yeah. So I’m looking for a Reverend Coote. Uh, am I saying that right?
Todd: That’s right, but I’m not your man. I’m the Virgin.
Craig: Oh, hi.
I’m a Howard Hollaback Declan O’Brian tell me something. This is a. Just Cody wouldn’t have to be old
Craig: I get, it seems like it’s like the joke falls flat in the context of the scene, but I felt like it was meant to be a funny joke for us, but it kind of fell flat for us to, ah, man, I don’t know, whatever. Uh, then we see him in his family. They’re staying at the local pub and the very first time we see his wife, she seems like a total bitch.
And I thought that that’s the character that she was going to be. And then beyond that scene, she just seems like a normal, fine lady. Like, I don’t know why she was introduced in that way for it to not go somewhere. And it reminded me of Hellraiser because the lead female in that movie is like a ball Buster.
And so I thought, oh, okay. You know, we’re going to get that same kind of character and maybe she’ll be villainous, or maybe we’ll be, you know, happy when she gets killed or is it, but, but then again, like I said, in that one scene, she’s complaining. She doesn’t want to be there. They’ve been there for too long.
She wants to get out of that. Howard promises or that there’ll be leaving soon. They’ve been
Todd: there for a month and a half. I was like, holy crap. That’s a long, I mean, vacation, travel, whatever that’s long. Yeah.
Craig: I mean, I guess it’s for his work, but still, um, and yeah. And then the, and then immediately they’re walking down the street and everything’s fine and she’s totally fine.
And they’re like flirty with one another and they’re like, they are, full-out making out in the street
Todd: making out full
Craig: fucking face. It’s always so funny to me in these movies because maybe I just kissed different than other people, but it’s, it’s funny to me when. People go to kiss mouths wide open, like, ah, here I come
Todd: right to open mouths, like latching onto each other and then the tongue just move it around.
And, and usually, you know, movies. I don’t know, they kind of like, they don’t, they don’t make that last or at least it’s gotta be like, you know, if it’s a passionate love making scene is a little different, but this is just, they’re making out in the middle of the road for no really good reason, except they got some Q dialogue going, but it is uncomfortably long and they are like sucking major face.
And then that happens again later. And then you see it on a television screen later. And I thought did Clive Barker give the direction that just sex needs to drip off the screen. And that’s just how the director interpreted it. Cause he got a totally wrong,
Craig: it’s not sexy. It’s weird. Like I don’t, I I’ve never, if, if I, if somebody came at me like that, like I, my instincts would be to back away like, whoa, wait a sec.
You do in there, buddy. Let’s slow it down a little bit. Right? But anyway, they are interrupted by this little short old woman in a red coat. That looks exactly like the red coat from don’t look now. And, and she interrupts them and walks by. And the wife is like, she reminds me of somebody like was, was don’t look now a big enough cultural phenomenon for people to get this reference.
Todd: I don’t know, man, but it, like, I thought that would be significant because she keeps saying stuff like that. Right. She keeps saying, oh, something looks familiar or I’m getting a funny feeling. And earlier he refers to, you know, when she’s saying she wants to go. He’s saying, well, don’t, you want to stick around and explore your Irish heritage.
And you know, this is the land of your forebears and things like that. I thought there was going to be something in her past that comes out or that some clues going to come from her. Maybe she has some childhood memory of taking a trip there or something, but there’s nothing.
Craig: It seems like there should be, it seems like there’s something missing based on the way the movie ends.
It seems like there’s something missing. Like there should be something about her. I don’t know. I skipped over the part where RA had kills a local and, but then spares his pregnant wife. We already talked about it. Like the monster kills. Yeah. He kills the husband and then he ran pages through their house and like chases the woman all the way up stairs and claws at her.
Uh, abdomen, which reveals her pregnant belly, which he then just kind of gently touches and then it cuts away and we, and another local finds her later, but she’s like crazy. This was unexplained too. Like anybody who kind of sees and has a direct encounter with the monster is either so terrified that they are incapable of speed.
Or they’re affected in some way. I don’t know. It’s, it’s weird. And it’s unexplained.
Todd: You also get the feeling that RA had was just as interested in making a big mess of the house as he was. Here’s an awful lot of close-ups of him just like pushing things off the counter and you know, like, like he’s a cat, you know, just like setting stuff up on the floor.
