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Film / Hellbound: Hellraiser II

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Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988) is the second film in the Hellraiser series.

After surviving the events of the first film, Kirsty Cotton has been institutionalized in the Channard Institute. Neither the detectives assigned to the case nor the doctors at the institute believe her when she tells them about extra-dimensional beings and her undead uncle killing her father, and warns them that her evil stepmother Julia could still return. After hearing about this, the head of the hospital Dr. Channard retrieves the mattress that Julia died on, and repeats the ritual from the first film, allowing Julia to rise from the grave. Dr. Channard and Julia then work together to access the portal to the Cenobite dimension again, while Kirsty and a mute friend she made at the hospital try to stop them.

Hellbound: Hellraiser II contains examples of:

  • Agony Beam: Leviathan is constantly projecting one from each of its faces until Tiffany uses the puzzle box to force Leviathan out of its diamond form into the form of a giant puzzle box.
  • An Arm and a Leg: The Channard Cenobite slices off an unfortunate patient's arm with his bladed tentacles.
    Channard: I recommend... amputation!
    (cue disturbing laughter)
  • Badass Boast: Julia to Kirsty:
    "Oh, Kirsty. They didn't tell you, did they? I'm afraid they've changed the rules of the fairy tale—I'm no longer just the wicked stepmother. Now I'm the evil queen. So come on! Take your best shot, Snow White!"
  • Bad Boss: Leviathan, in its treatment of Pinhead and his fellow Cenobites the moment they rediscover the humanity it stolen from them, and turn against it. It also discards Channard, who actually enjoys being its slave, without any hesitation.
  • Bedlam House: The Channard Institute, where the most insane patients are kept in the steam tunnels, and the head of the place is a psychopathic lunatic who feeds his patients alive to the hellish Cenobites.
  • Big Bad Wannabe:
    • Frank's ploy to trap Kirsty ends up failing miserably and when he thinks his former Dragon Julia has come to bail him out, she kills him instead.
    • Even Julia falls into this. No matter how much she Took a Level in Badass, she was absolutely nothing to the forces of hell and was sucked into the abyss with no fanfare. Heck, Dr. Channard overtakes her as the Big Bad once becomes a Cenobite.
  • Bilingual Bonus: A very tough one to spot: the sounds made by the Leviathan aren't here just because they sound impressive; it is actually Morse code for "God".
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The bloodshed is more extended and brutal compared to the original. To the point six whole minutes of footage are added in the extended version!
  • Book Ends: The ending of Hellbound calls back to the beginning of the first Hellraiser. A moving man who had been hired to help move furniture into the Cotton residence returns to help empty Channard's house. Also the homeless man from Hellraiser makes an appearance and asks "What's your pleasure, sir?", the same question that had been posed to Frank Cotton.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Dr. Channard was relatively mild in his human form, but he steals the show once he turns into a Cenobite.
    Channard: "The IN!"
  • Contrived Coincidence: Discussed and played with. The Cenobites find Kirsty again, but Kirsty points out she didn't summon them this time.
    Female Cenobite: "Didn't open the box?" And what was it last time? "Didn't know what the box was." And yet we do keep finding each other, don't we?"
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Cenobite Channard effortlessly kills Pinhead and the other cenobites. Although, they had just been reminded of their lost humanity so were not at peak strength, to say nothing of Channard being possessed by Leviathan at the time, their creator who was vastly more powerful.
  • Cute Mute: Tiffany, a mute patient at the psychiatric institute obsessed with solving puzzles. She gets better.
  • Deadly Hug: Julia lures Kyle into her embrace and devours him with a kiss.
  • Death of a Child: The Chatterer's original, human form is briefly revealed in one scene to be a young boy. Apparently, it didn't prevent him from being taken by the Cenobites to be killed and tortured over and over again until becoming a Cenobite himself.
  • Doomed Moral Victor: Pinhead and his fellow Cenobites are murdered after defying the Leviathan-controlled Channard, but regain their humanity in the process.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Just look at that huge, phallic tendril burrowing its way into the Channard Cenobite's head.
    • Several of Julia's murders as she reconstitutes her body are very much framed like rape scenes.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: Dr. Channard, after becoming a Cenobite, joins their revelry of pain.
