Even if you know me or don't know me...you probably do not know that 10% of my personality is sadistic. Oh come on everybody has a dark side and everyone is curious every once in awhile which is how I came to enjoy horror films and novels. I think it is because of this fascination with horror that I have a perspective different from others I know because only 10% of me takes horror to its true dark place and enjoys it without letting it overly influence me. It's all about pleasure and pain...which is basically what Hellraiser is all about.
So What Is The Plot?
In some foreign country, Frank Cotton is about to discover that the intricate Chinese puzzle box he has purchased is about to lead him to a world he didn't expect. Frank is a hedonistic bad boy who has exhausted every carnal pleasure known to man but solving the puzzle box is said to bring him to a new world filled with even more until hooked chains emerge and rip into his flesh. He's stumbled on another world ruled by the Cenobites, beings who bring about pleasure through pain by extreme, sadomasochistic torture. Frank's now dissected body is taken by the Cenobites from the attic of his London home and that is all we see...of Frank for now...
Months later, Frank's brother Larry and his sister-in-law Julia decide to live in Frank's home as he has apparently either gone to jail or is in another country. Being in the house reminds Julia of the affair she and Frank shared before her marriage to Larry...something that is not lost on Larry's daughter from his first marriage, Kirsty.
Kirsty Cotton lives in her own apartment because she does not wish to live with her stepmother Julia but she is there to help them move in the home which goes smoothly until Larry cuts his hand while moving a mattress upstairs. The blood seeps into the floor...and a skinless human form seems to regenerate from it.
Later that night Julia finds Frank in the attic, Larry's blood has brought him back from the Cenobites' dimension but not completely whole. Frank needs blood and organs of the living to fully regenerate himself and he must do so before the Cenobites discover that he has escaped. Frank tells Julia she most go and get him bodies to become whole once more and in order to rekindle their torrid affair, Julia agrees to kill for him. It seems as if the malevolent couple might just get away with it but Kirsty spots Julia with a man and believing that Julia is cheating on her father once again goes to get answers. Instead our teenage heroine stumbles on the man almost dead and that Frank is this inhuman thing of organs, tissues and muscle. She wrangles the puzzle box from him and runs off but the shock catches up to her and she passes out.
Waking in the hospital clutching the puzzle box, Kirsty soon solves it and summons the Cenobites into our world and they are ready to take her back with them. Kirsty lets the lead Cenobite know that Frank has escaped them and she barters a trade: giving Frank back to them in order to spare herself. A deal is struck but will the Cenobites obey their bargain with Kirsty? Will Frank and Julia get away with their wicked deeds or can making a deal with something worse than the devil be able to stop them?
Clive Barker has a very interesting taste when it comes to horror that it is almost an acquired taste like how some people like wine or beer but not both. As a master of horror, Barker is a craftsman who strives to make sure his vision is seen and he brings his novel, The Hellbound Heart, to life as Hellraiser.
Now the themes of the movie are not what make me enjoy Hellraiser. When it comes to horror, I am more of a gore hound and there is plenty of gore to go around! Also, acting is another plus in this movie because all of the characters are brought to screen life by their actors. Sean Chapman is great as bad boy, deliciously hedonistic Frank and Claire Higgins is a wicked Julia with her 80s eyeshadow and predatory shoulder pads. I love Ashley Laurence as Kirsty Cotton, she is the ultimate 80s horror heroine in my book! Ashley is beautiful and kick ass as she spends most of her time just running around in a long, white cotton night shirt which one year I will wear as my Halloween costume with my hair all permed and teased out!
Of course, you have to mention that lead Cenobite known to us as horror icon Pinhead! Doug Bradley portrayed Pinhead eight times in the Hellraiser movie franchise and according to Clive Barker...women want him to father their children. A lot of people think that evil is sexy and for a lot of people S&M is a turn on so I guess Pinhead could be considered sexy in a way. Pinhead would not have been brought to life with out mutual input from Barker and Bradley in creating him and it is a shame that we may never see Pinhead in his glory onscreen ever again.
So if you have seen Hellraiser, I have praised its awesomeness enough and if you have not seen Hellraiser I can guarantee that it will not bring you any pain but plenty of horror pleasure.
Next Blog: because it is my take on...The Omen