Every scene he’s in is like this
Craig: lots of close-ups of the aftermath, like spaghetti falling off the counter.
So weird. Oh God, we see him dragging the corpse of that guy that he killed through the woods. And then he stocks a mobile home park
Todd: for a little bit. Yeah. He’s really into this mobile home park. This is where everything else takes place. Like
Craig: yeah. Apparently in rural, uh, Ireland, there are whole communities of people who live with.
Mobile homes. I don’t know. Maybe, maybe that’s the thing, like in America we have trailer parks and technically, you know, those can be moved. But when I say mobile home, I mean the type that are our vehicles that are meant to be, you know, driven around and they’re small. I mean, I w I think of them for camping or, or vacation and, and, you know, fun, you know, that that’s great, but it seems like this is a community of people who live in these tiny little mobile homes, but I thought it might be
Todd: just a budgetary thing.
They didn’t have money for big ones. Yeah. Plus they get a tip one over later. Right. So they got to get a small enough one that they can tip over. I think what Andy and Katrina, who are sitting on a sofa about one foot away from Katrina’s little brother who turns out to be Sean and he’s playing army. And they’re absolutely sucking face, just like the previous couple was, and he gets pissed off at the boy for no really good reason.
Craig: blocking yet. Basically. What did he think was going to, did he just want the kid to just sit there while they. Why
Todd: are you in there? Like, why
Craig: is he in there? Like somebody needs to leave if this is going to progress.
Todd: Well, they eventually do, and they go into the woods and, uh, it’s the same sort of deal.
We see some ups of the, of the raw had Rex’s feet, stopping a toy and dragging that body into the woods where he hangs it up. And I guess it’s munching on. Sort of like an animal, I suppose, or he’s got a feed on this thing over time. And so they run to eventually run across it and they run away. And as they’re running through, I feel like man, they wandered further into the woods that I thought it takes him forever to run out.
And as, just as they’re coming to the edge of it, RA had jumps out and gets the guy. But the girl doesn’t seem to notice at first because she’s holding his hand. She runs towards, towards this group of people who are now in the campground, huddled around Sean, who has also seen raw head and can’t speak. Um, and they’re like, what’s going on?
What’s going on? She goes in the woods. I’m and my, my, and then she, she holds up his hand and she still holding onto his severed hand. That was. That
Craig: was funny, how we’re just happens to be taking a walk, to get some air in the woods. And he sees rah head like standing a top of hill, just standing there. And then he looks away for a second and he looks back and he’s gone.
There are several people dead at this point. Um, cause they found the farmer, the, the first locally killed and now Andy, there’s several people dead. So a party of armed men are like searching the forest and they find the bodies. And the next day the police are investigating.
Todd: Howard goes to the police station, but I saw wasn’t
I beg your pardon. I don’t think it was, it was very tall.
Todd: I mean much too big to be a man. How big eight foot, nine
Craig: foot. I really don’t have time to. I saw this. Just let me speak. Okay. I saw it and what’s more. It’s showing me this thing was watching me. It fixed me with these meme burning red eyes. All right.
I know how this sounds believe
Todd: me and I, I know, but I saw it. Was this on the road? No,
Craig: no. I was in a road. It was a up a field
Todd: Capitol. Then you saw Catherine. Oh, I know
Craig: what cattle looked like for Christ’s sake doctors. So he goes back to the church to
Todd: talk to,
it will be a previously asked to see the church records and he’s like, oh, I think that could be a range. And then says, no, sorry. A for some reason the church records mysteriously went missing. Sorry, can’t help you old boy, CLA Eddie. Didn’t
Craig: like, he’s like, oh, I guess somebody stole them. Like I care like, nah, no.
Wow. We weren’t really using them. Anyway.
Todd: The 12 people in our congregation knew who they are. It’s probably all we need to do, but then he runs into the crazy old O’Brian right.
Craig: Again, who’s just kind of like looking on menacingly, like it’s so melodramatic. He is, and, and it’s, it’s funny to me because O’Brians character.
Is that he just says all the time
and he’s supposed to be, you know, a vicar or a deacon or something. I dunno. And he’s always in the church, but when Howard goes back and he’s like examining the raw head window and he translates some phrase there that says like, death goes in fear of what it can not be. Which again, who knows seemingly significant, but never referred to again.
