Paul T. Taylor has some big shoes to fill—not to mention some heavy S&M fetish-gear. The actor will be taking over Lead Cenobite duties in the latest installment of the long-running Hellraiser franchise, launched by Clive Barker in 1987: Hellraiser: Judgment. He’s following in the footsteps of Doug Bradley, who played Pinhead in the first 8 Hellraiser movies before bowing out of 2012 Hellraiser: Revelations. The actor who replaced Bradley in that film, Stephan Smith Collins, was lambasted mercilessly for his perceived shortcomings.
Taylor knows he’s in store for plenty of knee-jerk loathing, but he’s staying hopeful. In a recent interview with the Dallas Observer, he stated:
“It is a little daunting [taking over for Doug Bradley]. I’ve read some comments from the fans who are gonna hate me as Pinhead no matter what, but many of them are smart enough and cool enough to say, ‘I’m not gonna judge until I see Paul T. Taylor play Pinhead,’ and, ‘He’s not Doug Bradley but I’m gonna give him a chance.’”
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One thing Taylor has going for him: He’s a genuine Pinhead fan, familiar with the source material. Hopefully, his love of the franchise will translate into fitting performance.
“It was the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me in my life,” said Taylor. “Being on that set was the coolest thing I’ve ever done. [Pinhead] was always my favorite horror icon because he was the most twisted and intelligent in my mind. And I love the fetish wear, and it’s just wrong. He’s just so wrong. Chains on hooks? That’s so gruesome and grotesque. Clive Barker’s mind is just so twisted.”
Despite comments the actor previously made in Facebook, Hellraiser: Judgement will not be released this month (March 2017). Dimension claims there is no scheduled release date at this time. While I understand their trepidation for releasing a film to what will, no doubt, be a hostile audience, there’s absolutely no point hiding it now that the film has been finished.
Related Article: “Hellraiser: Judgment” Theatrical Release Seems Likely
Hellraiser: Judgment was written and directed by Gary J. Tunnicliffe and stars (in addition to Taylor) Damon Carney (The Hitcher), Randy Wayne (True Blood), Alexandra Harris (The Veil), John Gulagher (director of Piranha 3DD and Feast), Diane Goldner (The Collector), Heather Langenkamp (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Mike Jay Regan (Hellraiser: Inferno), Jeff Fenter (The Final), Grace Montie (Southern Tale) and newcomer Helena Grace Donald.
Official Synopsis: Detectives Sean and David Carter are on the case to find a gruesome serial killer terrorizing the city. Joining forces with Detective Christine Egerton, they dig deeper into a spiraling maze of horror that may not be of this world. Could the Judgment awaiting the killer’s victims also be waiting for Sean?