Released in 2015 in the UK while Image had the US rights to the first two HELLRAISER films, Arrow's mammoth four-disc HELLRAISER: THE SCARLET BOX Blu-ray set finally gets a stateside release as a limited edition.
Moving back to England and into the house of his late mother, American-educated Larry Cotton (DIRTY HARRY's Andrew Robinson) and his frosty British bride Julia (Claire Higgins, STAGE BEAUTY) discover remnants of his ne'er–do–well brother Frank's (Sean Chapman, SCUM) recent stay. When Larry cuts his hand, his blood resurrects Frank whose quest for extreme sensations culminated in him being torn to pieces by the Cenobites, beings summoned through the solving of an intricate puzzle box who facilitate desires of pain and pleasure before harvesting souls from the human offal. The skinless Frank appeals to former lover Julia to help him become whole again through the blood of a string of male victims she lures to the house for his feeding. When Larry's daughter Kirsty (Ashley Laurence, WARLOCK III: THE END OF INNOCENCE) discovers Frank's presence in the house, she escapes with the puzzle box and unwittingly summons the Cenobites. Offering to help them recapture Frank in exchange for her own freedom, Kirsty heads back to the house to warn her father, unaware of what Frank and Julia have in store for her.
The feature directorial debut of writer Clive Barker, adapting his own novella "The Hellbound Heart" – actually written with the intent of making it into a film and published after the film – HELLRAISER was a hit for US distributor New World and internationally thanks to its unusually sober approach to horror in the late eighties, the striking promotional images of the Cenobites, and the heavy use of a quote from Stephen King declaring Barker as "the future of horror" (after the American publication of his multi-volume BOOKS OF BLOOD). While the film's graphic gore and Cenobites – a work-intensive and creatively-satisfying effort from Image Animation (formed by Bob Keen who had toiled away in the early eighties on smaller British horror assignments like INSEMINOID and SCREAMTIME and on the crews of ALIEN and LIFEFORCE) – are the main draws for gorehounds, the film's "domestic triangle" is approached with sensitivity (on the commentary track, HELLBOUND screenwriter Pete Atkins describes the film as being about humans misusing each other emotionally). Robinson, Higgins, and Oliver Smith (as the skinless version of Frank) do drive the action while heroine Laurence is underwritten, having little to do during the film's second act. Bradley's Pinhead has even less screen time here than in some of other series entries, but his character was not yet the genre icon. Also setting HELLRAISER quite apart from many of its late eighties contemporaries – including other New World genre product – is the lush photography of Robin Vidgeon (PARENTS) and elegant orchestral scoring of New World regular Christopher Young (JENNIFER 8).
HELLRAISER and HELLRAISER II were released theatrically and on home video by New World (the latter in rated and unrated editions) and on laserdisc by Image (unrated only for the second film). HELLRAISER's first special edition was a limited edition from Lumivision in 1996 printed in five thousand copies (2500 signed, 2500 unsigned) in a boxed set including Clive Barker commentary, an isolated score track, and a hundred-page book of the script (a movie-only laser was also released by the company). HELLRAISER 2's unrated version – augmented by a couple was also issued on laser by Lumivision without special packaging but including a commentary by Randel and Atkins along with video interviews. As with HALLOWEEN and THE EVIL DEAD, Anchor Bay reissued HELLRAISER and HELLRAISER II multiple times, starting with non-anamorphic letterboxed DVDs in 1998, THX-approved discs with anamorphic widescreen and fullscreen versions and new commentaries in 2000, and widescreen-only twentieth anniversary editions with new video featurettes in 2007 and 2008. Anchor Bay issued a Blu-ray of the first film in 2009 before they lost the rights, and turned out to be the superior option to Image's 2011 disc which was barebones and had a low bitrate typical of the company's early Blu-rays. Arrow's 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen transfer is slightly brighter than the Anchor Bay, heightening the presence of grain and making some of the "smack of latex" effects look more so. Anchor Bay's darker image does seem preferable in the brighter scenes while the Arrow reveals additional textures in the production design, costumes, and prosthetics in darker scenes. The Dolby Stereo track is offered in an LPCM 2.0 encoding while a 5.1 remix is provided in DTS-HD Master Audio, spreading the score and some of the whipping chain effects out into the surrounds. Optional English SDH subtitles are also included.