No. And then out of nowhere, like, cause he’s, Howard’s taking pictures of the window with a Polaroid camera and he turns around and O’Brian is right there and O’Brian just grabs his camera, throws it on the ground and snatches it and tells him to get the
hour. It’s like, what is your
Craig: Oh man, that’s hilarious. But then this kind of surprised me because Howard and his family go to leave town. I’m like really? I thought he was like the main guy. And Elaine thinks that she sees raw head standing in a field, but it turns out it’s just a scarecrow, the little boy from the forest, you know, draws a picture of raw head for the cops.
So they’re like, oh, maybe that Howard guy, maybe, maybe he was talking to
Todd: someday, he must have been onto something after all. He said, why is this kid drew red eyes here?
Craig: Uh, but then the family who appears to have been driving for a while, in fact, they’ve been driving for so long that they’re like, oh, it’s too far to turn back because minty has to pay.
And they’ve already gone too far to turn back, but it’s also too far to wait to get to the next town. So they pull over in this field, so minty can go pee and she runs off behind a Bush or whatever. And, um, obviously, you know, we’re thinking, oh, she’s in trouble because she’s out there by herself. And she screams and her parents run and it turns out that she had just peed on a dead rabbit, scared her, but while the parents are attending to her, Robbie’s in the car, reading a comic book and RA had shows up and attacks him and takes him.
And the dad sees it happen and the dad runs to the car. And when he gets there, they’re both gone, but there’s there’s blood and, uh, a shoe. And again, I was thinking, oh, They’re not going to kill the main character’s kid, but they did.
Todd: He did. Yeah. Yeah. He’s treated as dead from here on out. Um, which, you know, he really shouldn’t assume, well, I guess he must’ve seen something we didn’t.
Right. Cause you know, it doesn’t, I mean, it shows the kid getting attacked, but we don’t see where I had like, you know, biting into his jugular, like he does for everybody else. Right. It’s possible that the dad saw that. Um, right. Anyway. Yeah. So he’s back yelling at the cops at the police station and the cops are, uh, sort of like, oops, I
Craig: just, that last scene, I thought it was really strange.
I was like, I guess RA had gets around. Like he gets
Todd: pretty far out there.
Craig: I mean he’s tall. He’s got long legs. Okay. All right. You’re right back back to the cops.
Todd: That’s true. It’s not a runner. Yeah. By the way, I saw an interview by the guy who played this. It was a German guy who didn’t even who had doesn’t even speak any English.
And he was only 19 years. Yeah. He was like 19. At the time, he was asked by some producer to come out for a movie where they needed a German, a person who spoke German and he went out, but then they, they ended up using them or not using them for something. They send them back. But that same producer called them back up for this movie.
And he spent apparently a lot of time training just to be able to do the physical stuff. It’s really hard to believe that there’s a 19 year old, a tall, 19 year old. Um, in this costume, but, uh, they wanted
Craig: Peter Mayhew, but they couldn’t afford him. Peter Mayhew was Chewbacca. Right, right, right. Yep. Howard goes back to the cops and they are actively investigating and Howard’s like, he’s territorial or I don’t know.
And the cops are like, okay, well, you know, we definitely are going to look into this, but we just w we’re just going to have to wait for him to show up again. And Howard’s like, I’m not just going to wait. I’ll, I’ll just take care of it myself.
Todd: Well, his wife is quite catatonic corner. Actually. I thought his acting wasn’t too bad. I liked his acting. He’s not bad.
Craig: He goes back to the church window again and crazy. O’Brien gives exposition like the most obvious. Bland expeditions. He’s like they buried him alive. That’s the
Todd: devil. They put
Craig: him in the earth, deep down.
He taught, he die. You see taught that could forget about him, but the dark ones come back. They always do. Is when the slips to fight, what does it represent?
Todd: Nothing. The devil is one.
Craig: Oh, well, that explains it. Thanks for clear in that app,
Todd: Howard, you know, he’s got these Polaroids and he looks up at the window and he had earlier talked to, um, the pre the father, father, father coops, and, uh, had asked him about, like you said earlier, this was when he was saying I’m investigating old pagan rituals and old pagan history.
