Clive on Hellraiser III : Hell On Earth

PINHEAD : I'm touched... That is the gun you used to kill your parents?
JP visibly staggers as Pinhead lets slip this knowledge.
Pinhead smiles.

PINHEAD : I understand. Their fortune was so tempting, their affection so conditional. What else could you do?
JP : Fuck you!
He pulls the double trigger.
A massive blast resounds around the room but that's about it; the scatter-shot is absorbed magically into the pillar.

PINHEAD : Thank you. Now, shall we talk sensibly?
JP lets the useless gun fall from his hand.
PINHEAD : Don't flee from yourself. If you have a quality, let it define you. Cultivate it. It is you. By helping me, you will help yourse...
JP : What!? What are you talking about? Why should I help you?
PINHEAD : Because you want to. You've always wanted to. Look at your pictures. Look at your sculptures. Look at these tawdry representations and then... Imagine. Imagine a world of the body as canvas. The body as clay. Your will and mine as the knife. Oh, I have such sights to show you.
It's working. JP's eyes are glittering with excited interest.
JP : What are you?
PINHEAD : A dark star rising. I was bound to another's system by a soul I once possessed. A friend relieved me of that inconvenience. Now I'm free. Born again of Blood and Desire.

First draft (of version filmed) - by Peter Atkins - 8 May 1991

"The script is being written at the moment for Hellraiser III, which will be as different from Hellraiser II as two was from one. Again it's a story by me, and an outrageous story. I'm really delighted with it."

Chains of Love

By Mark Salisbury,Fear, No 3, December 1988

"The Cenobites open a brothel. And a good time will be had by all."

Clive Barker: Hellbent On Shocking Our Shirts Off

By Phantom of the Movies,New York Daily News, 21 December 1988

"I handed writing and direction chores on Hellraiser II over to other talents, to make of it what they would, and if there's a Hellraiser III then I will have nothing at all to do with it. You have to let go sometimes. But boy, it's hard."

Footnote to Cartoons

By Clive Barker, Clive Baker's Shadows in Eden, 1991

"They [the financiers, Trans-Atlantic] came to me with a deal I couldn't live with, and to be perfectly honest, I don't think they even wanted me on the project. I think they wanted to go in some fresh directions which they didn't think I was going to approve of."

Clive Barker's Letter From America

By Allan Bryce, The Dark Side, No 10, July 1991

"Hellraiser III will bring us back to familiar territory. Pinhead will be back, Tony Randel is again directing, Pete Atkins has written the script and Doug Bradley will be Pinhead again. The movie will shoot early in America this year [1991]."

Hall of Fame

By Philip Nutman, Fangoria, No 100, March 1991

"All monsters totter off into the night on their own at some stage. Now it's happened to one of mine.
"Quite honestly, I'm not too concerned. The script is spicy, has superb thrills, and goes like a locomotive. It recalls the original's black perversity - except written on a more extensive, intriguing canvas.
"Peter's grasp on what makes the myth work is very strong, and I really have no terrible cause for complaint."

Hellfire And Location

By Alan Jones, Film Review, April 1992

"I love the fact that material that originated from the same mind can result in pictures that are stylistically so different: 'Hellraiser III is a brightly coloured, special-effects heavy gross-out, which I had a good time with. 'Candyman' is the reverse of it - very low on special-effects and high on shock ad sub-text. I've always loved variation. It's one of the few things that makes life worth living. The job of executive producer is to put his finger in the pie when he feels he can improve the recipe, and keep his finger out every other time... what I tried to do was be a troubleshooter when a scene wasn't working... Miramax came to me with the picture ['Hellraiser III'], said it was a little thin and asked if we could make it better. I said, 'There's a really good movie in there. We need to spend more money,' and they were up for spending half a million dollars if we could shoot something in 3 or 4 days. So we did all the bondage stuff and the weird plant thing and the skin-sucking special effects - things you've always wanted to do. Haven't you always wanted to suck the skin off a woman?"

