Although I’m not a huge fan of horror films, Hellraiser is one that I would include in my list of favourite films. The original Hellraiser, which was made in 1987, is probably quite tame now, compared to the likes of Hostel and Saw, but nevertheless, Hellraiser does have some of the qualities of older horror movies, in that it could succeed in providing a chill, even without the graphic gore of more recent movies. It still has its fair share of gory shocks, though, but it also has a decent plot, and that’s not surprising since it is based on the novella “The Hellbound Heart” by Clive Barker. There are still rumours that Clive Barker is looking to make a re-make of the classic Hellraiser and that scripts have been written, deals have been done and Doug Bradley has agreed to return as Pinhead. Until that happy day arrives, here are ten facts that you may not have known about the original Hellraiser movie.
1. Pinhead was never intended to be the star of the movie
It was never Clive Barker’s intention that the Cenobite, Pinhead, would become a horror movie icon and he was originally only credited as “Lead Cenobite”. He didn’t have very many lines in the original script either, but during the shooting of the movie, it was discovered that Butterball and Chatterer couldn’t talk through their makeup, so their lines were given over to Pinhead.
2. Doug Bradley wasn’t keen on playing Pinhead
Doug Bradley, who played Pinhead in all but one of the Hellraiser movies, wasn’t too keen on playing the part, because he was new to movies and his face would be obscured by the makeup. He wanted to play the much smaller role of a furniture remover, but he changed his mind at the last minute.
3. Ashley Laurence was never in the same room as the Cenobites
Although Ashley Lawrence, who played Kirsty Cotton in the movie, is often seen with the cenobites in the same room, due to the very low budget of the movie, her scenes were shot without the Cenobites actually being present. When you watch Hellraiser, you will notice that you never see them together in one shot.
4. Hellraiser was nearly called “Sadomasochists from Beyond the Grave”
The title of the movie was originally to have been “The Hellbound heart”, which is the same as Clive Barker’s original Novella, but the producers thought that it sounded too much like a love story. Clive Barker suggested the title “Sadomasochists from Beyond the Grave” but, thankfully, that too was rejected in favour of the simple title “Hellraiser”.
5. Hellraiser was filmed in a real house
The movie only had a budget of $1m, so there was no money to build elaborate sets. The movie was shot in a real house in Dollis Hill, in London. The only interior set that was built was that of the attic. If you are a fan and you want to make a pilgrimage, the address is; 187 Dollis Hill Lane, Dollis Hill, London!
6. Some scenes were censored
To get an “R” rating, rather than an “X”, some scenes had to be cut of the film, including a shot in the final scene of the movie of the movie where Frank gets torn to shreds by the hooks. In the original cut, Frank’s brains spill out of his head in the very final shot.
7. The film made fifteen times its original cost
When it was originally released, Hellraiser grossed nearly $15m in the US and Canada, which was fifteen times its original budget, and it went on to spawn many sequels, comics, and to become a cult horror classic.
Right before Frank gets torn to pieces by the hooks, he utters the words “Jesus wept”, which become one of the most iconic lines of the movie. Originally, though, this was scripted as “Fuck You”, but it was changed at the instance of the actor who played Larry Cotton, Andrew Robinson.
9. The female Cenobite was nicknamed “Deep Throat”
The female Coenobite in Hellraiser was nicknamed “Deep Throat” during filming, but, because of the obvious other connotations of the name, she was credited as just being the “Female Cenobite” in the film’s final credits.
10. Will there be a Hellraiser re-make?
The word is that will be Hellraiser re-make, it will be written by Clive Barker and, it will star Doug Bradley in the role of Pinhead. The last news on the movie from Clive Barker though, was way back in 2013, so don’t hold your breath!
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