And you know, how churches had been built on, you know, things that were previously important pagan sites. So there’s that implication that this church has some deep secret and its history because of its very existence. Uh, they are in Ireland, right? And of course these mysterious of stained glass windows, and he asks about those.
He says, are they original to the churches as well? You know, they’ve been rebuilt several times. The church has been damaged over the years and they’ve been restored. So who knows, but there’s one piece. Stained glass window would that has the demon in it where it looks like there’s a hooded figure. Who’s holding something up.
That’s beaming light down on that thing and making that thing cower or whatever. And, uh, it’s just white. It’s just a white piece. I thought it was like a stone or something, but he, he figures out that there’s a piece that was just put in the wrong place. And there’s a piece that looks like, again, it’s not anything that really shines any more light on this for us though.
It’s just, and that’s another problem, right? It’s like a little statue or something who knows what it is. It’s just a little shape. He’s like, that’s it that’s it. But it doesn’t help him. It doesn’t help us because we haven’t seen it before. We’re not going to see it again till the very end. It’s not like anybody’s going to be looking for and go,
Craig: aha, that’s it?
No, and he’s like, there’s something there’s something missing there. Um, that must be important. And then he’s like, oh, here it is. That’s something like
Todd: he even says, and I think that’s even in complete, right. He seems to allude that there’s even more stuff missing or in the wrong spot, but that doesn’t ever come up again either. It’s so frustrating,
Craig: but anyway, yeah, randomly O’Brian coot touches the Walter and gets burned by it too. Now did the, I guess that the burning powers of the altar must have only activated when rah had came out, like the priest hasn’t ever touched the altar?
I don’t know. Uh, back at the motor park, a tiny camper full of people
is attacked and overturned. And they’re like, was that an earthquake?
Uh, some old guys sticks his head out the window and RA had dragged them out and eats his face. And then this is kind of, I guess, The climax cause like he, he kills, he kills a bunch of people.
Todd: He just goes on a rampage, you know, slamming them one at one at a time against the trailer, biting their jail. You are pulls a woman out the window, which conveniently tears her whole shirt off.
So we get our requisite boobs in the movie.
Craig: Yeah. I mean just, you know, silly it’s. Ridiculous. I mean, it’s, it’s so ridiculous. It’s funny. I mean, it definitely made me smile. I’m like, get those boobs in there. You know, I don’t care how ridiculous it has to be. Just, you know, a full topless shot. We gotta, we gotta have.
One of those,
Todd: there’s an explosion. Decapitations the cops show up.
Craig: Nothing seems to be where, like, you know, some guys shooting at them, nothing seems to work your, yeah. But Howard is convinced that the towns, people know something like they’re hiding something, which I think he’s wrong. Like I felt like he just don’t seem to know anything.
He just makes this random speculation. And that’s why I hadn’t thought of it. But I thought that your comparison to the Wicker man made a lot of sense because that’s kind of suggested like there is this something ancient there, maybe some pagan sect or something. And it would make sense if the towns, people knew something about it and were kind of keeping secrets or we’re in on it in some way, but it’s
Todd: not some memory or some legend, you know, at least a legend of the boogeyman.
You tell the kids or something like that. It’s just. Well, then the attacks, the cops, and they all kind of scattered, but he gets inspector. Was it guessing? Expect you’re kissing? And I was surprised cause I thought, oh my God, they’re going to kill the inspector. That’s interesting. No, he holds him up and then he stares at him with his little spinny spinny, glowing eyes, a seems to hypnotize them, I guess.
And he drops him and one’s runs off. So it’s just, there’s an odd inconsistency of why. Let him go hypnotized. Instead. I just don’t understand his emo. You know, he he’s he’s goes on these rampage and kills people. He avoids the pregnant women and just some random women from time to time and then other people who kind of hypnotizes and let’s go, you know, it kind of seems to allude, maybe he has some grand plan or something like that.
Or maybe he has some more godlike powers than we give them credit for. So he’s kind of like altering the future by doing this as the best I could come up with. Anyway,
Craig: the detective does end up kind of helping RA head out later, but like, did he foresee that like, is he just, is he planting just certain people to kind of be his minions?
