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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic horror
One of my favorite horror movies and a classic ahead of it's time.Hellraiser is a very imaginitive and unique horror classic.It was made I believe in the late 80's and it delivers the goods;story wise,gore wise and the soundtrack is one of my favorites,done by Christopher young(Nightmare on elm street 2).Move over Stephen King,here comes Clive Barker.
Published on April 20 2012 by metalrules!

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hellraiser-the Cut Version-
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.cheated) with these people/companies who are just out to get their bucks and seem to have no remorse or moral sense of obligation to the people who buy their products.Let's look around for a moment.
We have...
Published on Oct. 8 2007 by Robert Badgley


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic horror, April 20 2012
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This review is from: Hellraiser 1 [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
One of my favorite horror movies and a classic ahead of it's time.Hellraiser is a very imaginitive and unique horror classic.It was made I believe in the late 80's and it delivers the goods;story wise,gore wise and the soundtrack is one of my favorites,done by Christopher young(Nightmare on elm street 2).Move over Stephen King,here comes Clive Barker.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 20th Anniversary edition(loads of great extra,very illuminating), Nov. 11 2007
wow.this movie is truly an experience.love it or hate,when it's over it
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.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hellraiser-the Cut Version-, Oct. 8 2007
By 
Robert Badgley (St Thomas,Ontario,Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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.cheated) with these people/companies who are just out to get their bucks and seem to have no remorse or moral sense of obligation to the people who buy their products.Let's look around for a moment.
We have two of tinseltowns' biggest names Lucas and Spielberg.Lucas up until recently refused to release the original theatrical versions of the original Star Wars trilogy.When he finally did(after years of fan "begging") they are in a terribly poor state of transfer,alongside his newer "vision" versions(in pristine condition,thank you very much!).Spielberg has outright refused to release the theatrical version of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" on DVD ....period.It's gone though quite a few incantations on DVD.But the slipcases of the versions out there won't tell you this isn't the original version.Then we have the huge Star Trek franchise with its' first movie "Star Trek-the Motion Picture".It has not been made available on DVD in it's original theatrical form either.But AT LEAST they tell you up front the one they do have is a new "directors cut".
Then you have MGM that tells you one thing(on the slipcase,on the DVD,etc) but it's another when you buy and watch.Case in point:"The Frankie and Annette" collection(see my review)where the entire collection is supposedly widescreen and it isn't.Then you have a very minor company that re-releases a Laurel and Hardy classic"March of the Wooden Soldiers"(see my review)that is supposed to be one thing and upon close examination not up to the hype of its' creators.And on and on,ad nauseum.
Now we come to Hellraiser.A wonderful movie of its' genre....I would even daresay a classic in some respects.An original in thinking and execution.I liked this movie when I saw it in theaters upon release and watching it on VHS some time after;both were identical in footage.I recently picked this DVD version up and was astonished at how much had been cut out.
Now the print itself is in good shape and the sound has been reworked nicely but Freddy Krueger himself couldn't have done a better slash job than this.
The films impact and meaning has been greatly diminished by the elimination of alot of gory sequences and alot of the eroticisim.It's almost a made for TV release print.There are things you find that don't make alot of sense.For example you see Frank at one point sucking the life out of his sister in law on the stairs.She slumps down there and the action continues.Much later we see a short shot of her now on an upstairs bed(in worse shape than on the stairs)being held in place by the hook chains and holding the cube in her hands.? How did she get there,one wonders?
An example of the eroticism would be to look at the beginning of Hellraiser Two.It starts out with a flashback montage taking actuals clips from the first one.There is a short scene of Frank and the sister in law making out on the upstairs bed.....hmm,you might not recall having seen that in the first one and you would be right;that's because it wasn't in this versions' first one.
The list goes on and on but suffice to say Anchor bay isn't going to be releasing it in its' original form and uncut any time soon.Even the 20th anniversary edition coming out soon apparently has the same print and just a few more extras,that's all.
So my advice to you all is AVOID any print released by Anchor Bay now and in the future unless the slipcover explicitly tells you it is "complete and uncut".Because in this version,as B.B.King so eloquently put it,"the thrill has gone".
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4.0 out of 5 stars They don't make them like they used to... and this one has it in aces., July 14 2014
By 
Simon Bergeron - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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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. Some get smarter, other get much more twisted and there is quite an array of imagination displayed.

This is Pinhead before he was called Pinhead, and before Dimension ruined the character with pointless DTV cheesy movies, but I digress. Look no further than this title for the best edition in terms of special features and DVD presentation. It's an overall very satisfying movie to watch and marvel. Horror beyond pleasure and pain.

Fans who have yet to be introduced to this series would do well to start with this one. The one, the best.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Taste Their Pleasures, Nov. 26 2013
By 
E. Valero "Eterno" (Woodbridge, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hellraiser 1 [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Larry Cotton (Andrew Robinson) and his selfish wife Julia (Clare higgens), move into his childhood home, which appeared to have been occupied by his brother, Frank Cotton (Sean Chapman). Years prior and just before her wedding to Larry, Julia had a passionate affair with the hot-blooded Frank and when she finds several pictures of him in the house, old memories and passions resurface. Meanwhile, hiding in one of the empty, dilapidated rooms is a weak and skinless (yes, skinless) Frank who was rejuvenated by Larry's blood when he accidently cut himself with a nail during the move. Frank, who is in need of human blood in order to regenerate fully, convinces Julia to bring home unsuspecting men so he can nourish off them.

