Friday, September 6, 2013

Golden Shower of Horror: Rawhead Rex at Logue’s This Weekend

Posted by on Fri, Sep 6, 2013 at 5:18 AM

In 1984, British author Clive Barker burst on the literary scene with the first three volumes of his Books of Blood. In a time when horror novels were growing bigger and more bloated, Barker’s short stories were short, sharp shocks, full of visceral gore, dark sexuality and forbidden mythologies. They were an immediate sensation, and moviemakers didn’t waste any time in optioning his work.

First out of the gate was the 1985 film Underworld (aka Transmutations) directed by British filmmaker George Pavlou from Barker’s original script. The next year, Pavlou directed another Barker script, Rawhead Rex, an adaptation of one of the most popular short stories from the Books of Blood.

Barker’s original story invoked the paganist mood-horror of such 1970s fright film classics as Blood on Satan’s Claw or The Wicker Man, but injected with gobs of gore and outrageousness. While the film version picks up on the latter, the former gets a little lost along the way with its rather stiff and ridiculous looking titular monster. Still, as a lapsed Southern Baptist, I have to love any movie that cuts through the old baptismal debate over sprinkling versus full immersion by simply whipping out the hose (so to speak).

It’s the type of horror movie that improves immeasurably when seen with the right crowd, and one need look no further than the usual cast of horror gurus that are sure to be on hand this weekend — 8 and 10 p.m. tonight and Saturday — at the Cult Fiction Underground in Logue’s Black Raven Emporium, 2915 Gallatin Rd. And be glad there’s a drain in the floor!

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