Rawhead Rex

Rawhead Rex

Feb 09, 2021

I have to say, when I first saw that Rawhead Rex was on the genre reading list, I rolled my eyes and let out an audible sigh. You see, I had a pre-conceived opinion about the story. This opinion was based upon having seen the cheesy 80’s movie of the same title. The movie was awful in all of the 80’s cheesy ways that you can think of. By the way, I did enjoy the cheesy 80’s movie back in the day. I am also a huge fan of Clive Barker in all of his art of books, movies, sketches, and paintings. It is unfortunate that he is less active these days with his health problems.

I found the book, however, to be an undiscovered gem. As I settled in to read this short-ish story in the Books of Blood – Volume 3 (I think), I was presently surprised for many reasons.

The first and obvious reason was that Rawhead was described in a way that allowed my imagination to fill in some blanks. I was easily able to let go of the cheesy movie version of Rawhead.

Next, the story was slightly changes in a few areas, which had me lean in and focus a bit more, so I would not miss any details. I found the progression of the story to be on point. The story moved along nicely.

The story was a simple concept of an ancient evil that had been defeated and driven away a century earlier. The monster, Rawhead, had been buried under a large pillar of stone that had images and ancient runes carved into it. Obviously meant to hold the monster at bay.

Clive barker does an excellent job of story telling. I have always loved his style. I also love his rawness in how he describes things. He uses terms like “baby eater” and “eating baby meat” which is about as raw as you can get. Something about eating tender baby meat, seems like it could be it’s own category in horror.

I was able to relate to the main character, a family man who is very busy with his work. Also, at one point in the story, his is driving his family in the countryside away from the terror I the small town. H is forced to stop to let his daughter of 8 or 9 go behind a bush to pee. I thought for sure she was going to become tender, tasty, baby meat. Then she screamed and her father and mother ran to her aid. Well, she was fine.

The problem was, that their sone was all alone in the car, and he became a meal for Rawhead. I did not expect that bait and switch. Well done Clive Barker, you got me!

Overall, this reading was a treat. It also taught me that just because I saw the movie, does not mean I know it all. I must remain open-minded, and in some cases, I must do both for the best result.