Angels to some, Demons to others.note
"Oh, no tears, please. It's a waste of good suffering."Hellraiser
— Pinhead, Hellraiser (1987)
is a film series based on Clive Barker
's novella The Hellbound Heart
. The first film has gone on to spawn eight sequels (only one of which—the second—Barker was directly involved with) as well as a remake. The series has at its heart a puzzle box known as the Lament Configuration, which when properly solved summons the Cenobites, a cadre of sadomasochistic Humanoid Abominations
. The mascot of the series is the only recurring Cenobite after the second film, the iconic Pinhead, played by Doug Bradley
. He was given a choice, when filming the first movie, to play either the Cenobite or a workman who showed up for all of ten seconds—bet he's happy he went with the Cenobite.
Because it's a Clive Barker
production, expect much Body Horror
and gleefully fetishistic Fan Disservice
.Films of this series include:
These films provide examples of:
The series in general:
The comic books:
- Bad with the Bone: Refugees from the Labyrinth in the Hellraiser Summer Special craft the bones of one of their dead members into weapons to battle the Legions of Hell, since only something "of Hell" can harm something else "of Hell".
- Broad Strokes: Word of God has stated the Boom! Studios comics will be taking this approach to the post-Hellbound sequels.
- Crazy Cat Lady: One comic featured one of these. She summons the Cenobites and agrees to go with them willingly if they help her take revenge on the neighbor who had been capturing and torturing her cats to death.
- Depraved Kids' Show Host: Clown from the comic series was originally a Saturday morning show host named Winky Dink who wound up becoming a Pseudo-Cenobite, charged with keeping the children who wind up in The Labyrinth occupied so they don't run amok, causing chaos. He does so through pretty disgusting ways (not entirely by choice though, since Leviathan punishes him if he does anything remotely pleasant). A later story reveals he'd been upgraded to a complete, overly-sadistic Cenobite at some point, having finally gotten his "routine" right.
- Fartillery: The Harrowers, a shortly-lived Spin-Off, has Ovid. A cherub who serves the goddess of life and chaos. One of his powers is anti-demon farts.
- Hand Of Glory: Balberith, Hell's Librarian created a Hand from the man who summoned her that turned her invisible.
- Humans Are Cthulhu: It's stated that Leviathan abhors humanity, viewing it as chaotic and disgusting.
- Intercontinuity Crossover: The comics had the series crossover with Marshal Law and Nightbreed.
- Jack the Ripper: One comic reveals that The Ripper became a Cenobite.
- King of the Homeless: One comic has a literal King of the Homeless, holding court in the sewers.
- Monster Clown: The comics gave us the Clown Cenobite (aka Winky Dink).
- Order Versus Chaos: According the comics, the Cenobites are order. In one of the more comedic stories, an obnoxious, lazy office worker spends all his time tinkering with one of the puzzle boxes, distracting his fellow employees and annoying his borderline Clock King boss, who easily solves the puzzle for him, summoning some Cenobites. The Cenobites prepare to take the boss to the Labyrinth, only to be told off by him; the boss says he only solved the puzzle because it was disrupting the order, productivity and perfectionism he constantly strived for, which the Cenobites are now doing. The Cenobites mull this over for a bit, eventually decide the boss is essentially "doing Leviathan's work" and decide to take the employee, who the boss had earlier described as "a gear that has become misaligned", in his place.
- Sense Loss Sadness: In the comics, Pinhead wishes to become human again because all Cenobites experience Sense Loss Sadness when they are transformed, and he is sick of it. But to do that, he needs to find a suitable replacement...