  • Dying as Yourself: As Channard kills the original four Cenobites, they each revert to their human forms, except for Pinhead. Kirsty had reminded him of who he was as a mortal before Channard attacked him, allowing him to reclaim his lost humanity before Channard kills him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Pinheard leaves Tiffany unharmed and commands the other Cenobites to do likewise, noting "It is not hands that call us. It is desire."
  • Evil Feels Good: When Dr. Channard becomes a Cenobite, which comes with a fair amount of body horror, and a giant tendril burrowed into his head, what is his reaction?
    Channard: And to think... I hesitated.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Probably even more true for this film, where Dr. Channard's obsession with the Lament Configuration ultimately leads to him becoming horrifically tortured and turned into a Cenobite himself. He's horrified at first, but in the end... And to think, I hesitated.
  • Evil Laugh: The Channard Cenobite had a weird one.
  • Fake Shemp: Due to Kenneth Cranham being unable to sit in the rig required for the Channard Cenobite, he only appears as said character in close-up shots, with stuntman Bronco McLoughlin playing him the rest of the time.
  • Fan Disservice: Channard makes out with Julia and lifts up her dress... while she's still skinless. Covered with bandages, but skinless nonetheless.
    • Kirsty, wearing Julia's skin, later makes out with Cenobite-Channard to distract him.
    • Julia wreathing around on the floor naked, moaning, and skinless. Did we mention the floor is also coated in the blood of the guy she just ate?
    • At one point, we see an attractive, completely naked woman... as she's about to have her life force sucked out by Julia.
  • Flaying Alive: Frank has his skin melt after Kirsty burns his photo, and Julia is ripped out of her freshly grown skin by a powerful gale.
  • Genre Shift: From a horror film (as the first movie was) to an outright Cosmic Horror Story by the endnote . This was deliberate, as Word of God states that Hellbound is meant to be a Dark Fantasy in order to differentiate the film from its predecessor.
  • Genuine Human Hide: Kristy distracts Dr. Channard, allowing Tiffany to close the Lament Configuration, by "dressing up" in Julia's shed skin.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Right before his Heroic Sacrifice, the now human Pinhead looks at Kirsty and the two share a small smile, showing he's at peace in the end.
  • Groin Attack: The patient who slices himself up with a straight razor drags the blade across his crotch at one point.
  • Harmful to Minors: Imagine being a parent and your young daughter starts showing signs of obsessive compulsive disorder, becoming obsessed with solving puzzles to the point where it is consuming her life. So, being the loving and responsible parent you are, you take her to a reputable psychiatrist in hopes that he can help her. Instead he brutally murders you right in front of your child, further scarring her. Then he essentially kidnaps your daughter, taking her into his asylum where he subjects her to torturous “treatments” that basically render her catatonic to the point where she can only focus on solving puzzles. Why does he do this? So he can use her to open a Hell Gate. Poor Tiffany has been through some serious shit.
  • Hell: The film depicts a gothic-looking, otherworldly area of Hell (or, at least, a very Hell-like dimension that promises unimaginable sensations) called the Labyrinth, where the people who solve a cursed puzzle box end up. Escape is possible, and the first two movies focus more on human villains who've returned to the real world and need blood to restore their bodies than on the cenobites themselves.
  • I Die Free: Although Pinhead and his companions are killed by the Leviathan controlled Channard, they remember their humanity and rebel against the Lord Of The Labyrinth. As punishment, Pinhead is stripped of his powers and forcibly reverted by Leviathan back to the man he once was, Captain Elliot Spencer. Before he dies Elliot possesses a serene, grateful expression and sacrifices his life for Kirsty, finally freed from his eternal torment.
  • Immediate Sequel: This film starts several hours after the ending of the first.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • When Frank accidentally stabs Julia in the first film, he states that it's "nothing personal, baby" before leaving her for the Cenobites. In the second film, Julia throws that line back at Frank when she quite intentionally (and quite literally) rips his heart out.
    • When the Cenobites finally recapture Frank in the first film, he delivers this last line to Kirsty before being ripped apart: "Jesus wept." Kirsty throws that line back to him in the second.
  • Ironic Hell: Frank's own Hell, where he is constantly teased by moaning naked women, but as soon as he pulls the shroud off of them, they disappear.
  • Large Ham: The Channard Cenobite. All his lines were doctor-related and he had a rather strange evil laugh.
    Channard Cenobite: Surgery's open, Tiffany. What is today's agenda? Ah yes... evisceration!
  • Mad Doctor: Dr. Channard, later upgraded to a Deadly Doctor when he becomes a Cenobite.
