With the upcoming SE editions of Nightbreed and Lord Of Illusions, I've been in a very Clive Barker state of mind. In fact thanks to Scream Factory, we're also getting Candyman II Farewell To Flesh finally released on DVD as well. (You have no idea how long I've been looking for this movie) So tonight I decided to post about 10 reasons why I love the first three Hellraiser movies.
- After Craven, Carpenter, Cunningham, there came a second wave of directors that ushered in a new vision of horror for the late 80's and early 90's. This included such names like Mr. Sam Raimi and of course Clive Barker. Both men had Stephen King and his rave reviews of their first films that sky rocketed their careers. Clive Barker finally was able to show his true vision of storytelling with Hellraiser after he was unhappy with how Rawhead Rex came out. This being the only film out of 1,2, and 3 that he directed he set the bar very high making an instant gothic classic. With a memorable villain in the form of Pinhead, sickening gore, and of course a great haunting story Clive made the first out of the three films he directed in his career (Hellraiser, Nightbreed, and of course Lord Of Illusions.) An artist, storyteller, and master mind with horror he created some of the most original and scary monsters of all time.
- This is a terrible reference but I always loved how in the third season of Supernatural how Dean asks the demon Rudy what hell is like and she remarks how the film Hellraiser got it pretty close besides all the custom leather. The Hellraiser films show the opposite of what so many of us have envisioned as the stereotypical "Hell" with flames, fire, and the devil with horns and a tail. These films, mostly Hellbround show the most unsettling vision of Hell yet. It's the opposite of warmth, just cold darkness with nothing but suffering.
- I remember in a creative writing class I sorta rolled my eyes at my teacher when I tried to bring up the scene in Hellraiser II when the demons are revealed in their true human form and are murdered, trying to prove a point about how even the darkest demons and monsters have a soul. My teacher at the time seemed to brush over this example (too hard core for you hun?) but I still stick to my guns. What I love about Hellbound, and a little of Hellraiser III is the backstory behind these demons, showing that at one point they were all human at some point and simply lost their souls after all the pain and suffering. I love the scene at the end of Hellbound when Kirsty shows off the photograph of Cap. Spencer.
- The main villains of the first two Hellraiser movies aren't Pinhead but Julia and Frank. These are two sick and twisted people who would kill for pleasure. It kills me they didn't continue their storyline for the rest of the films. I love how fucked up these two are and how Julia resorts to murder to simply get laid. Love their showdown later in hell and of course those amazing effects with them skinless!
- Oh Mr. Parker. I may have fallen in love with you in Nightbreed, but underneath all that makeup you're actually a really handsome guy! (those eyebrows!) Oliver Parker, long before he was a director was an actor and friend of Clive Barker. He had two brief cameos in the first two Hellraiser movies, both playing moving men. In the first one he's one of the moving men who help bring in that famous mattress and later asks for a beer (it kills me they dubbed over his voice) and again in Hellbound is the very unlucky moving man who gets dragged into the bloody mattress causing that pillar to rise. My fantasy is to meet Oliver and gush over his bit parts in these movies like an idiot. Let's get him to some conventions people!
6) Cameo by Zach Galligan
- Why do I love Hellraiser III? Hum, well the first movie was directed by the master Clive Barker, the second Tony Randel (Amityville 1992), and finally the third and in my eyes the last of the series Anthony Hickcox (who directed my favorites Waxwork 1 & 2). Hickox brought his A game with this third installment as he did with Warlock 2 (he was the king of the 90's sequels) and of course had to use his leading man in a very brief cameo in the Boiler Room Club massacre. If you look VERY closely in the matter of two seconds you see a young guy in a white t-shirt get a pool stick impaired through his chest. Well, that's no other than my all time favorite actor Zach Galligan (Gremlins, Waxwork.) Zach and Hickcox had worked together several times and I've asked Zach about this cameo before and it was sorta a favor for Hickox while he was visiting on set. I find it a riot and had Zach sign a screenshot of him getting killed from the movie which is framed in my office. = No shame.
- You'll never feel like a true idiot until you pick composer Christopher Young from the airport and he asks if you like the Hellraiser movies and you sorta shrug because you're running on 3 hours of sleep = FML. Sorry Chris! No the truth is I do love these movies (the first three at least), and do admire the score. Like a beautiful gothic opera these films feel like an epic whenever the big bombing score begins.
- Like I said Clive Barker directed the first movie, Anthony Hickox did the third...Tony Randel directed the second film which is often debated to give the original a run for it's money. Randel returned to help write the screenplay for part III, but it was here with Hellbound that he really showed off his killer directing chops. I love Tony from his directing in Amityville 1992 It's About Time, but a few years before he made Hellbound which takes place instantly after part 1 and has some of the most memorable moments out of all three films.
- I roll my eyes whenever people start going off about strong final girls, or female leads (this is coming from a woman) I hate to say it but I rather see a movie with a final guy. It seems rare now a days, but the Hellraiser movies are some of the few that I actually really like the lead girls. (Kirsty, Tiffany, and Joey) Gorgeous strong woman going head to head with the demons. I loved the scene when Kirsty and Julia come face to face for the first time in part II and Julia just whacks her down. Boom, bitch went down.
- Soooooooo many people say that the Hellraiser movies are slasher movies (no, they aren't) these are movies about opening the doors to hell and what pleasure and pain you'll find. These aren'r psycho killers, these are demons...or angels if you ask different people. Like I said Barker, Randel, and Hickox created a haunting and wonderful world between two worlds. These are the only three films I urge anyone to check out in the series, and please for the love of God DON'T watch the other movies. You'll seriously want to set yourself on fire.