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
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”—