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Hellraiser (franchise)

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Title: Hellraiser (franchise)  
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Subject: Hellraiser, Pinhead (Hellraiser), Chatterer, Lemarchand's box, Tortured Souls
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Hellraiser (franchise)

On November 27, 2006,[1] The Hellraiser Films And Their Legacy was released. The non-fiction book chronicled the production of the nine films, their spin-offs, and the franchise's legacy in popular culture.[2]

Hellraiser is a British horror franchise that consists of nine films, a series of comic books, and additional merchandise. The franchise is based on the novella The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker, who would go on to write and direct the adaptation of his story, titled Hellraiser. The films, as well as the comic book series, continually features the Cenobite Pinhead. The series’ storyline focuses on a puzzle box that opens a gateway to the Hell-like realm of the Cenobites, an order of formerly human monsters who harvest human souls to torture in sadomasochistic experiments. Although Clive Barker wrote the original story, as well as wrote and directed the first film, he has not written or directed any of the succeeding sequels. Barker stated in an appearance on Loveline that he signed away the story and character rights to the production company before the first film, not realizing what a great success it would be.[3]


  • Films 1
    • Overview 1.1
    • Crew 1.2
    • Box office 1.3
    • Future 1.4
      • Reboot 1.4.1
      • The Hellraiser Saga 1.4.2
      • Television series 1.4.3
  • Literature 2
    • Novels 2.1
    • Comic books 2.2
      • Epic Comics 2.2.1
      • Boom! Studios 2.2.2
    • Non-fiction 2.3
  • References 3
  • External links 4



In the original Hellraiser (1987), Frank Cotton (Sean Chapman) escapes from the Cenobites when his brother Larry (Andrew Robinson) spills his own blood on the spot where Frank died opening a puzzle box that opened a gateway to the Cenobites. With the help of Larry's wife Julia (Clare Higgins), Frank begins regenerating his body with the blood of victims that Julia supplies him. Larry's daughter, Kirsty (Ashley Laurence), accidentally unleashes the Cenobites, but makes a deal to deliver Frank to them in exchange for her own life. After taking Frank, the Cenobites go back on their deal and try and take Kirsty as well. Solving the puzzle box, Kirsty sends the Cenobites back to Hell.[4] In 1988, a sequel titled Hellbound: Hellraiser II follows Dr. Philip Channard (Kenneth Cranham) as he resurrects Julia, who was stuck in Hell with the Cenobites. Kirsty is pulled back into the Cenobite world, where the demons decide to keep her, but, having discovered the human identity of the Cenobites early, Kirsty appeals to their latent humanity, specifically the Cenobite leader Pinhead (Doug Bradley). Pinhead decides to release her, but he and his followers are killed by Channard, who has become a Cenobite himself. With help of a teenage girl, Tiffany (Imogen Boorman), who unknowingly assisted Channard in opening the box, Kirsty and Tiffany escape the Cenobite world and close the gateway behind them.[5]

In Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992), the revelation of Pinhead's humanity has resulted in a schism, splitting him in two—his human self, World War I veteran Elliot Spencer, and Pinhead, now a living embodiment of Spencer's id. While Spencer is trapped in limbo, Pinhead is trapped, along with the puzzle box, in the surface of an intricately carved pillar, a relic of the Cenobite realm. The pillar is found by a night club owner, J.P. Monroe (Kevin Bernhardt), who begins assisting Pinhead in his resurrection. A television reporter, Joey Summerskill (Terry Farrell), begins to learn about Pinhead and the puzzle box, which leads her to Monroe's night club. Pinhead is eventually resurrected, and begins creating new Cenobite followers in an effort to establish Hell on Earth. Joey manages to reunite Spencer and Pinhead, fusing them back into one entity, and is able to use the puzzle box to send Pinhead back to his dimension; afterward, Joey submerges the box into freshly laid cement at a construction site.[6] Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996) tells the story of the creator of the puzzle box, referred to as the Lament Configuration. A toymaker named Philip Lemarchand (Bruce Ramsay) is commissioned by the Duc de L'Isle (Mickey Cottrell), a wealthy Aristocrat and master of the dark arts, to create the box as a gateway to Hell so that de L'Isle can enslave a demon. Beginning in the distant future, and tracing the history of the box from its creation in 1784, Bloodline shows how the Lemarchand family attempts to close the box forever after learning what L'Isle uses it for. Eventually, Dr. Paul Merchant creates the Elysium Configuration, a space station capable of closing the gateway for good, and he traps Pinhead inside and destroys him and the box.[7]

