Archive for Nicholas Vince

Sights to Behold: Celluloid Screams 2017

Posted in Horror Attractions, Horror Festivals, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2017 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

On Friday the 20th October, the ninth edition of Sheffield Horror festival Celluloid Screams will commence, promising eager festival attendees that they have such sights to show us. The popular festival has one epic schedule planned featuring a range of classic horror, brand new releases and special events to keep bloodthirsty fans satisfied over the two and a half days.

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I have consecutively attended the festival since 2011 and I’m beyond excited to see what 2017 has in store. Alongside my local horror festival Abertoir, Celluloid Screams is an event that I look forward to each year as it delivers a brilliantly arranged programme that is accessible for fans of a range of sub-genres. The welcoming, community atmosphere also plays a key role in why this festival remains one of the highlights of my year.

This year, the festival programmers led by Robert Nevitt have excelled themselves by providing us with so many exceptional films to look forward to. The proceedings kick off with festival favorites Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson’s, cult-focused thriller, The Endless, followed by the eagerly anticipated British haunt-fest, Borley Rectory featuring a Q&A with the film’s director Ashley Thorpe. Other highlights to look forward to over the spooktacular weekend include closing film, Better Watch Out, a festive Christmas chiller, the trope-defying Tragedy Girls, the long awaited sequel, Creep 2 and of course the mysterious secret film.

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The main attraction however will be a special showcase of the popular BBC anthology series, Inside No. 9. Both creators and stars, the immensely talented Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith will be in attendance to hand pick their favorite episodes and indulge their fans in a Q&A following the screening. With the impending revival of their warped, cult comedy, The League of Gentleman returning to television screens in the foreseeable, this event will prove to be a must-see.

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Celluloid Screams will be screening not just one but two iconic classics on the big screen. We will feast our eyeballs on the stunning 4K restoration of Dario Argento’s exquisite masterpiece, Suspiria (1977) as well as a special 30th anniversary screening of Clive Barker’s incredible, Hellraiser (1987) with actor Nicholas Vince (famed for playing the role of the Chatterer) and special effects supervisor, Geoff Portass in attendance, partaking in a Q&A session following the film.

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With an array of films from all over the world, innovative short film screenings and a euro-horror celebrated art exhibition, it is fair to say that we are in for one hell of a weekend!

Keep up to date via my Facebook page, Hayley’s Horror Reviews and twitter account @WelshDemoness throughout the festival for plenty of updates.

http://celluloidscreams.co.uk/

Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.  

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The Top Short Films of Celluloid Screams 2016!

Posted in Horror Festivals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2016 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

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At horror festivals, fans and film enthusiasts alike are treated to a selection of short horror films created by talented filmmakers that are currently taking the underground, indie circuit by storm. The feature films normally take centre stage however in his year’s Celluloid Screams line up the short films proved to be just as striking, some even thought provoking and others were downright weird! (but more on that later). So, here goes, these are the top shockingly good short films of Celluloid Screams 2016. As always these are my own views and not a reflection on the overall panel vote.

10. Death Metal (2016)

  • Directed by Chris McInroy
  • USA, 5 Minutes

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Perfectly placed before The Devil’s Candy, Death Metal is a loud and proud, gore-fuelled spectacle. With similar vibes to last year’s Deathgasm about a satanic guitar that unleashes hell on earth, Death Metal is a rocking black comedy that promises “riffs that shred”, literally! It’s a laugh out loud, thrill ride that’s perfect for the horror festival crowd. Watch this one LOUD!

9. Gwilliam (2015)

  • Directed by Brian Lonano
  • USA, 6 Minutes

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Where to even start with this one? Gwilliam is one of those moments in life where you watch something you completely cannot erase. Bordering between the disgusting, the bizarre and the comedic, Gwilliam is certainly a unique piece of genre cinema! Crow Hands director Brian Lonano takes the crazy up to max level as an ex-con (played by William Tokarsky) is released from prison looking for a night of fun with a hooker. The build up of Gwilliam is done exceptionally well as it’s unclear where the narrative is heading and boy, isn’t it a surprise! Expect the unexpected, once watched, you will never forget your Gwilliam…this short film means what it says!

