If you ever find yourself in 1992 and want to terrify an eight year old child, just introduce him/her to Pinhead. Doesn't have to be the movie; even those trading cards will do. The VHS box did it to me. Hellraiser, along with Ghoulies, Silent Night Deadly Night, and Condorman, had one of the most memorable posters of my childhood. Even though that pincushion face was seared into my brain almost two decade ago, I never watched Hellraiser...that is...until tonight!
Watching Hellraiser in my formative years wouldn't have scarred me. But that's only because I wouldn't have understood what was going on. Sure, the word "sex" might have become synonymous with flesh hooks and rodent slayings, but these days, if you haven't shoved a hook through your lover by 4th Grade Finals Week, then you're behind the curve.
This was Clive Barker's first feature film. He wrote the novel, adapted the screenplay, and directed the movie. He only cost a cool million and brought in twenty times that. After that major success, he flopped with Nightbreed, and had a minor success with Lord of Illusions. Known mostly for his writings, Barker is quoted by the World's Most Reliable Source, Wikipedia, as being "one of the leading authors of contemporary horror/fantasy." His story, "The Forbidden" served as the source material for Candyman, a film I want to watch this month.
The most horrific part of Hellraiser is watching this woman screw.
The plot is interesting enough and the blood and guts keep the pace up. Something I didn't realize was that the Cenobites weren't the main baddies, they served as more of a background group, the Sci-Fi Supremes, if you will. Their distinctive looks made them the most interesting part of Hellraiser which is probably why Pinhead showed up on everything from lunchboxes to bobbleheads.
But there's one thing that I noticed
about them, maybe you'll agree.
The Cenobites remind me of the Superman II villains + the live-action Koopa Troopas.