Hellraiser: Inferno (2000), the first of the succeeding sequels to be direct-to-video, follows corrupt police Detective Joseph Thorne (Craig Sheffer) as he discovers the puzzle box while investigating a series of ritualistic murders. As time goes on he begins to uncover clues that suggest that he is the killer. Eventually, Pinhead appears and informs Thorne that the events of the movie have been transpiring in Thorne's own personal Hell, and that he will be reliving the same series of events for eternity.[8] In Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002), Ashley Laurence returns to play Kirsty Cotton. In the opening moments, she and her husband, Trevor (Dean Winters), end up in a car accident that kills Kirsty. One month later, Trevor wakes up in a hospital, but because of a head injury, his memory is uncertain and he cannot distinguish between fantasy and reality. As he begins to uncover evidence that he was having a series of affairs, he also comes under suspicion for orchestrating the crash that killed his wife. Pinhead appears in the end, and informs Trevor that he was the one that died in the car crash: his own plot to murder Kirsty for her inheritance backfired when Kirsty offered the Cenobites the lives of Trevor, his mistresses and his co-conspirators in exchange for her own.[9]

In Hellraiser: Deader (2005), reporter Amy Klein (Kari Wuhrer) is sent to Bucharest to investigate an underground suicide cult founded by a descendant of Philip Lemarchand, who claims to be able to bring back the dead and who believes that it is his birthright to open the puzzle box and control the Cenobites. She is gradually drawn into their world and eventually sees no way out other than to join them. In the end she opens the puzzle box, summoning up Pinhead and the Cenobites, who kill everyone for attempting to invade their world. To prevent Pinhead from taking her soul, Amy kills herself.[10] Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005) is set in the "real world," in which the Hellraiser franchise has spawned a successful MMORPG. Five friends mourning the death of one of their fellow players—who committed suicide after becoming obsessed with the game—receive in-game invitations to a party at the Leviathan House. At the house, the host of the party (Lance Henriksen) takes them on a tour of the many layers of the home, after which they are picked off one-by-one by the host or Pinhead. The final two victims ultimately realize that most of the events of the movie have been a hallucination, after the host—the father of their deceased friend, who blames his son's fellow players for not breaking his addiction to the game—drugged them and buried them alive. The police rescue the surviving teenagers, Chelsea (Katheryn Winnick) and Jake (Christopher Jacot), while the host escapes to a decrepit motel with a suitcase of his son's belongings. The host discovers a real puzzle box inside, and upon opening it is killed by Pinhead and a pair of Cenobites.[11]

In 2011, a ninth film was released to a single theater in California for a crew showing that was ostensibly open to the public. Hellraiser: Revelations is the first film not to feature Doug Bradley as Pinhead and was shot in two weeks for $300,000. It was suggested by Bloody Disgusting that the film was only shot so that The Weinstein Company would not lose its rights to the franchise before it could produce a more profitable remake of the original. The film was released on DVD on October 18, 2011.[12]


