Hellbound: Hellraiser II

Last updated

Hellbound: Hellraiser II
Hellbound hellraiser ii ver2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Tony Randel
Produced by
Screenplay byPeter Atkins
Story by Clive Barker
Music by Christopher Young
CinematographyRobin Vidgeon
Edited by
  • Film Futures
  • Troopstar
Distributed by New World Pictures
Release date
  • 9 September 1988 (1988-09-09)(Toronto)
  • 23 December 1988 (1988-12-23)(New York & Los Angeles)
Running time
93 minutes [1]
CountriesUnited Kingdom
United States [2]
Box office$12.1 million [3]

Hellbound: Hellraiser II is a 1988 horror film directed by Tony Randel and starring Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Kenneth Cranham and Doug Bradley. [4] [5] The second film in the Hellraiser franchise, Hellraiser II draws heavily upon (and was made by much of the same cast and crew as) its precursor, Hellraiser , which was released a year prior. Laurence reprises her role as Kirsty Cotton, who is admitted into a psychiatric hospital after the events of the first film. There, the head doctor (Cranham) unleashes the Cenobites, a group of sadomasochistic beings from another dimension.


Clive Barker, who wrote and directed the first Hellraiser film, wrote the story of Hellraiser II and served as executive producer. An international co-production of the United Kingdom and the United States, Hellraiser II screened at the Toronto Festival of Festivals on 9 September 1988, and received mixed reviews upon release. It was followed by Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth in 1992.


In the past, British military officer Elliot Spencer is transformed into the Cenobite "Pinhead" after opening the Lament Configuration.

Shortly after her father is killed by Frank Cotton, Kirsty Cotton is admitted into a psychiatric hospital. Interviewed by Doctor Channard, and his assistant Kyle MacRae, she tells her account of the events, and pleads with them to destroy the bloody mattress her murderous stepmother, Julia Cotton, died upon.

After hearing Kirsty's story, Dr. Channard, who is secretly obsessed with the Lament Configuration, has the mattress brought to his home and convinces a mentally ill patient to lie on it and cut himself with a straight razor. The resulting blood frees a skinless Julia from the Cenobite dimension. MacRae, having snuck inside Dr. Channard's house to investigate Kirsty's claims, witnesses the event and flees.

Kirsty meets a young patient named Tiffany, who demonstrates an amazing aptitude for puzzles. Later that night Kirsty is awakened in her room by a vision of her skinless father, who tells her in writing that he's in Hell and to help him. MacRae arrives back at the hospital and informs Kirsty he believes everything is true. The two decide to return to Dr. Channard's house.

Meanwhile, Dr. Channard, seduced by Julia, has brought more mentally ill patients to his home for her to feed on and regenerate. Kirsty and MacRae arrive at Channard's home. MacRae is killed by a now fully regenerated Julia, and Kirsty is knocked unconscious.

Channard and Julia kidnap Tiffany and force her to unlock the Lament Configuration so they can enter the labyrinth-like world of Pinhead and the Cenobites. They enter, followed by Kirsty, who now possesses the Lament Configuration. Pinhead and the other Cenobites find Kirsty and tell her she is free to explore. Julia betrays Dr. Channard and leaves him to be transformed into a Cenobite by the god of hell, Leviathan.

Kirsty encounters Frank Cotton in the labyrinth, who reveals that he tricked her by pretending to be her father. Julia appears and destroys Frank in revenge for killing her, allowing Kirsty to escape. Julia is then killed by a vortex that opens within the labyrinth, leaving only her skin behind.

Kirsty and Tiffany reconnect and attempt to escape, but are ambushed by Channard, now having become a Cenobite. Kirsty and Tiffany flee and encounter Pinhead and the other Cenobites. Kirsty shows Pinhead a photograph of Elliot Spencer that she took from Channard's study, and he gradually remembers that he was human. Suddenly, Channard appears. Pinhead and the other Cenobites attempt to fight him, but Channard easily overpowers and kills them all.

Channard traps Kirsty and Tiffany. Kirsty finds Julia's skin and wears it to distract Channard, giving Tiffany enough time to once again solve the Lament Configuration. Channard is killed and the door to hell is finally closed. Kirsty and Tiffany leave.

Elsewhere, two moving men are removing Dr. Channard's belongings from his home. One is pulled inside of the mattress, and the other witnesses a mysterious pillar rise from within it.



Clive Barker returned as executive producer for the sequel. Tony Randel directed due to his experience of working with Barker on Hellraiser . Randel claims the dark tone of the movie 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 Chatterer, 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. He also requested his character have eyes to help his vision, which caused some discontent with fans who derided 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 featuring him in his original "eyeless" guise.