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. I have not read Barker’s novella that this was based from, “The Hellbound Heart”, so I cannot comment on how close to the source material the film is, however, as its own entity, “Hellraiser” is grotesquely fantastic and despite the passing of the years, is still able to pack a punch. Living in a time when fantasy/horror films are over-saturated with CGI effects, re-watching some of the old school horror films is a refreshing change since I am a big fan of the practical special effects. The make-up and the gore effects are pretty well done here, despite the films relatively low budget. One of the main highlights is Frank’s grisly resurrection which has just the right amount of slime, blood and tendons and his full skin-less body make-up is pretty gruesome. The leather clad Cenobites range from terrifying and sinister (Pinhead, the Female, the Chatterer) to laughable (The Butterball Cenobite, especially when it’s licking his lips during the hospital room scene is downright hilarious). The main Cenobite, who is now known as the legendary Pin-head, is fantastic and much has been said about the actor portraying him, Doug Bradley. His performance is rather fascinating and he manages to steal all of the scenes he is in, delivering his dialogue splendidly. Although this character throughout the long and uneven series eventually became a caricature, it is here where he reigns supreme, despite his very limited screen time. It’s all in his commanding presence, the voice, his diabolical stare and his dialogue. Far from being a Freddy Krueger-esque monster, Pinhead is a bit more cerebral and direct. Unlike Freddy, or Jason, or Michael Myers, or Chucky, you can almost reason with Pin-head. At least in this first film so there is that glimmer of hope that this monstrous sadomasochistic demon will not tear you to shreds. The sinister female Cenobite (Grace Kirby) is also amusing with an intense androgynous look although due to her mutilations, you have a hard time hearing what she is saying. These diabolical entities also appear to be less evil than most villains in your standard horror film (not including the sequels since Pinhead does seem to change from sequel to sequel). They do not go around killing innocent people just for the sake of it or for mindless revenge. They have to be summoned first and since no one in their right or sound mind will summon them purposely, it is most likely, a selfish, self gratifying sadomasochistic individual, a hedonist, who has reached the zenith of their desire for absolute pleasure (and/or pain) that will most likely fall under the seductive powers of the hellish puzzle box and would want to open it to discover what hidden treasures await. After that, I guess it’s good luck and hope you have a high pain threshold.

The rest of the cast, Robinson, Higgins, Chapman, Laurence all turn in decent to good performances. Robinson’s performance is good but his character is one of the least interesting (other than Kirsty’s boring, forgettable boyfriend), at least until the final act while Higgins and Laurence are the standouts, making the most out of their characters.

Aside from the great make-up and gore effects, “Hellraiser” presents some rather splendid, hallucinatory imagery. It is a very stylish film that takes full advantage of its settings and characters. The darkened rooms, the bright light that emerges through the wall crevices as the Cenobites are about to make their grand entrance, the sound of creaking wood, dangling chains and flies as we see a scene of twisted metal, sliced flesh and gore, the chilling smoke that envelopes the approaching demons as they close in on their prey. These are just some memorable gems that will greet and maybe haunt the viewer watching this sadistic showcase. A minor character introduced here that is a bit of an enigma but is obviously important to the overall story and also adds to the films creepiness is that of the vagrant. Looking very much like Rasputin only this one is covered in crickets and you can almost smell the stench of his raggedy clothing through the screen. The film is arresting visually and not many recent horror films have been able to match its style.

The film is not perfect though and there are moments when the pacing lags and the majority of the characters are not fully fleshed out or likable enough for us to really care with the probable exception being Kirsty. Also, I have to frankly admit that the effects do not always work. Some of the optical effects are pretty sub-standard and although the make-up on the Cenobites is fantastic, there is a monster here that looks pretty unremarkable and unfortunately, despite its very brief appearance, is still overkill. I would have preferred that this creature had been omitted in its entirety as I did not really see a point of its presence in the film (again, I have not read the original story so I cannot comment on this creatures importance in the novella) or more care should have gone in the creation of it and overall execution. In its far too many close-ups, it looks too rubbery, too static and robotic to inspire dread. It resembles a hastily put together, mechanical monster in a carnival funhouse ride and it is one of the film’s weak points.