It’s all very unclear, but we already know that O’Brien is like his minion or something. And the next scene. Oh, Brian. Raw head in the church yard and raw head gives O’Brien a golden shower. This part I was so like, I was like, what is this really in this movie? Because right. Because maybe whoever was behind filming this, didn’t see, I can’t imagine how you can’t.
This part was so like grossly erotic and sexual, and I kind of can’t believe that they got away with it in 1986. Like now if it were just gross out, that’s one thing, but there is definitely. An erotic element to it,
Todd: like, oh yeah. He kneels in front of him. He’s bear’s openness chest. Oh my God.
Craig: I mean,
Todd: I think if I’m not mistaken and I don’t remember where I read it, but it might’ve been talking about the story that this was more of an supposed to be an ejaculation.
Maybe they changed it to peeing for the movie. I don’t know. Yeah. It really comes out of left field and this monster movie that some, I mean, you know, it’s just, it was shocking to me, but again, it’s such a dumb, big monster costume that it’s hard
Craig: to, even the way that it’s shot. Like, I think that coot comes out and sees this.
So the way that it’s shot. It’s like from afar, from afar, it feels very voyeuristic. Like you stumbled upon something intimate that you shouldn’t be watching. And, uh, you know, it’s not at all shocking coming from Clive Barker because Clive Barker was his, I don’t know, into some kinky shit. And, uh, I know that, you know, this is a kink that some people are into and, you know, consenting adults, you do your thing, whatever.
You’re not hurting anybody. That’s that, whatever. Oh, but it’s so weird, but
Todd: it’s kind of, it’s got like a baptism element to
Craig: it. Yeah. Yeah. He, he even says that O’Brien says that later because coot runs inside the church and calls the cops and, uh, Howard over hears because Howard. Police precinct or whatever.
So he hears the conversation. So he knows something’s going on at the church. And then, uh, RA had breaks into the church. O’Brian is just in there acting totally bat shit crazy. I see what he sees. He wants you to know, wants to baptize you
Todd: out of your mind. I
Craig: simply saw the light.
Todd: You are one of God’s teachers.
Craig: God, God. He was here before Christ, before our civilization, he was king hair. It doesn’t care about you when it’s finished with you. What want to do with you
for the love of God upstairs? Fuck
Todd: I get upstairs. I can’t keep God waiting. I also love how in the middle of their conversation, which is happening. I don’t know, like in a back hallway or something or in the basement, it just backs up and kind of randomly stumbled over some papers and looks down and goes, oh, the church records.
Craig: Um, man. So I think that it, it is suggested that that gross urination seen as kind of, you know, a demonic baptism or, or whatever, but they get back upstairs. It turns out O’Brien has completely desecrated and destroyed the sanctuary. A SWAT team arrives at the church from this little village, but it does
It just sits it’s outside waiting.
Craig: Uh, w and RA had walks out with a mangled coot in his arms and like, hold them up above his head. And they’re like, we can’t shoot because old coot might still be alive. We don’t want to hit him while they’re standing there pointing their weapons, the hypnotized detective.
Like siphons gas out of one of the cars or something and, and dumps it all at their feet and, uh, sets all of them on fire and blows up their cars,
Todd: including himself. I actually thought this was a pretty impressive scene. I think it took two days to shoot from what it said, but I was really impressed at how many people were actually on fire and uh, in the scene, including him in which, you know, he’s, he kneels down in front of him.
He goes for you for you. It’s all for you. It’s so omen. Right? It’s just like the old man. Uh,
Craig: yeah. Yeah, it is. That’s true. I hadn’t thought about that, but
Todd: it feed, I thought that was kind of an impressive little scene from an effects, you know, standpoint. It was not, it’s a, it’s a big deal to have all those people on fire.
Craig: true. I mean, you can. Tell that they’re wearing fire suits, but whatever. I mean, that’s still, yeah. That’s that’s yeah. That’s, that’s impressive. Howard shows up, he finds all the carnage at the church. Um, right before he dies, coot tells Howard check the altar and then he dies. I
Todd: shouldn’t could’ve checked the alter himself a long time ago.
You see what’s burning his hand. Right?
Craig: So Howard uh, goes into the church. He fights with O’Brien for a little while. Then he touches the Howard touches. The altar gets burned, has a vision of nothing just like blurriness opens the alter. It turns out the altars, this big box and he opens it and he finds this stone talisman.