Barker Looks Back

By Anthony C Ferrante, Bloody Best of Fangoria, No 12, September 1993

"Hellraiser III is definitely Pinhead's movie. He has a lot to do, and it's neat stuff, brought to life by Bob Keen's special effects plus a whole bunch of computer-enhanced material that we didn't have the technology for on the first two. This is a sexier, faster and gorier movie than Hellbound.
"I think where [Anthony Hickox's] skills lie is in making 1 million dollars look like 7 million. That's what Hickox does great. Here, he works from a solid script by Peter Atkins that's got some really good writing for Pinhead."

Pinhead Revisited

By Phantom of the Movies, New York Daily News, 10 September 1992

"When I first heard about Hellraiser III, it was clear the production company, Trans Atlantic Entertainment, didn't want me on board for financial reasons. Head honcho Lawrence L. Kuppin wanted his stamp on it, not mine, and he didn't want me hanging around. I was reasonably expensive and, frankly, I knew he wanted something cheap and nasty.
"Then Randel 'dropped out' and Anthony Hickox was hired. I was nervous about this choice. I wasn't a fan of his previous efforts,Waxwork and Sundown; The Vampire in Retreat. He's a slick cameraman with movements to match and he makes great looking pictures. But I didn't have a great deal of faith in his story abilities. I made this quite clear when he came round to my Hollywood home to discuss the film. I told Storyboards drawn by John Floyd him in no uncertain terms that I hoped, a) it wasn't going to be funny, and, b) he told the story properly...I then didn't hear from anyone for nine weeks.
"Kuppin then deigned to call and invited me to come and look at a rough cut. Which I did and, when he asked for my opinion, I told him that although it contained some great moments, there was a lot of stuff missing; the end wasn't right, there was no climax, I didn't understand some sequences and in parts the story was incomprehensible. The same old Hickox stew in fact...Then Kuppin asked me to put my name on it saying, 'Endorse it and we'll give you money.' I refused because it didn't reflect my vision of the Hellraiser mythos and my artistic contribution to it at this point was nil.
"A few weeks later I got a call from Bob Weinstein (who owns Miramax with his brother Harvey). He asked for my honest opinion of Hellraiser III and I reiterated to him what I thought the problems were...and they agreed to finance whatever changes I felt were necessary. While I hadn't been invited to the party at first, I turned out to be the surprise guest only too happy to join in the festivities late in the day! So I did a deal with Miramax, not Kuppin, to remake and remodel the picture the way I wanted to.
"I added Terry Farrell's bondage scene at the climax, the monstrous thing coming up through the floor in front of her, the extra computer graphics for the girl being skinned and many insert death scenes for the nightclub victims. Pete Atkins did all the extra writing. I threw in my ideas and everything was cut into the movie. The result is a pretty seamless patchwork, but a patchwork nevertheless. The best one can say about the movie is it's abundant and there's loads of fun stuff going on."

Hellraiser III and Me

By Alan Jones, Shivers, No 5, February 1993

"From the start it was clear the production company [for Hellraiser III] (Trans Atlantic Entertainment who bought the franchise from New World Pictures) and chairman Lawrence L. Kuppin wanted their stamp on it more than mine. While they had to pay me $20,000 because the original ideas and characters were my creation, they already had four pivotal elements in place: Doug Bradley reprising his Pinhead role, both Hellbound director Tony Randel and scripter Pete Atkins, plus special effects supervisor Bob Keen and his Image Animation team. So they didn't need me.
"[After the change of director] Kuppin said to me, 'Endorse it and we'll give you money.' But I refused to put my name on it. I really don't want to be like Stephen King! While it was beautifully composed, the actors nicely framed and the images were slick, there was obviously a lot of stuff missing which rendered it incomprehensble in parts. Hickox tends to work fast - and it showed! Because it was shot back-to-back with Children Of The Corn II for economic reasons [both shared the same crew], Kuppin's penny-pinching hadn't served the special effects well either. As it didn't reflect my vision of the Hellraiser mythos, I had no desire to be associated with it in any way.
"Hickox loves zipping around the studio floor making quick creative decisions. But movies are made in post-production and his interest in that side of the business is virtually nil. He knew the base of power had shifted by the time I came on board, and without any bad feeling left me to do what I felt was neccessary."

