The Hellraiser Films and Their Legacy


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About the Book

Best-selling horror novelist Clive Barker’s 1987 film Hellraiser has become an undisputed horror classic, spawning a movie franchise that to date includes eight films. Exploring not only the cinematic interpretations of the Hellraiser mythos but also its intrusion into other artistic and cultural forms, this volume begins by identifying the unconventional sources of Barker’s inspiration and following Barker from his pre–Hellraiser cinematic experience through the filming of the horror classic. It examines various themes (such as the undermining of the traditional family unit and the malleability of the flesh) found throughout the film series and the ways in which the representation of these themes changes from film to film. The religious aspects of the films are also discussed. Characters central to the franchise—and the mythos—are examined in detail.

About the Author(s)

Paul Kane teaches film studies, art and creative writing. A British Fantasy Award–nominated author, he writes both fiction and nonfiction books, and is a contributor to such magazines as SFX, Fangoria and Rue Morgue. He lives in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England. More about Kane and his writings can be found at

Bibliographic Details

Paul Kane

Foreword by Doug BRadley

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 255
Bibliographic Info: 75 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013 [2006]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7717-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0069-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi
Foreword by Doug Bradley      1
Preface      5

1. The Road to Hell      9
2. Opening the Box      27
3. Demons to Some      40
4. Such Sights to Show You      45
5. No Limits      51
6. To Hell and Back      53
7. Opening Doors      66
8. The Doctor Is In      77
9. The Devil You Know?      84
10. The Sweet Suffering      92
11. Earthbound      95
12. Completing the Pattern, Solving the Puzzle, Turning the Key      114
13. Pinhead Unbound      126
14. What Started in Hell      130
15. Production Hell      132
16. Open the Gates, Lay Low the Ramparts      144
17. A Distinct Sense of Déjà Vu      155
18. A Bloodline Cursed to the End of Time      157
19. Dante’s Footsteps      159
20. A World Full of Riddles      167
21. Welcome to Hell      173
22. Hide and Seek      175
23. All Problems Solved      181
24. Hellbound Hearts      187
25. Sought After?      189
26. Deader Certainty      191
27. Fear Is Where We Go to Learn      199
28. Deader, Like Me?      203
29. Hell of a World      204
30. Welcome to the Party      210
31. World in Action      215
32. No More Souls      217
33. Comics from Hell      219
34. Further Explorations      224

Chapter Notes      229
Bibliography      237
Index      243

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Kane is an excellent writer and researcher, with an in-depth appreciation for his subject matter and a novelist’s skill for writing about it…a fabulous piece of work…essential”—Destructive Music
  • “to say Kane delivers the ultimate guide to Hellraiser is an understatement. He absolutely nails it”—Total Film
  • “a must-buy”—Labyrinth
  • “an in-depth collection…exciting…the perfect compendium…open this one up and see what pleasures await”—