Pop Culture | Movies | 80s

10 Gruesome Facts About 'Hellraiser', The Most Twisted Horror Movie Of The 80s

Hellraiser might not have achieved mainstream success in the same way as franchises like Friday the 13th or A Nightmare on Elm Street did, but it's remained a favorite among horror fans since 1987.

The story of humans driven to commit gruesome acts of murder by mysterious demons called Cenobites is one of the more original ideas for a horror franchise, and we still love it today. That being said, we're pretty sure even diehard horror fans might not know a few of these facts.

It's one of the few horror novel adaptations directed by the book's author


Clive Barker directed the movie, basing it on his novella The Hellbound Heart. He had only directed two short films before, and joked a lot about his inexperience, saying that "the cast treated my ineptitudes kindly, and the crew were no less forgiving."

Doug Bradley, who played Pinhead, was disappointed everyone ignored him at the wrap-up party. It turns out none of them had seen him out of costume, and they didn't know who he was.


Talk about making an impression while in costume.

Bradley almost didn't even play Pinhead


He was given the choice of him or one of the movers in the beginning, and was worried that his career would be hurt if the audience couldn't see his face.

The movie went through several possible titles before settling on "Hellraiser."


The studio didn't like Barker's original title, "The Hellbound Heart," saying they thought it sounded too much like a romance movie. He suggested "Sadomasochists from Beyond the Grave," and then opened the floor to name suggestions from the crew. A 60-year-old woman then suggested the title of "What a Woman Will Do For a Good F***."

The facts just get crazier from here...

Clive Barker isn't a fan of the nickname "Pinhead"

Epic Comics

Despite it being used in the later Hellraiser movies, the director always found the name too undignified. The Hellraiser comics refer to the character as "Priest," Barker's original name for him in the script.

The special effects at the end are bad because the crew ran out of money

Clive Barker and "a Greek guy" he hired animated the entire sequence over a single weekend, as there was no money left to have it done professionally. He has since commented that he feels the sequence turned out quite well given how much alcohol the two consumed while animating.

Its lead actress has never seen the full movie


Clare Higgins has never been a fan of horror movies, and left the premiere of Hellraiser 10 minutes into the film because it freaked her out too much.

The other Cenobites were supposed to have dialogue


When the prosthetics proved to be impossible to talk through, a few lines were given to the Female Cenobite, and most of them were given to Pinhead, setting the stage for the character to become the face of the franchise.

The movie had to cut scenes after being given an "X" rating by the MPAA


This included several shots of the murders, a few "thrusts" during the scene between Julia and Frank, and some of the more gory closeups.

Bradley has reprised his role of Pinhead for every 'Hellraiser' movie


The only other actor to come close is Ashley Laurence as Kirsty Cotton, who has appeared in 4 of the movies.

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