Carnival Barker

By Alan Jones, Film Review, March 1993

"I was a little anxious at first that he [Anthony Hickox] would try to slip some sly comedy into the material. The Hellraiser movies separate themselves from the pack by being rather serious in their intent. They seriously want to scare you. They aren't arenas for in-jokes or self-parody.
"My sense is that as long as the movies are made stylishly and intelligently and try to surprise the audience, then the audience will be there."

Of Hell And Hollywood

By Ken Berg, Orlando Sentinel, 11 September 1992

"It's actually easier for me to comment on it than it would be if I had made the picture because sometimes when you finish a book or a movie, you're so close to the thing that you don't know what's there. But I have sufficient distance from Hellraiser III to know that it's stylish, and it's slick, it's well-made, and it's got a damn good performance bang in the middle for Doug Bradley as Pinhead.
"I think Pinhead is the reason people go to see these movies and he must be in fifty percent of Hellraiser III... Where [Freddy] Kreuger has turned, especially in the latter movies, into a teenager-hating jokemeister, Pinhead emerges in this one with even more seriousness of intent and means to express that intent [more] than ever before. I think we're actually seeing, as [Doug] gets more and more confident with the role, a darkening of what he does.
"The danger with seeing Pinhead on Earth, in an urban setting, was that the character would be diminished. I mean, the moment you see Freddy by the side of a swimming pool, you know that something's seriously wrong. But they pulled it off. Part of it is Anthony Hickox's great visual skill. He's managed to context the character every step of the way, and not at any point diminish him. And I'd be the first to blow the whistle in Pinhead was diminished, because I feel very close to the character."

To Hell And Back

By John Wooley, Tulsa World, 13 September 1992

"I have always been fascinated by sadomasochistic imagery and the ambiguity we feel toward the pain-pleasure threshold. [In Hellraiser III] the bondage elements are back, those elements come up in my books all the time. But sadomasochism and self-inflicted wounds and any sense that it might be pleasurable really pushes the wrong buttons as far as the film ratings board is concerned.
"The function of horror movies is to create interesting, disturbing, bizarre, occasionally scary images. It isn't to provide cheap laughs at the expense of the monster. In the case of Hellraiser III, I offer my imagination in terms of honing or adding a touch of perversity, and to preserve Pinhead from any trace of self-parody.
"There's the Friday the 13th Syndrome, where movies become totally interchangeable and you're unable to decide whether you're watching Part 3 or Part 12, and it's sad to watch the demise of a character like Freddy Kreuger into a sort of jokemeister. It seems like a waste of a damn good monster."

Hooked On Horror

By Hal Lipper, St Petersburg Times, 22 September, 1992

...other comments

ELLIOTT : There were days in this war, days right on top of each other, when the newly dead were numbered in the tens of thousands. They called it the war to end all wars. Though it didn't. There were more wars. More dead. Your father's war. Your dream search for your father led you here. To me. Joey, we need to talk.
Elliott does nothing dramatic - he doesn't clap his hands or snap his fingers - but somehow, magically, he and Joey, without moving or changing position are back in the Quonset hut.

The frozen Elliott is still sitting on the floor before the box. The mobile Elliott gestures at his frozen self as he speaks to the bemused Joey.
ELLIOTT : The war pulled poetry out of some of us. Others it affected differently. This is me a few years later. We're in India, by the way, and it's 1921. I was like many survivors. Lost souls with nothing left to believe in but gratification. We'd seen God fail, you see. So many dead. For us God, too, fell at Flanders. We adjusted to the loss. And if we mourned, we mourned in silence. Thousands drank themselves to death. Others went further. I went further. I thought I was a lost soul. But, until this frozen moment, I didn't even know what the phrase meant.

