Hellraiser

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Hellraiser DVD cover

Hellraiser is a horror film exploring the themes of sadomasochism and morals under duress. It is based on the critically acclaimed novella The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker, who also wrote the screenplay and directed the film.

The original working title for the film was Sadomasochists From Beyond the Grave.

Contents

Hellraiser

(1987) Directed by Clive Barker. Filmed in Technicolor. The UK title for the film is Clive Barker's Hellraiser.

Hellraiser stars Sean Chapman as Frank Cotton, Andrew Robinson as Larry Cotton, Clare Higgins as Julia Cotton, and Ashley Laurence as Kirsty Cotton. It also introduces an unnamed character dubbed Pinhead by fans, as his entire head is marked out in a grid with large pins inserted at the intersections. Pinhead is the lead Cenobite in the film and was played by Doug Bradley. It took six hours to put Doug Bradley into the Pinhead makeup.

The basic plot of the film revolves around a puzzle box which, when properly manipulated, summons the Cenobites, who take the user of the box away into their world of endless sensuality.

Frank Cotton uses the box, and it is already too late for Frank as he realizes that the Cenobites' idea of pleasure may not be that of mortals, and that he has doomed himself an eternity of torture, rather than pleasure as humans understand it. His soul is possessed and his body reduced to a withered heart beneath the floorboards of his house, whilst his soul continues to endure the Cenobites' torments in their universe of pain.

Frank's brother Larry, as well as the rest of the Cotton family, moves into the house, and a drop of blood brings Frank back to life—partially. His heart beats again, and the bone and organs of his body return, but he lacks skin and flesh. Julia, who was once Frank's lover, takes pity on him and agrees to help restore him. She seduces men in bars, brings them up to the empty attic room where Frank hides, and kills them. Frank consumes their bodies, regenerating more of his own flesh each time.

Kirsty, Julia's stepdaughter, discovers what is going on, but too late to save her father, whose skin Frank takes and wears. Eventually, Kirsty uses the puzzle box to summon the Cenobites, and delivers Frank back into their tender mercies. As hundreds of hooks pierce and stretch his skin, Frank's last words on Earth are "Jesus wept."

Hellbound: Hellraiser II

(1988) Directed by Tony Randel. Filmed in Technicolor.

Doctor Channard (Kenneth Cranham) is sent a new patient, Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurance). As she lies in a psychiatric hospital, Kirsty is haunted by the sight of the unspeakable horror that destroyed her family. The only person who believes her story is a young, kind assistant of Doctor Channard, named Kyle MacRae (William Hope).

Now the nightmare is beginning again. The obsessive Doctor Channard has been searching for the Lament Configuration, the doorway to Hell, for years. He hears of the blood stained mattress that Kirsty's murderous stepmother Julia Cotton (Clare Higgins) died on, and has it secretly brought to his home. Kirsty needs to destroy the mattress in order to rid the world of Julia, but Channard brings patients to his home and conducts grisly human sacrifices on the mattress in order to resurrect her.

Together, Channard and Julia unlock the secret of the Lament Configuration puzzle box and release the unlimited horrors and ultimate pleasures of Hell. For the second time, Kirsty journeys beyond the limits of the mortal realm, to the Stygian corridors. There she must confront the Cenobites and the darkest desires of Hell to free her father's soul from eternal torment.

Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth

(1992) Directed by Anthony Hickox.

Hell is about to be unleashed again. After the confrontation in Hellbound, the Cenobite Pinhead is trapped, along with the puzzle box, amongst the writhing figures and distorted faces etched into the surface of an intricately carved pillar. The pillar is bought by the rich and spoiled J.P. Monroe (Kevin Bernhardt), owner of a famous club called The Boiler Room.

An ambitious young television reporter, Joey Summerskill (Terry Farrell), slowly begins to learn about Pinhead and the mysterious puzzle box. She is introduced to the pain the box can bring when she views a teenage club-goer being ripped apart by the box's chains in a hospital emergency room. She tracks the box and a young woman named Terri (Paula Marshall) to The Boiler Room, from which Terri and her boyfriend had stolen the puzzle box.

Through video tape interviews with Kirsty Cotton recovered from the Channard Institute, Joey and Terri learn about the demonic Cenobites and the power of the Lament Configuration, the only means of sending Pinhead back into the Outer Darkness. J.P., meanwhile, feeds Pinhead blood from club members so he can be freed from the pillar. Once free, Pinhead seeks to destroy the puzzle box so he need never return to Hell again. As time runs short, Joey must think of a plan to bring Pinhead and his newly-created Cenobites back to the realm of Pinhead's human self, or else doom the mortal world to an eternity of pain and suffering.

The film introduces a few new Cenobites and has little in common with the first two Hellraiser films, except for a cameo by Ashley Laurence. Peter Atkins plays both Rick the Barman and his Cenobite alter ego Barbie.

Hellraiser: Bloodline

(1996), also known as Hellraiser IV: Bloodline Story. This film tells the story of the original creator of the Lament Configuration and his bloodline of toymakers. Noted to be a horrible film, it was Alan Smithee-ied when the film was stolen and edited behind director Kevin Yagher's back by Dimension Films producers. The original film was more story based with little Pinhead airtime till half way thru the film. The final version created by Dimension Films was filled with gore, little story, and featured more Pinhead.

Hellraiser: Inferno

(2000), also known as Hellraiser V: Inferno. Directed by Scott Derrickson. Released on DVD Region 1 on October 10, 2000. Runtime 99 minutes.

The story of a corrupt cop.

Hellraiser: Hellseeker

(2002). Directed by Rick Bota. Released on DVD Region 1 on September 7, 2004.

Dean Winters plays Trevor, who survives a car accident that apparently kills his wife Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence), when their car plunges off of a bridge into the river below. Trevor manages to escape with his life, but, even though police divers find both car doors open, there is no sign of Kirsty.

One month later, Trevor wakes up in a hospital and realizes that his wife is missing, but because of a head injury, his memory is uncertain and he cannot distinguish between fantasy and reality. Trevor finds himself the prime suspect in a murder case, and has two homicide detectives on his tail. Many strange events befall him, until the Cenobite Pinhead shows him reality. The film brings back Ashley Laurence as Kirsty Cotton, who appeared in the two original Hellraiser installments.

Hellraiser: Deader

(2004), also known as Hellraiser VII: Deader. Directed by Rick Bota.

A female reporter for a London newspaper is sent to Bucharest to investigate an underground suicide cult who can bring back the dead. She is quickly drawn into their dark world and soon can see no way out other than to join them....

Hellraiser: Hellworld

Also known as Hellraiser 8, is currently in post-production. Directed by Rick Bota.

Pinhead returns in the eighth Hellraiser film to terrorize five friends who are computer hackers that have opened a virtual Lament Configuration on a website called Hellworld.

Quotes from Hellraiser

  • Pinhead, on what Cenobites do: We'll tear your soul apart.
  • Pinhead: We have such sights to show you.
  • Pinhead: No tears, please. It's a waste of good suffering.
  • Pinhead, on what Cenobites are: Explorers in the further regions of experience. Demons to some. Angels to others.
  • Frank Cotton, in Larry's skin, to Kirsty: Come to Daddy.

External links


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