The film is accompanied by two audio commentary tracks: the Barker track from the laserdisc and Anchor Bay UK disc, and the Barker/Laurence track (moderated by HELLBOUND screenwriter Peter Atkins) from the Anchor Bay THX disc. On the solo track, Barker discusses at length the major contribution of Young to the film while he and Laurence devote an equal amount of time to Vidgeon's photography on the other (in both, Barker also speaks highly of editor Richard Marden's ability to interweave story elements visually. Other topics covered on both tracks are the story's dark love story and "domestic triangle" (with Barker pointing out cuckolded Larry's endeavors to drag the marital bed up the stairs while Laurence observes that Julia is more mother than lover to Larry). They also cover Robinson's contributions to character – including the "Jesus wept" line – as well as the MPAA's issues with the film's sex and violence. The feature-length documentary "Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser" (89:17) – narrated by Olive Smith – with contributions from regulars Bradley, Robinson, Higgins, Kenneth Cranham (HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II), Keen, and Vidgeon, along with the Smith, Bamford, producer Christopher Figg (DOG SOLDIERS), effects artist Geoff Portass (LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM), and several members of the Image Animation crew. Not usually covered in the featurettes or the commentary tracks is Barker and Figg initially approaching Richard Branson's Virgin – which was expanding into film production in the mid-eighties with works including Ken Russell's GOTHIC (in conjunction with Vestron) – who originally were going to partially fund the film with New World before backing out. Separate chapters cover the casting, the design of the Cenobites (with DUST DEVIL's John Cormican revealing his original more tribally scarified concept for Pinhead), the design of the Lament Configuration (with THE UNHOLY's Simon Sayce discussing the various images and text inscribed into the box and the eight different boxes required to achieve its different movements), the shooting of Frank's rebirth, and the finale's "dragon.
In "Being Frank " (26:24), actor Chapman discusses his beginnings as a young actor with a role in the Austrian-lensed BOARDING SCHOOL with Nastassja Kinski and a trio of Alan Clarke films. His first experience with Barker was indirectly with a role in the Barker-scripted UNDERWORLD (released stateside as TRANSMUTATIONS). Of HELLRAISER, he discusses the backstory he formed with Barker, the ways in which aspects of the finished film grew out of the discussions and trial and error (the flashback scenes were excerpted from full scenes including Larry and Julia's wedding, footage of which appeared in HELLBOUND), and the necessity of a skinnier actor to don the latex for skinless Frank, as well as his regret that his take on an American accent was redubbed. In "Soundtrack Hell: The Story of the Abandoned Coil Score" (18:11), former Coil member turned film historian Stephen Thrower (MURDEROUS PASSIONS: THE DELIRIOUS CINEMA OF JESS FRANCO) recalls his beginnings with the band and its use of early computerized synthesizers and sampling, the piercing and scarification images his bandmates showed to Barker that influenced the look of the Cenobites, and the week of studio recording they did to develop themes for the film before New World brought on Young. Thrower also discusses the commercial releases of their soundtrack recordings, the CD of which includes three additional tracks over the LP and cassettes which devoted their side B's to commercial jingle music the band did for other assignments.