8. Do You See What I See (2016)

  • Directed by Justin McConnell and Serena Whitney
  • USA, 14 Minutes

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Sloan (Caleigh Le Grand) is reluctant about attending her overbearing sister Jessica’s (Jorja Cadence) annual Christmas party. With all the garish Christmas iconography imaginable, Sloan goes through the motions, that’s until an uninvited guest gatecrashes with very little festive cheer causing madness and mayhem for the warring sisters. Do You See What I See has the makings of a classic slasherific Christmas flick. The performances are believable especially the increasing tension between Sloan and Jessica. The short showcases strong, kick-ass women who take matters into their own hands once the stakes are raised. From a filmic perspective Do You See What I See takes influence from iconic slasher films e.g. Peeping Tom, Halloween and The Burning to create a sinister effect, seeing things through the killer’s eyes with several POV shots. Intense and well executed, Do You See What I See guarantees you’ll be dreaming of a Black Christmas!

7. Dawn of the Deaf (2016)

  • Directed by Rob Savage
  • Canada, 12 Minutes

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In this hard hitting short focused on a minority group, Dawn of the Deaf raises the bar with the traditional apocalyptic horror narrative. With similar techniques to Mike Flannagan’s Hush, the audience is placed in the point of view of the hard of hearing characters and the world around them. A sonic pulse infects the hearing, now it’s up to the deaf community to band together in a fight for survival. Dawn of the Deaf is a layered offering and uses the survival concept in more ways than one, it centres on abuse, sexuality and coping with disability prior to any fantastical horror element. The film portrays the vulnerability of the deaf extraordinarily however the tables do turn depicting the strength within the community. As spoke about during my Ghostface Girls Facebook live video, there is a stunning moment where sign language is used and the camera pans around the characters, some of the subtitled dialogue is missed out proving to be incredibly effective. Dawn of the Deaf is a poignant and moving short.

6. The Disappearance of  Willie Bingham (2015)

  • Directed by Matthew Richards
  • Australia, 12 Minutes

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The Disappearance of Willie Bingham contained the most controversial and disturbing subject matter out of all the short films on this list. A new kind of torturous, radical punishment has been put in place for the worst kinds of criminals, and Willie Bingham is the first to undergo this method. This film conveys the internal thoughts of the majority of society who feel strongly about the lack of justice projected at murderers, rapists and pedophiles and this is a somewhat cathartic experience. The vulnerable and afraid side of the criminal is portrayed as the family are permitted to exact their brutal revenge as slowly as possible. Kevin Dee in the title role is exceptional as his character is paraded around by authoritative officials and made an example of. It’s a powerful piece of film that raises difficult questions in relation to the justice system and the treatment of despicable criminals. The Disappearance of Willie Bingham  deserves to be seen and talked about.

5. Ink, Cocks & Rock ‘N’ Roll (2017)

  • Directed by Matt Harlock
  • UK, 15 Minutes

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Ink, Cocks & Rock ‘N’ Roll is an innovative, cleverly executed, documentary style short that presents the work of controversial comic book artist Steve Martin (no, not the bloke from Father of the Bride!) and his perverted alter ego Krent Able. It’s psychologically chilling as the film challenges the concept of spilt personality and questions whether there’s a thin line between Steve and the monstrous side to him. Is Krent just a fictional character stemmed from his imagination or something much worse? Fourth wall breaking and filled with edgy art work in it’s believable set up, Ink, Cocks & Rock and Roll is one to look out for in 2017.

