Yet more Hell to raise…Hellraiser- Judgment trailer

There seemed to be some big problems with the release of this latest new Hellraiser sequel. The whole film had been made and finished many months ago but it has been sitting waiting for some distributor to give it a chance. The director is Gary J. Tunnicliffe who has been a special effects creator on several previous Hellraiser films as well as scripting the last sequel.

Before any images from this new film came to the public, Tunnicliffe had been increasingly vocal about his personal vision for this new sequel, hoping to make something very much connected to the original world of Hellraiser, and including familiar Cenobites. One major issue here was that like the previous sequel, original modern horror monster icon Doug Bradley would not be playing the lead Cenobite Pinhead. The previous sequel Hellraiser: Revelations-which does not yet seem to even have had a UK dvd release-used an almost unknown actor to portray the famous ‘Pope of Hell’ and many fans were enraged by this. It was very similar to a few years ago when Jackie Earle Haley replaced Robert Englund as Freddy Krugger in the A Nightmare on Elmstreet remake. That film really didn’t go down well with long-time fans and the Hellraiser franchise is experiencing similar friction. But with Englund and Doug Bradley both while very great actors, also getting older in years; if we want more sequels or to see the iconic characters on screen we probably require new younger actors. But how many sequels does a movie need?

There have been over half a dozen sequels in the Hellraiser film series now. The first produced by the multi-talented writer/artist Clive Barker whom created the idea in the beginning. The third movie went very American, but had some interesting backstory. The forth film was possibly too much of a challenge on too small a budget but fascinating. Since then the other sequels have been mostly hit-and-miss, and it has been noting that some were made from rewritten old unknown horror scripts collecting dust in Hollywood. Will this new sequel be the one to really reinvigorate the series?

How much is left to say in the world of Hellrasier, how many more tales to explore?

Well in comicbook form, Hellraiser has been doing great things over the past decade or so with help from Barker and others. The difference there being that in comics visually there are no budget issues, you can see and depict whatever comes to mind and also they are probably less likely to be so censored as films.

Hellraiser:Judgment is release on dvd/Bluray in under a month in the U.S., no UK release date as yet. The trailer does look like the film has had some very focused and devoted effort and attention put into it being something worth seeing I think. Plus the new actor to play Pinhead (Paul T. Taylor) does actually really look the part.

 

James E. Parsons is author of two SF books- Orbital Kin & Minerva Century, available now as paperback/ebook/hardback in shops and online internationally. His first horror novel Northern Souls is available now (under James Parsons).

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REVIEW:HELLRAISER-REVELATIONS

Right, I have watched the very latest sequel in the franchise that many might have prefered to have died off a very long time back now. Some of you might not even be aware of this new addition in the series, other might have already heard terrible things about it.

In the past decade or more there have been a number of weak sequels to the HELLRAISER movies, many known to be just spec scripts with PINHEAD thrown in somewhere, thus making it a HELLRAISER film. Fast and cheap, ready for the loyal fanbase who will garuanteed still want to see something with the name on it.

Well a couple of those previous sequels were not so bad at times I believe, HELLRAISER:INFERNO AND HELLSEEKER being quite good. This latest though, already some are touting as the worse in a long time.

One of the main shocking controversies is the hiring of a new unknown actor in the role of PINHEAD.

So then, the movie itself does come back down to basics, again. Very likely due to minimal budget, it also has only a few locations but that does not immediately make a film bad. It follows two young friends who drive over the American boarder to Mexico, and looking for a good time, things go badly wrong soon enough. This is revealed to us from their hand-held camera footage, as flashbacks throughout the film. In the present, their friends and families are worried as the young men have dissapeared. There are secrets and tensions between them all, and then one of the you men returns…

I do actually think it honestly is a reasonably good effort, and is arguably better than some of the previous sequels quite significantly. Yes, it has a low budget once more, but they use it well, and they movie revolves around the characters, and basic situation, utilising drama and fear well. It is more bloody, gory and darkly terrifying than other sequels, and seems much more like a true whole horror movie because of that.

