Hellraiser title

Tag Line : It will tear your soul apart.

HellraiserOne film that gained enormous notoriety in the horror world during the late 80's was this seminal shocker by Clive Barker, who turned from horror author to director in order to bring us this adaptation of his book "The Hellbound Heart".

Bad boy Frank Cotton (Sean Chapman) purchases a mysterious Chinese puzzle box, which possesses the power to send the owner to Heaven or Hell, if only he can solve the mystery of how to unlock it. We are then treated to seeing what happens to him when he finally does manage to open it, as 4 hideous demons, known as Cenobites, suddenly emerge and promptly tear his body to pieces with hooks.

Meanwhile, Frank's brother Larry (Andrew Robinson) has just taken over his mother's old house, along with his new wife Julia (Clare Higgins) and his daughter Kirsty (Ashley Laurence). However, Franks remains are still lurking around in the unused bedroom and after Larry cuts his hand and spills blood all over the floor, Frank's body begins to reform.

Frank manages to enlist the help of Julia, who he'd previously been having an affair with, and so she agrees to bring him fresh supply of victims so that he can drain their blood, in order for his body to reform fully. Julia does this by perusing the local bars whilst husband Larry is at work, then brings them back home for Frank to murder.

However, Kirsty discovers what is going on and after finding the mysterious puzzle box, unwittingly unleashes the grotesque Cenobites, who we discover are a group of sadomasochistic demons, lead by a character called Pinhead (Doug Bradley) who live in a realm where pleasure and pain are indivisible. But after they learn about her Uncle Frank, who's escaped their realm, they agree to spare her if she'll take them to him, leading to more bloodied hooks and chains going flying, and buckets more blood being shed in the films climax.

If you like gore you will love this movie, which features some absolutely grotesque scene's of people being ripped apart, although the most gory scenes are actually shown within the first 2 minutes of the film. The movies low budget is rather apparent, supposedly set in America it soon becomes blatantly obvious that it was actually filmed in Britain, but don't be put off by my remarks, this is still great stuff!

Overall Marks : 6/10

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag lines "He'll tear your soul apart.", "Demon to some, Angel to others.", "To some he's an angel, to some he's a demon.", "There are no limits." and lastly "Satan's done waitin'."

  • The film marked the directorial debut of horror novelist Clive Barker, who adapted his book "The Hellbound Heart". He went onto adapt and work on the films "Candyman", "Nightbreed" and "Lord of Illusions", the latter 2 he also directed.

  • The films shooting title was apparently "Sadomasochists from Beyond the Grave".

  • Doug Bradley's character was listed in the credits as "Lead Cenobite" as the name "Pinhead" wasn't thought of until after the films release.

  • Rock band "Coil" originally recorded the soundtrack for the film, but this was not used as Clive Barker didn't like it. Reportedly saying "The only group who's music has made my bowels churn".

  • Andrew Robinson had previously starred in the Sylvester Stallone film "Cobra", although prior to that he was probably best known for his role as the psychotic killer in "Dirty Harry". In more recent years he's probably best become known for his role as Garak on the Sci-Fi series "Star Trek - Deep Space Nine".

  • The films budget was $1,000,000.

  • The first time Doug Bradley had his "Pinhead" makeup applied, it took the cosmetic crew 6 hours to complete it.

  • The US theatrical version was heavily edited in order to achieve an "R" rating, which cut down the amount of blood and gore and shortened the sex scenes. The film was later released uncut on home video.

  • The film was edited slightly for its initial UK release, which shortened a scene where a victim pleads for his life as Julia hits him with a hammer. However, SKY showed the full uncut version of this on their subscription movie channels and the film was later re-issued uncut on widescreen DVD. The DVD issued by Anchor Bay in 2004 was also of the uncut version.

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