|Hellbound: Hellraser II|
New World Pictures
December 23, 1988
Hellbound: Hellraiser II is a 1988 British horror film directed by Tony Randel. It draws heavily upon, and was made by much of the same cast and crew as its precursor, Hellraiser.
The movie opens up with Captain Elliott Spenser (Doug Bradley) playing with the Lament Configuration box, only to send him to Hell and transforms him to the Cenobite "Pinhead". Flash forward to the present, where Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence) is placed inside the Channard Institute, a psychiatric hospital, and is questioned by Homicide Detective Ronson (Angus MacInness). After the police search the house, they stumble upon the bloody mattress from the original film and bag it as evidence. Kirsty meets Dr. Phillip Channard (Kenneth Cranham) and his assistant Kyle MacRae (William Hope) and she tells her story. Before leaving, Kirsty begs Ronson to burn the mattress as it is the only means of bringing Julia back from Hell. Channard goes and talks to Ronson.
During her first night, she has trouble falling asleep when she comes across a young girl named Tiffany (Imogen Boorman), who has a knack for solving puzzles and has been institutionalized for six months. Kirsty has trouble falling asleep as she begins to hear voices and receives a bloody message from her father: "I AM IN HELL. HELP ME." Kirsty explains the entire story to Channard after she expresses to Kyle that her father may still be alive.
The film then cuts to Channard at his home to reveal that he has stolen the mattress, and Kyle sneaks to his house to find that Channard was obsessed with the Lament Configuration box and the portal to Hell. Kyle watches as Channard brings back a patient named Mr. Browning (Oliver Smith) from the ward as a sacrifice for Julia's resurrection. Channard brings Skinless Julia (Deborah Joel) back more corpses for her to feed on: she now has her skin back. He goes back and informs Kirsty about what he saw and that he now believes her. They go to the house together, as Kirsty finds a picture of Spenser before becoming Pinhead. Kyle runs into Julia (now played by Clare Higgins): at first he has no idea who she is before realizing too late. Julia and Kirsty finally meet again, and Julia smacks Kirsty as Channard brings another victim: Tiffany.
The next scene shows Tiffany is not another victim, but merely to open the puzzle box so Channard can experience Hell. The Cenobites are released, but Pinhead (Doug Bradley) stops the others from killing Tiffany, for he notes that it is not her desire that made her open the box but Channard's. Kirsty wakes up and, after seeing what has happened, heads for Hell with the box. Channard is eventually betrayed by Julia and turned into a Cenobite.
Kirsty eventually finds Tiffany, and they both try to find an exit. Kirsty sees her father's house, and runs in thinking her father might be inside, but it turns out to be Uncle Frank (Sean Chapman). He is the one who sent Kirsty the message, wanting Kirsty to join him. She responds by burning down the house, as well as Frank's flesh. Julia enters with Tiffany, and Skinless Frank (Oliver Smith) motions her to kiss him. Julia betrays him, ripping his heart out as the girls make their escape. The girls try to escape from getting sucked away, but Julia catches them and grabs onto Tiffany before she is pulled out of her skin.
Kirsty and Tiffany make their escape back to the hospital, but the Channard Cenobite (Kenneth Cranham) finds them and gives chase again. Kirsty encounters Pinhead, Butterball (Simon Bamford), Chatterer II (Nicholas Vince), and the Female Cenobite (Barby Wilde). Kirsty gives Pinhead the picture of Elliott Spenser and reminds them that they were all human at one time, until pain got the better of them. The Channard Cenobite arrives to capture Tiffany, while the remaining Cenobites all choose to protect Kirsty. Channard Cenobite kills all the Cenobites (reverting them back to human form) and turns Pinhead's face into Elliott. Elliott smiles at Kirsty and allows her to escape before succumbing to his death.
Tiffany decides to go back into Hell and finish what was started. Kirsty follows as well, but understands that it's all a puzzle. Tiffany attempts to solve the puzzle, but Channard Cenobite interferes and attacks both girls. Kirsty retreats. As Channard Cenobite proceeds to stalk Tiffany, Julia reappears and distracts him long enough for Tiffany to solve the puzzle. As the Channard Cenobite (now played by Bronco McLaughlin) tries to kill Tiffany, he ends up decapitated. Tiffany goes over the edge, but Julia catches her and pulls her up (but not before it is revealed that Kirsty has disguised herself in Julia's skin. Both of them escape back to the hospital as the portal closes and they both leave the hospital.
