Hellbound: Hellraiser II
|Hellbound: Hellraiser II|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tony Randel|
|Produced by||Christopher Figg
|Screenplay by||Peter Atkins|
|Story by||Clive Barker|
|Music by||Christopher Young|
|Editing by||Richard Marden
|Distributed by||New World Pictures|
|Running time||93 minutes 99 minutes (Unrated)|
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (July 2013)|
Sometime in the late 1920s or early 1930s, British army Captain Elliot Spencer opens a puzzle box in his Nissen hut. Hooked chains emerge, ensnaring him, and the forces inside the box transform him into the Cenobite Pinhead.
In the 1980s, Kirsty Cotton wakes in the Channard Institute, a psychiatric hospital, where she is questioned about the events leading up to the destruction of her home, which involved her stepmother, Julia, and a bloody mattress. Kirsty tells the police that her uncle, Frank, opened a puzzle box to an alternate dimension populated by monsters named Cenobites who torture human quarry and then recounts the events portrayed in the first film. Kirsty's story amazes the detectives, who are incredulous and take the bloody mattress as evidence. Kirsty is then turned over to Dr. Phillip Channard and his assistant, Kyle MacRae, who instantly becomes smitten with Kirsty.
That night, Kirsty befriends another patient, Tiffany, a semi-catatonic young girl with an incredible skill for solving puzzles. Later, in her room, Kirsty finds a message written in blood stating "I AM IN HELL. HELP ME." Believing it was sent by her father, Kirsty tells her story to Kyle, who encourages her to tell Dr. Channard about the Cenobites. Unbeknownst to Kyle, Dr. Channard already knows everything that has been happening; he is obsessed with the Lament Configuration, the box that opens the portal to the Cenobite realm, and has been collecting every piece of information he can obtain on it.
Kyle goes to Dr. Channard's house to speak with him, and discovers his "treasure room" of Cenobite-related paraphernalia. While Kyle hides, Dr. Channard arrives with the bloody mattress that Julia died on, and goads a psychiatric patient into mutilating himself on it; the resultant blood summons up a zombie-like Julia from the Cenobite realm, and she proceeds to consume the psychiatric patient to nourish herself. Kyle escapes and tells Kirsty, who encourages Kyle to help her break out of the institute so she can help stop the Cenobite-Julia.
At the house, Kirsty explores the treasure room, where she discovers (and takes) a photo of Eliot Spencer. Meanwhile, Kyle encounters Julia, now almost fully restored to her human form. Julia seduces Kyle and begins devouring him when they kiss thus completing her regeneration. Kirsty stumbles upon the scene, but her reunion with Julia is interrupted by the arrival of Dr. Channard with Tiffany. Dr. Channard gives Tiffany the puzzle box, which she quickly opens. The Cenobites—Pinhead and his henchmen Chatterer, Butterball, and The Female—arrive, but refrain from harming Tiffany, knowing that Dr. Channard forced her to summon them. Meanwhile, Kirsty, Dr. Channard, and Julia all slip into the Cenobite realm, followed by Tiffany.
In the Cenobite realm, Kirsty seeks out her father, while Julia shows Dr. Channard the sadomasochistic pleasures that await him. Julia explains that the Cenobite realm—a gigantic labyrinth in a stormy void—is called Hell, and ruled over by Leviathan, a godlike entity that takes the form of a lozenge-shaped beacon floating above the maze. Julia sacrifices an ambivalent Dr. Channard to Leviathan, causing him to be turned into a Cenobite. Leviathan fuses with his new creation by way of a massive tentacle, and Cenobite-Channard sets about looking for Kirsty.
Kirsty meanwhile finds her uncle Frank, who explains that her father is not there and that he wrote the message to lure Kirsty to come for him. After a brief fight, Julia arrives and tears out Frank's heart in revenge for her own death. Kirsty and Tiffany attempt to escape but are impeded by Julia; a struggle ensues, and Julia's flesh is ripped off like a glove, causing her to plummet down into a wind tunnel.
Heading back to the hospital, Kirsty and Tiffany are trapped by Pinhead and his entourage, who decide to lay claim to Kirsty again. Kirsty shows them the photo of Elliot Spencer, causing the Cenobites to remember that they were once human. Touched by this revelation, they attempt to protect Kirsty when Dr. Channard arrives and lays claim to her. A fight ensues, during which Chatterer, Butterball, and the Female are all killed, reverting to their human forms. Pinhead manages to stave off Dr. Channard long enough for Kirsty and Tiffany to escape, after which he himself is finally killed.