Ported over from the Anchor Bay release is "Hellraiser: Resurrection" (24:26) in which Barker – who admits that he has exhausted all of his observations on the film – goes through the origins of the project as an attempt by himself and Figg, who he met through Parker, to mount a film with no experience. Lawrence, Bradley, and Keen also appear to discuss their experience of the film and its following over the years. Bradley also appears in a separate interview ported from the Anchor Bay "Under the Skin: Doug Bradley on Hellraiser" (12:31) covering his initially collaborations with Barker in school plays, the founding of the Dog Company theatre group, and screen testing for Pinhead (along with the anecdote that he was initially offered the choice of "lead Cenobite" or the moving man eventually played by future OTHELLO director Oliver Parker). Besides the original electronic press kit (5:57) – from which the archival interview footage of Barker and Laurence in the "Leviathan" documentary was derived – an Easter Egg is available of New World's tape release promos for HELLRAISER merchandise including T-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, a bomber jacket, coffee cup, poster, and thermos. The disc also includes three theatrical trailers – theatrical (1:37), red band (1:36), and international (3:27) – as well as four thirty-second TV spots (all distinctive for the presence of Smith's original voice as skinless Frank) as well as an image gallery.
Starting where the first film left off, HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II finds Kirsty (Laurence) detained at a psychiatric institute under the care of Dr. Channard (Kenneth Cranham, CHIMERA) and his assistant Kyle (William Hope, ALIENS) during the police investigation into the multiple deaths at 55 Ludovico Place. When Kirsty learns that the mattress on which Julia (Higgins) died was taken into evidence, she urges the detective (Angus MacInnes, WITNESS) to destroy it to prevent Julia from using it as a means to come back from hell. As obsessed with the occult as he is with the labyrinthine workings of the human mind, Channard has the mattress brought to his home. Sympathetic Kyle discovers that Kirsty was telling the truth when he witnesses Channard using the blood of one of his patients (Oliver Smith, HELLRAISER's skinless Frank) to resurrect Julia in the flesh (and minus the skin). Nourished on a string of patients Channard has sacrificed, Julia now has some scores to settle and also promises Channard access to all of the forbidden knowledge he seeks. Utilizing the puzzle-solving acumen of otherwise catatonic young patient Tiffany (Imogen Boorman, DREAMCHILD) to open the gateway to hell, Julia introduces Channard to her god Leviathan and initiates him into the order of the Cenobites. Meanwhile, Kirsty voluntarily enters hell in order to save her father, but she must also protect Tiffany and tangle with Julia, Frank (Sean Chapman), and the Cenobites who are not so willing to negotiate with her this time around to save her own skin.
With Barker preparing NIGHTBREED, former New World exec Tony Randel (who had supervised reshoots on HELLRAISER) stepped in as director with Barker serving as executive producer and consulting on the script by longtime collaborator Atkins. Shot with a higher budget on Pinewood Studio sets, HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II once again has a lush look courtesy of Vidgeon, an even grander score by Young, and is even more a showcase of the ambitious works of Image Animation; however, the film loses the emotional intimacy and grittiness of the original to a handful of great setpieces punctuated by shots of Kirsty and Tiffany running down corridors intercut with Julia's and Channard's more leisurely exploration. The Cenobites are still peripheral characters to a story driven by human characters; however, while Kirsty at least has more purpose here than in the first film, Channard's obsession is underdeveloped, as is the attraction between himself and Julia. The film introduces a backstory for Pinhead's character (not actually referred to as Pinhead until the third film), but scripted scenes that elaborated upon it were unfilmed due to the loss of a third of the film's budget on the Black Monday stock market crash of 1987.
Anchor Bay did not release a Blu-ray of HELLBOUND before their rights run out, and Image's 2011 "Midnight Madness" 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.78:1 widescreen Blu-ray was barely satisfying with a softish image, fair detail, and blown-out highlights. Reproducing the transfer, encode, and extras of the 2015 UK Arrow limited edition, Arrow's 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen Blu-ray of HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II is the superior effort for the most part, being appreciably sharper and more colorful (although highlights are a bit hot during the film's few daytime exteriors, notably the establishing shot of the Channard Institute early on). The Leviathan opticals were always grainy, and more so here. The film's Dolby Stereo mix is provided in LPCM 2.0 while a 5.1 remix is also included as a DTS-HD Master Audio lossless option, adding some spaciousness to Young's grand score and the sound design. English SDH subtitles are also available.
