Quality film news, reviews and features
24th September 2004 20:00:00
Posted by Kevin Gilvear

Hellraiser: Limited Edition 4-disc Lament Configuration Box

DVD Video Review

The face of horror changed in 1987 when author Clive Barker made his impressive debut as director when he unveiled Hellraiser to the world. Based upon his short story The Hellbound Heart the film told of pain, pleasure, desire and everything one would do to attain the delights each can offer.

It wasn't just the gory effects that grabbed attention, what made the film truly memorable was the introduction of Barker's Cenobites - creatures from hell, who have chosen to sacrifice their bodies, contort and abuse them in the pursuit of ultimate pleasure. They explore and experience things that no man has ever dreamed, until the cursed box is placed in hand, the lament configuration which has formed one of the main staples within the Hellraiser mythology.

The success of the first film ensured a successful sequel, and another, and another. To date there are eight films in total and the franchise doesn't look as though it is going to slow down any time soon. The series of films have turned the Cenobites into cinematic, horror icons, the likes of which have never been seen since. Clive Barker's extraordinary visions have disturbed and entertained for years and he has clearly demonstrated over time that he deserved to be labelled one of the greatest masters of modern horror.

For the first time on UK DVD fans can enjoy Hellraiser, Hellbound: Hellraiser II and Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth completely un-cut, along with a slew of great extras. So I hope those of you reading will enjoy my reviews and subsequent break down of each disc from Anchor Bay’s simply marvellous collection. Let's begin.



Hellraiser (1987) 93 Minutes.
Starring: Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Sean Chapman, Oliver Smith, Robert Hines, Doug Bradley, and Grace Kirby.
Directed by: Clive Barker.


Frank Cotton (Sean Chapman) thought he had experienced everything, but none of his desires can equal the fate that awaits him. Soon after purchasing a mysterious puzzle box he takes it home to unlock its hidden secrets. Upon solving the puzzle the box opens the gateway from hell and Frank is met by its inhabitants - the Cenobites, who literally tear his soul apart.

Some time passes and Frank's older brother, Larry (Andrew Robinson) moves into the very same house with his wife, Julia (Clare Higgins). They discover that Frank had been living there at some point but has since fled. Larry's daughter, Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) visits him and Julia, her step-mother with whom she shares an awkward relationship but insists on making an effort to get along for her dad’s sake. While moving in furniture, Larry accidentally cuts his hand on a nail, seeping into the floorboards of the third floor room the blood awakens Frank's body, much to Julia's horror as she is the one to make the gruesome discovery. Frank has a favour to ask of Julia and it's not going to end pretty.


Hellraiser must have the quickest set up of all time, no sooner have you sat down do events begin to unfold with its opening taster of what is to come later making a compelling argument for your time.

Clive Barker debuts with this oddly paced tale of horror in high fashion. While I doubt some of his directorial choices I have to hand it to him that he knows good horror. Seventeen years on and the film holds up remarkably well, particularly in terms of visual effects. Some are better than others (you'll notice a rig behind the wall-crawler) but overall they are impressive for a low budget film and it is crucial they work as well as they do.

The film isn't a conventional one in any real sense, it is a horror like no other and not only is this because of its creatures and imaginative effects but also because it deals a lot more with character relationships and passion than any other film of its genre I've seen. There are films that have successfully done this in the past, but here Barker really focuses on aspects that are important to the tale, without having to be over the top, it focuses on romantic storytelling, not to mention family atmosphere that make up most of the film. This is as much of a psychological piece on torture as it is a screaming horror but Hellraiser is always effective, using equal parts of drama and horror Barker even throws in some very dry and dark humour which add to the entertainment.

