Crash Analysis: HELLRAISER (1987 UK)

Great Story, Great Gross-Out

People play with a mysterious puzzle box – and lose…

Barker’s acclaimed HELLRAISER holds no punches when it comes to the disgusting meter, but that’s just an aside to a riveting story inhabited by intriguing characters.

The always phenomenal Andrew Robinson, character actor extraordinaire, leads a cast of the damned, the innocent and the two-faced. And Clare Higgins, Robinson’s on-screen wife, Julia, is remarkable as the torn and ultimately downcast fool.

Right from the beginning, when Frank is encircled with candles as he begins to open his new puzzle box, we instantly know the ride will tear us apart and rock our world.

Though made on a small budget, the special effects are disgustingly amazing and add tremendously to a tale that put “Pinhead” on the map as a horror icon. In regard to said effects, the only reason this exceptional horror tale falls shy of a perfect five, is because of the cheesy “electrical” effects scratched into the film due to lack of cash.

Enjoy the experience in its beautiful ugliness, ask yourself if you’d play with the puzzle box, and get ready to quote Doug Bradley’s “Pinhead” every chance you get. (HELLRAISER quotes are always a hit at parties or in the bedroom.)

4.5 out of 5 stars

 

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