As with the first film, HELLBOUND is accompanied by two tracks: the Randel and Atkins track from the Lumivision laserdisc, and the Randel, Atkins, and Laurence track from the THX Anchor Bay DVD. Both cover a lot of the same ground, with Randel and Atkins discussing their differing feelings about the Uncle Frank scenes (Randel feels that they stop the film cold and serve merely to tie up loose ends while Atkin feels they drive Kirsty's character during the third act). They discuss how the script developed and was revised once Robinson withdrew early on, as well as the original concept for Leviathan as more of an amorphous Lovecraftian beast along with the contributions of Young, Vidgeon (who recommended the "groin slice" shot), and production designer Michael Buchanan who over-decorated Channard's study (Atkins also recalls a set visit by Ken Russell on whose GOTHIC Buchanan had served as art director). Atkins and Randel express confusion over which version they are watching, since the transfer includes a sequence present in the Japanese laserdisc version but not originally part of the American unrated assemblage (Randel also points out that the R-rated version is the rarer option these days since New World's initial tape run was twenty-percent rated and eighty-percent unrated). "Leviathan: The Story of HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II" (120:46) is an even lengthier retrospective feature than the ninety-minute HELLRAISER one, featuring Randel, Atkins, Cranham, Higgins, Bradley, Robinson, Vidgeon, Young, Figg, Cenobite actors Barbie Wilde (DEATH WISH III), Simon Bamford (NIGHTBREED), and Nicholas Vince, as well as the Image Animation crew, along with actress Boorman (absent from British TV and film since the nineties). Subjects covered include Barker's decision not to direct the sequel, the initially slated writer/director Michael McDowell (BEETLEJUICE) and his withdrawal from the project providing Randel and Atkins with their opportunities, critic Barry Norman's set visit after attacking the first film on the basis of not liking horror movies rather than on its own merits, casting, characters, the effects, and the film's reception. Also discussed are Cranham's experiences in the make-up chair, unfilmed scenes including one justifying the changes in Chatterer's design, and the film's disastrous Christmas release date (as recollected by Young).
In "Being Frank: Sean Chapman on Hellbound" (11:35), Chapman recalls having even less to do with the sequel and feeling that Randel was less of a dynamic filmmaker than Barker. The featurette "HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II: Lost in the Labyrinth" (17:03) is ported over from the Anchor Bay release and would be superfluous after the above documentary if not for the relatively contemporary recollections of Barker and Laurence. "Under the Skin: Doug Bradley on Hellbound: Hellraiser II" (10:53) would be similarly unnecessary if not for Bradley's recollections of the surgery sequence which was left out of the film not because it was too horrific but because it didn't come together during the shooting. The lost sequence – stills of which (including the Japanese laserdisc cover) – is presented in its incomplete form (4:49) with "scene missing" cards for inserts and angles unfilmed, and the results are rather underwhelming. The on-set interviews with Barker (3:18) and the cast/crew (4:45) are typical EPK talking heads, but they do include some behind the scenes look at the blocking and rehearsal of scenes. The behind the scenes footage (1:51) focuses mainly on the effects workshop and the Cenobite actors being made up. Green Band (1:52) and Red Band (1:33) trailers are included along with two thirty-second TV spots (a soundtrack promo is available as an Easter Egg). The still galleries include storyboards, the alternate ending storyboards with Julia, and stills & promo material.