4. Mindless (2016)

  • Directed by Katie Bonham
  • UK, 8 Minutes

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Mindless is a thought-provoking psychological horror directed by the talented Katie Bonham. Taking away the horror subtext, the subject of Mindless is very real as it focuses on the care of the vulnerable within British society. Peter (Nicholas Vince- Hellraiser & Hellbound: Hellraiser II) is a senile man, living alone; each day his house is torn apart much to the horror of his patient care worker Judy (Kate Danbury). Peter has no recollection of how his home got into the state it has and becomes frustrated with Judy, blaming her. Determined to get Peter into a care home for his own safety and well-being, Judy is about to get more than she bargained for, is Peter’s declining memory the real issue or is there a more sinister presence at play? Mindless brings an important subject matter to light, it’s a topic that can be very difficult to talk about however Bonham does a tremendous job portraying it on screen. It’s bleak from the outset in it’s tone and cinematography creating a psychologically unnerving atmosphere. Nicholas Vince gives an exceptional performance as Peter, playing him with a sense of vulnerability and confusion that allows the audience to garner empathy for him. Kate Danbury also brings in a strong performance as the frustrated care worker doing her best to help him. Mindless is a film that will resonate with audiences as it draws on issues that many can identify with. Katie Bonham has created a powerful film on a low budget that demonstrates a film can leave a long lasting impression without traditional scare tactics or elaborate special effects. It’s no surprise that Mindless continues to win awards all around the world.

3. Imitations (2016)

  • Directed by Milos Mitrovic and Fabian Velasco
  • Canada, 10 Mintues

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Who doesn’t love a bit of Canadian Film Collective Astron-6? They are certainly one of a kind with their off the wall brand of humour. Imitations is another of their unforgettable and bizarre offerings, centring on a lonely YouTuber named Arnold (Milos Mitrovic) who gets plastic surgery to look like his idol “21 Year Old Baby” singing sensation Austin Kelsey (Conor Sweeney). Arnold begins to experience strange side effects following his operation, forcing him to take drastic measures when he attends his eagerly awaited karaoke night. Everything about this short is laugh out loud hilarious and strange. The entire cast look like they’re having a blast, Milos Mitrovic and Conor Sweeney are both fantastic as well as Divorced Dad, Matthew Kennedy. Imitations is an entertaining short that must be seen to be believed. If you loved Father’s Day and loved The Editor, then you’ll love Imitations.

2. Kookie  (2016)

  • Directed by Justin Harding
  • Canada, 13 Minutes

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Bree, a disobedient nine year old is taught a valuable lesson from a sinister visitor after breaking the rules set by her mother involving a creepy cookie jar. Kookie is a slow burning, genuinely comedic short that will certainly be appreciated by fans of creepy clowns. The child actress is superb as young Bree, playing the troublemaker role with menace. Harding ensures that the audience are kept on edge as he builds on the tension with the unnerving clown iconography. A thrilling and funny short, that will ensure that children should behave!

  1. Overtime (2016)
  • Directed By Craig D. Foster
  • Australia, 9 Minutes

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For a huge fan of An American Werewolf in London, it’s no surprise that Overtime, a werewolf themed, dark comedy takes the top spot. Comedic tension is at play as poor Ralph (Aaron Glenane) urgently attempts to get home from work but a series of obstacles get in his way. Overtime is a real delight to watch as poor Ralph attempts to make his exit before it’s too late. The joke is on those around him from his boss to romantic interest who risk unleashing the beast by stalling him. The special effects are incredible and are a spectacle to watch as Ralph’s body morphs into something inhuman. Aaron Gleane gives a brilliant performance as the tormented werewolf. Overtime is a lot of fun and a brilliant homage to one of horror’s most iconic monsters.

Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

Top 5 Celluloid Screams Moments (So Far!)

Posted in Horror Attractions, Horror Festivals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2015 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

September 10th marks an exciting date for horror fans as passes for Sheffield’s Horror Festival Celluloid Screams are set to go on sale. Not only that, Rob Nevitt and his team will announce the line-up of what’s in store for 2015!

