Monday, December 10, 2012

Decided to go see Hellraiser on the big screen ...

Frank Cotton the real main badguy in Hellraiser.
The Bell TIFF Lightbox in Toronto is showing a series of films under the title Birth of the Villain for the past few weeks. The series is showing the first flick in different horror franchises.
Anyway I decided to gather up a few of my pals and take in Hellraiser, a movie none of us had seen in around 20 years and none of us remembered what we thought of it. One of us was pretty sure she didn't like it and two of us had recently watched Hellraiser: Bloodlines, independently and thought it was terrible.
Anyway, if you haven't been to the Lightbox, it seems kinda classy inside so it really felt like a weird venue to see Hellraiser. And it was. The audience, for the most part, seemed to be treating the flick more like it was some kind of important film then a movie about a reanimated pervert trying to score with his brothers unfaithful wife, having her lore people to his attic hideout so he can kill them to use their blood to grow a new body and hiding from sado-masochistic puzzlebox mascots. It was a much more entertaining movie than I remembered it being.
My pals and I were all surprised by how little screen time was devoted to Pinhead and his pals. The flick's really about the pervert Frank Cotton.The makeup and puppet effects for Frank were really great. Real slimy, and gross looking. There's also a hilarious scorpion tailed thing from another dimension and the best surprise a skeleton dragon! That's right, you may not remember it but there is a skeleton dragon in Hellraiser. With all those things in this movie why did they bother with the cenobites? Especially Butterball. I want more movies featuring Frank and the other monsters.
This trailer really makes it look like a different movie:

Contrary to this trailer Hellraiser's really, really goofy. It tries really hard to be deep and artistic, and it succeeds in that way high school art and drama kids do. The scene where the husband is trying to move a mattress up stairs while his wife remembers an indiscretion with is brother or the scene where something terrible is about to happen to a character and they cut to a screaming monkey or the nurse watching flowers bloom on a TV while a character recovers from a black out are a few of the highlights. But by far the best thing about Hellraiser is the final scene. We discussed what happened the entire trip home. I won't spoil it here if you haven't seen it yet. Wow! what an ending.
Also the Cenobites seem pretty easy to get rid of, either close the puzzlebox (gets rid of scorpion tailed transdimensional things too) or hit them with big chunks of wood (Butterball the least frightening of the four Cenobites in this one). Also how come the girl Cenobite doesn't get a "cool" name? Pinhead, Chatterer, Butterball and Female Cenobite, lazy.

Next week they're showing Phantasm, I need to see that on the big screen. Phantasm's one of my favorite horror franchises.


  1. Only the Evil Dead (and TCM) holds up in terror and cinematic quality because it is real. Ask Bruce Campbell.

    1. Of those 3 flicks (hellraiser, TCM and ED) I only like Evil Dead. Hellraiser's really funny, Chainsaw's really boring. That seems to anger many people. Of course Evil Dead would be scarier if it had a better budget and professional actors. But I still like it.

  2. Nice piece, Andrew!

    I always thought it was strange that the "Female Cenobite" didn't get a cool name too. I believe the first female cenobite to received any sort of credit was Angelique from Bloodlines. S'funny to look back and see how much Hellraiser has aged - still a great film - but funny.

    1. yeah, watching it again I liked it more but I still don't really get the crazy love the series gets. Angelique wasn't really a cenobite though, I thought she was just some kinda demon.


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