“Jesus Wept”

Some years ago when I was living in Southern Illinois, there was this little old clapboard shack of a video store in Sandoval (a.k.a. The Armpit of the World).  Here in this video store I rented (more than twenty times, I’m sure) movies the likes of The Last Unicorn, The Dark Crystal, and The Princess Bride.  As I walked along the shelves in this tiny, overly hot video store, I was always afraid to go into THAT section.  Which section, you ask?  Well, it was the horror section.

Every time I walked through the section I saw one particular box.

And, to be totally honest, it scared the living SHIT out of me.  Every single time I saw the box, I nearly peed my pants in terror.  You see, Pinhead is on there.  Every single time I see him, I get the willies.  And you know, for once, my terror is justified.  Pinhead is a scary son-of-a-bitch.

I am a brave little soldier now, and, lo, I have seen Hellraiser!

Frank gets a puzzle box from a man of confusing ethnic origin that apparently (always belonged to him), and what will become the baddies (sort of) of the film come for him.

In essence, Frank dies.

Enter his brother and sister-in-law.  Larry and Julia have come to Frank and Larry’s childhood home to get their renovating on.  In the house is all manner of Frank mess, but they decide to clean the joint up anyway, and so they move in the next day.  As they are moving furniture, Larry cuts his hand on a nail sticking out of the wall.  When he comes up to show Julia (while Kirsty–Larry’s daughter from his previous, now dead, wife–dries off in the bathroom) he spills his blood on the hardwood, and oh-so-dirty floor of an upstairs room.

And BAM!  There is the badness.  Frank comes back to life all gristle and goo.

We learn, through the bastardly flashbacks, that Frank and Julia had a brief but torrid affair shortly after the couple was married.  She gets down and dirty with Frank in their bed (all while sporting a trusty mullet).  So when Frank’s icky poo poo body appears in the upstairs room, Julia is more than willing to help him re-build his body by bringing back men for him to feed (?) on.

And this is how Hellraiser goes.

And it goes beautifully.

Hellraiser is a damned fine movie.  It’s fucking great, actually, and a better time cannot be had these days in the way of super creative and clever horror.  Well, except maybe David Cronenberg.

What is it that makes Hellraiser a particularly fun scarefest?  Well, you see, it’s the Cenobites.  The Cenobites are sufficiently sadomasochistically creepy (especially the one with no lips).  The thing is that you’d expect them to be sort of silly and stupid, but Clive Barker (mastermind of this masterpiece) manages to use them only when most effective.  Their screen time is actually really limited.  But they leave a fucking impression, yo.

In fact, I think the driving force of the film is really Pinhead.  And he could not be better.  The acting from Doug Bradley strike just the right tone to make his leatherbar Halloween costume look come across as truly frightening.  And it helps that he is surrounded by people taking this shit as seriously as he does.  Notably, the lovely Ashley Laurence.

In short, which is what I rarely am, this movie rocked my brain right out of my fucking skull.  If you don’t like, well, you’re a douche, and I don’t love you anymore.

In related news, I now plan to make my way through the Hellraiser series to see when they start to suck.

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~ by acaseofyou12581 on February 18, 2010.

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