Rawhead Rex (1986) & Isolation (2005)

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Rawhead Rex (1986) & Isolation (2005)

Hmm, a date night double feature that involves St. Patrick’s Day…But I don’t want to do any of the Leprechaun movies, they’d be the obvious choice plus they kind of suck.  Damn it Warwick Davis you’re better than that!  Make you dress in a freaking green tuxedo and do an Irish gig, I’d have kicked someone square in the shins for that disrespect.  If Little People/Big World or Pit Boss had been on TV at that time your agent would have treated you like a person and not just a novelty.   Play on playah!

Ok, back on track.  Two movies that have something to do with Ireland.  Should probably be halfway decent and possibly disturbing but without being insulting to the Irish.  Something other sites aren’t going to be doing or even realize there is an Irish connection to.  Oh yeah, and a foam rubber monster in at least one of the movies.  I got it!

Rawhead Rex (1986)

  • Actors: David Dukes, Kelly Piper, Niall Toibin, Ronan Wilmot, Niall O'Brien
  • Directors: George Pavlou
  • Writers: Clive Barker
  • Producers: Al Burgess, David Collins, Don Hawkins, Kevin Attew, Paul Gwynn
  • Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Geneon [Pioneer]
  • DVD Release Date: October 19, 1999
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Rawhead Rex is a 1986 British/Irish horror film directed by George Pavlou and written by Clive Barker.  The film is about a monstrous pagan god's bloody rampage through the Irish countryside, and based on the short story by Clive Barker that originally appeared in Vol. 3 of his Books of Blood series.  Barker had previously worked on Transmutations (also known as Underworld).

    Howard Hallenbeck (David Dukes) travels to Ireland to research items of religious significance.  He goes to a rural church to photograph some graves.  Meanwhile, three farmers are attempting to remove an ominous stone column from a field.  Two of the farmers head home.  A thunderstorm appears out of nowhere, and smoke pours from the ground.  Lightning strikes the column.  The monster Rawhead Rex rises from the dirt.

    Howard meets Declan O'Brien (Ronan Wilmot), who directs him to Reverend Coot.  The curious O'Brien approaches the altar and places his hand on it.  Images flash before his eyes.  This experience apparently destroys O'Brien's sanity.  Afterwards, Howard inquires about the church's parish records.  Coot says he can arrange to have Howard look at them.

    Later, a man arrives at the home of locals Dennis and Jenny.  He discovers a clearly traumatized Jenny.  Police arrive.  Rawhead drags Dennis's dead body through the forest and comes upon a trailer park.  A teenager named Andy Johnson is trying to make out with his girlfriend.  The two teens head into the woods.  Soon after, Howard sees Rawhead on top of a distant hill with Andy's head in his hand.

    Afterwards, Howard speaks again with Coot, who tells him the church's parish records have been stolen.  Declan O'Brien destroys his camera. He takes his family on the road again.

    On the road, Howard's daughter needs to go to the bathroom, so Howard pulls over and lets her go by a tree.  Hearing her suddenly scream, Howard and his wife rush to her; Howard's son stays in the van, alone.  Rawhead kills Howard's son and takes the body into the woods.  Infuriated by the police's unsuccessful efforts to track down Rawhead, Howard returns to the church.  He discovers that there is a weapon shown in the stained glass window that can be used to defeat the monster.  After Howard leaves, Coot curiously touches the altar but resists the temptations and images it shows him.

    Rawhead arrives at the church to baptize O'Brien by urinating on him.  A bewildered Coot goes outside to investigate the noise and sees Rawhead.  Horrified, Coot flees inside the church and into the basement while Rawhead destroys everything inside.  Coot finds the missing parish records, showing what appears to be some kind of blueprint of Rawhead himself.  The insane O'Brien catches Coot and forces him upstairs to be sacrificed to Rawhead.  The police arrive at the church and prepare to open fire on Rawhead, but they hesitate because he is carrying Coot.  The brainwashed inspector dumps gasoline around the police cars and ignites it just as they begin to shoot at Rawhead, killing all the police, including himself.

    Howard leaves his wife and daughter and goes back to the church where a dying Coot tells him that Rawhead is afraid of something in the altar.  Howard goes inside where O'Brian is burning books and is overpowered by Howard.  Howard, by using a candle stick, opens the altar and gets to the weapon.  O'Brian retreats to Rawhead to tell him, leaving Rawhead displeased.  Howard tries to use the weapon, but has no affect.  In anger, Rawhead kills O'Brian by tearing out his thoat, with Howard's wife watching in terror.  As Rawhead tries to kill Howard, his wife picks up the weapon, it activates, stopping Rawhead from killing Howard.  A ray of light comes out of the weapon and hits Rawhead, hurting him.  Howard realizes that it has to be a woman for it to work.  Then the form of a woman appears from the stone and shoots electric rays through the stones and into Rawhead's body, knocking him to the ground.  After a few more blasts, Rawhead is drained and weakened to the point where he has no hair, has aged, ill and dying.  Finally he falls through the ground with Howard's wife dropping the weapon in with him. Rawhead is smashed under giant stones and finished.  Both Howard and his wife cry in light of it being over.

    In the end, the boy from the trailer park places flowers on Andy Johnson's grave.  As he walks away, Rawhead emerges from the ground and roars.  The film then cuts to the end credits.


    Isolation (2005)

  • Actors: Essie Davis, Sean Harris, Marcel Iures, Crispin Letts, John Lynch
  • Directors: Billy O'Brien
  • Writers: Billy O'Brien
  • Producers: Andrew Lowe, Bertrand Faivre, Brendan McCarthy, Ed Guiney, George Anton
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: First Look Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: June 26, 2007
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Isolation is a 2005 Irish horror film directed and written by Billy O'Brien and produced by Film Four and Lions Gate Film Studios. The film was released direct to DVD on June 26, 2007.

    An experiment in bovine genetic modification goes horrifically wrong in writer/director Billy O'Brien's debut feature, Isolation.  John Lynch stars as Dan a cattle farmer on the remote Irish countryside, whose ex, Orla (Essie Davis), a veterinarian, has convinced him to take part in a profit-driven experiment on his cows, run by John (Marcel Iures), an officious scientist who seems very concerned with maintaining secrecy.  Orla is conducting a routine check on a pregnant cow, and her hand is inside the animal, checking the unborn calf, when something bites at her.  John is called to the farm, and reassures them that the safety checks were all okay.  He's more concerned with the presence of a caravan just outside the farm.  The caravan is occupied by Jamie (Sean Harris) and Mary (Ruth Negga), a desperate young couple who are apparently hiding out from something.  That night, after Orla and John have left, Dan hears his cow wailing.  Dan's phone is out, so he reluctantly turns to Jamie for help.  After a protracted and painful delivery, Orla turns up, and decides to "shut it all down."  She kills the mother and the calf.  Examining the calf, she realizes that it was born pregnant, and the "severely malformed" fetuses have distinctly un-cowlike exoskeletons.  Unfortunately for all involved, one of the offspring survives, and when John finally shows up,  he suggests that the farm be quarantined, as there may be a danger of "infection."

    John, the scientist conducting the experiment, discovers that the cells of the fetus are replicating far too quickly and that the missing fetal creature has the potential to infect cows as well as humans globally, causing a massive infestation of the bloodthirsty creatures.  They are now on a mission to kill the creature before it escapes from the farm.


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