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Blu-ray Review: HELLRAISER
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PHOTOGRAPHY
HELLRAISER
Blu-ray review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 93 minutes, audio commentaries, making-of documentary, featurettes, interviews, image gallery, TV spots, theatrical trailers
VIDEO: 1.85:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition
AUDIO: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 PCM Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH

STUDIO: Arrow Video/ New World Pictures/ Cinemarque Entertainment B.V./ Film Futures
RELEASE DATE: 9-24-2019
HELLRAISER is a classic 1980s horror movie and it marks the directorial debut of Clive Barker (who would go on to direct only two more movies- NIGHTBREED and LORD OF ILLUSIONS). It is an adaptation of Barker's novella THE HELLBOUND HEART, but the HELLRAISER movie cemented Pinhead (Doug Bradley) as an iconic horror character. This is the first of eight movies where Doug would stamp his definitive take on Pinhead, the leader of the hellish Cenobites. Miramax/ Dimension had been trying to reboot the series for years only to have the last two crappy sequels being made so they can hold onto the rights (with the second of those being a remake of HELLRAISER: INFERNO) and not having the rights revert back to Clive Barker. I think the first two HELLRAISER movies are the best of the series with third movie being OK and the ones that follow being a case of diminishing returns. I hope that someone like Blumhouse could revive the series and present a proper sequel to the first two movies (get Doug Bradley back as Pinhead one more time and maybe even take inspiration from the recent comic series from BOOM! Comics for the storyline).

Frank (Sean Chapman) wants to experience Hell and he cracks open the door to Hell by solving the Lament Configuration. Years later, Frank's brother Larry (Andrew Robinson) and his wife Julia (Claire Higgins) move in the house of Frank's late mother. Larry accidentally cuts his hand while moving stuff into the house. His blood spills on the floor and resurrects Frank. Frank needs blood to bring back his full human form and he gets Julia to help him because Frank and Julia had a relationship that Larry knows nothing of). Larry's daughter Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) tries to be nice with her step mom Julia, but she learns that Frank and Julia are killing people that leads Kirsty to get hold of the Puzzle box to Hell and make a deal with the Cenobites led by the creepy Pinhead (Doug Bradley).

SPECIAL FEATURES:
Audio commentary with writer-director Clive Barker
Second audio commentary with Barker rand actress Ashley Laurence

LEVIATHAN: THE STORY OF HELLRAISER- the definitive making-of documentary on the making of HELLRAISER with cast and crew interviews
BEING FRANK: SEAN CHAPMAN ON HELLRAISER- Sean talks about playing Frank in the first movie
SOUNDTRACK HELL: THE STORY OF THE ABANDONED COIL SCORE- ex-Coil member Stephen Thrower talks about Clive hiring Coil to do the score and how they ended up not doing the final score (plus how it to a Themes of Hellraiser EP)

HELLRAISER: RESURRECTION- vintage featurette (ported over from the old Anchor Bay releases) with cast and crew interviews
UNDER THE SKIN: DOUG BRADLEY ON HELLRAISER- Doug talks about how he got the role and playing Pinhead

Original EPK featuring cast and crew interviews
Image gallery
Trailers and TV spots
Draft screenplays (BD-ROM content)

FINAL ANALYSIS: HELLRAISER is a horror classic along with the first sequel which should be watched with this one. The extras are fantastic with the making-of documentary worth a watch. Arrow Video has put together a fantastic release.

This review is (c)10-25-2019 David Blackwell and cannot be repeated without permission. Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com and look for additional content/ news at http://enterlinemedia.tumblr.com