Is vague. Like it almost kind of looks like a Buddha a
Todd: little bit. It looks like a woman, I think, with a, with an open belly or something.
Craig: Yeah, yeah. Or vagina. Um, maybe, but it, uh, it’s not articulated. I mean, it’s kind just, it’s it’s egg shaped with abstract. Yeah. Some, some vague suggestions of a person O’Brian runs away to tell raw head that he opened the altar and then Howard comes out and confronts raw head in the church yard and is holding the talisman in front of him.
Like he expects it to do something. In fact, he’s talking to. Okay buddy. Let’s let’s let’s do something. Yeah. RA had kills O’Brien and nothing is happening with the talisman and raw head, you know, hits Howard Howard falls to the ground, drops the talisman. At which point, Elaine arrives out of nowhere. She picks up the talisman out of nowhere.
Yeah. How would she even know what it was, where it came from? I mean, I guess in theory, she saw it getting knocked out of Howard’s hand. I don’t know, but she holds it up and it opens up and blue light comes out and like kind of starts attacking wrecks. And this is very 1980s. Light effects. I don’t know how to describe it.
It reminded me of the effects from like troll and some other movies we’ve seen basically it’s animated. Yeah.
Todd: Animated lightning and lights and blue things flipping around. I think some of it’s animated, some of it’s probably some kind of like weird optical effect thing going on. And that goes on for a long time and it, you know, it was big and impressive, but it was also like super confusing, like what is happening, what’s happening.
Like there’s beams just going everywhere. And the like the tombstones are lighting up and it’s bouncing off the tombstones, but then it’s not. And then, then there’s this cool, like tracking shot where it’s like, we’re following a beam of light as it’s whizzing around through the tombstones and hitting him and all that.
But it just, it’s just a big mess if there was supposed to be some kind of connection between the tombstones and the grave. That’s the
Craig: thing. Cause it’s, it’s like it’s illuminating the. Markers kind of all around the cemetery, like almost like forming a circle or a semi-circle or something. And, and then an apparition of a woman emerges for a second.
Doesn’t really do anything.
Todd: It just kind of matches what was in the, it was like a big, long hooded figure with a red coat or something like that. Like a red little red riding hood kind of person kind of that matches what was in the, um, stained glass window. I think in the, that was
Craig: supposed to somehow be connected to the lady in the red coat from earlier.
But if it was, I don’t understand.
Todd: Yeah. And again, so does it, was there some secret knowledge that his wife sort of held? Was it, you know, that she recognized that that was familiar, that she knew to pick up this stone, that this thing kind of comes out of her as it’s part of her heritage? Like what’s the deal?
I just don’t know. He yells out, oh, a woman. It had to be a woman. Yeah.
Craig: Howard had said sometime earlier in the movie, again, it was like a throwaway line, but he was talking to Elaine when she was complaining about being there. And he’s like, well, you should like being here. This is the Homeland of your people.
So is she like some sort of descendant of somebody? Oh my gosh. It’s just, it’s just so vague that nothing is explained so many loose ends and the light eventually kind of all comes together and comes down on raw head. And I actually liked these, um, affects, but more for nostalgic purposes than anything else.
It, it feels very eighties, but I kind of like.
Todd: But then Howard picks up a shovel and comes towards it. I’m like, no, do not interfere with whatever’s going on. Like, but apparently that was a key element. Was it for him to whack him with a shovel, I guess, for good measure, because it, then the stone underneath him breaks.
He’s, he’s fallen, I guess, on a stone. It’s almost like a, an open grave with a stone over it. And that breaks and RA had falls down into it and. The statute slips out of her hand at the same time and rolls in there with him, which I wasn’t sure if that was going to be a good thing or a bad thing, but then, you know how all knowing Howard just takes her in hand by the hand and says, it’s over now, it’s all over now.
And they walk out of the graveyard. I’m like, are you sure? Are you sure you understand what’s going on here? Are you sure it’s over? And also what is somebody going to cover that up? Or, you know, what’s great. What’s going to go on, you know, a little unsure and then we get the very end scene, which is almost just the obligatory horror movie scene where, um, their son’s grave is there.