Everyone immediately thinks of Pinhead (Doug Bradley) and company whenever these films are mentioned and the reason being is that these creatures are quite literally stunning. Going back to what I mentioned about the odd pacing, well it is during the latter moments of the film that things take a complete turn for the worse (meaning better). For most of the run time things are carefully carried out, everything is working its way toward the final act, we get flashes of Cenobite activity but the finale is where they come into play. Remembering that these are secondary characters and aren't really meant to demonstrate what the Hellraiser films are about they are nonetheless essential and their presence brings forth that discomfort and philosophical nature that lay dormant for the first hour. When Julia kills innocent victims there are certain unpleasant moments but nothing prepares you for the final act when we see these curious, highly intelligent, sado masochists grace the screen.

Hellraiser is uneven in places but what it lacks in tighter pacing it makes up for with an unnerving atmosphere and a great pay off during the finale.
9/10


The DVD

Menu

Anchor Bay has done a great job in providing some atmospheric menu screens. From the disc's opening you must click on the lament configuration puzzle box in order to access the main screen. After hearing Pinhead speak you are taken to the main menu that plays some eerie sounds, with chains behind heard in the background, amplified through the rear speakers. If you leave the menu for about 1-minute you will automatically get a screensaver that features the moving box. Good stuff.

Picture

Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and anamorphically enhanced, Hellraiser looks great, given its age and budget. There is a noticeable amount of grain present, not to mention slight softness in areas but on the other hand it exhibits good colourisation, with almost solid black levels. The film isn't without its dosage of gore and reds hold up very well, with no colour bleeding from those stark colours (somewhat of a pun intended).
8/10

Sound

We're given three main audio options: stereo 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and DTS. After sampling each track I opted for the latter and found the DTS mix to be satisfying, though in reality there is little to separate this and the other tracks save for a much louder experience. All the tracks offer the same in terms of rear speaker activity so when it comes down to it the DTS comes out on top for being the more aggressive option, how much you enjoy it depends on whether or not you mind disturbing your neighbours.

Those requiring them will be pleased to know that optional English subtitles for the hard of hearing are provided.
8/10

Extras

There are no subtitles available for the extra features.

Audio Commentary with Clive Barker, Pete Atkins and Ashley Laurence
This is located in the audio set-up screen. The commentary was recorded for Anchor Bay's original R1 release and has the group discussing the film 15 years after its debut. It's a lively track with each member offering a lot of insight into the production of the film; Clive Barker shares some honest thoughts about the final cut, acknowledging it as a product of its time, while Ashley Laurence helps him out with some enthusiastic comments. Pete Atkins brings up many questions to spur on Barker and the track rarely ceases at all.

Audio Commentary with Clive Barker
Also found in the audio set-up screen, this features Barker by himself. Here he covers much of the same ground as before but this time he is also allowed more time to discuss the film's narrative flow and character sensibilities. He also discusses filming on a low budget and effects designs. It's a decent track that covers many bases.

On-set Interview with Director Clive Barker
This short piece of approximately 6-minutes features an interview with Clive Barker, on the set of his debut. He comes across as very energetic, with much enthusiasm about his upcoming film. Certainly he shows a deep interest in the subject matter and offers some serious thoughts on it. There are also interviews with Clare Higgins, Andrew Robinson and Ashley Laurence who all have no idea how the film will turn out but all seem excited about working on it.

Trailers and TV Spots
Here you can view the first and second original theatrical trailers, the US theatrical trailer, the international trailer and US TV spots.

Featurettes :

Hellraiser: Resurrection
Running for nearly 25-minutes this highly enjoyable featurette has cast and crew members taking a trip down memory lane. From the opening Clive Barker lets us know that this will be the last time he talks about the film as he's exhausted himself over the years discussing it, so with good humour and for one last time he delivers some interesting opinions on Hellraiser. Joining him in separate interviews are Doug Bradley, Ashley Laurence, Oliver Smith, Nicholas Vince, Simon Bamford, Bob Keen and Christopher Young.

Under the Skin: Doug Bradley on Hellraiser
At 12 and half minutes, this brand new feature, recorded this year has Doug Bradley talking about his career and experiences on the film that gave him immortality onscreen. Doug has always been fond of his character and recalls a time when he was originally offered the choice of playing a Cenobite or a removal man. His choice paid off.

