After Frank Cotton plays around and solves a mysterious puzzle box he is taken to a place of pain and torture that would make every new horror maker cringe. Years later his brother Larry moves into his old home and after a bloody accident Frank is slowly being resurrected. To complete his resurrection, he needs more blood.
All these years later and Hellraiser still packs a punch (or is that a meat-hook?) to the gut rarely seen nowadays unless you dig into the straight to DVD/online market that is. However back in the day when comedy horrors were dominating the market in came a young Clive Barker adapting his own work The Hellbound Heart. The result was a handful of sequels and unlimited merchandise to name a few.
So we have Julia Cotton (Clare Higgins) who is in a loveless relationship with Larry (Andrew Robinson) but lo and behold, she is still enough with Frank (Sean Chapman) who is also Larry’s brother. They move into Frank’s old house and after Larry cuts himself, some blood falls in between the cracks which resurrects Frank who is more or less a walking talking skeleton. Julia then embarks on a string of relationships in order to collect enough blood to fully resurrect her lover. Their daughter Kirsty becomes suspicious and begins to investigate.
One thing that Barker has always been interested in exploring the dark side of humanity as well as the dark side of pleasure. The latter is more or less hinted at with a few brief sequences of the Cenobites in question, the leader being Pinhead (Doug Bradley) with Chatterbox (Nicholas Vince) Butterball (Simon Bamford) and Grace Kirby as the female Cenobite.
Despite this being Barker’s debut and a great one at that, special mention must go to Bob Keen and his team of artists who brought the creatures to life. Despite my love for the movie and the series in general it doesn’t come without it shortcomings. Some odd editing touches here and there, odd musical cues and the fact they were trying to replicate the UK for the US is apparent but hey, minor occurrences. The sequels as most horror franchises do deteriorate but hey there are much worse out there. What does stand out though is the makeup and designs coming from Barker’s imagination and Keen’s team which will always be remembered as a staple of horror.
As for the Blu-ray disc this is a collector’s dream.
The granddaddy of torture porn is here on Blu-ray and its every bit as glorious and brutal as you last remember it. The Blu-ray transfer is superb and the movie still holds up till this day. Add in a ton of special features and this is just as precious as the little box.
- Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser: An in depth look at the making of the movie from the cast and crew.
- Being Frank: Sean Chapman on Hellraiser
- Hellraiser: Ressurection Another Doc on the making of Hellraiser.
- Under the Skin: Doug Bradley on Hellraiser
- Trailers/TV Spots
- Image Gallery