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Having made his reputation as one of the most prolific and gifted horror writers of his generation (prompting Stephen King to call him "the future of horror"), Clive Barker made a natural transition to movies with this audacious directorial debut from 1987. Not only did Barker serve up a chilling tale of devilish originality, he also introduced new icons of horror that since have become as popular among genre connoisseurs as Frankenstein's monster and the Wolfman. Foremost among these frightful visions is the sadomasochistic demon affectionately named Pinhead (so named because his pale, bald head is a geometric pincushion and a symbol of eternal pain). Pinhead is the leader of the Cenobites, agents of evil who appear only when someone successfully "solves" the exotic puzzle box called the Lamont Configuration--a mysterious device that opens the door to Hell. The puzzle's latest victim is Frank (Sean Chapman), who now lives in a gelatinous skeletal state in an upstairs room of the British home just purchased by his newlywed half-brother (Andrew Robinson, best known as the villain from Dirty Harry), who has married one of Frank's former lovers (Claire Higgins). The latter is recruited to supply the cannibalistic Frank with fresh victims, enabling him to reconstitute his own flesh--but will Frank succeed in restoring himself completely? Will Pinhead continue to demonstrate the flesh-ripping pleasures of absolute agony? Your reaction to this description should tell you if you've got the stomach for Barker's film, which has since spawned a number of interesting but inferior sequels. It's definitely not for everyone, but there's no denying that it's become a semiclassic of modern horror. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
First off, I really liked the audio commentary on this DVD. Director and writer Clive Barker and star Ashley Laurence do an informative commentary that is moderated by Peter Atkins (who wrote the sequel). It's great to see a commentary where everyone looks back on their earliest work and says what they like about it, what they don't like about it, laugh at a few parts of the film, and experience some nostalgia as they recall what went into the making of Hellraiser. When you listen to this commentary, you get the feeling that the atmosphere on the set was warm and inviting, not cold and impersonal (as big budget films seem to be). You get the same feeling from the commentary on the Hellraiser II DVD.
The violence committed by the demons (called cenobites) in Hellraiser is usually praised by the lowbrow fans of the series. But hell, I'm more lowbrow than anyone else. Like most Hellraiser fans, I can't get enough of the cenobites, especially the Lead Cenobite. But a lot of us tend to overlook the murders committed by Julia and Frank. Frank is in an interesting position - he was tortured and murdered by the cenobites, then (his soul?) escaped from hell. After what looks like a very painful regeneration sequence for Frank, he is presumably dismayed to realize that his body hasn't finished regenerating. Frank's a living corpse, and is so weak that he can only drag himself across a floor.Read more ›
will probably stick with you for awhile.for me,i thought this movie was
brilliant.it had a great story to it,with great characters.i guess you
would call a it horror movie,but i would call it more of an experience.
there are some gory scenes in the movie,and there are some scenes that
are disturbing and even repulsive.but the gore and guts are done much
more tastefully here than in most 'horror' movies.and there is actually
a story that all of this fits into.i didn't find it gratuitous at
all.there are some things in the movie that could certainly be
offensive to some people.there is some religious themes that some
people would find less than positive.and there a lot themes and images
in this movie that i don't think had been explored much before,if at
all.in my mind,the main villain in this movie(though i don't think he's
really a villain in the usual sense) dubbed Pinhead(for obvious
reasons)is possibly the most iconic(or at least should be)character of
at least the last thirty years.that may sound like an exaggeration,but
the other big name screen villains don't hold a candle to this
character.there was just so much more thought gone that went into the
character.the others,not so much.anyway,if you are able to throw away
all any preconceived notions and see this film for what it is,i think
you will get something out of it.what that something will be is hard to
say,but it might be different for each person.this is all just my
opinion,but for me,i have to give this movie a perfect 5/5 for being a
true cinematic achievement.
Unbeknownst to her, Frank had previously opened a portal to an infernal netherworld and summoned the powerful Cenobites (self proclaimed “Explorers in the further regions of experience” and are “demons to some, angels to others”) by solving a mysterious puzzle box. When this box is opened, the Cenobites will torture and inflect unimaginable pain (or the ultimate pleasure, I guess depending on what your tolerance is for physical torture and dismemberment) in a hellish realm but the regenerating Frank has somehow escaped their clutches and is fearful of the day they will find him. In the meantime, Larry's teenage daughter, the beautiful Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence), accidently stumbles unto Frank and Julia’s hellish agenda and his mysterious puzzle box and trying to discover the truth, opens the portal to hell and summons the blood thirsty Cenobites once again.
This sick and twisted horror tale came from the wicked imagination of horror/fantasy writer Clive Barker.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Such a good horror film, one of the only one's that actually get under my skin. As an old school horror fan a strongly recommend this one especially when compared to it's sequels!!Published 18 months ago by DANA
At first, I hated it...
But then, it kinda grew on me as Kirsty's story was told, as the characters developed beyond what you usually get in horror movies. Read more
This was a big deal when it was originally released in 1987. Looking at it today, the acting is terrible (biggest weak point), the effects are rather dated, the movie is slow to... Read morePublished on April 18 2013 by Dogbury
One of my favorite horror movies and a classic ahead of it's time.Hellraiser is a very imaginitive and unique horror classic. Read morePublished on April 20 2012 by metalrules!
Yes my friends here we are again with another cut version of a film on DVD.
How sad the state of the industry.As a consumer I really feel a big let down(i.e. Read more
Ok, I will try to keep this brief. Hellraiser is incredible for it's originality in story line; leaving behind the god/satan area of evil and just going straight an other worldly... Read morePublished on June 21 2004
Hellraiser is way better than candyman, i loved it.
I was'nt going to watch it at first because i had watched the third one before and dind'nt think much to it. Read more