Originally, there was going to be an extra scene during the ending when Kirsty and Tiffany are running from Channard. The scene was planned so that during their escape the duo run into a doctor and nurse. The doctor demands to know what are they doing. Kirsty backs away in horror when suddenly the doctor and nurse turn into Pinhead and the Female Cenobite, before she and Tiffany continue running. The scene was filmed but was ultimately dropped from the final cut for two reasons. One was because the filmmakers thought that having actor Doug Bradley as a normal doctor would confuse the viewers, and another was because the special effects for the scene turned out poorly, so it was decided to discard it altogether. However, a photographer who was on set took some photos of Pinhead and the Female Cenobite dressed as surgeons which were used for promotion of the film, and were also used on some VHS/DVD covers of the movie, confusing fans and starting rumors about an "infamous deleted surgery scene". Some trailers do show a few shots from this unfinished scene, as well as parts of another deleted scene with Chatterer stopping the elevator with his hand and jumping at Kirsty and Tiffany. The lost scene was eventually rediscovered on a VHS workprint and announced as an extra for Arrow Video's Blu-ray reissue of the first three films in the series.

British Shakespearean 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 with delusional parasitosis) and as the skinless figure Kirsty sees in the hospital who 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 Leviathan in the center of Hell's labyrinth, he had the morse code for the word god incorporated.

Alternate screenplay

An alternate script with Kirsty's father Larry exists, written before Andrew Robinson declined to reprise the role. [6] Many reasons were given for this including disagreement over fees and a clash of schedules although nothing has ever been confirmed. Dr. Channard was originally called Dr. Malahide but this was changed by the director. It was revealed in the Documentary "Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser 2" from Andrew Robinson that he was not a fan of the script and decided to not return as his character was finished anyway. Writer Peter Atkins said that despite liking Robinson as an actor he was relieved that he declined as it made the narrative work a lot better in the finished project.


Hellbound was initially rated X by the Motion Picture Association of America, which would have limited it to those 17 and older. Barker attributed this to preferring explicit displays of the grotesque rather than hinting at it. [7]

Hellbound: Hellraiser II was shown at the Toronto Festival of Festivals on 9 September 1988. [8] It was later shown in Los Angeles and New York on 23 December 1988. [8] During its theatrical release, Hellbound grossed $12,090,735 in the United States, [3] and £980,503 in the United Kingdom. [9]

Box office

It made £980,503 in the UK. [10]

Critical response

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, Hellbound: Hellraiser II holds a 50% approval rating based on 30 critic reviews, with an average rating of 5.30/10. The consensus reads: "Hellbound: Hellraiser II retains the twisted visual thrill of its predecessor, although seams in the plot are already starting to show." [11] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote that "Hellbound: Hellraiser II is like some kind of avant-garde film strip in which there is no beginning, no middle, no end, but simply a series of gruesome images that can be watched in any order." [12]


Related Research Articles

<i>Hellraiser</i> 1987 British supernatural horror film directed by Clive Barker

Hellraiser is a 1987 British supernatural horror film written and directed by Clive Barker, and produced by Christopher Figg, based on Barker's 1986 novella The Hellbound Heart. The film marked Barker's directorial debut. Its plot involves a mystical puzzle box which summons the Cenobites, a group of extra-dimensional, sadomasochistic beings who cannot differentiate between pain and pleasure. The leader of the Cenobites is portrayed by Doug Bradley, and identified in the sequels as "Pinhead".

<i>The Hellbound Heart</i>

The Hellbound Heart is a horror novella by Clive Barker, first published in November 1986 by Dark Harvest in the third volume in its Night Visions anthology series. The story features a hedonist criminal acquiring a mystical puzzle box, the Lemarchand Configuration, which can be used to summon the Cenobites, demonic beings who do not distinguish between pain and pleasure. He escapes the Cenobites and, with help, resorts to murder to restore himself to full life. Later on, the puzzle box is found by another.

The Cenobites are fictional extra-dimensional, seemingly demonic beings who appear in the works of Clive Barker. Introduced in Barker's 1986 novella The Hellbound Heart, they also appear in its semi-sequel novel The Scarlet Gospels, the Hellraiser films, and in Hellraiser comic books published (intermittently) between 1989 and 2017. In the novel Weaveworld, they are mentioned in passing as "The Surgeons." The Cenobites appear in prose stories authorized but not written by Clive Barker, such as the anthology Hellbound Hearts edited by Paul Kane and Marie O'Regan, the novella Hellraiser: The Toll, and the novel Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell written by Paul Kane. Paradoxically, the definition of the word "cenobite" is a member of a religious group living together in a monastic community such as a nun or a monk. Most likely this is a dark perversion of the term.