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This will be my fifth year attending Celluloid, which takes place at The Showroom Cinema. Not only does the festival put together a phenomenal programme each year with an eclectic selection of films that define the genre in different ways; and brings in a number of special guests that have made an impact on the genre as a whole. Through the festival I’ve established some great friendships and made connections with genre fans and filmmakers alike.

So as we wait to uncover the mystery of what shocks and scares we will be encountering on October 23rd-25th, here’s a list of my top 5 moments that the Sheffield Festival has offered up so far.

  1. Inbred (2011)

Inbred was the first film that I ever saw at Celluloid Screams and it ended up becoming one of my favorite horror films of all time. Certainly a cult classic in the making, Inbred was accompanied with a Q&A from a number of cast members including Seamus O’Neill, Dominic Brunt and Jo Hartley. Thanks to Celluloid and the discovery of Inbred I then went on to work with some of the cast members on a short zombie film called Ascension and led a Q&A with director Alex Chandon at my local horror festival Aberoir.

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Review & Q&A Videos of Inbred.

Alex Chandon Q&A Videos

2. Sping & Resolution (Aaron and Justin Q&A’s). (2012 & 2014)

Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson have been two of Celluloid’s most memorable special guests. Thanks to the festival I was introduced to two of their groundbreaking feature films that takes horror in a whole different direction, Resolution in 2012 and Spring in 2014. On both appearances the directorial duo have given some quirky, engaging and entertaining Q&A’s and always take their time to talk to their fans during the festival.

Resolution Review.

Spring Review.

3. Night Breed: The Cabal Cut (2012)

Since I was a young horror fan, Clive Barker’s NightBreed was always a film I desperately wanted to see. Packed with unusual imagery, the tale of creatures living underground in a whole undiscovered world from our own was something that greatly appealed. I’m glad my first experience of Night Breed was on the big screen with the restoration making it the film that Clive Barker had always intended rather than the slasher-style version the studios cut it down to on its original release. Switching between the grainy unused footage and the polished existing footage was an interesting cinematic experience. Through Celluloid and Night Breed I met the lovely Nicholas Vince, Simon Bamford (also of Hellraiser fame), Hugh Ross and Russell Cherrington, the restoration director and still keep up to date with all their upcoming projects.

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NightBreed Review & Q&A Videos.

4. The Editor and Astron 6! (2014)

Again, if it wasn’t for Celluloid I never would have discovered the Canadian Collective that is Astron-6. Last year’s festival was literally an Astron-6  takeover as we were treated to a screening of The Editor, a bizarre and hilarious homage to the giallo sub-genre as well as a showcase of their exceptionally cool short films, Cool Guys, Bio-Cop and Breaking Santa being personal highlights! Adam Brooks, Connor Sweeney and Matthew Kennedy were special guests and gave us an insight into their weird and wonderful career so far.

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Short Review of The Editor

5. Der Fan (2013)

Without Celluloid Screams I would never have discovered this little gem. Der Fan is an obscure 80s German film that prior to the screening, Caitlyn and I thought it was going to be a recent film! Der Fan is one of those films where you won’t believe what you’re watching! It begins innocently enough as badly-dubbed exploitation film then it turns into completely something else! Der Fan has to be remembered for the longest sex scene in horror cinema history! We still hold out hope that Der Fan with its timeless theme of obsessive fandom would be ideal for the remake treatment!

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Celluloid Screams Review of Der Fan.

Women in Horror Month: Der Fan.

So that’s it for now, my highlights of the festival so far! So fellow Celluloid Screamers, what have been your favorite moments from over the years? Comment, facebook or tweet to @HayleyR1989 with #CelluloidScreamsMoments.

Bring on 2015!

Hayley Alice Roberts.

