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Hellraiser [DVD] [1987]

4.3 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Sean Chapman, Oliver Smith
  • Directors: Clive Barker
  • Writers: Clive Barker
  • Producers: Christopher Figg, Christopher Webster, David Saunders, Mark Armstrong, Selwyn Roberts
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Cinema Club
  • DVD Release Date: 10 Sept. 2001
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005NWZA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,903 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Clive Barker's screen adaptation of his novella 'The Hellbound Heart'. Sexual profligate Frank Cotton opens a Chinese puzzle box and discovers the entrance to Hell, where the resident 'Cenobites' rip the flesh off him. When Frank's brother Larry and his wife move into Frank's house, a skeletal Frank appears to his sister-in-law and asks her to supply him with corpses for his regeneration.

From Amazon.co.uk

Having made his reputation as one of the most prolific and gifted horror writers of his generation (prompting Stephen King to call him "the future of horror"), Clive Barker made a natural transition to movies with this audacious directorial debut from 1987. Not only did Barker serve up a chilling tale of devilish originality, he also introduced new icons of horror that since have become as popular among genre connoisseurs as Frankenstein's monster and the Wolfman. Foremost among these frightful visions is the sadomasochistic demon affectionately named Pinhead (so named because his pale, bald head is a geometric pincushion and a symbol of eternal pain). Pinhead is the leader of the Cenobites, agents of evil who appear only when someone successfully "solves" the exotic puzzle box called the Lamont Configuration--a mysterious device that opens the door to Hell. The puzzle's latest victim is Frank (Sean Chapman), who now lives in a gelatinous skeletal state in an upstairs room of the British home just purchased by his newlywed half-brother (Andrew Robinson, best known as the villain from Dirty Harry), who has married one of Frank's former lovers (Claire Higgins). The latter is recruited to supply the cannibalistic Frank with fresh victims, enabling him to reconstitute his own flesh--but will Frank succeed in restoring himself completely? Will Pinhead continue to demonstrate the flesh-ripping pleasures of absolute agony? Your reaction to this description should tell you if you've got the stomach for Barker's film, which has since spawned a number of interesting but inferior sequels. It's definitely not for everyone, but there's no denying that it's become a semiclassic of modern horror. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 28 Nov. 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Hellraiser is an extreme horror lover's dream come true. Clive Barker's unique vision marked a virtual rebirth of the genre at a time when slasher sequels were the fun, yet predictable, norm. Although the premiere setting for viewing this movie is a crowded theater of screamers (and sick puppies like myself who find humor in gore), one can still achieve a quite satisfactory effect watching this movie alone in the dark. Some horror creators rely on blood and gore for its own sake, others rely on the story itself to produce the desired effect. Clive Barker is one of the few horror geniuses who can make copious amounts of gore an integral and necessary part of the story. Hellraiser can be deliciously gross, so those with weak stomachs should beware. It features rats; decayed, maggot-infested meat; and copious amounts of blood--and that's just the teaser. Later there are acts of cold-blooded murder, human dismemberment by arrays of chains, a partially formed, pus-dripping, oozing carcass, and then the incredible Cenobites themselves.
The movie at its simplest level is a retelling of a story that goes back to Goethe's Doctor Faustus and beyond--when you sell your soul to evil forces, you will regret it. Frank Cotton is a despicable, uncaring man who has grown bored with life's most extreme pleasures. When he hears about and eventually acquires a puzzle box which can open the door to a new world of perverse pleasures, he finds out that one man's pleasure is another man's pain under the tutelage of the Cenobites. Somehow, he manages to escape the other world, and when his brother's blood is spilled in his chamber of horrors, his body begins to reform itself.
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Format: DVD
Being a fan of horror films is a frustrating thing. There are hundreds of horror films out there and I guarantee you that the vast majority are utter, indefensible tosh. ‘Hellraiser’ though, is very much the exception. It is one of the very few horror films I’ve seen that genuinely conveys a sense of the horrific and, if watched in the right circumstances, can genuinely disturb. It is interesting that writer/director Clive Barker managed to improve on the novella from which the film was based (‘The Hellbound Heart’), as, as any fan of Barker will tell you, his books are simply fantastic – astonishingly inventive and twisted flights of fancy shot through with often darkly beautiful prose. As it is this tale lends itself nicely to the film format and against the odds improves upon the book.
The Cenobites are now well established within the pantheon of ‘classic’ horror icons – deservedly so. Sadly due to the success of the first film there have been a succession of sequels with increasingly diminishing returns and, crucially, a complete lack of the ‘grubby’ feel of the original (‘Hellraiser 2’ is still better than most horror licks that have been churned out in the last ten years though).
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Clive Barker's unique artistry fuels his first big screen debut. Ashley Lawrence is the innocent drawn into a deadly web by Clare Higgins's Julia, who is in full sexual bloom in her tryst with a vampiric Uncle Frank. Wonderful physical special effects and a real sense of poetry connecting all the threads from beginning to end.
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Format: Blu-ray
Frank(Sean Chapman)has purchased a small puzzle box-the Lament Configuration Box- and summons the "Cenobites",physically & mentally deformed inhabitants from another dimension.Led by Doug Bradley`s Pinhead,their guiding principle of "pain as pleasure" sees them endlessly rip & flay Frank`s body to shreds with their infernal torture devices. When his brother Larry cuts his hand & blood seeps through the floorboards nourishing & re-invigorating Frank`s torn remains, a means of escape opens up for him. But he needs lots more blood to live again & for his shredded carcass to be whole. He persuades his brother`s wife & former lover Julia(Claire Higgins), to lure men back to the house & butcher them. Unfortunately, Pinhead & his minions won`t give him up that easily & follow him into this world to re-claim his body. Directed by the author, Clive Barker, Hellraiser is full of disturbing & graphic images of violence, terror & sadistic pain. The special effects still retain the power to shock & turn the stomach in their visceral intensity. Pinhead is a malignant, elegantly sinister & evil character who dominates every scene he`s in. Unnatural & terrifying, Doug Bradley`s Lord of Pain dominates all around him. Having seen the U.S. disc, I think the Blu-ray picture & extras are excellent for a movie of this vintage & see no reason why the U.K. disc will be any different. The acting, special effects, script & direction elevate this movie above it`s rivals. If you`ve got the stomach to watch the gore, Hellraiser is an outstanding horror movie that raises the infliction & depiction of extreme pain to an art form. Highly recommended.
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