And the kid, I think it was the kid from the trailer park, right? Yeah,
Craig: it is. And it’s, it’s, it’s not their son’s grave. It’s Andy’s grave, the oh, and the boyfriend.
Todd: Oh, yeah. Okay. So it’s Andy’s grave. So it’s that kid. It’s the sister’s brother or whatever, putting flowers on his grave. And as he starts to walk away the camera pans back over kind of another grave and suddenly
Craig: Ryan’s face pops up.
Yeah. Out of, uh, out of the ground, right? The end. It was silly. I mean, it was a silly movie, but in the long run, I didn’t hate it. It was fine. We’ve seen much worse and I could see God all my, you know, stupid hypothetical’s. But you know, if, if you were getting together, gather with friends to watch. Goofy horror movies.
This would be perfectly fine. It’s a popcorn movie. Um, there’s, there’s nothing to be taken seriously. You can’t ask a lot of questions because you’re not going to get any answers if you’re willing to just roll with it and just appreciate it for what it is. A schlocky monster movie. It’s fine. And in certain environments and contexts, I’m sure it could be fun if you’re looking for something, you know, with substance.
Yeah. It’s this, isn’t it. But it’s something that’s been on our radar for a really long time. It’s something that I’ve been really curious about. Um, and now my curiosity is sated, and so I at least appreciate that. Um, I am a fan of Barker. Um, I’m a fan of his, his writing. I’m a fan of a lot of his, uh, other work in film.
The completist in me is, you know, satisfied to have watched this. Uh, I can’t give it a glowing recommendation, but it’s not terrible. And if you’re curious, it’s only an hour and a half long, so
Todd: that’s true. I mean, I would come out and say that if the monster had been better, like again, on the level of pumpkin head or something like that, if the effects have been better, that would, that alone would have improved this movie by 50.
You know, we spent this whole time kind of talking about these little elements that are a little confusing, where it seems like there was a dangling thread here or there alluding to something that doesn’t seem to go anywhere. There’s a lot of that in this movie that really hints at a deeper mythology and maybe threads that could tie together whether they were intended by Barker.
And he just, you know, because it’s a movie and not a book you’ve got to kind of leave things, let things go sometimes. Or whether just the ineptitude of, you know, the director, he wasn’t on set for any of this marker had very little, almost no creative. He said no creative input after writing the script.
So, you know, maybe those are things that just were in the wrong hands and could have been fleshed out more. I would say it is kind of ripe for a competent re. I’d be interested in seeing this movie done competently. I
Craig: would too, but I don’t know if now is the right moment because these types of monster movies are not invoke right now.
They’re they’re being made, but they’re being made on the cheap and going straight to video on demand, which is fine. I watched them. Yeah. I watch a lot of, uh, these kinds of, uh, movies and, and some are good and clever and creative. Most of them are crap, but whatever, that’s fine. But I, I just don’t, I don’t see this finding a wide audience right now.
I don’t see this opening in theaters right now. Yeah,
Todd: I think you’re right. But I also feel like if you were to tone down the monster aspect of it and you were to focus on more of the. Ancient evil mystery. Maybe the town is in on it. You know, maybe they’re keeping it secret. Those kinds of movies are doing well now, you know, so I do wonder if you had a bit of that element in there and then you were just a little bit more judicious with the monster and the killings and things.
Craig: a good battle, make it something more like Midsummer or apostle, something like that. Yeah. I could see how that would work,
Todd: but anyway, yeah, I think I share your views on it. It’s schlocky. Uh, that you could have fun within the right context, but it’s not quite as fun as the intentionally humorously shocked slocky movies that we often review that are just, you know, they’re just so silly that they’re so such a joy to make fun of.
Craig: Because they don’t take themselves seriously.
Todd: Right? Yeah. This one yeah. Takes itself a little too seriously. All right. Well, thank you again, John, for the request. We’re so glad that we did that. If you have a request for us, please send it to us on any one of our mediums. You can just search two guys in a chainsaw podcast and you can find our Facebook page, our Twitter feed our website to guys that read for you that.com and now our Patrion page certainly have a Patrion campaign running and growing from unity over there.
If you’re interested in supporting us and keeping this podcast going, please consider becoming a patron and all the details and goodies are over there. All right, until next time I am Todd and I’m Craig with Two Guys and a Chainsaw.
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