Hellraiser — 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 w... more »ith 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 Hellbound: Hellraiser II
Definitely not one for the weak of stomach, Hellbound: Hellraiser II takes up where the first Hellraiser left off, piling on the gore to near camp levels. Luckily, the 1988 sequel retains enough of British horror-meister Clive Barker's macabre wit--like the original, it's based on a Barker story--to save it from the schlock-heap. Hospitalized following her last misadventure, Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) implores authorities to destroy a bloody bed at the carnage scene, but the enigmatic Dr. Channard (Kenneth Cranham) brings an addled patient there and unleashes a dread Cenobite instead. As if that's not bad enough, Kirsty's getting distress calls from her father, who begs her to rescue him from Hell. When she journeys through Hell's dark labyrinths with a mute puzzle solver, however, Kirsty only finds the evil Pinhead (Doug Bradley) and other bizarro creatures, plus her nasty former stepmother and lascivious Uncle Frank. Much maniacal laughter and skin shedding later, the newfound compadres unlock the puzzle box again to safety. Hellbound isn't genius, but it does have flair, which goes a long way toward offsetting Laurence's leaden acting and occasionally over the top gore. --Diane Garrett« less
Brad S. (Snibot) from DALLAS, TX Reviewed on 8/29/2011...
This was my first film in the Hellraiser series (long story)
It was good enough that I wanted to watch Hellraiser. I must say that the story is involved and interesting, I am not sure it is 100% original but it is not a cookie cutter horror flick.
The acting is well done, and so is the writing, though the special effects are fairly laughable, as are some of the story points ... seriously, people are dead but they can be killed? Did I miss something? If hell was that easy to escape I'm pretty sure it would be empty.
Still if you can give it a little latitude with some of the ludicrous story, this is a good movie, I was entertained, and I will likely watch it again.
Is this true? I would give 6 stars but...
Mc.Duff | Berlin, Germany | 07/28/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)
"When I first read about the release of the Hellraiser/Hellbound: Hellraiser II - Special Edition I was very happy. I love the original movie and the sequel, I even would die to see DIRECTOR'S CUTS for the third and fourth part. And that's the point...I WANT TO GET MY HANDS ON DIRECTOR'S CUTS! But the problem with this Hellraiser release is that it might be the same lousy version they put in the limited LaserDisc Box which I bought for over $100 years ago. Will they ever learn? Who wants such highly CUT versions of the best horror movies of all times? I can't believe that people give this release 5 stars. Does anybody ever heard Clive Barker's Commentary? He comments on every scene the MPAA forced him to cut out of the movie. Why can't we get an UNRATED release with all scenes?Hellraiser 2 will hopefully be UNCUT but it won't be the Director's Cut which was released on LaserDisc a few years ago.Be very carefull with this release...Don't get me wrong. I would give 6 stars not if it would be possible but if AnchorBay would release the correct versions of the movies.Mc.Duff from Germany"
Perhaps one of the greatest horror movies of all time.
Vincent Maloy | Deutschland | 10/21/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've allways been a fan of Clive Barker's Masterpiece "Hellraiser" and its awsome sequel. Both are featured on this great DVD Box Set and after almost 15 years of age, "Hellraiser" has lost not a bit of its gothic art, frightening horror and gory cruelty.But I'm a little bit disappointed by the technally realisation of this DVD. Both Movies are presented in there theatrical ratio of 1.85:1 and in full frame. "Hellbound" ist in the widescreen mode exactly the same as in the full frame presentation, but matted with black bars. "Hellraiser" appears to be the 1.66:1 version also matted with black bars to show the 1.85:1 format. Compared to Anchor Bays "Halloween" Box, this is a leap back in the production of exclusive DVDs.Never the less, "Hellraiser" is always worth buying and if it was just for the bonus material like the commentary of Clive Barker, Peter Atkins, Ashley Lawrence etc. The Movies are still great classics and a creepy way to enjoy an gloomy autum's evening. Let's just hope the next Anchor Bay DVD Box is a bit more like "Halloween"."
Do not let the flesh murder the spirit.
OAKSHAMAN | Algoma, WI United States | 06/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"_For years I was at a loss to explain why I watched the entire Hellraiser series. As a general rule, I avoid horror movies and slasher flicks. Yet, I made it a point to watch this entire series- more than once.
_Then it hit me. All of these movies have a "message." Under all the gore is one central message: "Do not let your flesh murder your spirit." Think about it, every character that is butchered and torn to bits has pretty well deserved it- it was their weakness and ambition that led them to it. Otherwise the Box would have held no fascination for them.... A spiritually centered being , such as a saint or a shaman, can laugh as he is being flayed by demons (or Cenobites.)
_"Pinhead" ,you see, is a spiritual teacher- if you give too much importance to worldly matters and the flesh, then you deserve what you get...."
Hellraiser 1 & 2 tin boxset
K. Cannon | USA | 01/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've had this limited tin-set of the first 2 Hellraiser movies for about 6 months now. I've watched both DVD's several times and am very impressed with the quality. The widescreen transfer is excellent, the sound is phenomenal in THX. The extras are well done also, i liked the bonus full-length audio commentary tracks for both movies. The only thing that could have been added were the extra "Bonus Interviews" that were on the Collector's Edition VHS editions that came out a few years ago. I'm keeping those VHS copies just for that, and although it would have been nice to have them on DVD as well this is still a very solid, professional boxset. Any Hellraiser fan would be pleased and it is well worth the money to get this great boxset."
Two great horror movies get a well deserved DVD treatment
movie_freak | Sydney, NSW Australia | 02/05/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"HELLRAISER: A typical, naive husband and his sexual unsatisfied wife move into a lonely old house that has the misfortune of containing the shredded remains of his soon-to-be-resurrected evil brother. Clever, well plotted and genuinely disturbing. Directing debut for horror novelist Clive Barker, and still remains to be his undisputed masterpiece. HELLRAISER II: Takes off hours later where the original finished. The sole survivor of the family massacre Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) finds herself in a mental hospital run by an occult-obsessed psychiatrist with a determination to open the gates to hell and the whole nightmare starts all over again. Not too bad a film as far as sequels go. Definatelly a work of art compared to the following chapters. Only this film was butchered by the MPAA on its theatrical release and lost a lot of its well deserved respect. THE DVD: Both films are THX certified which delivers clear enough picture and a beautifully haunting 5.1 Dolby track, and are presented in their original 1.85:1 widescreen format and a 4:3 fullscreen presentation. Both DVDs feature the original theatrical trailer, a picture gallery, a commentary track and a doco on each film. Both documentaries are entertaining and informative, but the one for Hellraier, "Resurrection", is much longer and more enjoyable than the one for Hellraiser II, "Lost in the Labryinth". The only letdown of this wonderful treatment is the absence of a Deleted Scenes section, especially for Hellraiser II. The two infamous scenes of Pinhead and the Female cenobite dressed as doctors, and chatterer going through the process of his face undergoing disgusting changes are scenes that every fan is howling to see which is a real let down. Both discs come packaged in a limited edition tin which is a definate must for any cult horror collector. This edition also contains a 48 page booklet with rare, behind the scenes pictures from Hellraiser which is always delightfully ugly to look at. The only downside of the packaging is the way the discs were packaged. They are both in a standard 2-CD case which is terriblly unsatisfactory. But apart from one or two issues, its a fair enough edition which will be a well treasured collector's item in the near-future."