Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Clive Barker raising hell all over again

Recently, my sister and I watched the original Hellraiser(she had only seen the edited cable TV version)and during our movie chit chat,she mentioned that there was talk of a remake of the film in the works.

I found that hard to believe,especially since there's no need to improve upon the original's gross out gothic style, a foolish notion of mine. I should've known better,given the current crop of modern horror classic remakes(Halloween,Texas Chainsaw Massacre,etc). Yes, Virginia,of course they are making a new version and Clive Barker himself is heavily involved with the project.

I haven't seen any cast listings yet,but it would really be difficult to launch another Hellraiser series without having Doug Bradley as Pinhead.

Pinhead wound up becoming as big of a horror movie icon as Jason,Chucky and Freddy and like Mr.Kruger,a good part of that is due to the actor in that role,who fans revere and some nearly worship. To replace either the character or the actor would cause a massive outrage there,even worse than the one over Brett Ratner replacing Bryan Singer as director for X-Men 3.

Even tho Ashley Laurence and Claire Higgins(recently seen in The Golden Compass) had reprised their roles for a couple of the sequels,by the third film it was all about Pinhead. He was given plenty of campy lines,elaborate set pieces and new Cenobites to hang out with.

Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth was the beginning of the end for the quality of the series,but it did have some darkly amusing and scandalous moments. The later movies went on to be direct to video releases(the fourth movie was such a mess that "Alan Smithee" was listed as the director,a regular nom de plume for embarrassed filmmakers)and after awhile,turned into another scary movie cliche revisited for Halloween themed programming and costume ideas.

Will Clive Barker's reviving of Hellraiser give us something new and exciting to squirm over,or will it just be a feeble attempt to prop up an old cinematic boogeyman to scare up some fresh cash from unsuspecting moviegoers?

Well, Clive is a rather talented man, who has had his share of artistic misfires like everyone else, and we may get a good movie remake from him.

It's certainly better that the original creator of the series take another shot at it rather than leaving his work to become a cheesy dead teenager movie or a pseudo arty Kari Wuhrer vehicle. Perhaps we may get to see a truly creative recreation of what was once a groundbreaking film from one of the most viscerally imaginative writers of our time.

Either way,Clive Barker is back in the film game and that should be something to see:




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