HELLRAISER III: HELL ON EARTH opens with J.P. Monroe (Kevin Bernhardt, FIRE UNDER THE SKIN) purchasing a sculpted pillar of souls – among them the face of Pinhead – from a gallery to add to his art collection of "tawdry representations" of agonized flesh festooning his punk club The Boiler Room. An uneventful night at the E.R. for reporter Joey Summerskill (Terry Farrell, TV's BECKER) finds her without a cameraman when a young man is rushed into the emergency room with chains hooked into his face. When the victim's body explodes in a spectacular telekinetic light show, Joey decides to do some investigation on the side, starting with the girl who was with the boy when he arrived at the hospital. A teenage runaway, Terri (Paula Marshall, WARLOCK: THE ARMAGEDDON) reveals that the boy was a thief who had pried a puzzle box from the pillar that she had found in a gallery for her boyfriend J.P. Breaking into the gallery, they discover that the column was an art piece bought from the Channard Institute, and other documentation leads Joey to video of Kirsty's stay there and her warning that the box is a gateway to hell. While Joey's recurring nightmares of her father's death in Vietnam are invaded by Pinhead's human half Elliot Spencer (Bradley), he warns her that Pinhead is about to reign hell on earth unless she can stop him using the box as bait.
Lensed in North Carolina with second unit New York footage and hanging mattes, HELL ON EARTH is a decidedly more mainstream effort with the plot's justification for Pinhead no longer adhering to the rules of the Lament Configuration easily missed amidst the greater emphasis on Freddy Kruger-isms, a blasphemous black mass in a church scene, and the sort of gory post-CARRIE party crashing of The Boiler Room in the like also seen in other eighties and nineties horror films like HELLO MARY LOU: PROM NIGHT II and WISHMASTER (with the blood pooling under the door bit seeming more like a cheap gag rather than WAXWORK director Anthony Hickox's homage to Jacques Tourneur's THE LEOPARD MAN). While not so much character-driven as characters driven by contrivances to go through the same motions as those in the previous films, the central trio of human characters J.P., Joey, and Terri are reasonably compelling leads, and Bradley's Pinhead gets more dialogue and screen-time here than in the rest of the series. The Cenobite creations here are more comical than scary, with a razor sharp CD-hurling DJ, a victim with pistons still pumping in his head, a chain-smoker still smoking through an exposed throat wound, and Atkins' bartender hurling Molotov cocktail shakers and spitting fire. The photography of Hickox regular Gerry Lively (RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 3) is slick but not as stylish as his work in HELLRAISER: BLOODLINE (one of its few distinguishing features). Young's HELLBOUND score appears under the opening credits and weaves in and out of the soundtrack amidst less interesting accompaniment from Randy Miller (WITCHCRAFT).
Released theatrically by Dimension Films and then on VHS in an unrated edition (featuring little extra gore and some slightly more graphic sex as well as some scene extensions) by Paramount, HELLRAISER III was issued on DVD by Paramount in an anamorphic transfer of the R-rated version before the rights reverted to Dimension. Echo Bridge's subsequent DVD was derived from a fullscreen master and was the only one of the Dimension HELLRAISER sequels to not be issued on Blu-ray by that company. Before Arrow's disc, the only overseas Blu-rays featured the R-rated cut with the exception of the French and German editions which inserted the unrated footage from SD (the German version further cropped the SD footage to widescreen). Arrow's Blu-ray offers up 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen transfer of the R-rated version from the original interpositive (93:07) and their bonus unrated version (96:38) is likewise a composite of the HD R-rated master and the unrated footage from the panned-and-scanned laserdisc master. The new 2K-mastered transfer looks great, with the usage of smoke, backlighting, and a bluish bias in the lighting dating the look of the film. The footage from HELLBOUND looks a shade softer and grainier from the rest of the transfer (the difference went unnoticed in the SD transfers) while the SD inserts look exactly like what they are: an analogue video master upscaled to 1080p. When the UK set came out, there were comments about the framing being off in some shots, but the scans provided to Arrow by UK owner Lakeshore were reportedly already masked to 1.85:1. Whereas the first two films included 5.1 remixes, HELLRAISER III's rated and unrated cuts feature only LPCM 2.0 stereo encodes of the Ultra Stereo mix in which the passages from Young's HELLBOUND score and various directional effects have more presence than Miller's additions or the Motorhead end title track. The optional English SDH subtitles misspell the name Channard as Shanard.
