What is your pleasure, sir?
A mysterious character with dirty finger nails slides a puzzle box across the table in exchange for a filthy pile of cash.
An iconic and apt opening for Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, a film that would welcome a new breed of horror, some incest and a new, disturbing look at hell and its minions.
I’ve bought Hellraiser on almost every format, and on a variety of box sets and editions over the many years. I have re-watched it at least once a year during my life. Hellraiser is a film that constantly delivers on it’s macabre, uniformed terrors.
Arrow Video’s latest Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II are the best releases of the titles yet. From their packaging to their special features this is an absolute essential for Hellraiser lovers.
The synopsis for both chapters breaks down like this for the uninitiated:
Based on his own novella The Hellbound Heart, Barker’s Hellraiser sees Larry (Andrew Robinson) and his wife Julia (Clare Higgins) move into their new home, unaware that something evil lurks beneath the floorboards of the dilapidated house – something that wants human blood… Introducing the world to the iconic Pinhead and his sadistic band of Cenobites, Hellraiser became an instant genre classic upon release and remains one of the most frighteningly original visions in horror.
Picking up right where Hellraiser left off, Hellbound: Hellraiser II expands upon the terrifying universe created in Clive Barker’s original film – taking the story into the very depths of Hell itself. Having escaped the clutches of Pinhead and the demonic Cenobites, Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence) awakens to finds herself detained at the Channard Institute, a hospital for the mentally ill. But her torments are far from over – the chief doctor at the institute is determined to unleash the powers of Hell to achieve his own twisted ends. Hellbound: Hellraiser II is one of the most celebrated horror sequels of all time, offering a vision that is both more gruesome and fantastical than its predecessor.
Both films look and sound wonderful with a brand new 2K restoration approved by Robin Vidgeon, DP of both films.
Each comes with a ton of special features with a focus on ‘Soundtrack Hell,’ which goes into details on the abandoned Coil score by Stephen Thrower. In addition, ‘Being Frank’ features a great interview with Sean Chapman, who played Uncle Frank in the film.
Also, included is the documentary ‘Leviathan: The Story of Hellbound: Hellraiser II’ a deep dive into the the dark magic that went into making the films.
Honestly, it was the Gilles Vranckx cover art that won my heart and wallet over to purchasing these two. Each cover is amazing, with an emphasis on the cover for Hellbound: Hellraiser II.
Both titles can be found over at MVD Entertainment Group’s page.