Some time later, two movers attempt to pack up all of Channard's belongings before one notices the bloodied mattress. It kills the first mover (Oliver Parker) as the second mover () enters the room. A pillar rises up and spins around, showing the near-dead Cenobite Pinhead screaming (Geoffrey Portass) as well as Julia, before stopping. The last head (Little John) is revealed to be the same man from the first film, who ends the movie by asking: "What is your pleasure, sir?" (the similar line the first film ends with.)
- Ashley Laurence as Kirsty Cotton
- Imogen Boorman as Tiffany
- Kenneth Cranham as Dr. Philip Channard/Channard Cenobite
- Clare Higgins as Julia Cotton
- William Hope as Kyle MacRae
- Doug Bradley as Pinhead the Lead Cenobite/Captain Elliott Spenser
- Barbie Wilde as Female Cenobite
- Simon Bamford as Butterball Cenobite
- Nicholas Vince as Chatterer I/Chatterer II
- Deborah Joel as "Skinless" Julia/"Skinless" Julia (on pillar)
- Angus MacInnes as Homicide Detective Ronson
- Oliver Smith as Mr. Browning/"Skinless" Frank/Frank the Monster (in flashback)
- Sean Chapman as Uncle Frank Cotton
- Bradley Lavelle as Officer Kucich
- James Tillitt as Officer Cortez
- Catherine Chevalier as Tiffany's Mother
- Edwin Craig as Wheelchair Patient
- Bronco McLaughlin as Channard Cenobite
- Oliver Parker as First Mover
- Geoff Portass as Pinhead (on pillar)
- Little John as Puzzle Guardian (on pillar)
- Andrew Robinson as Larry Cotton/Frank in Larry's skin (in flashback)
- Grace Kirby as Female Cenobite (in flashback)
Clive Barker returned as producer for the sequel, with Tony Randel directing due to his experience of working with Barker on Hellraiser. Randell claims the dark tone of the move reflected his own mindset on the world at the time. The picture was due to have a much larger budget but it decreased after financial issues with New World Pictures. Nicholas Vince, who plays the Chattering Cenobite, received a hook to the jaw while filming a scene involving his character being impaled on a swinging torture rack surrounded by the many hanging chains. It's claimed the camera man stopped filming just at that instance. He also requested his character have eyes to help his vision, which caused some discontent with fans deriding the new design. A scene in which the character receives his "vision" was removed from the final cut, causing some confusion at his introductory scene in Hellbound featured him in his original, 'eyeless' guise. British Shakesperian actor Kenneth Cranham, who plays Channard, claimed his involvement was due to his grandson pestering him to take up the offer being a fan of the original. Oliver Smith, who played Skinless Frank in the original due to his skinny frame (allowing the body makeup to be realistic), reprised his role along with two extra roles as Browning (the mental patient who imagines bugs and insects crawl on his flesh) and as the skinless figure Kirsty envisages in the hospital whom writes "I Am In Hell Help Me" in blood on the wall. Composer Christopher Young also returned to compose a more bombastic score larger in scope. For the horn-like sound supposedly emanating from The Leviathan in the centre of Hell's labyrinth, he had the Morse Code for God incorporated. This was due to be Pinhead's final appearance in a Hellraiser picture, Randel and crew expecting Julia to become the main figurehead of the picture. With the picture commissioned within a week of Hellraiser's release and its strong returns, it wasn't until the picture's completion the producers realised the full extent of Pinhead's popularity.
An alternate script with Kirsty's father Larry exists, written before Andrew Robinson declined to reprise the role. Dr. Channard was originally called Dr. Malahide.
United Kingdom Release
Hellbound: Hellraiser II was released in its full uncut form in the UK along with Hellraiser and Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth. The uncut version has a running time of 98 minutes. The first three movies were released in a box set along with a bonus disc under the company Anchor Bay Entertainment.
The noticeable changes in the extended version are:
- At the beginning of the film, when it shows a summary of the first film, the summary starts off with Frank being torn by hundreds of chains, then exploding, instead of Pinhead saying "We'll tear your soul apart!"
- At the beginning of the film, when Captain Elliott Spencer turns into Pinhead, shots of a knife cutting a grid into Pinhead's head are shown.
- Additional shots of the deranged patient cutting himself with a razor blade are shown.
- Doctor Channard's human death scene is slightly extended, with extra shots of the wires cutting through his face.