The theatrical version is accompanied by a new commentary by writer Peter Atkins and moderated by Michael Felsher while the unrated version is accompanied by the Anchor Bay UK track with director Hickox and actor Bradley. Both are rewarding listens with Hickox revealing that he was hired with so little time before production that he storyboarded the script on the train to North Carolina and cites his many cinematic homages from JACOB'S LADDER and SUSPIRIA to BODY SNATCHERS and DEAD RINGERS. Bradley's citing of Atkins' references to Jean Cocteau's ORPHEE and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST on one track dovetails with Atkin's recollection that Bradley describing his "in the box" scenes as Cocteau-ian. Atkins recalls forming some additional backstory for Bradley's human character based on research he did on WWI soldiers and their post-war lives only to find that Bradley had done his own more extensive research, while Bradley discusses some of the backstory had formed for what would draw Spencer to such extreme sensations as those offered by the box. Atkins and Bradley both discuss the various incarnations of HELLRAISER III in treatment and script form before the final version, and all three recall the Highpoint, North Carolina location and studio shooting. All three point out cameos by various cast and crew members (including casting director Clayton Hill and his wife Sharon who had both also appeared as zombies in DAWN OF THE DEAD), the film's early computer effects, the hanging glass mattes, the blasphemous church scene, Dimension's handling of the film and reshoots, and briefly touch upon the disaster that was the HELLRAISER: BLOODLINE shoot.
"Hell on Earth: The Story of HELLRAISER III" documentary (32:01) features comments from Randel, Bradley, and Atkins covering much of the same ground as the commentaries along with input from other series regulars. Composer Young reveals that he did not mind the low pay but refused the job because there was not enough in the budget to allow him to top himself with a new score, while publicist Stephen Jones (MIND RIPPER) reveals that the producers gave Barker a "kill fee" to have nothing to do with the production only to subsequently pay him for his input and his name value. Keen and Mark Coulier (CANDYMAN) discuss working with a scaled-back crew while effects crew members Portass and Ro Sylvester-Fisher (LEGEND) along with HELLRAISER and HELLBOUND Cenobite performers Wilde, Bamford, and Vince reflect on not being asked to hop the pond for the third film. Actors Higgins and Cranham also appear briefly. Opinions on HELL ON EARTH are divided among the contributors, with the least favorable qualifying their comments that the film at least did not kill the series.
In the new interview "Time with Terri" (14:55), actress Marshall recalls her first role in this film, her experiences with the prosthetic make-up, her relationships with her co-stars and director Hickox, and her preoccupations as a novice but trained actress with how she looked onscreen, her performance, and continuity. Ported over from the Anchor Bay DVDs is "Raising Hell on Earth" (13:59) in which he discusses his attraction to horror films, reveals that he was offered HELLRAISER III by production insurance agent Buckley Norris (HIGHLANDER) who had a small role in WAXWORK II, the he discovered the piece of artwork featured in the ending while searching frantically for day's location after believing he had overslept, and screening the film for the Weinsteins. Also ported from the DVD is "Under the Skin " (13:46) in which recalls that HELL ON EARTH was planned as a Film Futures production until the problems with NIGHTBREED lead to the company folding. He also goes into a bit more detail about the "Pinhead opens a bordello" version in which the brothel was an externalization of the box with shifting and changing interiors. Of the film itself, he discusses the attraction of the dual role of Spencer and Pinhead, as well as the different energy Hickox brought to the film (as well as his fast working methods). The original Electronic Press Kit (5:12) is interesting in that it has Barker promoting the film as if he oversaw it and also includes behind the scenes footage of his direction of the Motorhead music video (itself not included on the disc). The FX dailies (23:49) include a lot of shots of hooks pulling at latex skin, chain shooting towards the camera, Bernhardt repeatedly spitting up cups of fake blood, and close-ups of various gory wounds (although Keen directed the inserts, there are a couple slate which refer to cinematographer Gerry Lively as "J. Lively"). The theatrical trailer (1:52) is also included along with the fifty-two page comic adaptation and a stills and promo material gallery.
