St Patrick’s Day – a day when people who hate Guinness drink gallons of the stuff to celebrate a heritage they don’t really have, pour green food colouring into, otherwise, perfectly good beer, and wear a lot of novelty green items (too cynical?). It may surprise many, but Ireland has produced more than just green felt leprechaun top-hats, including its fair share of horror fables, actors, movies, and authors. So join Deadly Movies in a celebration of Ireland’s greatest horror contributions:
5. Rawhead Rex (1986): This hysterically bad monster movie isn’t really Irish, at least in origin. Whilst the movie is set and shot in Ireland, Clive Barker’s original short story was set in his native England. But awkward relocating aside (look out for some factual inaccuracies about Roman ruins in Ireland), Rawhead Rex is worthy of the list for it’s sheer hilariousness. The man-in-suit creature effects are laughable for any decade but strangely mesmerising. It’s basically Jason Voorhees running amok in a small Irish farming community.
4. Gabriel Byrne: Mr Suarve may be best remembered for his effortlessly cool role in The Usual Suspects (1995), but he’s got a decent horror resume too. Yes we could look at his Nazi Major in The Keep (1983) or his demon fighting priest in Stigmata (1999), but who are we kidding, It’s Byrne’s Satan having a fist fight with Arnie in End of Days (1999 – Byrne’s agent sure went all religious on his ass that year) that qualifies him for the list. “Oh, you think you’re bad, huh? You’re a fucking choir boy compared to me! A CHOIR BOY! ”
3. The Leprechaun franchise: Yeah, yeah It’s not set in Ireland and famed little person actor Warwick Davies doesn’t even have the decency to be Irish, but whatever, It’s the longest running horror franchise with a famed Irish folklore in the titular role. And let’s face it, it’s probably the horror franchise with the best ever titles: following the boringly named Leprechaun 2 and 3, the franchise took some hallucinates and came up with Leprechaun 4 In Space, 5 In The Hood, and 6 Back to tha Hood. Brilliant! Oh and just for kicks, WWE (yes as in the pro wrestling outfit) has jumped on board with Lionsgate to produce two future instalments of the franchise.., if it wasn’t wacky enough already.
2. Bram Stoker: Born in Dublin in 1847 and the author of one of horror’s marquee novel, perhaps the marquee novel, Dracula. It’s influence is as influential on film as the bible. Nothing else to say really.
1. Patrick Magee: Who? I’ll bloody tell you who, and if you’re a true horror fan you better get ready to raise your pint of Guiness or cheap larger with green food colouring in it. Born in Armagh in Northern Ireland, Magee is a horror and b-movie journeyman who’s racked up and incredible career list of titles (even more remarkable as he preffered the stage to the screen). Just check this lot out you ungreatful swines: The Masque of the Red Death (1964), The Skull (1965), Die, Monster, Die! (1965), Marat/Sade (1967), The Fiend (1971), A Clockwork Orange (1971), Asylum (1972), Demons of the Mind (1972), And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973), The Monster Club (1980), The Black Cat (1981) and Docteur Jekyll et les Femmes (1981). I mean seriously, that’s incredible!