Hellraiser – UK, USA, 1987


‘Demon to some. Angel to others.’

Hellraiser – also known as Clive Barker’s Hellraiser – is a 1987 British horror film written and directed by Clive Barker (Nightbreed; Lord of Illusions), based upon his own novella, The Hellbound Heart.

The film spawned a series of sequels and continues to be a franchise.

Somewhere in Morocco, Frank Cotton (Sean Chapman) buys an antique puzzle box from a dealer.

Back in the attic of his house in North London, Frank solves the puzzle box, prompting hooked chains to emerge from it and tear deep into his flesh. Black robed, horribly mutilated humanoids appear and attack Frank with hooked chains, tearing him into pieces. Their leader Pinhead (Doug Bradley), picks up the box and twists it back into its original state, taking Frank’s dissected physical remnants back to their realm with them and restoring the room to normal.

Sometime later, Frank’s brother Larry (Andrew Robinson) arrives at the house along with his second wife, Julia (Clare Higgins), who previously had an affair with Frank. The pair know Frank as an avowed hedonist and petty criminal, and, presuming that he is in jail in some exotic location, decide to move in.

Larry’s teenage daughter, Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence), chooses not to live with her stepmother and moves into her own place. While moving into the house, Larry cuts his hand on a nail, and drips blood on the attic floor. The blood somehow reaches Frank in his prison in the humanoids’ realm, partially restoring his body and allowing him to escape to the attic…

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Reviews [click links to read more]:

” …Hellraiser is a return to the cutting edge of horror, and in its inventively gruesome moments – Chapman turned inside-out – by creaking millworks, his face put together on the floor like a jigsaw puzzle, the skinned monster lighting up a cigarette, is a reminder of the Grand Guignol intensity which was so unfashionable at the time of its release.” The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror

“Barker’s dazzling debut as a director creates such an atmosphere of dread that the astonishing visual set pieces simply detonate in a chain reaction of cumulative intensity. His use of the traditional ‘teenage screamer’ heroine (Larry’s daughter) tends to undercut the unsettling moral ambiguities of the adult triangle, and the brooding menace of the Cenobites is far more terrifying than the climatic rollercoaster ride.  These are small quibbles, however, in a debut of such exceptional promise.” Nigel Floyd, The Time Out Film Guide

“Looking every bit like what it is — a low-budget horror movie made in 1987 — the original Hellraiser is clearly ambitious, that much it can lay claim to. Unfortunately the budget and resources aren’t there to transform Barker’s ideas into celluloid, and the result is a film that drags for most of its first hour and makes very little sense when all is said and done.” BeyondHollywood.com

On October 6, 2017, Lakeshore Records reissued the Hellraiser soundtrack by Christopher Young as a 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition vinyl release, remastered from the original 24 track, 2 inch analog master session tapes.

The single LP gatefold release includes digitally restored original artwork and photography from the film’s archives. Furthermore, the disc sleeve features the long lost original theatrical sales sheet.

The record itself is 140g multi-coloured translucent red with black smoke vinyl.

Buy vinyl soundtrack: Amazon.com

Filming locations:

Dollis Hill, North London


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Production poster image courtesy of Stephenjoneseditor.com


Buy mouse mat: Amazon.co.uk


Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth

Hellraiser: Hellseeker

Hellraiser: Deader

Hellraiser: Hellworld

Hellraiser: Revelations

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