Get sci-fi news, reviews and features at gamesradar.com/sfx
Kirsty into a labyrinthine Hell in search of her dead dad. With Barker overseeing as producer, it feels consistent with what’s gone before, and Hell’s Escheresque environs impress. But it does eventually start to feel like simply a chase through a string of surreal setpieces.
also steps up a lamentable process of Americanisation completed in III, the last Hellraiser film which need concern you. It takes the franchise mainstream, unleashing Pinhead to slaughter the masses, not just those who summon him, and its new Cenobites are embarrassing: one lobs CDs like shuriken; another delivers wince-inducing wisecracks, Freddy Krueger style. A scene where Pinhead profanes a church by mocking the Crucifixion still has power, though – even a bastardised version of Barker’s vision has its moments.
Extras Like the Cenobites of bonus features, Arrow Video test the human capacity to enjoy extras to its very limits – there’s only space here to list a few highlights. Leviathan is a comprehensive three-and-a-half-hour doc on I and II, previously available as a standalone DVD. Fans of II long fascinated by stills of Pinhead in medical garb will be delighted to find the excised sequence it relates to. III comes with an alternate cut that’s three minutes longer. Interviews with Doug Bradley and Sean Chapman (Frank) are unusually thoughtful and insightful; another on industrial types Coil’s rejected soundtrack is also fascinating. Taboo-busting Barker short The Forbidden (1978) is like Kenneth Anger fed through Top Of The Pops’ effects box; perversely beautiful, its reverseprinted B&W imagery anticipates Hellraiser’s in interesting ways. There’s tons more, including five commentaries, more shorts, old featurettes, raw FX footage, screenplays, and the comic book adap of III. Barring old EPKs, pretty much everything is worth your time. Plus: a 200-page book, booklet, art cards and poster. Staggering. Ian Berriman
Doug Bradley originally had the choice of playing Pinhead or a removal man, and ummed and aahed about it.
Thursdays at the suit shop were exciting.