Wednesday, June 26, 2013

LaserDisc Archive Repost

LaserDiscArchive Presents... 
           A Random Blog by MGH
Issue One:

  Before we get to the gist, you should know that I am a LaserDisc collecting fiend. Where did this love for antiquated analog video technology come from? Quite simply, as a small child I loved looking at the big record album sized discs at my local mom and pop video store. They had hundreds of the suckers and most of them were the things I loved the most and couldn't watch without an adult, horror movies. I would spend the time I was supposed to be looking for a VHS tape to rent browsing the ever increasing collection of video discs that promised unparalleled video and audio fidelity. In my later years I was lucky enough to locate a used LaserDisc player at a thrift store for $15 and that was all she wrote. My collection has grown exponentially ever since and is filled with a swath of movies of questionable artistic value, i.e. they're mostly bad 80's horror movies. Now that you know what you're in for on with RawHeadRex!

Loosely based on a short story and scripted by horror legend Clive Barker, RawHeadRex is pretty much one of the best bad movies you can be given the opportunity to enjoy in the comfort of your home! I'm quite certain someone could come up with a suitable drinking game to go along with this cheese filled gem from 1986. If you need a little context for it's place in history, this movie was so bad, and so poorly received it compelled Clive Barker to take control of his stories and properties and(for better or worse) direct the film adaptions of Hellraiser, Night Breed, and Lord of Illusions himself.

  Our tall tale begins with an American man(the late David Dukes) in Ireland researching religious sites for a book with his young family in tow. Conveniently they happen to time their arrival at a small isolated hamlet in time for a misguided local farmer to remove a gigantic phallic looking stone that has stood for hundreds of years from his field. This giant penis rock pointing proudly into the sky just so happened to be the only thing containing an ancient evil devil monster in his tomb! Still with me? Good, it gets better! After our title monster escapes his prison, he goes on a murderous rampage killing the random people that happen to cross his path. He can't really be considered much of a threat when you think about it. He's a devil with out a plan. What are his goals? To what end does killing a guy trying to snog his girlfriend in the forest make? Who knows. The movie certainly doesn't! And best of all, who cares? This movie is so ridiculously awesome if you concern yourself with plot, you'll hurt yourself.

  I will give credit to the cast involved, they do their best with what they've got. But that doesn't keep their over-the-top performances from making the show an unintentionally laughable experience. To make things worse, or more fun depending on your perspective, is the outright goofy look of the title beast. He's 8 feet tall wearing gigantic lift boots, has long greasy hair and his face is a big rubber mask with glowing red eyes that would even make Roger Corman giggle. Seriously, this movie is that wonderfully bad!

  Then you have my personal favorite character the town's Verger, Decklan played to the hilt by Ronan Wilmot whom after touching the church's altar becomes a loyal follower of the monster. I don't get it either folks, it doesn't make sense. That said, Decklan gets "Baptized" by RawHead when the monster pees on him... no joke. And Decklan couldn't be happier! His little cries of joy would make an excellent ironic ringtone for your phone! Since I am not one for spoilers, I won't tell you how it ends, but none the less it is just as goofy and hilarious as the rest of the movie. It's neigh impossible for me to pick a single favorite scene, there are just too many to choose from.

What makes watching this one on LaserDisc worth it? Well the soft nature of the analog video on the disc adds an extra level of charm to the feature. It's not clean, it's not pristine, but it still looks amazing for a disc that was minted in 1987. Coincidentally, this movie has so far made only ONE appearance on DVD here in the States. That disc released by Pioneer in 1999 used the very same transfer as this LaserDisc release without cleaning up the print and it horribly compressed the picture and audio making it look WORSE than it already did. If you own this one already, give it a whirl, or if you know someone that owns it, insist on having a movie night where you bring the beer if they'll play the movie! If you happen to come across it someplace at a decent price, do not hesitate to pick it up!

 Since clips are impossible to come by, I will leave you with the delightfully fun trailer! Enjoy! Thanks for reading, if you have any thoughts, comments, or fond memories of RawHeadRex leave them below!   

Here is some Original Custom Poster art by my good friend Jacob Rice
if you want more, let me know and I'll see if he's up for it!

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