ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Missed Opportunities: Hellraiser Revelations

Updated on April 13, 2015
You know, there's something different about you, dude... Did you cut your hair?
You know, there's something different about you, dude... Did you cut your hair? | Source

The Hellraiser franchise is a complicated matter to discuss. Essentially, it's a series of stories about a box that brings forth horrific beings called Cenobites to take people away to an unearthly realm and bring their victims unspeakable pain with their experiments. Of course the first thing that instinctively comes to mind to anyone that hears the word Hellraiser, is the face of Pinhead as portrayed by Doug Bradley. Not the intricacies of a twisted world designed for torture, not the imaginative abominations people would turn into when becoming Cenobites, but Pinhead – with his stoic, haunting demeanour, when he informs his victims of the inevitability of their impeding doom.

Pinhead is indeed an unforgettable antagonist, but with this also comes a huge problem. Pinhead is also ridiculously marketable. A gold mine. But a gold mine that technically isn't the whole focus of the franchise, rather the most prominent of a number of executors for a power seen but once in the movies. Compared to most other slashers and horror antagonists like Jason Vorhees or Michael Myers, his methods and motives are more complicated. The imagination necessary to keep a franchise with so many vague attributes going is hard to say the least.

Someone left a Hellraiser Pinhead figure on a Puppet Master set once. Leech Woman was hitting on him for about a half an hour before someone noticed this was the wrong Pinhead.
Someone left a Hellraiser Pinhead figure on a Puppet Master set once. Leech Woman was hitting on him for about a half an hour before someone noticed this was the wrong Pinhead. | Source

So... you have a franchise that has an instantly recognisable universe, but little idea what to do with it. You conclude your story in a very definite manner, with the last encounter culminating in space (which is horror slang for “help, I'm completely out of ideas”). But that only lasted you 4 movies. Now what? If the franchise sits too long, the copyright falls through and Hellraiser would be free game for everybody. The cheapest option? Buy an unrelated script and do a few rewrites. Then create Hellraiser: Inferno. Then repeat the process three more times with Hellseeker, Deader and Hellworld.

Great, now stand there pretentiously! Yees, yeeees! Now tell me how no one understands pain the way you do...
Great, now stand there pretentiously! Yees, yeeees! Now tell me how no one understands pain the way you do... | Source

The difference shows. Pinhead and the puzzle box play a secondary role at best after the fourth movie. The tone shifts away from cheesy oldschool horror and adapts more elements of mystery or occult or in the case of Hellworld becomes a straight up slasher flick. But the icon of Pinhead remains the same. Doug Bradley's portrayal of the legendary icon is a steadfast rock that keeps the films unquestionably connected to the franchise.

But then, for several years, not even the second-hand Hellraiser movies would be produced. A remake is kind of-sort of announced, but difficulties keep appearing and the the start of production for the film itself is nowhere in sight. Time keeps ticking. Trademarks push closer and closer to their expiring dates. The only solution: a new movie. And fast. Like, super fast. Like, produce this whole damn thing in three weeks fast. This could only go well, right?

The effort was so bad, Clive Barker disowned it and Doug Bradley, for the first time, refused to reprise his role as the icon synonymous with his name. When I saw the movie, I had no idea how to feel. At some points, the movie was so horrible, it sometimes entered a laughably entertaining state, but in no way had that so “bad it's good” kind of vibe. I've always maintained that to produce a “so bad it's good” movie, you have to love what you do. There's a certain love that gets poured into a work that people want to share with others, but one can't always do so with the resources, time or talent necessary to bring said vision fully to life. It's an intrinsic value that is hard to pinpoint, but shows in the dedication with which a work is made, but it pours through the work to the watcher himself.

Hellraiser:Revelations doesn't really have that quality. No one really has any time to care, even if they wanted to. The only fun the movie can provide is in awkward laughs, where you don't know if you should feel entertained or if you should just simply feel bad about what you see. This isn't a so bad it's good movie. It's more akin to a loud drunk at a party that tries to re-enact some scenes from a movie he once saw, but barely remembers – hilarious for all the wrong reasons, with a heavy dose of awkward added to the mix. But then again, it was never the point of this movie to actually be good.

Imagine a world, where The Bureau is actually a legitimate effort in comparison to other attempts to hold rights to a franchise. We kind of live in that world.
Imagine a world, where The Bureau is actually a legitimate effort in comparison to other attempts to hold rights to a franchise. We kind of live in that world. | Source

So, if this film was never meant to please anyone, why are we talking about it? Well, perhaps this handling of the franchise would indicate it is time to let go. The release of Revelations, even if it exists just to exist, means that Dimensions is still in control of the trademark. But with Revelations being the first in-house produced script since the fourth Hellraiser movie, their understanding of the universe and what to do with it could be seen as questionable at best. There's still the comics, but movie-wise, we're stuck waiting for a remake that is thus far stuck in development hell. And let's face it, horror movies and remakes have not made the best of combinations as of late.

The downside of the trademark being open is of course that the franchise would truly be open to anyone unless someone picks it up again. We would indeed get some terrible products, but hey, good alternatives aren't a complete impossibility. There are people out there, who, if nothing else, seem to better understand the universe the Hellraiser franchise has created. I'd make the argument that at least one such project already exists in the form of a movie called Necromentia, which was meant as an homage to Clive Barker's work.

I just want to be part of your toothpaste commercial!
I just want to be part of your toothpaste commercial! | Source

Necromentia is like a Hellraiser flick in maybe all aspects but the name dropping. It has an after-place where people finding a twisted pleasure in acts like harming themselves and others are whisked away and tortured forever by obscure, disfigured monstrosities. The cube has been replaced by a pattern that is handed down to those chosen by the residents of these strange torturers. The film is brutal in its torture and execution scenes, very close to what a modern Hellraiser might feel like.

Sadly, the way the movie is told, it might put off people. The story jumps around timelines to bring together two different stories, with the relation between the characters only revealed at the end, making the movie harder to follow. The middle part of the movie might drag on for some. But it sports some really interesting ideas and some tense scenes. Personally, I enjoyed it more than most of what came after Hellraiser: Inferno.

And of course if nothing else, it has Mr. Skinny. Who doesn't love Mr. Skinny.

End result: Troll x 4 years of further rights holding (and counting)

Lessons learned: The Lament Configuration makes people horny now. Go figure.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)