- As Doctor Channard first appears in the hospital, a shot of a patient's severed hand is seen falling to the floor before Kirsty and Tiffany encounter the Cenobites.
- An extra, longer shot of Channards head being torn off is shown.
- Michael McDowell was originally going to write and direct the film, but had to drop out, due to personal reasons.
- Screenwriter Peter Atkins received hate mail from fans who were outraged that the Dr. Channard Cenobite could so easily kill Pinhead and the other three Cenobites from the original Hellraiser film. Atkins said it was because they had been "spiritually weakened" by Kirsty reminding them they had previously been humans, while Channard had recently abandoned his humanity and was "in full Cenobitic glory". Atkins said, "I hasten to assure all true Pinhead fans out there that I too think in a smackdown contest between Pinhead and Channard, Pinhead would win."
- Dr. Channard's name in the script was Dr. Malahide. "Channard" is derived from Christiaan Bernard, who performed the world's first successful heart transplant.
- Andrew Robinson refused to reprise his role as Larry Cotton, forcing hasty script rewrites. This partially accounts for the muddled story structure of the final film. But on the Hellraiser 20th Anniversary Edition featurette titled Mr. Cotton, I Presume? the truth of why he did not reprise his role as Larry Cotton is as he states "They didn't want to pay me as they did for Hellraiser, so I said forget it. And that was that."
- Because of a neck accident, Kenneth Cranham only played the Channard Cenobite whilst floating for a single day.
- The head at the end of the movie that asks "What's your pleasure, sir?" is the head of the strange man who ate crickets at the pet shop in the first film. As he is asking the question in this film, his face has crickets walking around on it.
- On the Hellbound: Hellraiser II 20th Anniversary Edition DVD, a new interview with actor Simon Bamford indicates that his character/villain Butterball cenobite originally had dialog. The lines would have been "Perhaps we prefer you," and "Impossible," if it were not for the fake teeth. In the final version, the lines were given to the Female Cenobite.
- A few characters were dubbed over with American accents including Officer Cortez and Officer Kucich. Frank was only dubbed over with Canadian actor Bruce Ramsay in one of Kirsty Cotton's flashbacks.
- For the kiss scene, when Julia holds a struggling Kyle and drains his blood, British actress Clare Higgins trained in judo with Jimmy Pedro for two months, in preparation for the shot. After the filming, Higgins went on training judo, and curiously fought at the Cheltenham Judo Cup of 1994 (she finished fourth place, having lost only two matches out of six).
- It is said that after this film, the sinister character of Julia would be even more important, and it was the general idea for her to become the focus of the franchise. When the imagine of Pinhead turned out to become world-wide famous, it was decided that this character, Pinhead, should be featured more proeminently, and not Julia. Actress Clare Higgins's decision to seek stories that had more humanity and didn't bring so much brutality and violence also had something to do with Pinhead becoming the main character, even though the actress said many times that she really loved working in the two Hellraiser films and cared for her co-stars and the crew.
- An image appeared on the back of the original VHS cover case with Pinhead and the Female Cenobite disguised as two doctors, leading people to believe it had been deleted. Doug Bradley revealed on his official website that the scene had never been completed nor filmed. When they came to shoot it the effects were not working, and they eventually decided to abandon the sequence. An on-set photographer took several pictures as a record of the day, but nothing was ever completed nor filmed.
Released December 1988 in the US, Hellbound would gross $12,090,735 (USA) and £980,503 (UK) against an estimated $6,000,000 budget. Critically response was initially mixed, many critics citing stronger violence and an incoherent plot. Roger Ebert, who derided the original, commented "this movie violates more rules than the First Rule of Repetition. It also violates a basic convention of story construction, which suggests that we should get at least a vague idea of where the story began and where it might be headed. This movie has no plot in a conventional sense. It is simply a series of ugly and bloody episodes strung together one after another like a demo tape by a perverted special-effects man." However, he did add "The images have been constructed with a certain amount of care and craftsmanship." Flimsy props and sets have also been criticized, as well as praised for their scope and design for such a low budget picture. Other critics later commended the film on strong visuals that echo and match Barker's own original. Browning's bed scene gained a lot of notoriety and was released in full on the Uncut version of Hellbound on the Special Edition Lament Configuration boxset and the movie is widely regarded as the strongest of all the sequels and the closest in spirit of the original. Canadian actor William Hope, who starred previously in Aliens, called his experience on Hellbound as his favourite of any movie he has worked on. The movie has a 47% Rotten status on Rotten Tomatoes.