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Hellbound: Hellraiser II - Inside the Lament Configuration
By James Whittington, Friday 27th February 2009

We continue our look at the series at how the second part of this franchise came to life and how it changed the idea of horror sequels forever…

 

After Clive Barker’s Hellraiser became a critical and commercial success the idea that a sequel would occur was really a no-brainer. In fact the studio executives were so convinced Hellraiser would be a success that they set in motion the sequel before Hellraiser hit theatres. From the start it was decided that Hellbound would grab the Hellraiser mythos and delve into its shadiest places. The focus of Hellbound was different to the first movie as it began to concentrate on the Lead Cenobite, Pinhead (as he had began to be called) played magnificently with power and deep darkness by Doug Bradley. By this time (1988) Pinhead had become slightly iconic, there was something about this creature that grabbed audiences’ imaginations and he stuck in their psyche.

 

!Spoiler Alert! If you’ve not seen Hellraiser then read this section after the event.

 

After a quick resume of what has gone before we’re straight back into the gory action. Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence) has witnessed too many horrific images for her young mind to take and is placed in the care of Doctor Channard (Kenneth Cranham). No one believes Kirsty’s wild and weird tales, except the Doctor who has secretly been searching for the pleasures the dark side can bring. Soon the walls at the institute begin to crack and bleed and once dead faces from Kirsty’s recent past return to haunt her. And then a Cenobite known as Pinhead (Doug Bradley) vows to tear her soul apart.

 

Packed with sinister imagery and an unvarying sense of utter dread, the movie packs a strong and bloody punch. One only has to watch the infamous “razorblade on the matress scene” with a character named Browning to acknowledge this gruesome fact. It’s a truth that this sequence is still frowned upon by snotty critics but they should realise that this is horror at it most real even though some of the subject matter is fantastical. Though Clare Higgins returns as Aunt Julia and gives the defining performance of her career its Bradley who once again steals the show. His calm, calculated and infinitely evil delivery of every line of dialogue is truly outstanding. Enigmatic and precise, each movement he makes is designed to be an extension of his eerie presence. It also helps to understand the creation of Pinhead with the introduction of a back-story to his history.

 

Tony Randell stepped in as director for Hellbound movie but was able to carefully guide the movie without ever losing sight of the initial idea. Clive Barker stayed on as Executive Producer, keeping an eye on his most famous creation.

 

Final fact: Simon Banford who plays the Cenobite known as Butterball, got a real hook stuck in the roof of his mouth during the end sequences. Ouch!


Coming soon - Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth – Pinhead Unleashed

To try and win a Hellraiser Box Set signed by Doug Bradley plus 4 tickets to the London Dungeon click here.

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