Back in the hospital, Kirsty and Tiffany discover that the Cenobite realm has begun to cross over into the real world, as Dr. Channard has provided all of the patients with puzzle boxes of their own to open. Tiffany decides to return to Hell and close the puzzle box, in the hope that it will stop Dr. Channard. Tiffany is then attacked by Dr. Channard but relents from killing her when Julia appears and begins to kiss him. This provides enough of a distraction for Tiffany to close the puzzle box; Leviathan begins to transform into a cube, severing his connection with Dr. Channard; his head is torn off by the retracting tentacle. Tiffany falls off the side of a ledge, but is rescued by Julia, who is revealed to be Kirsty wearing Julia's shed skin. Kirsty and Tiffany escape through the rapidly closing portal back to the hospital.
Sometime later, Kirsty and Tiffany are discharged from the hospital, Tiffany having regained her lucidity. Meanwhile, movers (the same movers from the original film) attempt to pack up Dr. Channard's treasure room; when one of them moves near the mattress he is sucked inside and killed. An intricate pillar known as the Pillar of Souls rises into the surface, containing writhing figures and distorted faces (including Pinhead and skinless Julia); as the pillar rotates, it reveals the face of the vagrant (from the original film) with the voice of the man who initially sold the puzzle box to Frank, inquiring of the surviving mover, "What is your pleasure, sir?", leading to the events of Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth.
- Clare Higgins as Julia Cotton
- Kenneth Cranham as Dr. Philip Channard/Channard Cenobite
- Ashley Laurence as Kirsty Cotton
- Imogen Boorman as Tiffany
- Doug Bradley as Pinhead/Captain Elliot Spencer
- Nicholas Vince as Chatterer/Chatterer II
- Simon Bamford as Butterball Cenobite
- Barbie Wilde as Female Cenobite
- Sean Chapman as Uncle Frank Cotton
- Oliver Smith as Mr. Browning/"Skinless" Frank
- William Hope as Kyle MacRae
- Deborah Joel as "Skinless" Julia/"Skinless" Julia on pillar
- Angus McInnes as Homicide Detective Ronson
- Catherine Chevalier as Tiffany's mother
Clive Barker returned as producer for the sequel, with Tony Randel directing 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. It has been claimed[by whom?] that the camera man stopped filming just at that instance. 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 featured him in his original, "eyeless" guise.
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 who imagines bugs and insects crawl on his flesh) 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 God incorporated.
Hellbound was due to be Pinhead's final appearance in a Hellraiser film, since Randel and crew expected Julia to become the figurehead of the picture and take the franchise on. The end scene with the Pillar of souls was originally meant to be Julia, raising fully formed from the mattress, opening her mouth from which black light shoots and fills the screen. However, Claire Higgins decided she did not want to return to the character again and declined to make a further sequel. Because the film was commissioned within a week of Hellraiser's release and its strong returns, the producers did not realize the full extent of Pinhead's popularity until after Hellbound's completion. After the realization of Pinhead's popularity, it was decided he would become the main focus and recurring character of the franchise.
An alternate script with Kirsty's father Larry exists, written before Andrew Robinson declined to reprise the role. 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.
|This section requires expansion. (January 2011)|
Released December 1988 in the US, Hellbound would gross $12,090,735 (USA) and £980,503 (UK). Critical response was initially mixed, many critics citing stronger violence and an incoherent plot. Flimsy props and sets have also been criticized, as well as praised for their scope and design for such a low-budget picture. The film has a 50% "rotten" status on Rotten Tomatoes based on 20 reviews.
Critics later commended the film on strong visuals that echo and match Barker's own original. Browning's bed scene gained a lot of notoriety and was released in full on the uncut version of Hellbound on the Special Edition Lament Configuration box set and the film is widely regarded as the strongest of all the sequels and the closest in spirit of the original. Canadian actor William Hope, who starred previously in Aliens, called his experience on Hellbound his favorite of any film he has worked on.
- "HELLBOUND - HELLRAISER II (18)". British Board of Film Classification. January 3, 1989. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
- "Hellbound: Hellraiser II". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
- Barker, Clive. "Hellbound: Hellraiser II." 2nd Draft. November 1987.
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