Horror Express, The Best in Horror Movie Reviews & News Contact Us News Our Forum Horror Movie Reviews Contact Us Horror Express Home Register  

Go Back   Horror Express Forum > Miscellaneous > Off-Topic Chat

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-29-2003, 11:41 PM   #1
chuk hell
Speaking Part
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 65
Default

This thread was inspired by John's musings on Hellraiser in the TODAY'S HORROR thread.

First let me say I've been a Clive Barker fan before the first HELLRAISER even came out. I like alot of the man's work but I really dig the whole HELLRAISER mythos.


The first film was a good little low budget 80s horror flick with a wicked kinky twist. The film is seriously flawed...I'll be the first to admit. It's supposed to be set in England but only some of the characters have English accents. Barker's first time behind the camera is ham-fisted at best. The special effects are pretty cheesy even by 80s standards. But something in this film really sticks with you. Maybe the way pain is depicted in an almost erotic way. Then there's the cenobites themselves. They are fuck'n hot! Those leather outfits and all those body modifications*. Way ahead of their time in fashion trends me thinks. And all those chains and fishhooks!

The first sequel HELLBOUND did a good job expanding on the mythos. It showed us hell itself and introduced us to Leviathan, the master of the labyrinth. It also showed us that the cenobites were once humans...not demonic non-human entities.

It was around this time that the HELLRAISER comics came out. These were anthology comics where different artists and writers created stories within the HELLRAISER mythos. Many were very far removed from the movies. We learned there were many cenobites, in many shapes and sizes, not just the familiar gang of 4. We also found out that the puzzle box has a name: The Lament Configuration or LeMarchand's Box.

The 3rd movie HELL ON EARTH was, for me, a disappointment. There were too many of the "rules" broken ( cenobites with hair? WTF? ) and what happened to Butterball, The Chatterer and The Female? While it had better production values than the first 2 films parts of it were downright campy.n They tried to make another "Freddie Kruger" out of Pinhead and to me this really cheapened things. My least favorite of the 5 I've seen.

The 4th one, BLOODLINE, held great promise I thought. The story idea is much more like the comics and was in a way an origin story, telling us how "the box" came to be. Alas, the film ended up as quite a debacle, even sporting an "Alan Smithee" diretorial credit. What a pity. I'd love to be able to re-edit this one mysself and make some sense out of it because I think it's a great story.


This brings us to the 5th installment: INFERNO. I had read wretched reviews of this and almost didn't see it at all until I picked up the dvd for under ten bucks. I was quite peasantly surprised. Instead of trying to again use the same formula as the first 4 films the producers took a cue from the comics and made a dark, almost film noir ( ultra noir? ) movie about a police detective's personal damnation that just happened to take place in the HELLRAISER universe. Here Pinhead is reduced to a mere cameo role but the film is better off for it. A refreshing change of direction.


I haven't seen the 6th installment HELLSEEKER but I've heard semi-good things. There is also a 7th installment in the works.


So here we have a franchise that has been re-worked with some new ideas and given new life. At least that's how I see it.

So what are your thoughts on this unique film series that is HELLRAISER?


*Barker said his original designs for the cenobites was heavily influenced by his friend Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson ( of Throbbing Gristle and later COIL) who showed him copies of PFIQ of Piercing Fan's International Quarterly. Interestingly enough, COIL did the original soundtrack for Hellraiser, rejected by the studio. I've heard it and it's quite good and creepy.
__________________
.....it's just like Death eat'n a cracker.....
chuk hell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2003, 02:30 PM   #2
JohnShaft
Administrator
 
JohnShaft's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: North-East England
Posts: 2,396
Default

Excellent post Chuk, thanks for starting it.

I must say I echo a lot of your thoughts on the entire HELLRAISER franchise.

My interest in HELLRAISER (and Clive Barker) began in the late 80's when I heard about a great new horror movie called HELLRAISER.
I hadn't watched much horror since the early 80's but after what I heard about it I just had to see it for myself.
As soon as the Cenobites made their first appearance on screen I was captivated. It was unlike anything I had seen up to that point.
Barker's demonic vision ditched the traditional horns and red skin in favour of the truly nightmarish and fantastic.
Considering it was relatively low budget and also Barker's full length directorial debut I think Hellraiser is a superb film, every bit as important as NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. It just never suceeded in finding much of a following outside of horror fans.

After seeing the movie I got my hands on Barker's BOOKS OF BLOOD. The first story MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN, was simple, and yet powerful and wonderfully written. Wow, I thought, this guy has some fucking talent. I then proceeded to read every one of his books, up until recently (now that he seems to have left horror far behind).

HELLBOUND I saw on it's first showing at my local cinema. A friend and I, and a couple of others were the only viewers.
I still rate HELLBOUND on a par with HELLRAISER, in some ways I think it is superior. I love all the origin story of Pinhead and the Cenobites.

HELL ON EARTH was a *HUGE* dissapointment to me. The new Cenobites were terrible, both in execution and conception. I mean, a camera man is made into a Cenobite with a Camera lens in place of one eye. Utterly fucking unimaginative.
HOE suceeded in doing a whole lot of damage to the HELLRAISER Franchise, and Barkers vision, in my opinion.

