Hellraiser Wiki
Hellraiser: Bloodline
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Directed by

Alan Smithee (Kevin Yagher)

Produced by

Nancy Rae Stone
Clive Barker (exec producer)

Written by

Peter Atkins

Distributed by

Miramax Films

Release date

March 8, 1996

Running time

85 minutes

Preceded by

Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth

Followed by

Hellraiser: Inferno

Hellraiser IV: Bloodline is a 1996 horror film and the fourth installment in the Hellraiser series, which serves as both a prequel and a sequel. Directed by Alan Smithee (Kevin Yagher) and Joe Chappelle (uncredited), the film stars Bruce Ramsay, Valentina Vargas and Doug Bradley as Pinhead.

This was the last Hellraiser film to be released in theatres.

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Paul Merchant, the creator of Space Station Minos, hijacks it and takes it out of orbit. He gets a robot to solve the Lament Configuration (tearing the robot to shreds), before security guards, led by Rimmer, capture him. Paul tells Rimmer the story of his bloodline.

A flashback is shown to around 400 years ago. Philip Lemarchand, a French toymaker, makes the Lament Configuration for a wealthy aristrocrat named Duc de L'Isle, who is obsessed with dark magic. He and his servant, Jacques, kill a woman and remove her insides from her skin, and L'Isle uses dark magic with the Lament Configuration to summon a demon princess named Angelique in the woman's skin. She is theirs to command unless they stand in Hell's way. However, Angelique and Jacques betray and kill de L'Isle. Lemarchand, in the process of inventing a design (the Elysium Configuration) to destroy the demons, attempts to steal back the box but is discovered. Jacques maliciously informs the toymaker that he and his bloodline are cursed until the end of time because of the box he created, before ordering Angelique to kill him. However, his wife survives.

Around 200 years later, John Merchant has built the building witnessed at the end of Hellraiser III. Upon realizing that the Merchant bloodline has survived, Angelique turns on Jacques and mutilates him to death for "standing in Hell's way" (since he didn't want her to go after him) and attempts to seduce John. She finds the Lament Configuration in a cement pillar in the basement and makes a man solve it, and he is killed by Pinhead.

Pinhead wants to make John use the Elysium Configuration to keep the gateway to Hell open so he can come and go as he pleases. After turning two twin security guards into a two-headed Cenobite, Pinhead tells Angelique that the best way to make John go along with their plans is to threaten his child, Jack. He gets John to use the Elysium Configuration, but it does not work, so Pinhead kills John. John's wife, Bobbi, sends Pinhead, Angelique, and a beastly demon called Chatter Beast back to Hell.

Returning to the present, in 2127, Rimmer has Paul locked up. However, he has already summoned the demons: Pinhead, Angelique (now a Cenobite), Twin Cenobite, and Chatter Beast. One by one, the guards are picked off by Cenobites. Parker is killed by Pinhead, Carducci by Angelique, Chamberlain by Chatter Beast, and Edwards by Twin Cenobite. Rimmer releases Paul, who has a plan to destroy the Cenobites (and built Minos for that specific reason). Rimmer escapes to a space shuttle, and kills Chatter Beast by raising the pressure in a hallway.

Paul distracts Pinhead with a hologram while he gets on the shuttle with Rimmer, and activates the Elysium Configuration. A series of powerful lasers and mirrors create a field of perpetual light, while the station transforms and folds around the light to create a massive box. The light is trapped within the box, which then self destructs, destroying the Cenobites and severing the connection between Hell and Earth forever.


  • Bruce Ramsay as Phillip "Toymaker" Lemarchand / John Merchant / Doctor Paul Merchant
  • Valentina Vargas as Peasant Girl / Angelique "Princess" / Angelique-Cenobite
  • Doug Bradley as Pinhead
  • Christine Harnos as Rimmer
  • Paul Perri as Edwards / 'Skinless' Parker
  • Tom Dugan as Chamberlain
  • Pat Skipper as Carducci
  • Jody St. Michael as Chatter Beast
  • Charlotte Chatton as Genevieve L'Merchand
  • Adam Scott as Jacques
  • Kim Myers as Bobbi Merchant
  • Mickey Cottrell as Duc de L'Isle
  • Louis Turenne as Auguste de L'Moure
  • Courtland Mead as Jack Merchant
  • Wren T. Brown as Parker
  • Sally Willis as MINOS Space Station Computer Voice
  • Louis Mustillo as Sharpe
  • Mack Miles as Corbusier - Gambler 1/Clown-Cenobite 1 (scenes deleted)
  • Andrew Magnus as de L'Vaux - Gambler 2/Clown-Cenobite 2 (scenes deleted)
  • Kenneth Tobey as Hologram-Priest (scenes deleted)


Kevin Yagher disowned the version with cuts made behind his back due to conflicting artistry ideas. Yagher's version contained much more graphic imagery, plot, and explained everything that happened in the film. The producers disagreed and demanded Pinhead should appear sooner despite every version of the script up until then having him appear around the 40-minute mark. When Yagher was unable to satisfy he disowned it and never finished filming some final scenes. Joe Chappelle was brought on to finish the film, filming new scenes from re-writes including the narrative framing device. Some scenes of the original script were thus never shot. Yagher substituted the generic Director's Guild pseudonym "Alan Smithee".

The script, a fourth draft written by Peter Atkins, may be found at the internet site The Hellbound Web. Kevin Yagher cut four different director's cuts, ranging from 82 to 110 minutes.


Bloodline was heavily marketed and initially received some positive reviews in amongst a field of negative criticism. Some praised its expanded scope while others derided its cheaper horror aspects. Domestically, it became the highest grossing Hellraiser picture with a take of $16,675,000 (USA) on a budget of $4,000,000, but leaves the original Hellraiser the most profitable in terms of budget to gross. It currently ranks 30% Rotten on Rotten Tomatoes, slightly higher in rank than its predecessor. Nevertheless it became the last Hellraiser movie to have a theatrical release.


  • The twin security guards (whom Pinhead later turns into Cenobites) nametags both say "Bradley", possibly an homage to Pinhead actor Doug Bradley.


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