The four disc is labeled "Clive Barker Legacy" and is rather a mixed bag. Clive Barker's two short films "Salome" (27:44) and "The Forbidden" (50:03) are included looking only slightly better than they did on the previous Image and MVD DVDs with the same video generated credits and each bookended by Barker interview footage that appeared as a single featurette on the DVDs. "The Forbidden" is the most interesting for the ways in which it anticipates imagery in HELLRAISER as an artist (Atkins) creates uses geometry to craft an occult mosaic that provokes strange visions. When he tears it up, the fragmenting of the design unleashes demons – including Barker himself with an erection – that tattoo the design on his flesh and then flay it from his body (the effect achieved by printing the film in negative). The "Books of Blood and Beyond" (19:25) is of use to the novice Barker reader as author David Gatward how the imagery of HELLRAISER the film, the novella "The Hellbound Heart", and the six-part "Books of Blood" inspired his own writing. He gives the viewer an overview of Barker's literary and film career, discussing how Barker expanded from horror to fantasy (IMAGJICA), metafiction (MR. B. GONE), children's fiction (THE THIEF OF ALWAYS), and young adult (ABARAT), and the scope of the author's work that refuses classification despite Stephen King labeling him as "the future of horror."
The "Hellraiser: Evolutions" (48:17) is fitfully interesting with Randall, Bradley, producer David Saunders (WILD ORCHID) and horror filmmaking contemporary Stuart Gordon (RE-ANIMATOR) discuss the dark romance of the first film (with Randall admitting it was a mistake to Americanize the supporting performances) and how Pinhead supplanted Julia as the film's iconic figure. The remainder of the featurette has sequel contributors writer Tim Day (HELLSEEKER and DEADER), actress Kari Wuhrer (DEADER), INFERNO director Scott Derrickson, HELLWORLD writer Nick Phillips, HELLWORLD actor Khary Payton (who reveals that his severed head was a prop recycled from DRACULA: ASCENSION), HELLSEEKER actress Sarah Hayward, DEADER writer Neal Marshall Stevens, and DEADER, HELLSEEKER, and HELLWORLD director Rick Bota discussing the ways in which the sequels expanded upon themes of the original films (with Derrickson the least convincing in describing how his detective story grafted onto the series concept was thematically justified). HELLRAISER: REVELATIONS is rightfully dismissed with a throwaway comment from Bradley. "The Hellraiser Chronicles: A Question of Faith" (31:40) was a web promo video for a proposed web series by R.N. Millward (TWISTED SOULS). Amateurishly acted and directed, it is the story of lapsed priest Dominic (Rob Leetham) who returns to the London house where he was the sole survivor of a Satanic mass murder by a friend influenced by the puzzle box. Instead of Pinhead, we get exorcist Father Lombardo (Adrian Palmer) who damned himself by giving into the temptations of the flesh during an exorcism. The short can also be viewed with director's commentary. While the three films were available in the UK as the SCARLET BOX limited edition with the bonus fourth disc, exclusive 200-page hardback book with new writing from Clive Barker archivists Phil and Sarah Stokes,20-page booklet featuring never-before-seen original Hellraiser concept art, five exclusive art cards, and a fold-out reversible poster as well as a currently in-print trilogy three disc set, the limited SCARLET BOX is currently the only version offered stateside but sure to be replaced by a three-disc set when the limited run has sold out. (Eric Cotenas)
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