Composite of Pinhead's dilution

Movie sequels made by other people, no matter how well-intentioned, cannot be the same as the original vision. However, in our humble opinion, as a moviegoing public, we've actually not been too badly blessed in the field of "the sequel". Each of the Hellraiser films has its own merits as well as its failings. As it happens, we also quite like a lot of Candyman 2. Let's face it, as a cinematic feat, Hellraiser itself was far from perfect - but it was the intensity of the piece that drew audiences to it - the sense of something new. We celebrate the originality of the vision, but certainly don't dread either Candyman 4 or Hellraiser 10 as a way to spend an evening.

"The way I've come to peace with sequels is simply to say to myself, 'Well, I'm 43 now, and I have a limited time on the planet to make things, so I can't watch over the sequel to the sequel of Hellraiser, I just can't do that.' I will do what I can to make sure they're not killing 16 year old Californians in the showers or that Pinhead doesn't become a stand-up comedian, but you only have a tiny amount of control. At the end of the day, film is a director's medium. So, as executive producer, I might say, 'We really shouldn't do this, guys; or this makes Pinhead look ridiculous; or this is inconsistent with the mythology.' But, when I walk away, the director is going to be doing what he should be doing, which is directing the movie.Also, I have no contractual control over any of this material. The Hellraiser concept was sold outright for the million dollars they gave me to do the first movie. In hindsight, it's a Faustian pact that echoes the plot of the movie, but I didn't know that at the time. And, to be fair, the film company were taking on a guy who'd never directed before. So I'm not going to whine about what these guys have done with the stuff, because they gave me a million dollars to make Hellraiser. It's the same with Candyman. If somebody puts up $10 million to make a Candyman movie, they buy the rights to do what they want to do, so if they want to make Candyman into a stand-up comedian there's not a whole lot I can do about it. It's a weird situation. Here we are talking about a movie franchise which has long since ceased to have anything to do with my original conception. It's Pinhead the plastic model, Pinhead the horror icon... Did you know he was on the Tonight show with Mel Gibson, for instance? It's tough when the villain of your movie takes a pin out of his head in order to fix Mel Gibson's coat because it's frayed. How can you expect an audience to then go into a movie house and be scared by the character after something like that?"

Clive Barker - Lord Of Illusions

By Nigel Lloyd, SFX, No 16, September 1996

"You have threescore years and ten available to you. I want to fill those years of my life - the rest of my writing life - with as much imaginative originality and brio as I can, and there's nothing faintly appealing about making an extra million bucks by going back and doing something that somebody else already did or that I already did. You know, when I was offered Aliens III, I turned it down in part because it was Aliens III. Who wants to do three of anything, you know? I could be down at Pinewood, but I really don't want to be directing Hellraiser II. What's important, I think, is to be fresh, and also I think to feel as though you're breaking personal ground, because I do very strongly believe that the best sort of fiction is written from personal concern."

Weaving Words with Clive Barker

By Leigh Blackmore, Terror Australis, No1, Autumn 1988

"It would be great to get some sense of mythology. I'm very much into pulling the elements of myth together. I would be pleased if people could get a sense of the history of the Cenobites and this puzzle box."

Go Straight to Hell

By Edwin Pouncey, New Musical Express, 2 April 1988

"As long as it's planned, I like the idea of a series. The only time it doesn't work, it seems to me, is when - as in the Nightmare on Elm Street pictures - there isn't planning... .In fact, horror movies have always lent themselves to series in part because it doesn't matter if you kill people, you can always bring them back from the dead. Go back to the Universal series, they ran picture after picture, and it wasn't always the first in the series which was the best. "

Chains of Love

Interview - BarkerBy Mark SalisburyFear, No 3, December 1988

"They want to do a 'Hellraiser' movie annually. It's an interesting idea, as long as it doesn't run out of steam. The whole point about the movie in the first instance was to see if we couldn't do something which wasn't a little bit different, a little bit riskier than 'have sex and die' pictures. It would be self-defeating if the series simply became exploitative of itself. I would withdraw from it if they felt they had a franchise picture which meant that they repeated the same thing over and over again... But I have no power of veto over that."

Beneath the Blanket of Banality

By Lionel Gracy-Whitman & Don Melia, Heartbreak Hotel, No 4, July/August 1988

"There were clearly many questions left unanswered by the film [Hellraiser] which we couldn't do the first time around as we didn't have the budget. The sequel was conceived with this in mind, which is why we pick up the story literally minutes after the climax. To catch the momentum and consciously carry on the mythological development was a challenge I found irresistibly exciting."

Hellbound: Hellraiser II

By Alan Jones, Cinefantastique, Vol 19, No 1/2, January 1989

"I've long considered him [Harry d'Amour] an interesting character to put into movies, partly because horror movies of the last ten years have been dominated by the villains... and there are limitations that come with that. One of the obvious limitations is that the more often you see a villain, the less scary they are. It's the law of diminishing returns... . I'm very aware that that's a problem. Particularly the 'Hellraiser' series. You know, Pinhead is a plastic model, a jigsaw and a phone card - a very well exposed face. The first thrill you had of seeing that character in the first movie... has long since gone. And you can never really recapture that first encounter. So I thought if I'm going to make another series of horror movies, why not base it around the hero... Instead of having to warm over horror images that you've seen in previous pictures, you can actually say, 'OK, let's do something really neat and new.'"

Lord Of Illusions - Filming The Books Of Blood

By Michael Beeler, Cinefantastique, Vol 26 No 2, February 1995

"Given the facts the rights [to 'Hellraiser'] do not belong to me and given the fact they are going to be exploited anyway, I feel a kind of residual responsibility. Not only to the mythology itself, to try my damnedest to keep it on track and not have it deteriorate or decay into some parody - which is a hard fight by the way, and not one that I always win - but also to the people involved who were there in the beginning. I feel a responsibility to [Doug Bradley] not to just walk away. But if someone was to tell me tomorrow that there would be no more 'Hellraiser' movies I'd be a happy man."

Horror Visionary

By Michael Beeler, Cinefantastique, Vol 26 No 3, April 1995

"The Hellraiser series will go on its way or not. I have no control over that, nor do I seek control. I completed a story in the first picture that was complete in itself and, if they go on using those images, fine. I'm not interested in control or profits."

Bring On The Monsters !

By Philip Nutman, Fangoria, No 87, October 1989

"There is no point in making [sequels], apart from money. You're absolutely right that -with the honorable exception of "Bride of Frankenstein" - most sequels are imaginatively impoverished, mere echoes of whatever fueled the original. I was involved in Hellraisers 2, 3, and 4, but not with 5, which has just come out. I was involved with the second Candyman picture - which is set in New Orleans, from which city I am presently speaking - but not the third Candyman movie. In future, I think I will have less and less to do with the making of sequels. It's a wretched, frustrating business."

Horror In Books And Movies: Clive Barker

By [ ], USA Today Online Chat, The Nation Talks : Live, 31 October 2000 (Note - full text at

"You know, it's strange. On the one hand, I feel a great loyalty to the creatures who have appeared on the screen in various versions of my tales. But there's also a frustration with the way that Hollywood works. For instance: the first Hellraiser movie, which cost a little undera million dollars, has been followed by a number of more expensivesequels which have been less and less true to the original film. That said, there are moments in just about every movie derived from my work -- with the exception of the first two, Transmutations and Rawhead Rex -- which I enjoy. I guess, in the end, they're all my children."

People Online Appearance

Transcript of on-line appearance, 30 July 1998

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