The Full Wiki

Hellraiser: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Directed by Clive Barker
Produced by Christopher Figg
Written by Clive Barker
Starring Andrew Robinson
Clare Higgins
Ashley Laurence
Sean Chapman
Oliver Smith
Doug Bradley
Music by Christopher Young
Cinematography Robin Vidgeon
Editing by Richard Marden
Tony Randel
Distributed by New World Pictures
Release date(s) September 11, 1987
Running time 94 minutes
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $1,000,000 (estimated)
Gross revenue £763,412 (UK)
$14,564,027 (USA)
Followed by Hellbound: Hellraiser II

Hellraiser is a 1987 horror film exploring the themes of pain as a source of pleasure and morality under duress and fear. It is based on the critically acclaimed novel The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker, who also wrote the screenplay and directed the film. In the UK, the film is titled Clive Barker's Hellraiser. It is the first film in the Hellraiser series. Seven sequels followed with a remake of the first announced in 2007.[1] Hellraiser was number 19 on the cable channel Bravo's list of the 100 Scariest Movie Moments.[2]



Somewhere in Morocco, an impulsive and violent man named Frank Cotton (Sean Chapman) buys an antique puzzle box from a dealer. Back at his house Frank solves the puzzle box and hooked chains immediately fly out of it, tearing into his flesh. Demons from another world called Cenobites appear to inspect Frank's remains. Their leader, "Pinhead" (Doug Bradley), picks up the box and twists it back into its original state, and the room immediately returns to normal - but with Frank nowhere to be found.

Frank's brother Larry (Andrew Robinson) soon moves into Frank's abandoned house with his second wife, Julia (Clare Higgins), who previously had an affair with Frank. They assume that Frank is off on one of his nefarious adventures. Julia is seen exploring the house, finding pictures of Frank with many different women, and reliving the day she was seduced by Frank. Larry's teenage daughter, Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence), chooses not to live with her stepmother and moves into her own place. After cutting his hand on a nail (while moving a mattress), Larry goes upstairs to the room where Frank was killed and his blood falls on the floor. It mysteriously disappears through the floorboards, and Frank's soul uses this blood as nourishment to partially regenerate his body. Later, Frank (now portrayed by Oliver Smith) convinces Julia to help restore him to his full physical form. Julia succumbs to Frank's entreaties and agrees to help him by seducing men and luring them up to the empty attic where Frank hides. After having Julia incapacitate them, Frank drains them of their blood, which allows him to further regenerate his body. Frank tells Julia about the puzzle box (which he still possesses) and explains that by reclaiming his body he has broken his deal with the Cenobites. He wants to restore himself and then leave with Julia before the Cenobites find him.

Kirsty eventually catches Julia bringing a strange man home and sneaks into the house to investigate. In the attic Julia bludgeons the man, allowing Frank to feast on his body. Kirsty approaches the attic unaware of what's happening within. Suddenly, the bloody man stumbles out of the attic, soon followed by the skinless Frank who confronts Kirsty. Before Frank can grab her, Kirsty seizes the puzzle box. When she realizes it holds value for Frank, she throws it out the window and escapes from the house, picking up the box off the ground as she flees. A disoriented Kirsty collapses in the street and awakens in the hospital. She tells herself it all was a terrible dream, until the doctors hand her the puzzle box. Kirsty begins to play with the puzzle box and it tricks her into solving it. The walls of her hospital room open a dimensional door and Kirsty encounters the Cenobites. Pinhead tells Kirsty that she has summoned them, and therefore they must take her to Hell. She begs them to spare her, offering to lead them to Frank in exchange for her freedom. The Cenobites warn her against attempting deception, with Pinhead uttering his famous line "we'll tear your soul apart."

Kirsty escapes the hospital and races to her father's home to warn him about Frank. Larry informs Kirsty that Frank has been taken care of, and Julia shows Kirsty a skinless body in the attic. The Cenobites reappear, demanding the man responsible for this death. Kirsty believes they want her father and she runs to warn him. However, she soon realizes that the body in the attic is her father, and Frank is now wearing his skin as a disguise.

