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Friday, September 03, 2004

Hellraiser

In 1987 horror fans were treated to a great horror movie titled “Hellraiser”. Clive Barker's directing debut! This is a very graphic tale about a puzzle box and its connection to the nether regions of Hell. Filled with bloody scenes and sexual situations, fans of the horror movies can enjoy a break from the slasher flicks that populate the genre. There is no killer here chasing innocent teens through the woods, just some nasty yet fascinating characters from Hell called Cenobites “Demons to some. Angels to others.” This film also contains some great quotes that I cannot help but sprinkle throughout this review.

Based on Barker’s own novella titled The Hellbound Heart, this story comes to frightening life with the spectacular special effects. The pale skin color, the nails that have been driven into his head and the leather costume only Beelzebub could love, make the lead Cenobite "Pinhead” (Doug Bradley) a ghastly addition to the nightmares of viewers. “Pinhead” is now a classic monster movie character, but when his face first appeared on the screen, it chilled us to the bone! The other Cenobites have equally horrific features such as a woman with a gaping hole in her throat, a thin creature with his edges of his mouth eaten far away exposing his chattering teeth, and a heavyweight man with his eyes sewn shut. The plot is about a man named Frank (Sean Chapman) who buys a puzzle box in search of the ultimate sensual experience. The now classic phrase “What’s your pleasure, sir?” is spoken by the shady man who sells him the box. What Frank finds instead is a trip to Hell beyond all pleasure and pain thanks to the Cenobites, who respond whenever the box is solved.

Frank escapes the grip of Hell thanks to a splash of blood. This drop of blood seeps into the floorboards and begins to revive Frank’s shriveled up heart, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but who cares, the special effects are amazing!! The raw muscles and tendons form as blood churns and a body begins to regain form. To facilitate this process, Frank depends on his previous lover Julia (Claire Higgins) bringing victims to the house to be killed. A very twisted love story to say the least.

Enter Kirsty (Ashley Laurence in her movie debut), the protagonist of this story and our heroine throughout the series. Well I won’t tell you the whole movie but when she accidentally opens the puzzle box, ‘you-know-who’ will be coming for her. “We have such sights to show you” One of the best gory films I have ever seen, where else where you see man ripped apart by hooks on the ends of chains? “Jesus Wept”

The rest of the Hellraiser saga that now has 8 movies, leans heavy on what is presented here in what I consider the best of the series. Now the overall acting was not spectacular, but done well enough to carry the story. One last quote, “No tears, please. It's a waste of good suffering.” If you haven’t seen this one yet, turn down the lights and get ready for a gore-rific film!!

  • Today's Cure song is "A Few Hours After This" from the Join The Dots: B-Sides and Rarities Collection - (2004) An B-side track from 1985. This orchestral tune was the b-side for "Inbetween Days". Robert seems to be shouting a few of the lyrics but I like that it gives the song a feeling of anguish inherant to the words.

"Just put your hands around my heart and squeeze me until I'm dry. I never thought you'd ever start to ever ask me why. I never saw you again "

CJ

2 Comments:

Blogger nicole said...

I had no idea that there were 8 movies in the Hellraiser series. Dang! That's a lot of flake blood. ;)

Friday, September 03, 2004 7:30:00 PM  
Blogger Strange Conversation said...

Excellent review - check out my top 10 horror films from the 1980s, I've included Hellraiser at No. 9!

http://filmjournal.net/danielstephens/2007/05/07/top-10-horror-films-of-the-1980s/

Monday, May 07, 2007 10:07:00 AM  

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