Storyboards
The first set of storyboards feature 12-pages of material. Unfortunately the handwriting on these pages is difficult to read but not a bad addition anyway. The second storyboard option is "The Birth of Frank". Selecting this will play out the 2-minute sequence in which Frank comes back from the dead, accompanied by various storyboards that pop up to show the original conceptualisation of the scene.

Stills Gallery
This is made up of three separate sections. Firstly there is "Behind the Scenes", which is made up of various on-set shots, including cast, crew, props and make-up. The second is "Make-up and SFX photos". These are predominantly test shots and final shots of the Cenobites. Lastly is "Promotional Material". Here you can view black and white stills, French stills, German stills, Japanese poster art and UK stills.

Draft Screenplay
This is a DVD-Rom feature which enables you to view the original screenplay by placing the disc in your PC.

Screen Saver
This is an option to view the screen saver without having to wait for the main menu to play it.
9/10



Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988) 99 Minutes.
Starring: Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Kenneth Cranham, Imogen Boorman, William Hope, Sean Chapman, Oliver Smith, Doug Bradley, and Barbie Wilde.
Directed by: Tony Randel.


Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) awakens in a psychiatric hospital and remembers the horrific events that caused the death of her family. She informs a police officer of her ordeal and the Cenobites who chased her through the gates of hell, but naturally he dismisses her claims and leaves Kirsty in her doctor’s care. Her story grabs the attention of Dr. Channard (Kenneth Cranham), the head of the institute who unbeknownst to everyone else around him has been researching the mysteries of the lament configuration for many years. Kirsty warns him about the mattress upon which Julia (Clare Higgins) died, for she can resurrect herself should the blood of others spill onto it, and so the good doctor sets out to make it so by mercilessly using his patients as bait. He also uses the talents of one of his patients - a young, mute girl named Tina (Imogen Boorman) who he hands the puzzle box to, in order to open the gates of hell...


Re-uniting most of the cast members from Hellraiser and picking up right after the events of said film, Hellbound immediately sets off in first gear. The set up in which Kirsty is held in her room works as a frustrating moment because we already know she is telling the truth and director, Tony Randel works with this tense build up to a successful degree.

While the themes of the original are prevalent here, so is an all new take on the mythology with regards to the film's main focus being on the opening of hell and much of the events taking place there. The Cenobites are given more screen time and they serve not only as secondary figures (as they considered to be in Hellraiser) but they also provide several key moments that help us to understand a little more about them. This is the first time that we get to properly witness their origins, or at least part of them - clearly by now it is something that is meant to be explored, that Barker wishes to explain over a certain period of time, and this he does furthermore (albeit poorly) with Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth, but more on that later. The climactic events of this film shows the Cenobites in a new light, all the more satisfactory given their outlook and options when they find themselves up against a new threat.

Hellbound basically builds upon the foundations set up in the first film and this is what makes it in my opinion a very worthy successor. Not only does the storyline develop but it also becomes a lot more graphic in terms of violence and torture. This sequel concentrates on the aspects of hell and what those who desire to go there will meet - namely their own private hell that consists of everything they're afraid of but must endure for eternity. Taking on a more surrealistic nature than Hellraiser it goes on to break some rules and introduce some very twisted ideas that can only have come from the mind of Barker himself.

Hellbound is an underrated and worthy sequel in the franchise, before things started to get shaky with the introduction of part three. Films like this aren't made any more, and more to the point few would even get away with what the first two films in this franchise managed to achieve. Solid, twisted movie making.
8/10


The DVD

Menu

Much like the Hellraiser disc this one also starts off by introducing the lament configuration puzzle box, before going on to the main menu screen. The atmosphere of the first disc is present here, along with some new background stills featuring the Cenobites. Working in the same way as the previous disc is the screensaver. This is another lovingly created menu from the folks at Anchor Bay.