Frank (now as Andrew Robinson) attacks Kirsty, stabbing Julia in the process. Frank then drains Julia of her blood, further nourishing himself. He goes to the attic where Kirsty is hiding. Kirsty weeps over Larry's corpse and accuses Frank of murdering her father. Frank is unrepentant, telling Kirsty her father was already dead inside, and besides it was inevitable anyway. Having heard Frank's confession, the Cenobites appear. Frank tries to kill Kirsty for setting him up, but a hooked chain flies through the air and snares his hand, pulling him back into the room. Dozens of these chains fly through the air and hook themselves into his flesh as he screams in agony, and hold him transfixed like a fly in a spider's web. His screams subside, and looking at Kirsty, says "Jesus wept" before the chains tear him apart. Kirsty runs through the house, eager to escape, but the Cenobites want her as well. Kirsty finds the puzzle box clutched in the hands of Julia's corpse. One by one she banishes the Cenobites back to their realm by reversing the solution to the puzzle box.

Afterwards, Kirsty tries to burn the box in a fire outdoors, but a strange man appears and picks it out of the flames. As the man is consumed by the flames he transforms into a winged, skeletal creature that flies away into the night. In the final scene, the box is shown in the hands of the merchant who originally sold it to Frank, asking another prospective customer, "What's your pleasure, sir?"

Differences between film and novel

  • In the novel, Larry Cotton is instead named Rory Cotton.
  • In the novel, Kirsty is instead a neighbor of the Cotton family, and harbors a small crush on Rory.
  • In the film, Larry really cares emotionally for Julia, but in the novel it is noted that he cares for her on a deeper level.
  • In the novel, Julia's weapon of choice is a knife, instead of a hammer which she uses to kill her victims in the film.
  • In the novel, Rory (Larry, in the film) slices his hand with a chisel instead of a nail.
  • The Cenobites are described differently in the novel than seen in the film. However, there is still a "Pinhead" Cenobite.
  • It seems likely that Pinhead is not the 'leader' of the cenobites in the novel.
  • The novel goes more in-depth with Frank's fascination with the box, and his time in hell.
  • Frank was not ripped apart by hooks and chains in the beginning of the novel, but taken by a female cenobite.
  • In the novel, Frank is hidden behind a wall in the room where he emerges in the film, stuck in hell. He was only strong enough to say a few words to Julia - it was Julia that came up with the idea and desire to bring him back.
  • The Engineer, who (in the novel) is the maker of all torture devices the Cenobites use, and who also gives Kirsty the puzzle box at the end is completely different visually. In the film, he is (allegedly) the wall-crawling beast that Kirsty battles with outside of the house near the end of the film; whereas in the original book he is a featureless being composed of light.
  • Julia's demise in the novel is different than in the film. While she is still stabbed by Frank, she is beheaded by The Engineer in the novel, rather than ending up on the mattress with the box.


Clive Barker originally commissioned a soundtrack for Hellraiser from the industrial band Coil. The music they supplied was rejected, and Christopher Young provided a more traditional orchestral score for the finished movie. Coil's score, which was apparently described by Barker in a complimentary manner as being "bowel churning",[3] has been released in isolation as The Unreleased Themes For Hellraiser and as part of the compilation Unnatural History II (CD) (1995).

Coil's original theme was later covered by the Italian black metal band Aborym on their debut album Kali Yuga Bizarre.

Christopher Young went on to contribute the soundtrack to the first sequel, Hellbound: Hellraiser II, for which he won a Saturn Award for Best Music. Subsequent movies in the series used music by different composers.

The Swedish death metal band Entombed recorded a cover version of Young's score (along with sample quotes from the film) and released it on their EP Hollowman.

UK black metal band Anaal Nathrakh sampled Frank Cotton's final words and used in the track "Tractatus Alogico Misanthropicus". Canadian band Skinny Puppy also sampled "Jesus Wept" in the track "Fascist Jock Itch," as did Belgian Industrial act Suicide Commando for their track "Jesus Wept" on their Mindstrip album.

Various extreme metal bands have also taken parts of the film to use as samples, as introductions to songs. The most common part of the film sampled is Pinhead's infamous line "Your suffering will be legendary, even in Hell"

Hellraiser Soundtrack (1987)[4]

  1. Hellraiser 1:43
  2. Resurrection 2:32
  3. Hellbound Heart 5:05
  4. The Lament Configuration 3:31
  5. Reunion 3:11
  6. A Quick Death 1:16
  7. Seduction And Pursuit 3:01
  8. In Love's Name 2:56
  9. The Cenobites 4:13
  10. The Rat Race Slice Quartet 3:15
  11. Re-Resurrection 2:34
  12. Uncle Frank 2:59
  13. Brought On By Night 2:18
  14. Another Puzzle 4:06
Total Album Time: 42:40

DVD releases

In North America, Hellraiser has been released by Anchor Bay three times, all of which are the original 93 minute version of the film (this is the only version to ever be released on DVD). The original DVD release was a "bare-bones" release and is now out of print. It was re-issued in 2000 with a new 5.1 mix mastered in THX. Finally, it was packaged along with Hellbound: Hellraiser II in a Limited Edition tin case which included a 48 page colour booklet and a reproduction theatrical poster for both films.[5][6]

A 20th Anniversary DVD of the film was released on October 23, 2007.


