Exploring the pleasures and pain of death, HELLRAISER takes bone-cracking, flesh-stretching, blood and guts transformations to gruesome new heights. The film made a horror icon of Barker's schoolfriend Doug Bradley as Pinhead, one of the demonic Cenobites, keeper of the Lament configuration puzzle box which opens the gate to Hell. Acting weight is shouldered by Clare Higgins as a hammer-wielding murderess out to resurrect her lover.
- BFI Companion to Horror edt. Kim Newman, Ramsey Campbell.
Chapman solves a magical puzzle-box and summons the Cenobites, sado-masochistic demons who promise him experience beyond pleasure then tear him apart. His mistress (Higgins) learns she can gradually bring him back to life by spilling blood, wherupon she lures a succession of pick-ups to the attic and takes a hammer to them, causing the dead man to reappear in a wet and increasingly substantial shape (Smith). However, the ghost's niece (Lawrence), Higgins' stepdaughter, gets hold of the box and is visited by the Cenobites, who resent the undead's escape from his bargain, and the family incestuously destroys itself, with the useless father figure (Robinson) killed to provide a skin for his brother, as the demons erupt into reality.
- The Overlook Film Encyclopedia, edt. by Phil Hardy, 1993.
all photos from The Hellraiser Chronicles, 1992