Picture

Like the first film, presented in an anamorphic 1.78:1 aspect ratio Hellbound is another great effort. The same basic complaints levelled at the Hellraiser transfer apply, black levels could have been a little deeper and there is still a healthy amount of grain present. Still, I won't say that grain ever really detracts from a film, particularly one as old as this which has been shot on a fairly low budget (though considerably higher than its predecessor). Fans will be delighted with the overall presentation of the film in all its uncut glory.
8/10

Sound

We get a choice of Stereo 2.0, 5.1 and DTS. Again I opted to view the film in DTS and I have to say it sounds rather good, though very similar to the other tracks. Like Hellraiser this simply adds a little more oomph but doesn't take full advantage of separating surround effects. Every speaker just sounds loud, it's a case of DTS not always being the preferred choice as having compared it to the other two I am indifferent as to which I think is best.
8/10

Extras

None of the extras on this disc are subtitled.

Audio Commentary with Tony Randel, Ashley Laurence and Pete Atkins
This is located in the audio set-up menu and has the director, star and writer discuss the production of the film. Although there a few noticeable pauses the commentary is lively enough, though Ashley Laurence is happy to sit there and let Tony and Pete take over, until they give her enough nods. When she gets more involved she offers some good insight into the acting process and speaks of her excitement working on the feature. Tony voices his opinions on the finished piece and while he isn’t entirely happy with the way several scenes turned out he is generally pleased with his debut. The trio manage to tell us several stories during production, with perhaps the best and most amusing one being when Barry Norman visited the set.

Audio Commentary with Tony Randel and Pete Atkins
This is a decent commentary, although I can't say that I learned much more than I did from the first one.

Interviews
There are two on-set interviews here. The first runs for approximately 3 and a half minutes and has Clive Barker talking about his latest creation with a lot of enthusiasm. The second runs for just over 4 and a half minutes and features good but brief interviews with Clive Barker, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Imogen Boorman and Kenneth Cranham. The cast seem to be enjoying themselves for the sequel, with several returning members who are glad to be back.

Trailers and TV Spots
Here you will find 4 theatrical trailers and a collection of TV Spots.

Featurettes :

Hellbound: Lost in the Labyrinth
A recent feature, running for 17-minutes - this has Clive Barker, Doug Bradley, Ashley Laurence, Bob Keen, Tony Randel, Peter Atkins, Simon Bamford, Nicholas Vince, Oliver Smith and Christopher Young discussing the making of the sequel. There are plenty of new things for fans to learn about the films and again it's nice to see some genuinely honest reactions from all involved.

Under the Skin: Doug Bradley on Hellraiser II
Doug returns for his second, frank interview on the series and again he proves to be a man of many words, though the years of answering the same questions seem to be taking their toll on him. It will please fans to know that Doug finally puts to rest the age old question regarding the "lost" Cenobite surgeon scene that was in fact never shot, but caused controversy when an image featuring the Cenobites in surgical uniforms made it on to the cover of a VHS rental edition in the United States. Will Doug ever tire of talking about Pinhead? Who knows but he has accepted it as being a huge part of his life and his contribution to this set continues to be much appreciated.

Stills Gallery
Here you can look at various stills from around the world that includes France, Japan, the UK and the US. The collection is quite small and far from impressive but you can't complain over their presence.

Draft Screenplay
Like disc 1, by inserting this into your DVD-Rom drive you will be given access to the film's script.

Screen saver
This is exactly the same as the first disc, with a slightly different score playing.
9/10



Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992) 93 Minutes.
Starring: Terry Farrell, Paula Marshall, Kevin Bernhardt, Doug Bradley, Ken Carpenter and Ashley Laurence.
Directed by: Anthony Hickox.


