The Roar of Rawhead
October 3, 2020
Colin Towns’ Score for Clive Barker’s RAWHEAD REX Soundtrack Announced by Silva Screen
– Randall D. Larson
Released in 1986, the horror film RAWHEAD REX was based on a story by Clive Barker, a British writer note for his raw, potent, and visceral brand of horror fiction; he wrote the film’s screenplay which George Pavlou (TRANSMUTATIONS, LITTLE DEVILS: THE BIRTH) then directed. RawHead Rex is a demon, alive for millennia, trapped in the depths of hell, and waiting for release. He is held by an ancient seal, imprisoned for centuries in a barren field near the hamlet of Rathmore, Ireland. In time, this gruesome legacy has been forgotten, dismissed as an odd pre-Christian myth until a local farmer decides to plow the field his ancestors knew better than to disturb. The seal is broken and an unspeakable evil is unleashed – on a rampage of blood and lust. An American historian, on a working vacation with his family, discovers on the stained glass windows of a local church a series of scenes illustrating the reign of terror of RawHead Rex, but the one piece of glass depicting the defeat of the monster is missing. RawHead Rex is on the loose, and he is insatiable as the historian desperately races against time for a way to stop the vicious monster. While Barker has disowned the film, it remains a persuasive horror film, and the central themes of its narrative – religion, ritual-and-sex, fertility and destruction, parental heroism/parental impotence, life and death – are effectively captured in the film adaptation, despite Rawhead’s gawdy mask-like appearance in closeups.
The music for RAWHEAD REX was provided by former rock band keyboardist, Colin Towns, who has gone on to become one of Europe’s most prolific film, television and theatre composers as well as a songwriter, arranger, and producer. His name has graced the credits of many prestigious and popular features, including FULL CIRCLE, THE PUPPET MASTERS, VAMPIRE’S KISS, THE WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE, SPACE TRUCKERS, and many more.
“The first film I scored was FULL CIRCLE (aka THE HAUNTING OF JULIA) which starred Mia Farrow and is still in the BFI top ten for best score for horror films,” Towns said. “I felt that film was more of a dark scary mystery. RAWHEAD REX on the other hand was clearly a horror film 100%. I visited the film set in Ireland during the filming to take in the atmosphere and meet the actors after which I decided to record the music at CTS in London with a sixty piece orchestra plus electronics. I have always orchestrated my own work and had a wild time with RAWHEAD which is what I really love doing.”
Towns’ soundtrack to RAWHEAD REX has never been commercially released, until now. Silva Screen’s CD is slated for release on October 16th.
For more information on the composer, see https://colintowns.com/