First draft (of version filmed) - by Peter Atkins - 8 May 1991

Pete Atkins: "It was late in 1987 and my script for Hellbound was yet to be shot when Clive Barker and Chris Figg (at that time partners in Film Futures - the production company that had made Hellraiser, that was in the process of making Hellbound, and that intended to make Hell On Earth) first approached me to write Hell On Earth for them. It would be nice to claim that right there and then in that first meeting I (Or Clive. Or Chris. Or anybody!) came up with the story that five years later was to reach the screens of the world. No. The story that ticket-buying customers saw and heard in late 1992 is, at a conservative estimate, the sixth story to bear the name Hell On Earth. And I've probably forgotten two or three others.
"This doesn't mean that the previous five stories were bad. Nor does it mean that the previous five stories were good. In fact, it doesn't even mean that the previous five stories were previous; the one that ended up making it to celluloid was actually the fifth story, not the sixth. And nor was it the only one to make it all the way to full-length screenplay; the fourth story got as far as a third-draft screenplay and was indeed at one stage a week into pre-production before being cancelled. One other story survived long enough to become an officially-commissioned treatment (a treatment is a kind of embryonic screenplay, a document ranging in size from five to thirty pages which tells the story of the movie without the use of dialogue and with much less detail than a screenplay) and the remaining three were barely written down, existing mainly in the heads of the creators apart from a few gestural notes.
"For good or bad, the Hell On Earth that was actually produced is of course the 'official' third chapter in the Hellraiser saga but, for those who are interested, here are some alternate histories. Here's what you didn't see."

Building The Beast (In Stages)

By Peter Atkins, 1993. The full text of this excellent narrative essay is available here at Revelations as an online exclusive - Thanks Pete !

Anthony Hickox: "I find film fascinating because you can trick the mind. I love working with special effects. But Hellraiser III also hinges on the performances. If they don't play, then Pinhead means nothing. Throughout much of the movie he is confined within this marble pillar, and the only way he can get out is by getting into people's minds. Anyone who appreciates good horror movies is going to love this film."

Hellraiser III Canadian Presskit

By [ ], 1992

Pete Atkins: [re. directing Hellraiser III] "There will be a greater proportion of my involvement in it, I suppose, but all movies are collaborative. In this particular mix I'll be doing two jobs [writing and directing], so who knows how it'll develop?"

Birth of the Nightbreed

By Brigid Cherry and Brian Robb, Starburst, Vol 11, No 11, July 1989

Anthony Hickox: "Hell On Earth is exactly what I was looking for, a serious horror movie. I think it is the best of the three Hellraiser films because the script is the finest of the three. (I'm only saying that based on seeing the first two, I haven't read them.) In this story Pinhead becomes a central character and the audience learns about his history. I think this film really ties up the other two. It completes the trilogy and helps fill in gaps in the entire story.
"Stylistically, I tried to make the film feel a bit like Jacob's Ladder and Angel Heart. I'm definitely going for that English Director look, Promo poster the Adrian Lyne of horror movies. There is a lot of slow motion and a lot of smoke... Looking at the dailies, it scares me, and I'm on the set...
"I had an added challenge with Hellraiser III. When they brought me in, they told me it was an attempt to bring the movie out of its cult status and make it more of a mainstream movie. My challenge is to widen the scope of the film to attract a larger audience. "

Ready For Hell?

By [Michael Brown], Dread, Issue 4, 1992

Pete Atkins: "There was a sudden spate of activity when Hellbound opened. I was out in Hollywood at the time, rewriting a script called Alcatraz 2000 for Tony Randel. Then I suddenly got a call requesting the third draft of Hell On Earth by the previous Tuesday, since Hellbound was making money and New World said they wanted to go into production by February of this year. So I wrote the third draft over the Christmas period. Then in January the first inklings of the buyout came through, grinding everything to a halt. I'm currently [April 1989] waiting to hear what happens next."