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

Halloween Month: Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)

Posted in Halloween Month, Love Horror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2014 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Hellbound: Hellraiser II, was the second instalment in Clive Barker’s imaginative Hellraiser franchise. This sequel is highly regarded among fans and considered the strongest film within the series due to Barker’s unique vision and the return of most of the original cast; including Ashley Laurence as final girl Kirsty Cotton, Clare Higgins as the wicked Julia,  Doug Bradley as the iconic Pinhead and Nicholas Vince and Simon Bamford as the cenobites the Chatterer and Butterball. Author/Actress and woman of horror Barbie Wilde took on the role of the female cenobite which cemented her as an icon within the genre. Barker came up with the hellish story while Peter Atkins wrote the screenplay and Tony Randel, noted for his experience on the first film directed. In fact, this sequel had already received the green light while the original was still in its production stages. New World Cinema certainly capitalized on the fact Hellraiser was emerging at the height of horror during the 1980’s which saw the creation of some of the most memorable monsters that still hold impact today, with Pinhead and his group of diabolical demons as no exceptions.

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Following the nightmarish events of the first instalment, poor Kirsty Cotton is institutionalized, but something is still not right. At the hospital, Kirsty is treated by the enigmatic psychiatrist Dr. Channard (Kenneth Cranham) who unbeknown to her has been searching for the gateway to hell for years. Kirsty still remains in hope of saving her father from the dark underworld, however encounters more than she bargained for when Channard summons evil stepmother Julia from the confines of hell and she encounters the cruel cenobites all over again. This time round Kirsty is accompanied by a mute young girl named Tiffany (Imogen Boorman) who has a talent for solving puzzles. Channard uses Tiffany’s skills to his advantage as he instructs her to solve the Lament Configuration and open the portal to hell.

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Hellbound is an extension of the original story and picks up where the first one left off. The sequel was an opportunity for Barker and his team to explore the characters in greater depth and to emphasize to the audience that all along the cenobites were once human too and became the demons we all recognize due to indulging in the unruliest of pleasures. Barker intended this underlying plot point to coincide with Frank and Julia’s story from Hellraiser as well as his inventive novel The Hellbound Heart. The initial plan was to transform Julia into the iconic villain of the series. In the novel and 1987  film, Pinhead is not a primary character and has a short screen time however when anybody thinks of Hellraiser the image of the demonic monster with spikes through his head comes to mind. This was due to Pinhead becoming more popular with the viewers than was planned therefore centralizing him in future films within the series. Even though Julia is a pivotal character to the films, in terms of merchandising and promotion for the Hellraiser brand, her presence is understated. Actress Claire Higgins also expressed interest in seeking out different roles away from the genre despite relishing in her time playing evil Julia, therefore the creators were free to go on and capitalize on brand Pinhead.

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What makes Hellbound a strong sequel is its storytelling and exploration of the established characters. Kirsty is emotionally broken from her horrific experience as well as the unjustified death of her father Larry (Andrew Robinson). She is however extremely headstrong and determined, proving to be an active final girl who takes matters into her own hands and seeks out to defeat the monsters herself. This came at a time when roles for women in post-modern genre films were becoming more interesting. It became the final girl’s job to fight, not wait around to be saved or more than likely killed! Kirsty embodies the traits of a courageous role model similarly to Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) in the Elm Street films of the same era. Higgins’s character Julia could be described in the same vein but on a completely opposite spectrum. Julia is also determined but driven by her own selfish interests. The tension between Kirsty and her former step-mother/enemy is ramped up even more this time as neither one wants the other to scupper their individual agendas. This time round Julia comes across as much more self-assured as she is no longer bound to do the evil bidding for ex-lover Frank and quite satisfyingly has her revenge.

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An interesting aspect that was touched upon in the film was Pinhead’s origins. In some of the opening moments we see a human Captain Spencer (Doug Bradley) opening the Lament Configuration then in a painful sequence see him transform into the recognizable demon, there’s skin tearing, slashing and impalement to transform Bradley’s character into Pinhead. Its certainly a gut-punch of an opening moment. There had been plans to expand on this further however unfortunately due to budget restraints had to be dropped from the script at the pre-production stages. Luckily for fans this backstory was not wasted and played in integral part in the following third instalment Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992) which unlike Hellbound is more of a mixed bag but does well with exploring Pinhead’s human history.

