Hellbound: Hellraiser II

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

Hellbound: Hellraiser II is a 1988 British-American horror film directed by Tony Randel and starring Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Kenneth Cranham and Doug Bradley.[4][5] The film is the second film in the Hellraiser franchise and draws heavily upon (and was made by much of the same cast and crew as) its precursor, Hellraiser. Clive Barker, who wrote and directed the previous film, wrote the story and was the sequel's executive producer.


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 bloodflow 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[edit]

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 Andrew 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]

Critical response[edit]

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 5.25/10. The consensus reads: "Hellbound: Hellraiser II retains the twisted visual thrill of its predecessor, although seams in the plot are already starting to show."[10] 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."[11]



  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. ^ a b "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. ^ a b "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. ^ "Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  11. ^ Ebert, Roger (23 December 1988). "Hellbound: Hellraiser II". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 19 July 2020.

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