Birth of the Nightbreed

By Philip Nutman, (i) Fangoria, No 86, September 1989(ii) Fangoria : Masters of the Dark

Doug Bradley : "The real watershed [was] between two and three, because we certainly would have made Hellraiser III the year after Hellraiser II came out, in fact a script was finished, already called Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth, which Pete had written from Clive's storyline. There were a number of other things which crucially happened there. Film Futures, which was the production company that Clive was part of, that had got Hellraiser and Nightbreed off the ground, came to an end. Clive moved to Los Angeles and New World, who had put the money up for the first two Hellraiser films went bust. Which left us in a strange legal hiatus, because if New World owned the rights to the Hellraiser movies and New World didn't exist, where were the rights?
"So there was a lot of legal tangling that went on and various attempt, various rumours, and serious and half-serious moves to buy up the remainder of New World and so on and so forth, until finally in '91 Hellraiser III came together. So all those things happened between the second and third films."

Done With Demons

By Tom Mes, Project A, [1999] (note : full text online at

Pete Atkins: "New World, the company that made the first two Hellraiser movies, was sold to new owners. And then re-sold. And then re-sold. And while all this was going on, all production was put on hold. I'd actually been commissioned to write Hell on Earth while Concept design for Pistonhead by ?the second film was still being edited, so it's now over two years since I wrote the first draft. In fact it's now over a year since I wrote the third draft! [Now I'm writing] a brand new script! What happened was that the people who are now subcontracted to make this movie by the latest incarnation of New World bought the rights to make a sequel but did not buy the existing script - figuring, quite rightly, that it was going to cost them a lot less money to get me to write a new one rather than to pay them for the old one. Also because the other screenplay is now over a year old, copies have made their way onto the black market and many people have bought and read it. In fact Doug Bradley told me that at a Fango convention about a month ago he signed more copies of the Hell on Earth script than of the Hellbound video! So the feeling was, even if it was only a tiny percentage of the movie audience that read it, it was a lot better to come at them with something brand new."

Talking Pleasure and Pain with Pete Atkins

By Ade Cattell, Headcheese and Chainsaws, Issue 6, 1990 (note: full text here)

Doug Bradley : "I know that the fans' expectations are high and that I have a reputation to live up to. So I was very nervous the night before my first day back in make-up. It felt strange to be coming back to a character that I spent three years talking about but not actually doing. But once I got on set and back in make-up, it all came back like it was a week instead of three years ago."

A Graveside Chat On The Set Of Hellraiser III

By Michael White, Deathrealm, No 16, Spring 1992

Doug Bradley: "Between the club and the church, when Joey comes to the nightclub and they have that confrontation scene with the dead audience - one of my favourite scenes across all three movies - it was very clear that Pinhead was involved, that he was doing this. In fact he had a direct confrontation with the police which Pete was doing deliberately to give Pinhead a confrontation with humanity's law, to say: this means nothing to me. And then to go into the church and be confronted with spiritual law and say: this means nothing to me, I'llwalk out the other side.
"So he had a confrontation with a cop who pulled a gun on Pinhead, who responded by taking the handcuffs from the cop's belt and putting the handcuff through his tongue and ripping his tongue out. He then left his New Model Army to finish the cops off. I thought this was wonderful, and when I got to North Carolina, as well as a big bunch of flowers and a whole bowl of fruit, there was a new version of the screenplay which was completely different. I felt it weakened what Pete was trying to my own mind there was no extreme that was too extreme, because if you take the human side of Pinhead away, then it is extremely nasty and should be seen to be."