Harry DAmour

Harry D'Amour is a fictional occult detective created by author, filmmaker, and artist Clive Barker. He originally appeared in the prose story "The Last Illusion" in Books of Blood Volume 6, an anthology of stories written by Barker and published in 1986. Barker then adapted D'Amour and elements of the same story for the 1995 movie Lord of Illusions, which he directed and wrote. In the film, Harry was portrayed by actor Scott Bakula. Since his debut in Books of Blood, D'Amour has appeared in other prose stories and was revealed to live in the same reality as Barker's popular creations the Cenobites and the Hell Priest.

Pinhead (Hellraiser)

Pinhead, or the Hell Priest, is a fictional character and the recurring antagonist of the Hellraiser franchise, first appearing as an unnamed figure in the 1986 Clive Barker novella The Hellbound Heart. When Clive Barker adapted the novella into the 1987 film Hellraiser, he referred to the character in early drafts as "the Priest" but the final film gave no name. The production and make-up crew nicknamed the character "Pinhead" and fans accepted the sobriquet, which was then used in press materials, tie-in media, and on-screen in some of the sequel films. Clive Barker himself did not care for the nickname. In the 2011 comic book series Hellraiser published by Boom! Studios, Barker refers to the character as "the Priest." In that comic book series and the subsequent series Hellraiser: The Dark Watch, Cenobites refer to him as holding the title of "the Hell Priest" or "the Pontifex", making him "Hell's Pope." Nearly thirty years after The Hellbound Heart was published, Barker's 2015 novel The Scarlet Gospels cements the character's official title and rank is "the Hell Priest" and that he hates the nickname "Pinhead." In a later novella, Hellraiser: The Toll, it is said the character is also known to some as the Cold Man.

<i>Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth</i>

Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth is a 1992 American horror film and third installment in the Hellraiser series. It was directed by Anthony Hickox and stars Doug Bradley, Terry Farrell, Paula Marshall, and Kevin Bernhardt. Ashley Laurence, who starred in the previous two films, has a cameo. Following the events of Hellbound: Hellraiser II, in which the demon Pinhead (Bradley) is imprisoned in a statue, he resurrects himself by absorbing the life force of unlucky humans. After converting several power-hungry youths into new Cenobites, Pinhead goes on a rampage, opposed by a reporter (Farrell) and the spiritual manifestation of his good half.

<i>Hellraiser: Bloodline</i>

Hellraiser: Bloodline is a 1996 American science fiction horror film and the fourth installment in the Hellraiser series, which serves as both a prequel and a sequel. Directed by Kevin Yagher and Joe Chappelle, the film stars Doug Bradley as Pinhead, reprising his role and now the only remaining original character and cast member. It also features Bruce Ramsay, Valentina Vargas, Kim Myers and Adam Scott in his first major film role. It was the last Hellraiser film to be released theatrically, the last to have any major official involvement with series creator Clive Barker and also the final installment in chronology.

<i>Hellraiser: Inferno</i>

Hellraiser: Inferno is a 2000 American horror film. It is the fifth installment in the Hellraiser series, and the first Hellraiser film to be released direct-to-video. It was directed by Scott Derrickson and released on October 3, 2000. The film concerns a corrupt detective who discovers Lemarchand's box at a crime scene. Reviews of the film were mixed.

<i>Hellraiser: Hellseeker</i>

Hellraiser: Hellseeker is a 2002 horror film directed by Rick Bota and written by Carl V. Dupré and Tim Day. It is the sixth film in the Hellraiser series, directed by Rick Bota. It also features the return of Kirsty Cotton, the heroine from Hellraiser and its sequel. Also, while not officially part of the production team, Clive Barker had cursory input on the film and some uncredited influence on the third act, specifically. Hellseeker was the last Hellraiser film to have any involvement from Barker, uncredited or otherwise.

<i>Hellraiser: Deader</i>

Hellraiser: Deader is a 2005 American horror film and the seventh installment in the Hellraiser series. Directed by Rick Bota, the original script was written by Neal Marshall Stevens, who also wrote the script for the 2001 remake of Thirteen Ghosts. However - like the previous two entries in the series, Hellraiser: Inferno and Hellraiser: Hellseeker - it began as an unrelated spec script, which was subsequently rewritten as a Hellraiser film. Like Inferno, series creator Clive Barker did not have even a cursory involvement in the production of Deader.

<i>Hellraiser</i> (franchise) Horror franchise

Hellraiser is a horror franchise that consists of 10 films, a series of books, various comic books, and additional merchandise and media. The franchise is based on the novella The Hellbound Heart by English author Clive Barker, who also wrote and directed the film adaptation of his story, Hellraiser. The films, as well as the comic book series, continually feature the Cenobite Pinhead.

