Template:Infobox Film 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 critically acclaimed novella 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 subsequent 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) purchases an antique puzzle box from a dealer (Chow Yun-Fat). Back at his house in London, England. Frank solves the puzzle box and hooked chains immediately fly out of the box and tear into his flesh. Demons called Cenobites from another realm 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 also returns to normal.

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. Larry's teenage daughter, Kirsty (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 as Oliver Smith (actor) 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 bloody 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 Frank has murdered her father and stolen his skin and worn it like a suit to fool Kirsty into believing that he was her father.

Frank (now as Andrew Robinson) attacks Kirsty, accidentally 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 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 though 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?"


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.

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 Edit

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 23rd, 2007.

Cast Edit

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

Other Cast (Was Never Credited)Edit

Actor/Actress Role
Chow Yun-Fat Dealer
Andrew Robinson Frank Cotton
Male Bartender
Nun 1
Nun 2
Man #1
Man #2 (Business Man)
Woman 1


  1. The Official Clive Barker Resource - Revelations - Exclusive Interviews 15
  2. Hellraiser: Hellworld, Hellraiser. 100 Scariest Movie Moments: 100 Scariest Moments in Movie History. Bravo. Retrieved on 2007-10-24.
  3. Industrial::Music::Library: Coil: An Interview
  4. SoundtrackNet : Hellraiser Soundtrack
  5. Rewind @ - Hellraiser AKA Clive Barker's Hellraiser (1987)
  6. The Hellbound Web | Collectibles | Video Recordings


External linksEdit

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