Two siblings and three of their friends en route to visit their grandfather's grave in Texas end up falling victim to a family of cannibalistic psychopaths and must survive the terrors of Leatherface and his family.
When Kirsty's father, Larry, and stepmother, Julia, move into Larry's childhood home, Kirsty and her boyfriend take a room nearby. Unfortunately for all involved, Larry's house is already occupied: before the family's arrival, Larry's disreputable brother, Frank, used a supernatural puzzle box to summon a gang of other-dimensional demon sadists. Now, Frank requires a series of blood sacrifices to escape the clutches of Pinhead and the cenobites.Written by
Adapted by Clive Barker from his own story "The Hellbound Heart" this has long been a favorite among horror-film devotees. Clive Barker is an outstanding writer. In terms of literary style light years ahead of Stephen King. His awesomely unhinged imagination is given free rein in this tale of the darker side of the human psyche.
Frank Cotton (Sean Chapman) is as immoral and perverted a scumbag as you could hope to find in the English speaking world. Ever alert to the potential for some new thrill (sexual or otherwise) Frank comes by a small carved wooden cube that just happens to be (in the right hands) a gateway to Hell. Not your normal run of the mill pit of hot sulphur fumes presided over by a horned Lucifer wielding his time-honored pitchfork, but a most unpleasant parallel dimension, home of the wickedly inventive Pinhead and his cenobite cohorts. As the series worked its way onwards, Pinhead (Bradley) became a retro cult hero much like Freddy Kreuger and was given increased screen-time!
Frank ends up paying the ultimate price in his search for new pleasures and to his everlasting discomfort, inevitably discovers the real meaning of the film's tag-line "He'll tear your soul apart." This leaves Frank's ex well and truly home-alone and she takes up with his wimpy brother Larry, crawlingly played by Andrew Robinson.
Things might have worked out for Julia (Higgins) and daughter Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) had not Larry cut his hand badly and the blood run beneath the floorboards where Frank's decimated but undead corpse responds dramatically well to the corpuscled cocktail! Frank's gory resurrection is actually one of the film's highlights, aided and abetted as it is by a superb musical score from Christopher Young!
Frank of course is a little miffed over Julia's dalliance with his brother and persuades her to bring him an assembly line of fresh meat to ensure his complexion is brought up to scratch. The demise of the first victim especially is quite shocking horror and on its own would have earned the film its "R" certificate.
Without giving anything else away, it is left to daughter Kirsty to combat both Frank, her socially distasteful step-mother and Pinhead. It is the ultimate learning curve you might say. One hell of a lot goes wrong before it starts getting any better. Frank's second whirl on the block is distinctly gruesome. Kirsty who under normal circumstances would be left a gibbering idiot, survives to take on the sequel and a further appearance by her awesomely repulsive stepmother!
You want horror? you want originality? you like blood on tap? you need HELLRAISER!
For all the above though, Barker's CANDYMAN was still better!
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