Pin - Points

By Nick Vince, Hellbreed No.3, July 1995

Anthony Hickox: "Pete's screenplay was excellent. As soon as I read it, I knew this could be a great movie. And the script was in such great shape that it didn't need re-writing. All I did was tighten up a few scenes to get the pacing up. Obviously, I would have like more time, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity. Once we tightened the script, I did my storyboards and then I was set - as much as I could be, obviously... "

Straight To Hell

By Philip Nutman, Fangoria, No 113, June 1992

Pete Atkins: "In many ways, this is both a sequel and a prequel to Hellbound. Not chronologically, but conceptually. It answers a lot of questions left dangling from that picture concerning who Pinhead is, how and why he became what he is, what it means to be Pinhead, etc. One of the aspects of the script I'm most pleased with is the fact that it's very much the completion of a trilogy; it's not just a new adventure using the mythos... It's very much an examination of the rules of hell, and by freeing Pinhead from those rules, we discover more about him. You could call this Pinhead Unbound."

The Long Road To Hell

By Philip Nutman, Gorezone, No 22, April 1992

Gary Tunnicliffe: [on Terri] "Mark Coulier created the make-up but I designed the costume, and the peeled-back-skin opera gloves were one of my ideas. Unfortunately, you don't see a lot of her on camera, but anyone who looks at the Terri Cenobite from the third film and Angelique from the fourth will notice that there is a resonance going on. The female Cenobite in the first film, although a brilliant make-up, looks a bit dowdy and we couldn't see much of her body. I wanted to see more flesh really.
"When I designed the costume for Terri, I remember a couple of people commenting that this was very sexist and unnecessary, that we shouldn't do this sort of thing. Luckily the fans took her to heart and, at the end of the day, an attractive girl wearing a tight-fitting leather outfit is a sensual idea in itself. I know Clive tends to favour the sensual in his ideas, so it was true to the Hellraiser mythos."

Sex, Death And Pinhead

By David Howe, shivers, No 21, September 1995

Pete Atkins: "Hellraiser III: Clive wasn't involved with that at all until post-production after the movie had already been shot. The story had in a similar sort of fashion, a skeletal sort of plot outline put together with Tony Randel who directed Hellbound and who was at one stage going to direct part III. It was just a three-page outline, but I actually had to sit and write the story.
"I was intimately involved with them from beginning to end. I was in North Carolina with them all the way through pre-production and through shooting, then into post-production."

From The Dog Days To Bloodlines

By [Stephen Dressler and Cheryl Bentzen], Lost Souls, Issue 3, 1996

Doug Bradley : "Pete's done a terrific job. He and I have had hours of discussions concerning Pinhead's character since we finished Hellbound. Between us, we've really discovered who this demon is and, equally as important, who he was as a human being.
"He has given me a a more sinister, glibly malevolent Pinhead to work with. The crucial aspect is that he's out of the box. In the past he was constrained by the Lament Configuration and had to play by the rules. Now there are no rules, which makes Pinhead even more dangerous in a way. So it really doesn't matter if we're seeing the character in an obviously American setting. The character is strong enough to exist in any environment because he's far more powerful than either Michael Myers or Jason."

Hellraiser III - Welcome To Club Dead

By Philip Nutman, Fangoria, No 110, March 1992

Pete Atkins: "Well, it was great fun being a Cenobite in Hellraiser III. Really, it was a great experience obviously both in terms of being in front of the camera instead of on the other side of it and also wearing prosthetic make-up and costumes and stuff. Barbie, the 'Fat Bastard' Cenobite as I call him, is one of Bob's nicest and ugliest creations and it was great to do... I should stress that Barbie's head is a pull-on mask, as most of the other cenobites are, it's only Pinhead who has the classic four hours in the chair. Chatterer and Butterball in the previous movies were just pull-on masks, although Camerahead is another laborious make-up process, as are JP and Terri, who become Cenobites during the course of the movie.
"That said, Bob's very careful about the way his work is presented and although these are pre-manufactured masks it still takes half an hour to get ready because you put them on and they touch them up around the eyes and seal them down and add the blood and do stuff. I realise now why Nick Vince and people used to complain about not being able to see anything, because you can't, so half of the lumbering movements some Cenobites make is because the actor trapped inside all that make-up is convinced he's about to fall over and impale himself!"

Raising Hell With Barbie

By Nick Cairns, Creeping Unknown, No 20, [Spring] 1992

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