Joey Summerskill (Terry Farrell) is a struggling reporter, desperate for her first big scoop that seems to be just around the corner. After finishing a report one night at a hospital she witnesses a young man being carted into the emergency ward, covered in blood and with chains attached to his body. Soon she and the hospital staff witness his gruesome death as his flesh is torn apart by forces unseen. Terry immediately sees this as a huge story and proceeds to track down the girl who accompanied the man before running off. She soon tracks the girl, Terri (Paula Marshall) to the "The Boiler Room", which she learns is owned by Terri's ex-boyfriend, J.P. Munroe (Kevin Bernhardt). J.P. has recently purchased a statue that contains the souls of the dead, including Pinhead (Doug Bradley) himself. It's not long before Pinhead's persuasive abilities convince J.P. to kill and bring him back into the world of the living.


The series gets Americanized for this third outing - Oh man, where did it all go wrong?

In what looks to be some sort of crazed attempt at trying to appease the MTV generation, Hell on Earth takes the series into unchartered territory and looks more like an overlong music video, filled with rubbish rock anthems and raving teens. There is a little more to the film than that but it's a class example of interesting concept over failed execution.

The opportunity to follow up Hellbound by continuing Pinhead's origins should have ensured a film of utmost importance but director, Anthony Hickox, although bringing Pinhead forcefully into the foreground manages to overlook much about his character, in favour of playing around with new and frustrating ideas within the Hellraiser universe. Clive Barker is on hand as producer but it seems evident that he actually has little to do here in overseeing the work. It became all too apparent early on that Pinhead had by now become an iconic figure and therefore it was only a matter of time before he had a larger role to carry a film. The problem here is that the director and writer have taken everything that Pinhead stands for and twisted things more than they needed to be. Pinhead loses much of what made his character interesting in the previous films and much more emphasis is placed on having him spout out quick witted quips, some of which may be memorable but simply don't provide any kind of development. For a film that could have been a good origin piece, it fails at almost every opportunity to give us a better played story of Pinhead and his descent into hell.

We've come to learn that in order for a person to become a Cenobite they must have a desire to be one. In Hell on Earth one of the big twists is that as soon as Pinhead is released from his pillar of souls he is no longer tied to hell and its rules concerning the lament configuration. This means that he is free to rebel and create an army of Cenobites just for the sheer fun of it - out with the old and in with the new. The Cenobites here are amongst the most unimaginative I've seen in the series, each featuring modernised face lifts pertaining to technology. They are the least grotesque creatures to date and bring down the series' inventiveness.

This new addition to the storyline almost makes a joke out of Pinhead, who now acts like a child with a new toy. Maybe that's the point but to me it makes his character less credible, and worse so when he goes about shouting too often, losing much of his old, reserved self. There should at least have been some interesting religious factors to play with, particularly toward the end of the film when Pinhead enters a church but it is glossed over considerably and Hickox's depiction of what would appear to be Pinhead as the antichrist is poorly handled, and over acted by Bradley, again with Pinhead being taken to an unnecessary extreme.

As a precursor to this scene we see some very poor action sequences - series after series of elaborate explosions that look like they are elaborate explosions, with actress Terry Farrell (who is decent in her role, with Laurence being sorely missed by now) looking considerably lost and slightly unconvincing as she runs through a deserted street that has been poorly edited together.

Hell on Earth isn't without its great moments. It does start off well and has some solid performances but I just can't help but feel that it is a shame the film wandered off course and got lost.
5/10



The DVD

Menu

The menu here is different from the previous two. The main screen consists of the pillar, spinning around while music plays in the background. The least visually interesting effort in the set.

