Sunday, 27 May 2012


"Hellraiser" (1987, Clive Barker, New World Pictures) is based on the book "The Hellbound Heart" (also by Clive Barker) which I've never read, so I can't comment on.

I only own the first three Hellraiser films because quite frankly, they start off weird and then just move into the trippy. Put it this way, I own all of the 'Nightmare on Elm Streets' and they get odd after the second movie, but for some reason Hellraiser just seems worse to me!

"Hellraiser" is gross, disturbing and hilariously 80s. So, naturally, I like it! The plot is pretty simple; magic wooden puzzle box, if you solve it the Cenobites; a bunch of sado-masochistic humanoids sent from hell to collect and torture people who solve the puzzle; come and torture you. See? Simple!

A man called Frank (Sean Chapman) solves the puzzle, why, I do not know. Pin-Head, the adopted name for the lead Cenobite (Doug Bradley), comes and rips him apart, and then puts the puzzle box back into its original state for someone else to solve.

Soon Frank's brother Larry (Andrew Robinson) and cheating second wife, Julia (Claire Higgins), move in with their teenage daughter Kirsty (Ashley Laurence), some blood is spilled in the attic and for some reason this brings the mutilated Frank back to life (hell knows why...).

Frank's gorey escape angers the Cenobites who have clearly failed in their mission, and soon there's carnage everywhere while people solve the puzzle, Frank wreaks havok and other general torture takes place.

There's a lot of flayed corpses, skin-stealing and general gore. The cenobites are all very interestingly mutilated, clearly the costume designer had some fun.

All in all, it's not scary, just bloody. It's more of a mystery movie with some gore in there. But it's an 80s classic, and a horror marathon favourite. Plus, the special effects are impressive.

[Picture: New World Pictures]