Ashley Laurence

Ashley Laurence is an American actress and visual artist. She made her film debut in 1987 as the lead character, Kirsty Cotton, in Clive Barker's horror film Hellraiser (1987), a role she later reprised in Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988), Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992), and Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002). The film franchise established her as a prominent actress in horror, and she subsequently starred in Mikey (1992) and The Lurking Fear (1994).

<i>The Scarlet Gospels</i> Novel by Clive Barker

The Scarlet Gospels is a 2015 dark fantasy horror novel by author Clive Barker which acts as a continuation to both his previous novella The Hellbound Heart and his canon of Harry D'Amour stories. The book concerns the Hell Priest, the demonic Cenobite nicknamed "Pinhead", and his efforts to gain power. Occult detective Harry D'Amour must journey into Hell to rescue his friend and stop the Hell Priest's plans. This book was the first time the Hell Priest was officially given a name by Clive Barker himself, who disliked the Pinhead nickname.

Kirsty (<i>Hellraiser</i>)

Kirsty is a fictional character from the Hellraiser media franchise. Created by writer Clive Barker, Kirsty first appears in the 1986 novella The Hellbound Heart, whose full name is identified in the sequels as Kirsty Singer, before being adapted in the 1987 film adaptation Hellraiser as Kirsty Cotton. The character served as a major focus in the original film and its sequel Hellbound: Hellraiser II, later playing a supporting role in Hellraiser VI: Hellseeker. In all of her appearances in the film series, she was portrayed by actress Ashley Laurence. The film describes her as being Larry Cotton's daughter while, in the novel, she is simply a friend of his.

Oliver Smith (actor)

Oliver Smith is an English actor. He is probably best known for playing the role of Frank the Monster from the original Hellraiser film in 1987, as well as Mr. Browning and Skinless Frank from Hellbound: Hellraiser II film in 1988. In May–June 2010, Smith narrated the commercial for the DVD and Blu-ray releases of Life.

<i>Hellraiser: Revelations</i>

Hellraiser: Revelations is a 2011 horror film written by Gary J. Tunnicliffe and directed by Víctor García. It is the ninth film in the Hellraiser film series. It follows the fates of two friends who discover a puzzle box that opens a gateway to a realm inhabited by sadomasochistic monsters known as the Cenobites.

<i>Hellraiser: Judgment</i> 2018 film by Gary J. Tunnicliffe

Hellraiser: Judgment is a 2018 American horror film starring Damon Carney, Randy Wayne, Alexandra Harris, Heather Langenkamp, and Paul T. Taylor. It is the tenth installment in the Hellraiser film series created by Clive Barker, written and directed by the series' longtime special make-up effects artist Gary J. Tunnicliffe. The plot centers on three police detectives who, investigating a series of murders, are confronted by the denizens of hell. The film expands the fictional universe by introducing a new faction of hell, the Stygian Inquisition, who are distinct from the recurring Cenobites. The Cenobites offer sadomasochistic pleasures to humans who enter their dominion, while the Inquisition processes the souls of sinners. Tunnicliffe plays the Inquisition's auditor, a prominent role in the film.


Chatterer is a fictional character appearing in the Hellraiser film series. He is a Cenobite, an order of extradimensional sadomasochists who experiment in extreme forms of hedonism. His name comes from the constant clicking of his teeth, his only means of communication. He serves the Cenobites' leader Pinhead. Chatterer has become a fan favourite character in the Hellraiser franchise.


  1. "HELLBOUND - HELLRAISER II (18)". British Board of Film Classification . 3 January 1989. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  2. "Hellbound: Hellraiser II". American Film Institute . Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  3. 1 2 "Hellbound: Hellraiser II". Box Office Mojo . Amazon.com . Retrieved 14 May 2011.
  4. "Hellbound Hellraiser II". British Film Institute . Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  5. "Hellbound: Hellraiser II". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on 15 December 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  6. "Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988) movie script - Screenplays for You". sfy.ru.
  7. Leland, John (December 1988). "Clive Barker: The Horror, The Horror". Spin . Vol. 4 no. 9.
  8. 1 2 "Hellbound: Hellraiser II". American Film Institute . Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  9. Wickham, Phil; Mettler, Erinna (2005). Back to the Future: The Rise and Fall of the British Film Industry in the 1980s (PDF). British Film Institute. ISBN   1-84457-108-4.
  10. "Back to the Future: The Fall and Rise of the British Film Industry in the 1980s - An Information Briefing" (PDF). British Film Institute. 2005. p. 23.
  11. "Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)". Rotten Tomatoes . Fandango Media . Retrieved 19 January 2021.
  12. Ebert, Roger (23 December 1988). "Hellbound: Hellraiser II". Chicago Sun-Times . Retrieved 19 July 2020.