Pinhead

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: Hellraiser (1987)

By Machete Von Kill

Hellraiser poster

Director: Clive Barker; Writer: Clive Barker (adapted from The Hellbound Heart) Stars: Doug Bradley, Ashley Laurence, Clare Higgins; Rating: R; Run Time: 94 min; Genre: Horror; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 1987

Sexual deviant Frank (Sean Chapman) inadvertently opens a portal to hell when he tinkers with a box he bought while abroad. The act unleashes gruesome beings called Cenobites, who tear Frank's body apart. When Frank's brother Larry (Andrew Robinson) and his wife, Julia (Clare Higgins), move into Frank's old house, they accidentally bring what is left of Frank back to life. Frank then convinces Julia, his one-time lover, to lure men back to the house so he can use their blood to reconstruct himself. (Summary from IMDb.)

I honestly don't remember how old I was the first time I saw Hellraiser. It was some time in middle school. And I've seen it eleventy billion times since. It is one of my favorite movies of all time, and I don't mean just horror movies either. I can probably recite almost every line from the movie and had Pinhead as a notification alert on my cellphone (I can't lie. After several texts from a close friend, I had to change it. LOL! Pinhead was starting to creep me out!)

Meeting Doug Bradley aka Pinhead

I have to say, seeing Doug Bradley's name on the guest list for Motor City Nightmares last year was one of the biggest reasons I wanted to go. I was heartbroken when it became clear I couldn't afford tickets. Thanks to Dark Legacy Haunted House, I WON A GOLD PASS and was able to meet PINHEAD himself. I will full on admit, I was extremely nervous about meeting Mr. Bradley. I was a complete mess. Nervous stutter when I could speak, dry mouth and shaking like a leaf. Mr. Bradley put up with me (LOL) and was nice enough to take photos with me, autograph my DVD, and accepted my gift to him, a hand painted Pinhead Christmas ornament. I could go on and on about Doug Bradley, but that's not why we're here. Let's get back to the movie.

The scene when Frank begins to regenerate after absorbing his brother's blood through the floor boards is both totally gross and totally captivating. You can't turn away, even though you want to. And the subsequent scenes of Frank consuming the blood of the men Julia brings to the house are just as gross and captivating. The sounds effects alone are gag worthy.

I can't say I have any sympathy for Frank or Julia. Frank was a sick, mean, creepy bastard when he was alive and Julia, a cheating tramp. Who sleeps with their newly wedded husband's brother!? Ick! Dirty ho! They totally deserved each other and all of the tortures dished out by the Cenobites. It seems so fitting that Frank ended up consuming Julia.

And the Cenobites themselves, HOLY WAH! As if Pinhead wasn't terrifying enough, throw in Chatterer (Nicholas Vince), Butterball (Simon Bamford), and the female Cenobite (Grace Kirby)... Nightmare material for days! Deliciously evil and brilliant. Bravo to Clive Barker for bringing these henchmen of Hell to life.

The movie is dark, beautiful, gory and everything a good horror movie should be. Even with the 1987 special effects, it still stands up today as one of the greatest ever made. And I'm really unhappy to hear that it will be rebooted. It is a classic that needs to be left alone. Sure, make another sequel (just please, please, please do a better job than the last few), but there's no reason to reboot.

If you haven't yet seen this masterpiece, I'd really like to know what the hell you are waiting for.

10 out of 10 Cenobites Tortures

Posted by Alan Smithee

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