Film Director Writer(s) Producer(s)
Hellraiser (1987) Clive Barker Christopher Figg
Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988) Tony Randel Peter Atkins
Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992) Anthony Hickox Christopher Figg & Lawrence Mortorff
Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996) Kevin Yagher / Alan Smithee Nancy Rae Stone
Hellraiser: Inferno (2000) Scott Derrickson Paul Harris Boardman & Scott Derrickson W.K. Border & Joel Soisson
Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002) Rick Bota Carl Dupre & Tim Day Mike Leahy & Ron Schmidt
Hellraiser: Deader (2005) Neal Marshall Stevens & Tim Day David Greathouse & Ron Schmidt
Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005) Carl Dupre Ron Schmidt
Hellraiser: Revelations (2011) Victor García Gary J. Tunnicliffe Aaron Ockman & Joel Soisson

Box office

When comparing the Hellraiser film series with the other top-grossing horror franchises—A Nightmare on Elm Street, Child's Play, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Saw, Scream, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre—and adjusting for the 2008 inflation,[13] Hellraiser is the lowest grossing horror franchise in the United States, at approximately $84 million.[14] The Hellraiser series is surpassed by Friday the 13th, which tops the list at $614 million.[15] The Hannibal Lecter film series follows closely with $573 million,[16] A Nightmare on Elm Street with $522 million,[17] Halloween with $517 million,[18] Scream with $400 million,[19] Saw with $378 million,[20] Psycho with $371 million,[21] The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with $315 million,[22] and the Child's Play film series rounding out the list with approximately $200 million.[23] It should be noted that only four of the nine Hellraiser films were released theatrically, with the remaining sequels going direct-to-video.

Film Release date Budget Box office revenue Reference
Hellraiser September 18, 1987 $1,000,000[24] $14,564,027 [25]
Hellbound: Hellraiser II December 23, 1988 $12,090,735 [26]
Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth September 11, 1992 $12,534,961 [27]
Hellraiser: Bloodline March 8, 1996 $4,000,000 $16,675,000 [28]
Hellraiser: Inferno October 3, 2000
Hellraiser: Hellseeker October 15, 2002
Hellraiser: Deader June 7, 2005
Hellraiser: Hellworld September 6, 2005
Hellraiser: Revelations March 18, 2011
Hellraiser film series $55,864,723
  • A dark grey cell indicates the information isn't available for the film.



Dimension Films' remake of Hellraiser was originally announced in November 2006. In October 2006, Barker announced through his official website that he will be writing the script to a forthcoming remake of the original Hellraiser film.[29][30][31] French director Pascal Laugier was set to direct the film[32][33] but was later taken off the project due to creative differences with the producers;[34][35] Laugier wanted his film to be a very serious take whereas the producers wanted the film to be more commercial and appeal to a teen audience.[36]

On 20 October 2010, it was officially announced that Patrick Lussier and Todd Farmer were to direct and write, respectively, the reboot of the Hellraiser franchise. The film's story would differ from the original film, as Lussier and Farmer did not want to retell the original story out of respect for Clive Barker's work. The film was to instead focus on the world and function of the puzzle box. However in 2011, Farmer confirmed that both he and Lussier were no longer attached to the project.[37][38]

On October 24, 2013, Clive Barker stated that he will be directing and writing the reboot of the franchise with actor Doug Bradley attached to play Pinhead yet again.[39]

On October 31, 2014, Clive Barker stated that a second draft of the script was completed and described the reboot as a “very loose” remake of his original film.[40]

The Hellraiser Saga

On 28 January 2010 Camelot Entertainment Group, Inc. announced that the distributor was working on Unearthed: The Hellraiser Saga, a documentary on the franchise.[41] It will be directed by Stefan Hutchinson and written by Ryan Rotten.[42]

Television series

A Hellraiser television series is currently in development by Sonar Entertainment, and is set to include some key players from the franchise.[43]



An anthology book consisting of twenty-one stories and entitled Hellbound Hearts was released on September 29, 2009.[44]

Comic books

Immediately following the success of the 1989 movie Hellraiser several comics series began to be released.