With the drama and revelations in the tale, and much of the gore, it does quite obviously resemble the very first movie and second in a number of ways, and this is simply a good result.

Do not take the warning to strongly in the negative reviews so far-this new HELLRAISER sequel is worth seeing, and might prove that there could still be life in the evil little franchise with PINHEAD for a while yet.

And yes, the new PINHEAD himself-who could dare to follow the amazing DOUG BRADLEY? This younger brave actor does put in a credible performance. Not perfect for sure, could have been more restrained, menacing, but he served the part in an surprisingly entertaining movie.

NIGHTBREED: THE MYTH OF THE MOVIE…

This post here involves a very special older classic but often currently undervalued or even unknown film from the early ninties. Was it horror? Was it fantasy? Too horrific or too much fantasy, some how the movie NIGHTBREED, directed by horror and genre legend CLIVE BARKER and adapted from his own novella only written shortly before CABAL, the movie had a fairly large budget after his worldwide success with HELLRAISER also directed by BARKER and inspired by another of his own novellas.

The movie of NIGHTBREED was considerably epic in scale, a sort of nightmare tale of a young reckless man called BOON seeking help for his troubled dreams and visions. His doctor is not what he seems, and when BOON is driven over the edge and framed for the murders he knows about, he runs and finds refuge in a mysterious place hidden below a cemetary know as Midian. There all manner of outlandish monsters and creatures live, and he finds that there is a unique connected between himself and the ones who help him there…

There are many different tales of how troubled the film was, and ultimately why it really did not success any where like it was hope that it might. As it was created by CLIVE BARKER, he is known to be a writer/artist who though initially begining as a horror writer and theatre director, went on to ignore genre boundaries. NIGHTBREED like the book CABAL, is definately no straight forward horror or fantasy story, and because of this, the film distributors and money people had no real idea of how to sell or market it.

The film apparently was then re-edited against the will of BARKER, as they tried to market it as a plain simple slasher movie, with the trailer really emphasizing this. The film was totally misunderstood, ignored and disappeared tragically. But over the years, as CLIVE BARKER has such a loyal following of his other work including the HELLRAISER movies, CANDYMAN films, his many books and short fiction, many came to see the only avilable version released and still grow fond of that, the strong characters and vision still there in places to tempt us.

As time has passed, over the years since, many tales have spread, often from CLIVE and others involved with the film, about the dissapointment with the resulting movie, but also curiously that there was a much longer original cut of the movie filmed by CLIVE. Some even believed that it was to be found somewhere, somehow.

There have been discussions at various times as to who has this mythical full director’s cut of NIGHTBREED, or if it really still exists at all. CLIVE then himself stated at numerous times that the studios did have at least half an hour of footage which he has been trying to get from the for around half a decade now. At the least, he was trying to persuade the studios to release a director’s cut dvd, but they argued that there was not the demand or audience for it.

What fools they are.

Well, now in 2012, there have been more surprise announcements around NIGHTBREED-there have been much longer versions of the film screened at small festivals around America. There are questions about what versions of the films these are, if they really are cuts of NIGHTBREED, or edited together parts. CLIVE seems to say that some versions might actually involved extra footage filmed around the sets not part of the film, but now included. DOUG BRADLEY, who is known as PINHEAD, also played LYLESBURG in NIGHTBREED and seems to have rerecorded voice parts on a new cut.

The fans who do keep track of the information of this mythical horror/fantasy classic, are now begining to get that bit much more excited with these small reoccuring bites of news. Could we finally, at last actually see a full amazing director’s cut of what already is a highly unique facinating film?

Perhaps in a short while, the beasts will be unleashed, BOON will lead them all once more, and we will all see the NIGHTBREED just how CLIVE BARKER originally intended.

Hey, and maybe all of us fans internationally could build up support and make it known that this movie should get a respectful full cut release.