If you are in any way familiar with Greek myth then you might be vaguely familiar with the story of Pandora. Pandora was the very first woman ever created and she was hot! After Prometheus stole the flame of the gods from mount Olympus, Zeus was pissed! So he came up with a scheme to curse mankind forever, serving as the Greeks theodicy tale. He commissioned a task to the god Hephaestus to make the most beautiful women ever. She would be bestowed with great skill and serve as a masquerading curse upon mankind. Pandora was given a box by the gods and was told not to open it. After she wed a man named Epimetheus, her curiosity could not be contained and thus she opened the box. Releasing all misery, woe and evil spirits on the earth and replacing its contents with all hope of mankind. Hope being the very last thing that a man loses before he dies.
The tale of Pandora and the end of the Golden Age of man has gone on for centuries and serves as a foundation for many stories that we ourselves are familiar with. One story that many horror fanatics can easily identify with Pandora’s box would be 1987’s Hellraiser!
Hellraiser is a 1987 horror film directed and written by Clive Barker. The film stars Sean Chapman, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence and Doug Bradley. The movie is based upon Barkers novel The Hellbound Heart. It would be followed by eight sequels. Nine if you count Hellraiser: Judgement which was made in 2018. Although, the sequels (excluding Hellbound: Hellraiser 2) have never gotten the amount of praise like the first two films. The original film Hellraiser has gone down in history as one of the best and scariest horror films of all time.
Frank Cotton is a man looking for something more exciting in his life. By normal standards the man is a deviant that lives by the whim of his pleasure meter. After discovering an ancient puzzle box called the lament configuration and solving its intricate formula. Frank opens up a portal to another dimension that is home to a group of demon priests called Cenobites. They drag his soul to hell for an eternity of torturing pleasure. But Frank escapes back to the real world where he must regain his strength. Frank becomes a festering monster upon the Cotton household.
Pinhead Is Not My Name
Hellraiser is absolutely a bonkers of a film and it is a shinning example of Bronze Age horror. Not many people are all too familiar with the Hellraiser series. You don’t really see it played on many channels like A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday The 13th or Halloween. However, Pinhead has become a major icon in the horror villains library throughout the years. Which is hilarious because Pinhead and his other cenobite associates are barely even in the movie! The guy isn’t even named Pinhead! He’s referred to as the hell priest or something. Pinhead was just a nickname fans gave him. Regardless, he’s absolutely terrifying and everyone knows who he is.
What I love most about Hellraiser is that it coincides with hard core horrors fans more than we realize. Not necessarily for the gore or the Lovecraftian settings. But for the mere fact our obsession and hunt for good horror is much like Frank Cotton. I’m not saying we’re sexual deviants. I’m just saying, much like Frank Cottons pursuit for the ultimate pleasure; we too often push ourselves to find the ultimate in extreme horror. So I often look at Hellraiser as the ultimate love letter to horror fans, which fits because most people that watch Hellraiser tend to be of a higher caliber of horror fanatic.
Attack The Home
The movie is dark and dreary and may serve as the best film that uses the location of the home as a means for a perfect horror atmosphere. Very similar to Stephen King using small town settings. Our security and familiarity depend on the home. It makes us dread our attackers and think twice about hanging out in our basement and creepy attics. Where quite possibly our decomposing uncles are feasting on dead victims so he can come back and bang our dead fathers wife!
Undermining these securities makes us uncomfortable and delivers a true sense of horror. It contradicts domestic bliss and family togetherness. This is something I’ve constantly pointed out in many of my posts but never was there a movie that proves this more. It’s why the Cotton house is the central location throughout the entire film. It was once a place of peace and love much like our own homes. But because of Franks evil desires and becoming a monster, he destabilizes the foundation of everything Kristy knows. Her father dies and her step mother is a maniac! Plus her sadistic uncle is a flesh eating corpse. There’s also dimensional hell holes that reside not distantly but within our own world. We’re unaware of it’s engrossing terror! It is why we identify with Kristy and pursue her escape like a starving animal. Like Pandora and her box, hell is unleashed and all hope and security is thrown into an eternal abyss of doom.
This movie sucks you in and keeps you on the edge of your seat all because of this theme! Gosh I love this movie! We’re not scared out of being startled or having a quick transition like we see over and over again like in some modern pile of shit like It: Chapter 2! We’re given an atmosphere and situation we all know is purely nightmarish. The cenobites are as much terrifying in their actions than they are in their presence. They aren’t blind illogical monsters, they don’t even necessarily kill. They just torture and deem it pleasurable. They really aren’t even the main antagonist when you think about it. The real monster is Uncle Frank. This Faustian jackass that can’t help but get his rocks off and kill people! It’s amazing how Pinhead has become a staple when in all actuality it’s the people that send for him that are the monsters.
If there was ever a movie that tells you to be aware of your own curiosity and desire for more, then this movie is it. It’s extremely violent and full of the most amazing practical effects the eighties can offer. I love the calmness in the mist of the calamity with pinhead and his horde. Which is why 1987’s Hellraiser is chosen for day twenty nine of Horror Movie Marathon 2019.