Overall, despite some unconvincing mechanical and optical effects, “Hellraiser” remains an effective piece of horror cinema. It may succeed in grossing you out but it has a lot more to offer than just the blood and scenes of ripping flesh. There is wit, style, imagination and mythology. An assortment of splendid, wicked images in a morbid fairy tale of blood, lust, eroticism, depravity and despair. For the horror fans out there, chances are you have already been introduced to these infernal creatures hell bent on inflecting unimaginable pain and agony to those who dare call upon them. For the uninitiated, this isn’t your standard 80's horror fare. It's more extreme and a bit more creative. If you haven't been exposed to its warped theme of intense carnal desires and the pain that goes along with it, it is highly recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Take Note...., April 18 2013
This review is from: Hellraiser 1 [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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 get going, but ends rather well and the storyline is quite originally. Verdict: It's a classic...but just barely. If "classic" horrors like Evil Dead, Halloween, Friday the 13th, the Howling and Rosemary's Baby are all in this list of horror classics, this one would make the cut, but it's at the bottom of the list. It's the worst of the best, but yes, still a classic, and much much better than all of its sequels released in the last 12 years.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Boom-Shaka-Laka!, July 20 2014
This review is from: Hellraiser 1 (DVD)
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!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There Are No Limits (Except On This Movie's Budget), Feb. 23 2006
Back when I was a kid I always heard about the guy called 'Pinhead' in a movie called 'Hellraiser', but always assumed it was just another lousy slasher series. But after seeing a clip from Hellraiser (of a man being shredded by chains) and its awesome trailer on the Boogeymen compilation DVD, I really wanted to see this movie. I was not disappointed. Hellraiser blew my mind.

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. Knowing that blood gives him strength and allows his body to continue regenerating he asks his former flame Julia to help him out. In case you can't see where this is going, a lot of men end up being led to their doom after having their brains bashed in with a hammer. These murders are shown in gruesome fashion - it isn't just some guy getting hit on the head and falling unconscious without feeling a thing. I liked seeing Julia's evolution from a lonely housewife to an evil seductress who has become completely desensitized to killing. Frank absorbs the blood of Julia's victims - each murder brings Frank another step closer to gaining the rest of his body. But you just know the cenobites are bound to make another appearance - and they won't be happy.

The 'Lead Cenobite' is excellently played by Doug Bradley. This Lead Cenobite would later become known among fans as 'Pinhead' - a rather crude and completely inappropriate name. I'm assuming that the Lead Cenobite is never referred to as 'Pinhead' in any of the Hellraiser movies, and that it's just a nickname the fans have for that cenobite. Barker's Pinhead is an obviously witty fellow, as evidenced by his line "No tears please... it's a waste of good suffering!" Pinhead is certainly not a comedian - but in Hellraiser II, with a different writer and director, we see a very different Pinhead. No longer is he the angry, straight-faced, and no-nonsense cenobite leader. He is a very comical fellow in the sequel, who enjoys inflicting pain and playing mindgames. If anything, Barker's Pinhead seemed to regard torturing the solvers of the puzzle box as a chore - a task that was once fun but is now so repetitive that he just wants to do the job as quickly as possible and be done with it. But while he finds his job boring, he also seems to have a very strong work ethic. It's as if Hell has set out some strict rules that govern the use of the puzzle box that the cenobites must follow and enforce. This becomes more apparent in Hellraiser II (when Tiffany solves the box) and Pinhead calls off his eager associates. I guess if you prefer Pinhead's no-nonsense style in Hellraiser, you won't be too fond of his more relaxed style in Hellraiser II. I liked Barker's Pinhead a lot. But I prefer the Pinhead of Hellraiser II - he is more entertaining. If Pinhead was straight-faced in all the sequels, he would get boring after a while. One movie with the raw and humorless Pinhead is enough. Pinhead has a great sense of humor in Hellraiser II, as perverse as it is. I look forward to seeing more of it in the sequels - even though I heard they're all crappy.

The 'Chatterer' and 'Butterball' cenobites are entertaining, even though they don't say a word and don't really do anything except hang around in the background. But they look cool, and it's not necessary for anyone besides Pinhead and the Female Cenobite to do all the talking anyway. The Butterball cenobite looks a little silly (he is wearing shades afterall), but the reason he wears them is revealed at the end of the movie, and it's a really cool reason. The Female Cenobite is the most frightening character in the movie - it's all in her eyes and the way she talks.

As they note on the commentary, Hellraiser is a disturbing movie, not a scary movie. Even I found it disturbing the first time I saw it. Frank described his own grisly torture - hanging upside down by his ankles, while being spun around in mid-air as he had metal hooks digging into his dangling body - as a painful AND sensual experience. Fascinating. That flashback sequence had some of the coolest imagery in movie history. Considering the low-budget, this film did a hell of a lot with less. Ultimately, Hellraiser helped push the envelope of our trashy pop culture to places it feared to go. Some of the acting was a little weak, but Hellraiser is good enough to give it five stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This will be short but sweet....., June 21 2004
By 
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 group of creatures that teach that there is no difference between pleasure and pain- there is only sensation. That is not a topic that most horror flicks venture(although that point is not as explored in the movie as in the novella).
Plus, any movie that has a character say,"Jesus wept" just as he is about to be torn apart by hooks (and yes that line was improvised) gets major brownie points in my book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars HELLRAISER !!!!!!!!!, May 22 2004
By A Customer
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.
When i watched it i loved it and now i am wanting to watch the 2nd one but people have told me that it is very boring so i will consider watching it.
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