Of all the big time horror franchises, none have been dealt a worse hand over the years than Hellraiser. After a string of terrible sequels that saw Pinhead traveling to space and even starring in his own computer game, Dimension Films slapped together Hellraiser: Revelations in 2011 – a sequel that took the already low franchise to new lows. So bad was the script that Doug Bradley chose not to reprise the role he made so iconic, and so bad was the finished product that Hellraiser creator Clive Barker openly distanced himself from it by Tweeting that he had nothing to do with the movie. “If they claim it’s from the mind of Clive Barker,” he wrote, “it’s a lie.” “It’s not even from my butt-hole.”
The story behind Hellraiser: Revelations gives you a good idea of how little Dimension cared about doing anything worthwhile with the franchise. Story goes that they rushed the film into production in a matter of weeks, for the sole purpose of retaining the rights to the franchise, so that they could reboot it in the future. Essentially, if they didn’t make the movie, they would’ve lost the rights, and another studio would’ve been free to scoop them up. And that’s how a cinematic turd is born, folks.
The sad thing here is that Dimension had originally planned on remaking Hellraiser way back in 2006, which would’ve spared us all the existence of Revelations. A series of creative differences between the talent and the studio caused the project to fall into the dreaded development hell over the last several years – directors like Pascal Laugier (Martyrs) and Patrick Lussier (My Bloody Valentine 3D) dropping out after Dimension didn’t agree with the paths they wanted to take the franchise down.
All was quiet on the Hellraiser front for the last couple years, until Clive Barker shocked his Facebook followers last night with a status update that can only be described as music to the ears of horror fans – an update that was so mind-blowingly amazing that I found myself checking my calendar, and making sure it wasn’t April 1st. Fortunately, it wasn’t. Take it away, Clive!
HOT FROM HELL! My friends, I have some news which may be of interest to you. A few weeks ago I had a very productive meeting with Bob Weinstein of Dimension Pictures, in the course of which I pitched a remake of the first HELLRAISER film. The idea of my coming back to the original film and telling the story with a fresh intensity-honoring the structure and the designs from the first incarnation but hopefully creating an even darker and richer film-was attractive to Dimension. Today I have officially been invited to write the script based upon that pitch.What can I tell you about it? Well, it will not be a film awash with CGI. I remain as passionate about the power of practical make-up effects as I was when I wrote and directed the first HELLRAISER. Of course the best make-up in the world loses force if not inhabited by a first-rate actor. I told the Dimension team that in my opinion there could never be a Pinhead without Doug Bradley, and much to my delight Bob Weinstein agreed. So once the papers are signed, I will open a Lemarchand Configuration, dip my quill in its contents and start writing. I promise that there will be nowhere on the Internet where the news of my progress will be more reliable than here, because the only author of these reports will be Your Infernal Corespondent, me. My very best wishes to you all, my friends.
Yep, you read correctly. For the first time since the original film, Clive Barker is back in the saddle, and things are at long last looking up for Pinhead and the gang. Can I get an amen?!
To keep up to date with this most exciting of remakes, follow Clive Barker on Facebook. And we’ll of course be sure to share any new developments with you here on iHorror!