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The film that unfolded on screen was actually slightly different to what was originally intended. The inclusion of Kirsty’s father Larry Cotton (Andrew Robinson) had to be changed following the actor’s decision to not reprise the role. Scripts had to be hurriedly re-written to accommodate the changes. Despite the well-crafted storytelling surrounding the remaining characters and hints towards Pinhead’s past, the gap Robinson’s character left brought in criticism that the film was a structural mess which will be discussed further in the article.

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As well as incorporating an engaging and visionary piece of storytelling, its the make up department that must be applauded for their work on the film in bringing the demonic cenobites to life with mesmerizing visual detail. Simon Bamford who played Butterball had dialogue written for his character, however due to having to wear fake teeth as part of his costume, it made it difficult to speak therefore his lines which are said to be “perhaps we prefer you” and “impossible” were instead given to the female cenobite. In an interview with Barbie Wilde earlier this year for the Love Horror site, she discussed how applying the make up took around 4 hours while the costume took thirty minutes to put on. After waiting for a number of hours before shooting their scenes, Barbie described that once herself and her fellow cenobites emerged onto the set, accompanied with dry ice and wind machines, the scene was set for when Tiffany solves the Lament Configuration. Barbie stated that even though it was a film set the atmosphere was “magical” and that is certainly how Hellraiser II feels when watching it on screen, it transports the viewer into another dimension and invests us in this horrifying yet extraordinary world. For cast and crew to achieve this effect on its audience is exceptional.

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An air of mystery surrounds a supposed deleted scene. On the original VHS cover of Hellbound, an image on the back cropped up of Pinhead and the Female Cenobite donning surgical clothing however it was never featured in the final cut. Fans remained curious about what this scene added to the beloved film and came up with a rumour of a ‘famous deleted surgery scene’. Doug Bradley eventually confirmed that the scene was incomplete as on the day of filming the effects unfortunately did not work, resulting in an abandonment of the sequence.

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When Hellbound was released in December 1988 critics were less than impressed with their second outing into hell. Roger Ebert among others criticized it for its disorganized story construction but as previously stated this was problematic due to quick re-writes following Andrew Robinson’s departure as Larry Cotton. “But 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” were Ebert’s thoughts.

The film was commended by other critics for its well-crafted set design and special effects on such a low budget. Fans demonstrated disappointment at the fact that the film saw Channard easily defeat the cenobites resulting in screenwriter Peter Atkins obtaining hate mail! Atkins justified his decision by conveying to the audience that it must be understood that the cenobites were once human however to defuse the fans outrage he ensured them that in full demon mode Pinhead could easily defeat Channard.

With strict guidelines via the BBFC during the decade, Hellraiser II didn’t escape the cutting room floor in both the theatrical release and VHS version. The run-time has fluctuated between 89 minutes to 99 minutes depending on cuts. During Julia’s resurrection scene, a maggot slicing moment occurs, emerging as  the biggest casualty losing 55 seconds of screen time. Every gory scene was trimmed down, including the opening flashback to part one of Frank’s demise. Finally in 2004 an uncut version the film was distributed onto DVD thanks to Anchor Bay.

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Following Hellbound: Hellraiser II, seven more sequels emerged, mostly direct-to-video. Doug Bradley continued to reprise his iconic role in all but the controversial Hellraiser: Revelations (2011).

The Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II legacy continues in an upcoming and eagerly-anticipated documentary, Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II, following a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign. Directed by K. John McDonagh, the documentary features interviews with cast and crew that were involved in both productions.

From the Facebook Page:

 “Following the story of the films from their inception through production to release and the their subsequent lives and growing fan base, we aim to show fans and those less familiar with the films both the technical skills, the creative idea, the symbolism and the legacy of these movies.”

Its essential to take a trip to Hell this Halloween with one of Horror’s most inventive sequels and one of my personal favourites or it’ll tear your soul apart!

Hayley Alice Roberts.

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.