The novella, The Hellbound Heart, published in 1986 in a horror collection, went on to become a sensation for the author, Clive Barker, who became well known with his original take on the “horror tale”. Shortly after, the story was made into a movie. Fortunately for the author, he was tasked to not only write the screenplay but became the director. Renamed Hellraiser as a film, removing any connotation of it being a romance movie, the film became an immediate cult classic.
Frank, a hedonistic petty criminal, purchases the Lemarchand Configuration, a supposedly cursed but magical box that can release unexplained pleasures to its owner. Something horribly goes wrong leaving him stuck as prisoner to a group of outer beings named the Cenobites. Frank’s brother Larry and Larry’s wife, Julia, move into the family home where Julia discovers a horrible secret up in the attic that may lead to a fate possibly worse than the one her brother-in-law obtained.
With the cinematic version released, the Cenobites have become classic movie monsters, specifically the iconic portrayal of Pinhead by actor Doug Bradley. Hellraiser went on to have multiple sequels and talk of a remake have been reported for years. Dark Discussions, on its milestone 300th episode, takes a look at this classic movie on its 30th anniversary.