Picture

The film is presented for the first time in its original 1.78:1 aspect ratio and enhanced for wide-screen televisions. For the most part it looks about the best of the three in terms of stronger colour and detail, though grain is still present. One minor thing is that Anchor Bay has re-inserted footage from a different master in order to provide the most complete cut available. Fans will be pleased by this but on a personal level I don't find the added scenes to be of any major value and they neither improve the film or make it worse. They are however distracting because of their low quality, VHS-like appearance, with very dark, tinted colour levels and overall soft quality. Still, they are short scenes and only make up a couple of minutes of footage, if that.
8/10

Sound

There's no cutting corners here. Anchor Bay give the film the same treatment as the previous ones, with options of either 2.0, 5.1 or DTS. No prizes for guessing which mix I opted for as once again the DTS mix proves to offer a pleasant, audible experience. The rears get fairly active with explosion effects and subtle background noises, while the front speakers handle dialogue very well. The score is also given an added boost, with some great use of the famous Hellraiser theme.
8/10

Extras

There are no subtitles for these.

Audio Commentary with Anthony Hickox and Doug Bradley
This is really great, perhaps my favourite track of the set. Right from the opening shot we hear the duo cracking jokes and getting into the spirit of things, and from here onward they maintain a very entertaining discussion. What I like in these tracks, and from what I've said earlier is how honest they are. Hickox and Bradley overlook many faults with the film, particularly ones that I have the biggest problems with but on the other hand they do point out several other flaws, or at least Doug does more so with regards to his character's make up and delivery. Hickox points out some nice shots and he also notices the newly inserted footage, which he appears to be impressed with. Both contributors are very easy going, they have a lot of fun, sipping cokes, smoking and enjoying the experience all over again.

Under the Skin: Doug Bradley on Hellrasier III
Running close to 14-minutes this new interview segment provides some very interesting facts, as Doug goes about explaining the original ideas for the film, as invented by Clive Barker but just weren't meant to be. He does go on to say that it was the best experience he's ever had on a Hellraiser set and seems to be very fond overall of this particular film.

Raising Hell on Earth: Interview with Anthony Hickox
This interview also runs for approximately 14-minutes. Here Anthony Hickox discusses securing the directing gig for the film, a task which he was all too happy to take on. He shares some fond memories and even hints at wanting to direct a new Hellraiser film.

On-set Interview with Clive Barker and Doug Bradley
This runs for just over 5-minutes and features Clive Barker talking up this new instalment with great enthusiasm, but obviously he hadn't seen the final product at that point. Try as he might to entice cinema goers he can't prepare us for the ultimate disappointment. Doug Bradley talks about the new direction taken with Pinhead and his origins, mentioning his freedom on Earth but I just don't share the same sentiments toward his character as he does here.

Trailer
Only the one trailer this time and it’s the theatrical version.

Stills Gallery
Another watered down gallery here. It would be nice to have had a much more extensive gallery, but it is better than nothing. We get 13 stills, ranging from behind the scenes and graphic novel covers to make-up shots.

Screensaver
Featuring the cube once more, this time it moves about with a scene of the club playing in the background, at the end of which we hear a memorable quote from Pinhead.

Easter Egg
On the main menu keep pressing right, scrolling through each option until you highlight a blue puzzle box at the top of the screen. This will take you to roughly 50 seconds of behind the scenes and make-up footage.
8/10



Bonus Disc

This disc does not feature subtitles.

Clive Barker fans will be pleased to know that Anchor Bay have included two of his early short films.

Early Short 1: Clive Barker's "Salome", Featuring Interviews with Clive Barker, Pete Atkins and Doug Bradley
This runs for approximately 26-minutes and is hosted by director, Peter Whittle. It starts with Clive Barker being interviewed and discussing how he became involved with underground film-making during the 70's. The film itself is a very experimental piece, with Barker putting a new twist on the tale, more so in the visuals that he uses instead of dialogue. Filmed in black and white and featuring an atmospheric score the film is an interesting one, with some bizarre and effective images. The old, worn, grainy look it has attained over the years aids it well and clearly the talent involved made a good, first impression. I wouldn't say it was a particularly great film, being very hit and miss but it is a good example of low budget, highly driven movie making.