Epic Comics

Epic Comics began publishing series of comic book spin-offs for the Hellraiser franchise. The comics contained a set of short stories, with Clive Barker acting as a consultant on all of the comics. Epic published twenty regular series comics, from 1989 to 1992. They also published three special issues from 1992 to 1994, one being a holiday special, as well as adapted a comic book version of Hellraiser and Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth.[45] Other releases included the limited series Clive Barker's Book of the Damned and Pinhead, as well as the crossovers Hellraiser vs. Nightbreed: Jihad and Pinhead vs. Marshal Law: Law in Hell. The following series were released by Epic Comics (Marvel):[46][47][48]

Name Years Published Issues
Hellraiser 1989-1992 #1-20
Clive Barker's Book of the Damned: A Hellraiser Companion 1991-1993 #1-4
Hellraiser vs. Nightbreed - Jihad 1991 #1-2
Epic Book One 1992 #1
Hellraiser (film adaptation) 1992 #1
Hellraiser III (film adaptation) 1992 #1
Hellraiser: Summer Special 1992 #1
Hellraiser: Holiday Special 1992 #1
Pinhead 1993-1994 #1-6
Pinhead vs. Marshal Law 1993 #1-2
Clive Barker's The Harrowers 1993-1994 #1-6
Clive Barker's Hellbreed 1994 #1-3
Hellraiser: Spring Slaughter 1994 #1

Boom! Studios

In December, 2010, Boom! Studios announced they would be publishing a new Hellraiser miniseries, written by Clive Barker and Christopher Monfette, beginning March 2011, and would also be reprinting select Epic Comics under the title Hellraiser: Masterworks.[49][50] Boom! has continued to release new Hellraiser comics and have plans for more in the future, including Hellraiser: Bestiary #1 which is set to be released August 2014.[51] The following series were released by Boom! Studios:[52]

Name Years Published Issues
Hellraiser 2011-2012 #1-20, 5 TPBs
Hellraiser: Masterpieces 2011 2 TPBs
Hellraiser: The Road Below 2012 #1-4, 1 TPB
Hellraiser: The Dark Watch 2013-2014 #1-12, 3 TPBs
Hellraiser: Bestiary August 2014 #1-6, 1 TPB


There have been two non-fiction books released that chronicle the Hellraiser franchise. The first, released on May 21, 2004, was published by Titan Books and titled The Hellraiser Chronicles. Written by Peter Atkins and Stephen Jones, with a foreword by Clive Barker, The Hellraiser Chronicles is a collection of production photographs, design sketches, excerpts from the scripts, and interviews with the cast and crew.[53] The next book, The Hellraiser Films And Their Legacy, was released by McFarland & Company on November 27, 2006; it was written by Paul Kane, and features foreword by Pinhead actor Doug Bradley.[1] Hellraiser Films collects the production history of all eight films, their spin-offs, as well as how the series relates to popular culture. The book provides an in-depth look at the film characters, and interpretations of the choices those characters make in the film. Hellraiser Films also provides a brief look at the short, fan film No More Souls.[2]

A feature-length documentary Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II is due for release in 2014, which comprises interviews with the cast and crew. It is directed by K. John McDonagh and produced by Cult Film Screenings, based in Birmingham, who used Kickstarter to raise the funds necessary to conduct further interviews in the United States, although Clive Barker pulled out at the last minute due to ill health.[54]


