Friday Fright Club: Hellraiser

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Welcome back to another edition of Friday Fright Club! While I know I’ve been missed, I bring you a gift today in the form of Hellraiser, one of the most definitive and terrifying films during the 80’s wave of horror.

Master of the macabre, Clive Barker, has been making it a career to scare the pants off anyone reading his books or watching his films for a good few decades now, but while he has made less of an impact on the film front over the last few years, horror fans still watch and savour this particular 1987 blood fest… so famous, it even inspires quite a few nods in Cabin in the Woods!

As I’ve mentioned before, the 80’s were a particularly vicious time in film. Body horror was rife, but in less a fashion than we get these days with films like Saw, or the Human Centipede. 80’s horror flicks saw less human on human horror, rather opting for science of the supernatural to exact terrors on their unsuspecting victims and this was definitely the case in Hellraiser. For those of you not familiar with the film, it deals with a man named Frank who buys a puzzle box from a mysterious street vendor, only to unleash terrifying, mutilated, leather-clad creatures who torture him horrifically … and that is just the beginning. Frank finds a way to escape from his Cenobite torturers, as they are called, but when he receives help from an old flame things start to get really, really bloody. The Cenobites are led by a creature called Pinhead, and while it is no mystery how he received his name, he goes on to explain that the Cenobites are neither angels nor demons…they just revel in violence to such an extent that they can’t distinguish it from pleasure.

Yeah, that sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? While it feels a little bit more dated than watching The Thing, it is definitely a horror classic and it spawned a series of sequels, some as recent as 2011. A remake is also scheduled for 2013 but it seems to be stuck in production limbo, unfortunately.

If you aren’t a fan of gore this might not be the one for you, but Hellraiser seems to revel in its extreme violent and sadomasochistic nature so joyfully, it really manages to draw you in as the plot progresses.

Hellraiser is another must-watch for horror fans, so if you haven’t seen it you know what to do! Just remember, the safety word is “banana”.

Last Updated: April 12, 2013

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