1988 - Hellbound: Hellraiser II
1992 - Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth
1996 - Hellraiser: Bloodline
2000 - Hellraiser: Inferno
2002 - Hellraiser: Hellseeker
2005 - Hellraiser: Deader
2005 - Hellraiser: Hellworld (filmed back to back with Hellraiser: Deader)


A remake of Hellraiser was announced in 2007, with Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury set to direct.[7] Production was moved back for a 2009 release, and Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan (Feast trilogy, Saw IV, Saw V) were hired to write the screenplay.[8] Bustillo and Maury later left the project, and Pascal Laugier was recently reported as being in the running to take the helm.[9] However, as of June 4, 2009, Pascal Laugier has officially dropped out of the project, leaving the remake's future unknown.[10]


Actor/Actress Role
Andrew Robinson Larry Cotton / Frank Cotton (Disguised in Larry's skin)
Clare Higgins Julia Cotton
Ashley Laurence Kirsty Cotton
Oliver Smith Skinless Frank / Frank The Monster
Robert Hines (actor) Steve
Sean Chapman Frank Cotton
Anthony Allen (actor) Victim #1
Leon Davis (actor) Victim #2
Michael Cassidy (UK actor) Sykes (Victim #3)
Frank Baker (actor) Derelict (The Puzzle Guardian)
Kenneth Nelson Bill
Gay Baynes Evelyn
Niall Buggy Dinner Guest
Dave Atkins Moving Man #1
Oliver Parker Moving Man #2
Pamela Sholto Complaining Customer
Doug Bradley Lead Cenobite (Pinhead)
Grace Kirby Female Cenobite
Nicholas Vince Chattering Cenobite (Chatterer)
Simon Bamford Butterball
Sharon Bower Nurse
Raul Newney Doctor Joey Baxter
Bruce Ramsay Frank Cotton (dubbed voice) / Frank The Monster (dubbed voice)(uncredited)

(A couple of characters were dubbed over with American accents including the two moving men. Three others were all dubbed over with Canadian actor Bruce Ramsay's voice: Frank Cotton, Zombified Frank, and Frank The Monster. The two people who dubbed the two moving men are unknown.)



External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Hellraiser may refer to any of the following films, featuring the iconic villain Pinhead and his group of demonic beings known as Cenobites, as they intend to invade Earth via a mysterious puzzle box.

  • Hellbound: Hellraiser II
  • Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth
  • Hellraiser: Bloodline
  • Hellraiser: Inferno
  • Hellraiser: Hellseeker
  • Hellraiser: Deader
  • Hellraiser: Hellworld

This is a disambiguation page; that is, one that points to other pages that might otherwise have the same name. If you followed a link here, you might want to go back and fix that link to point to the appropriate specific page.

Simple English

Directed by Clive Barker
Produced by Christopher Figg
Written by Clive Barker
Starring Doug Bradley
Andrew Robinson
Clare Higgins
Sean Chapman
Oliver Smith
Ashley Laurence
Music by Christopher Young
Cinematography Robin Vidgeon
Editing by Richard Marden
Tony Randel
Distributed by New World Pictures
Release date(s) September 11, 1987
Running time 94 minutes
Country  United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $1,000,000 (estimated)me
Gross revenue £763,412 (UK)
$14,564,027 (USA)
Followed by Hellbound: Hellraiser II
Allmovie profile
IMDb profile

Hellraiser is a 1987 British horror film exploring the themes of sadomasochism, pain as a source of pleasure, and morality under duress and fear. It is based on the novella The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker, who also wrote the screenplay and directed the film.

Hellraiser was number 19 on the cable channel Bravo's list of the 100 Scariest Movie Moments.[1]


  1. Hellraiser: Hellworld, Hellraiser. "100 Scariest Movie Moments: 100 Scariest Moments in Movie History". Bravo. Retrieved 2007-10-24. 
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address