Among horror franchises, the “Hellraiser” series is one of the longest running at a whopping nine films. Characterized by extreme gore, “Hellraiser” features the distinct, grotesquely disfigured Cenobites. Slated for a 2017 release is the tenth franchise entry, “Hellraiser: Judgment.” Writer-director Gary. J. Tunnicliffe (“Hansel & Gretel,” “Hellraiser: Revelations”), assumes the helm of the latest adaptation of Clive Barker’s creation.
The original “Hellraiser” debuted in 1987, featuring Doug Bradley as the Cenobite leader Pinhead. While Pinhead became the face of the series, in Barker’s novella The Hellbound Heart, the Cenobite leader has a rather minimal role and is simply referred to as the Engineer. What began as a film made for less than $1 million gained a cult following, and blossomed into a horror staple. Spawning an entire franchise, a 1988 sequel “Hellbound: Hellraiser II” was then followed by seven more flicks, concluding with 2011’s “Hellraiser: Revelations.” Bradley portrayed Pinhead in each film until “Revelations,” replaced by Jay Gillespie.
Doug Bradley will not reprise his role as Pinhead, nor will Gillepsie. Instead, Paul T. Taylor is now the Cenobite leader. Reportedly, “Judgement” features a slew of new Cenobites, and a completely revamped cast. John Gulagher plays “The Assessor,” Diane Goldner contributes as “The Cleaner,” and Mike J. Regan reappears as the lovable Cenobite “Chatterer.” Horror fans will appreciate the familiar face of Heather Langenkamp (Nancy Kerrigan from “A Nightmare on Elm Street”). Langenkamp plays the “Landlady,” whose character description includes smoking cigarettes while berating the police.
Tunnicliffe launched a 2013 Kickstarter for a horror film entitled “Judgement,” which ultimately failed. All-things-horror website Bloody-Disgusting reports that “Hellraiser: Judgement” is a reworked iteration of Tunnicliffe’s idea. The forthcoming tenth “Hellraiser” entry follows a decidedly mixed string of sequels, with 1988’s “Hellbound” being the most well-received since the 1987 original. 2017’s “Judgement” promises a neat detective story, and a writer-director spearheading the project with a connection to the franchise (Tunnicliffe wrote “Revelations”), as well as a personal passion for the re-appropriated “Judgement” narrative. What’s been revealed thus far is that “Judgement” follows Detectives Sean Carter (Damon Carney), Christine Egerton (Alexandra Harris), and David Carter (Randy Wayne), as they investigate a serial killer. It’s a neat premise, and with a veteran cast, and seasoned writer, director, and effects artist in Tunnicliffe, “Hellraiser: Judgement” could be the best “Hellraiser” film to emerge in decades.
Notably, Kate Rife posted a 2014 article on the “Hellraiser” movies, stating that slogging through all nine franchise entries was “an exercise in masochism.” Eagerly anticipating “Judgment,” or feeling preparing to have your soul torn apart by an unnecessary sequel? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below, or hit us up on Twitter!