A woman discovers the newly resurrected, partially formed, body of her brother-in-law. She starts killing for him to revitalize his body so he can escape the demonic beings that are pursuing him after he escaped their sadistic underworld.

Director:

Clive Barker

Writer:

Clive Barker
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Popularity
1,570 ( 137)
2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Andrew Robinson ... Larry
Clare Higgins ... Julia
Ashley Laurence ... Kirsty
Sean Chapman ... Frank
Oliver Smith ... Frank the Monster
Robert Hines Robert Hines ... Steve
Anthony Allen Anthony Allen ... 1st Victim (as Antony Allen)
Leon Davis Leon Davis ... 2nd Victim
Michael Cassidy Michael Cassidy ... 3rd Victim
Frank Baker Frank Baker ... Derelict
Kenneth Nelson ... Bill
Gay Baynes Gay Baynes ... Evelyn
Niall Buggy ... Dinner Guest
Dave Atkins Dave Atkins ... Moving Man 1
Oliver Parker ... Moving Man 2
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Storyline

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 mrosesteed

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He'll tear your soul apart. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the original novel that Hellraiser was based on, Butterball was the leader of the Cenobites and more talkative, with Pinhead as his subordinate. See more »

Goofs

(at around 3 mins) After Frank opens the box, the camera cuts to a wide shot which shows the box in its original shape. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Asian Merchant: [the Asian Merchant greets Frank] What's your pleasure, Mr. Cotton?
Frank Cotton: The box.
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Alternate Versions

The UK cinema version was uncut though the 1988 New World Pictures and 1991 VCI video releases were cut by 4 seconds and removed shots of Julia's first victim pleading after the initial hammer blow and a shot of his dead bloodied face. The cut was waived for the 1998 issue. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Paranoid (2000) See more »

User Reviews

Hellraising Horror
21 March 2002 | by uds3See all my reviews

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 September 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sadomasochists from Beyond the Grave See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,453,232, 20 September 1987

Gross USA:

$14,564,027

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,575,193
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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