BLOODLINE was, overall, equally as bad. It at least made a try with the story of the Lament Configuration. But the plus of it's early story was negated by the decision to take it into Space. Please. Enough already.

INFERNO while not a great film was, for me, superior to III and IV. But while the idea of redemption, damnation and our own personal hell was HELLRAISER Mythos-like, it suffered due to a severe lack of Pinhead, or any other Cenobites. A brave idea, and ending, but still not up to the standard of either of the first two movies. It just didn't feel HELLRAISER enough for me.

I've yet to see HELLSEEKER and Scott had a few good things to say about it. Which is saying something after the previous movies.

DEADER is due for release some time this year. Based on a script converted to the HELLRAISER Mythos, which already puts me in mind of an INFERNO-like film.

I'm loathe to admit that I think the HELLRAISER Franchise has seen it's best days. I cannot see it producing any quality works in the future. There's plenty of imaginative Horror being produced lately, Session 9 and Frailty, amongst others.
What HELLRAISER needs to do is re-invent itself or it will keep spinning it's wheels, sinking further and further into the mud.

The only way I see a significant change is if Barker himself decides to write and direct another movie.
I cannot see that happening.
I can, but hope.
JohnShaft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2003, 07:21 PM   #3
Paul Chenault
Extra
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11
Default

I actually like the direction. It's similiar to how the Lament Configuration (the Box) works... It's a puzzle and the newer films are just that. It's a puzzle, a modern day giallo in some ways...
Paul Chenault is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2003, 02:59 AM   #4
chuk hell
Speaking Part
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 65
Default

Have you read any of the comics, John?

I think the reason I liked INFERNO so much was that it was very much like a story from the comics, where the cenobites sometimes play smaller roles.

I obviously agree with your views of HELL ON EARTH.

BLOODLINE did seem to hold the most promise, both as being an "origin story" about the box and being more literary somehow. I wonder how it would have turned out if the director hadn't walked off the set.
__________________
.....it's just like Death eat'n a cracker.....
chuk hell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2003, 08:49 PM   #5
JohnShaft
Administrator
 
JohnShaft's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: North-East England
Posts: 2,396
Default

Actually Chuk I haven't read any Hellraiser comics.
Comics of any description are pretty rare over here. We don't have the Comic culture that the US and Japan has, which is a shame really.

INFERNO was refreshing in a number of ways but to me it just didn't feel like a Hellraiser movie. I believe HELLRAISER: DEADER was adapted from a movie script that had nothing to do with Hellraiser.
That is exactly what INFERNO seems like. It has the style of the HR Mythos, but not the substance.

This has actually reminded me I've got to make an effort to see HELLSEEKER. Have you caught that one yet?
JohnShaft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2003, 01:42 AM   #6
chuk hell
Speaking Part
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 65
Default

I haven't seen Hellseeker; I'm waiting for the price to drop or to find a used copy. I'm a cheap bastard and when you buy as many dvds as I do you have to be a bargin hunter. It will be mine though!

I've heard halfway decent things from the review on dvdfile, who aren't really known for their love of genre stuff so I am encouraged.

Sorry to hear it's hard to find comics in the UK. That's strange considering Allen Moore, one of my very favorite comic writers, is English!

If you come across the Hellraiser comics ( I think they have been reprinted) do yourself a favor and get some of them! I think my familerarity with them made me appreciate INFERNO much more.
__________________
.....it's just like Death eat'n a cracker.....
chuk hell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2003, 09:35 PM   #7
JohnShaft
Administrator
 
JohnShaft's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: North-East England
Posts: 2,396
Default

Quote:
Originally posted by chuk hell@Aug 22 2003, 07:42 AM
Sorry to hear it's hard to find comics in the UK. That's strange considering Allen Moore, one of my very favorite comic writers, is English!
I know it is weird over here.

Not that I know a lot about Comic Culture, but doesn't the U.K. have a *number* of very talented artists/writers?
And yet you would be a pariah over here if you were known to read comics much after your teens.

Watching crap reality TV shows like Pop Idol/Big Brother is almost mandatory. But anything that requires a bit of imagination is shunned. In fact I'm beginning to think having any intelligence or independent thought will soon be punished by death or imprisonment.
I feel like Harrison Bergeron all the time.
What a backward conformist culture we have here in Britain.

OK, I'll get down off my soapbox now Officer.
JohnShaft is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Looking to buy Hellraiser title Leatherhead Trade/Buy/Sell 0 03-03-2008 02:22 AM
Is getting ready to sell His entire Hellraiser comic collection Highwaymen Trade/Buy/Sell 0 11-21-2007 08:51 PM
Oh, Hell! Here Comes HELLRAISER! Jonathan Stryker Horror News 3 05-13-2007 08:13 AM
What?! A HELLRAISER Television Series?! DevilMan Horror News 16 01-03-2005 09:45 PM
REVIEW - Hellraiser: Hellseeker [2002] Scott W. Davis Reviews 2 01-08-2003 03:20 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:44 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.