Early Short 2: Clive Barker's "The Forbidden", Featuring Interviews with Clive Barker, Pete Atkins and Doug Bradley
Continuing the same feature, and running for 48-minutes this opens with Clive Barker introducing the film and its influence. Based upon the tale of "Faust" this short is noticeably more ambitious than Salome with Barker and his close friends pushing themselves harder to achieve their desired shots. This was a trial and error run that had them coming up with ways to create certain effects that they were pleased with, effects that would be done any number of ways given a larger budget. Clive also discusses trying to get the film funded and reactions to it afterward, particular toward the skinning scene which was created by using several layers of dry paint. This film is clearly reflected in Clive Barker's future efforts, particularly Hellraiser, not only in terms of visual look but also certain themes. There's a bit too much of naked dancing man though.


Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth
Anchor Bay has included this film as an extra, for the reason being that they just had it. Curious to know I asked producer Marc Morris (Anchor Bay UK DVD producer) if he could explain it:

"When the original Hellraiser III master arrived, it was the same cut edition as had previously been seen (although in this case at least it was 16:9 enhanced). It was because of this that the original uncut 4:3 version was to be included as a bonus feature, until I suggested a restoration was done with the new master.

By that time, the other disc had already been replicated. Still, if people watch the original version, they'll see just how much better the brand new master is."
6/10



The Packaging

Anchor Bay has provided several versions for this release. Aside from the films being individually released in amaray cases they have also put all three together in a digi-pack. But that's not all, for the collector out there, especially the Hellraiser completists amongst you there is a limited edition lament configuration box, which houses all three films plus the exclusive bonus disc.

I never expected the box to be anything truly magical, a lavish wooden set would have been out of the question and bonus chains even more so. The final result is one that has both positive and negative points. Aesthetically the box looks great; certainly a nice piece to place on the shelf but on closer inspection you will begin to notice its flaws. The box alignment is slightly off, when closed completely the sides still poke out a little, leaving gaps in each corner. After taking the lid off the sides drop down to reveal each disc placed on the reverse of each side. The box is flimsy and you must take care to look after it. Of further note, the disc holders are too tight, making it difficult to take out the discs due to having to prize them out as there are no pressers. I now have a crack running from one edge of the centre ring to the other edge on my Hellraiser disc, as well as a small crack forming on Hellraiser II: Hellbound - very disappointing. Much like the third film it’s a nice concept but poorly implemented.

Located at the base of the box is a colour booklet. This starts off with an introduction by Clive Barker, followed by a mini biography that leads to the Hellraiser films. On the back of the booklet are chapter stop listings for all three films.
4/10


Overall

This Hellraiser collection is perhaps Anchor Bay's finest release to date. The sheer dedication they have demonstrated toward these great films is remarkable and commendable, and though I have extreme reservations over the lament packaging it is what’s inside that impresses the most, with each title looking and sounding better than ever you also get more extras than you can shake a rusty Cenobite at.
Details and Specifications
DVD Video Review

Region: 2

Certificate: 18

Distributor:
Anchor Bay

Running Time:
285 mins approx
Soundtracks:
English 2.0
English 5.1
English DTS

Subtitles:
English for the Hard of Hearing.

Director:
Clive Barker
Tony Randel
Anthony Hickox

Main cast:
Ashley Laurence
Clare Higgins
Andrew Robinson
Sean Chapman
Oliver Smith
Robert Hines
Doug Bradley
Grace Kirby
Kenneth Cranham
Imogen Boorman
William Hope
Barbie Wilde
Terry Farrell
Paula Marshall
Kevin Bernhardt
Ken Carpenter
-- more --
Ratings
Film
9
Video
8
Audio
8
Extras
10
9
About Kevin Gilvear
Kev joined The Digital Fix team in 2004, specializing in Asian cinema and cult film and television. During that time he’s also worked on various features, including bringing exclusive interviews to the site. Today he divides his time between covering movies for The Movie Fix (where he watches far too many Japanese pink films) and writing about music, with a spot of photography, for The Music Fix.


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