  1. ^ a b "The Hellraiser Films And Their Legacy (Hardcover)". Amazon.  
  2. ^ a b David Maddox (2007). "The Hellraiser Films and Their Legacy: Review". Science Fiction Site. Retrieved 2008-11-22. 
  3. ^ Loveline, May 15, 1997
  4. ^ Clive Barker (Director) (1987). Hellraiser (DVD). United Kingdom:  
  5. ^ Tony Randel (Director) (1988). Hellbound: Hellraiser II (DVD). United Kingdom: New World Pictures. 
  6. ^ Anthony Hickox (Director) (1992). Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (DVD). United States: Dimension Films. 
  7. ^ Kevin Yagher (Director) (1996). Hellraiser: Bloodline (DVD). United States: Dimension Films. 
  8. ^ Scot Derrickson (Director) (2000). Hellraiser: Inferno (DVD). United States: Dimension Films. 
  9. ^ Rick Bota (Director) (2002). Hellraiser: Hellseeker (DVD). United States: Dimension Films. 
  10. ^ Rick Bota (Director) (2005). Hellraiser: Deader (DVD). United States: Dimension Films. 
  11. ^ Rick Bota (Director) (2005). Hellraiser: Hellworld (DVD). United States: Dimension Films. 
  12. ^ "Hellraiser: Revelations: Steven Brand, Clyde McNight, Sebastian Roberts, Victor Garcia: Movies & TV". Retrieved 2014-07-28. 
  13. ^ "Tom's Inflation Calculator". Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  14. ^ "Hellraiser box office ranking". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  15. ^ "Friday the 13th box office ranking". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  16. ^ "The Hannibal Lector series box office rankings". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  17. ^ "A Nightmare on Elm Street box office rankings". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  18. ^ "Halloween box office rankings". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  19. ^ "Scream box office rankings". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  20. ^ "Saw box office rankings". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  21. ^ "Psycho box office rankings". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  22. ^ "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre box office rankings". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  23. ^ "Child's Play box office rankings". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  24. ^ , Box Office Information.Hellraiser The Numbers. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
  25. ^ "Hellraiser".  
  26. ^ "Hellraiser II: Hellbound".  
  27. ^ "Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth".  
  28. ^ "Hellraiser: Bloodline".  
  29. ^ The Official Clive Barker Resource – Revelations – Exclusive Interviews 15
  30. ^ Clive Barker remaking HellraiserFangoria news, 20 October 2006
  31. ^ back from dead"Hellraiser". Variety. 8 November 2006. 
  32. ^ Darren Rea (17 March 2009). "Pascal Laugier (Director / Writer) – Martyrs". Review Graveyard. Review Graveyard. Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  33. ^ "EXCL: Barker Praises Laugier, Talks Pinhead Design". 13 February 2009. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  34. ^ "Saint Ange". Moria – The science fiction, horror and fantasy movie review site. 7 June 2009. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  35. ^ "Clive Barker Says Pascal Laugier is Off the Hellraiser Remake". 4 June 2009. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  36. ^ "AICN HORROR talks with writer/ director Pascal Laugier about MARTYRS, the HELLRAISER remake, and his new film THE TALL MAN!!!". Ain't It Cool News. 
  37. ^ "Exclusive: Hellraiser Remake & Halloween 3D Updates". 
  38. ^ Hellraiser' Remake Is Stalling Again"'". ShockTillYouDrop. 
  39. ^ "Clive Barker Writing Hellraiser Reboot For Dimension". 
  40. ^ "Clive Barker Is Back From The Dead". 
  41. ^ "New Hellraiser and Zombie Themed Documentaries Coming". Bloody-Disgusting. 
  42. ^ "Hellraiser Documentary Details". DreadCentral. 
  43. ^
  44. ^ "Hellbound Hearts". Simon & Schuster. Retrieved 2009-08-26. 
  45. ^ "List of Hellraiser comic books". Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  46. ^ "Clive's Comics". Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  47. ^ "The Hellbound Web: Encyclopædia". Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  48. ^ "The Hellbound Web: Comics". Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  49. ^ "News On Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2011-01-15. 
  50. ^ "Clive Barker Writes Hellraiser Only At Boom!". Boom! Studios. Retrieved 2010-10-13. 
  51. ^ "BOOM! Announces New "Hellraiser" Anthology Series!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  52. ^ "Hellraiser Product Search". Boom! Studios. Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  53. ^ "The Hellraiser Chronicles".  
  54. ^

External links

  • Revelations – The Official Clive Barker Online Resource
  • Hellraiser: The Hellbound Web
  • Hellraiser comics at Empire Magazine
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