Fans of the Hellraiser franchise are so eager to return to the sinister netherworld created by Clive Barker in the 1980s that many are actually looking forward to a straight-to-DVD release of a 10th Chapter that may or may not see a release later this month. The series has fallen far from its heyday, a fact confirmed by the fact that Doug Bradley, the actor synonymous with the Cenobite Pinhead, bowed out of the back in 2011.
Yes, fans will grudgingly but dutifully give Hellraiser: Judgment, directed by Gary J. Tunnicliffe with (unknown) actor Paul T. Taylor playing Pinhead—even though no one expects it to be very good. Perhaps our reasons combine aspects of nostalgia and desperation for a return to form for the Hellraiser franchise; perhaps we’re all masochists (Cenobite prey) for even having hope.
Related Article: Paul T. Taylor Talks Playing Pinhead and Facing Fan Hatred
It was just 2 years back that Clive Barker delivered a new Hellraiser screenplay to Dimension, a studio run by the Weinstein Brothers. He was clearly excited about returning to the world he created, and even Doug Bradley was on board to return under Barker’s directorship. Here’s what he told us to expect back in 2015:
Via Den of Geeks:
Chatting to Entertainment Weekly, Barker revealed more of the new Hellraiser. “I think the phrase is ‘reboot'”, he said, “although I’ve never really understood what that meant”.
“I wanted to make sure we sounded some fresh notes. The movie actually begins on Devil’s Island. I wanted to fold into the Hellraiser narrative something about the guy – the Frenchman Lemarchand – who made the mysterious box, which raises Pinhead. I figured, ‘well, what would have happened to him?’ He might well have been taken to Devil’s Island and I thought that would be a pretty cool place to start the movie”.
So what happened? Why is Hellraiser: Judgment next on the docket instead of Barker’s reinvigorated vision? The topic came up during a recent Twitter chat where the author/filmmaker/artist explained (succinctly):
“The script was written and delivered to Dimension years ago [see above]. That was the last anyone heard until news of a sequel surfaced.“
It’s anyone’s guess, really, why Dimension would shelve a guaranteed success for another sloppy straight-to-DVD affair. A future Hellraiser movie with Barker at the helm will be worthy of a theatrical release, and I can promise: Fans will turn out in droves. Instead, we’re just waiting on Judgment, grudgingly twiddling our thumbs, without so much as a trailer to get us excited. Hooray!
This is pretty much everything we know about Judgment:
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?