The Hellraiser Films and Their Legacy
By Paul Kane
Published by McFarland, 2006. 247 pages. Hardcover.
Like the film series itself, this book is a mixed bag. Let’s get to the negative parts first. There’s close to 50 pages on each of the first two films. Which is great and goes into a lot of detail. But by the time we get to the 7th and 8th film (Deader & Hellworld), we are only getting a little over 10 pages on each film. Now granted, most fans care about the early films anyway, so that’s not that big of a deal. But it does seem that as the series go on, the less coverage we get on them. A lot of the coverage we do get, is about the people involved and what previous projects they worked on. Interesting fact, but not really about the subject at hand.
But for the good points, author Kane has definitely done his homework here, digging up a lot of material about the series. He starts off with the original creator, Clive Barker, and his start up and how it lead to the creation of the first film in this series. He also goes into some details about symbolisms in the films and different themes, but doesn’t go way overboard, making them more Psycho-Babble than some might conjure up.
He also discusses on certain changes of the films through their development. For example, on Hellraiser: Bloodline, Kane goes into some of stories and outlines from the original scripts that had been written. This gives us a great idea of what some of the original concepts were, before the studios got a hold of them. As fans, that is the kind of information that could change the way yout think about the final project.
There’s plenty of interviews and quotes from many of the people involved throughout the movies. These are not only new quotes but also taken from interviews at the time the films were being made. Gives a nice perspective, from then and now.
When it was originally published in hardcover format, the price was $45, which I thought was a wee bit high for this book. Maybe $30 tops. Of course, these hardcover editions go for way over $100 now. But you can get the paperback version from McFarland for $25. Still a bit high, but compared to how high McFarland’s paperback editions were before, this is pretty cheap. If you are a fan of the series, it is worth the investment. Although, be warned. Reading about these might make you decide on doing a Hellraiser marathon and go through the entire series, which is what happened to me. I have to say, I have drastically changed my thoughts on Bloodline, but the rest after that….ugh.