Sunday, October 28, 2007

Overlooked Movies Horror Classics: Hellraiser and Hellbound Hellraiser II

These movies are completely linked in my mind and therefore I felt I should do a single post about both.

" was clear we were doing something different, something interesting, something good. Hellraiser is more of an "idea" or intelligent horror film, not just as a slasher, blood and guts film. Clive was reinventing the gothic horror film with the cenobites, but a gothic horror film for its time." ~Actor Doug Bradley on making Hellraiser

A man finds he is given more than he bargains for when he solves the puzzle of the Lament Configuration - a doorway to hell. But his ex-lover has found a way of bringing him back, and his niece, Kirsty Lawrence, finds herself bargaining with the Cenobites, angels to some, demons to others, whose greatest pleasure is the greatest pain.

Click here to watch the trailer for Hellraiser:

Hellbound: Hellraiser II
Return to the domain of pleasure and pain as Kirsty Cotton is committed to a psychiatric hospital run by the strange Dr. Channard. But when the doctor uncovers the secret of the Lament Configuration, he resurrects the skinless corpse of Kirsty's evil stepmother and calls forth the legions of the damned led by Pinhead. Now the doorway to Hell has been re-opened, the brutal Cenobites again walk the Earth and the sweet suffering of evil has only just begun.

Click here to watch the trailer for Hellbound Hellraiser II:

Taglines for Hellraiser:
Demon to some. Angel to others.
It will tear your soul apart.
There are no limits.
Satan's done waitin'.
He'll tear your soul apart.
We have such sights to show you

Taglines for Hellbound Hellraiser II:
It will tear your soul apart... again.
Time to play.

Fun Trivia for Hellraiser:
The budget of Hellraiser was $1,000,000. It earned about $20,000,000. It was the directing debut of Clive Barker based on his novel The Hellbound Heart. Before this Barker had made only two very weird short films.

Hellraiser's original title was Sadomasochists From Beyond The Grave.

Industrial band Coil originally did the soundtrack for Hellraiser, but it was turned down by the studio. Clive Barker said, "Coil was the only group I've heard on disc whose records I've taken off because they made my bowels churn."

The address for the house in Hellraiser is 55 Ludovico Place. The name of the institute in A Clockwork Orange where Alex is deprogrammed of violence was the Ludovico Institute.

For the video release, for Hellraiser had one of the most unusual pieces of bonus materials that has ever been offered: a Home Shopping Network show where merchandise from the movie could be purchased. The show was hosted by a giddy old lady claiming to be a hardcore fan of the movie.

At the time of the movie's release the MPAA had an agenda on "intensity of tone". As a result of this Clive Barker had to make several cuts to the film--consecutive hammer blows, fingers entering flesh, S&M spanking between Julia and Frank, additional "thrusts" during the sex scene--all with the intention of watering down the overall impact of the piece.

It took six hours to place Doug Bradley into the Pinhead makeup.

Doug Bradley was originally offered a choice of roles between one of the mattress movers and the Lead Cenobite. He originally thought it important that, as a new film actor, the audience should be see his face, and nearly turned down the Pinhead role.

Many viewers have commented about the poor quality of the FX at the end of the movie. Clive Barker has explained that, due to a very limited budget, there was no money left to have the FX done professionally after the primary filming. Instead, Barker and a "Greek guy" animated these scenes by hand over a single weekend. Barker has also commented that he thinks the FX turned out very well considering the amount of alcohol the two consumed that weekend.

Nintendo developed a video game for Hellraiser. It involved some of the first technology used to save a player's game and let the player return to the same level they left off at. However, with this new computer chip used in the game's production, it was later revealed that the Nintendo game system couldn't read the game's codes. So production was halted and never finished.

Andrew Robinson convinced Clive Barker to replace the previously scripted line, Fuck you, with the infamous Jesus wept line.

Fun Trivia for Hellbound Hellraiser II:
Dr. Channard's name in the script was Dr. Malahide. "Channard" is derived from Christiaan Bernard, who performed the world's first successful heart transplant.

Because of an neck accident, Kenneth Cranham only wore the Channard Cenobite makeup for one day. Stuntman Bronco McLoughlin played the Channard Cenobite for the rest of the shoot.

The horn sound that is continually made by Leviathan is Morse code for "God".

An alternate script with Kirsty's father Larry exists online. You can read it here.

Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 grossed $11,090,735 in the US.

The Quotable Pinhead:
Pinhead: The box. You opened it. We came.

Pinhead: No tears, please. It's a waste of good suffering.

Pinhead: We'll tear your soul apart!

Pinhead: We have eternity to know your flesh.

Pinhead: Your suffering will be legendary, even in hell!

Once you've seen the first 2 Hellraiser movies I also recommend the third, it's much sillier than the first two but has a terrific performance from Doug Bradley as we find out just a little about where Pinhead came from. Anything after the third is a complete waste of your time.


Randal Graves said...

My shorter review: two great movies! I need to dig these out and watch them again.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Wow, I learned more about these films in the few moments it took to read this than I had ever known before.

Joe said...

Very cool. You know, Hellraiser was one of the few movies I've ever seen in a theater that really disturbed me.

Anonymous said...

Another factoid - Hellraiser 2 was banned in Queensland Australia - I'm not sure what the reason for its banning was.

They banned Nightmare on Elm St 3 not because it's a psycho slashing teenagers - no because it depicted drug use!?!?!

Near Dark was banned because of the child vampire in it.

I'm pretty sure all of these films showed on public television at one time or another in Queensland though (maybe not Near Dark).

Becca said...

Yes they are certainly worth rewatching. I caught the second on cable last week and just can't get them out of my head. So scary.

Dr. Monkey-
Glad to play the teacher sweet monkey!

I only saw the third and fourth movies in the theater frankly I was so young when the first to came out I'm not sure I would have been able to handle the intensity.

I remember whenever the commorecials would play on TV I used to cover my ears beacuse Pinhead scared me soooo much. Then when it came out on video I had to hide my eyes at the gorriest parts. I have to say it's been a long time since they've made a movie that scares me as much as Hellraiser.

Banned in Queensland? Wow I had no idea. I'm always suprised what gets banned and why. I still can't believe Straw Dogs was banned in England for so long.

Good point on Elm St...people get so uptight over the strangest things.

Blackwing Rose said...

I love the first two and then the four...I never saw why they'd make anymore after the 4th tied everything up so well.

I can't bear to watch 3 because it's so shooting cenobites? *eyeroll*