  • Mobile Maze: The world of the Cenobites is presented as an infinite, ever-changing dark labyrinth of stone under the control of a floating rotating silver lozenge called Leviathan.
  • Monster Clown: One shows up in Tiffany's Hell.
  • Mouth Stitched Shut: Surprisingly not done with a Cenobite, but with one of the disturbing adornments on the torture-pylon that arises at the film's end. Just before the "What's your pleasure?" Call-Back, the spinning display shows a baby with its lips sewn together and the needle that did it clutched in one hand.
    • Tiffany sees a baby with its mouth being stitched shut, when she first enters Hell.
  • Mythology Gag: The film's title, Hellbound: Hellraiser 2, is a reference to the book which Hellraiser is based on, The Hellbound Heart.
  • Off-the-Shelf FX: Pinhead's "pins" are Q-tips without the cotton-balls, painted gray.
  • Off with His Head!: The Channard-Cenobite gets his head ripped in two when the tentacle controlling him retreats.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Tiffany (that was a name given to her by the staff).
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Tiffany spends almost all of the film as The Voiceless. Her first line, when first encountering Dr. Channard in Cenobite form, is "Shit!".
  • Pet the Dog: Pinhead interceding on Tiffany's behalf before the other Cenobites can tear her apart, pointing out she has been manipulated into opening the puzzle box, sparing her life.
  • Put on a Bus: Steve, Kirsty's boyfriend from the first movie, is not seen or referred to aside from a brief mention at the beginning.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: Skinless Julia.
  • Redemption Demotion: The movie presents an extremely glaring example. Near the climax, the heroine talks the four main Cenobites of the previous film — including Pinhead, the series' most popular villain — into a Heel–Face Turn by reminding them they were once human. Minutes later, they are unceremoniously Curb Stomped by a newly-converted and thoroughly evil Cenobite. The screenwriter received so much hate mail over this, he wound up invoking Worf Had the Flu.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Pinhead, Butterball, Chatterer and the Female all die shortly after remembering their humanity.
  • Samus Is a Girl: A shocking variant was used, in which the gruesome Cenobites are involuntarily transformed back to their original human guises by the Lament Configuration. The Chatterer is revealed to be a young boy.
  • Say My Name: Siskel & Ebert savagely mocked the film by saying all of the dialog was either "TIFFANY!" or "KIRSTY!"
  • Sequel Hook: A pair of movers move stuff from Channard's house, when one of them happens upon Julia's bloodied mattress and is attacked by a pair of skinless arms. As the other one checks on his partner, the torture pillar erupts from the floor, with various objects and entities embedded in it, such as Pinhead's stretched face, Julia's skinless head and torture devices. Finally, it stops spinning, and a head of a hairy vagrant asks the man "What is your pleasure, sir?"
  • Sequel: The Original Title: The subtitle and series title were inverted for this film. It's derived from The Hellbound Heart, the original novella by Clive Barker that he based the first movie on.
  • Sinister Geometry: Leviathan is a lozenge!
  • Suddenly Speaking: Tiffany, who was The Voiceless, after seeing the Channard Cenobite:
    Tiffany: "Shit!"
  • This Was His True Form: After being killed by the Channard Cenobite, the other Cenobites turn back into humans.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Kyle from the second; went to a house where Julia was, then decided to split up, didn't ask a strange woman who she was and what was doing there, and when she started to behave oddly didn't run away.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Julia went from being a reluctant and remorseful killer who tried her best to save Larry Cotton from Frank in the first film to a hardened killer in the second, who took great joy in being evil. Probably an after-effect from being betrayed, killed, tortured and resurrected. This is explicitly stated in the sequel as Julia is now an agent of the Leviathan, the same possibly divine entity that commands the Cenobites.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Channard's reaction after his transformation into a Cenobite is to question why he had any doubts about it.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: Pinhead and his companions, on rediscovering their humanity, turn against Leviathan. A Leviathan-controlled Channard ruthlessly murders them for it, but the Cenobites win a moral and existential victory. Freeing themselves and their souls, where Channard remains a slave, and is simply discarded by Leviathan the moment it's convenient.
  • Undignified Death: Julia is unceremoniously sucked right out of her skin into the abyss. Compared to everyone else’s death, Julia’s demise is largely unspectacular.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Dr. Channard brings Julia back from Hell, and restores her skin by bringing her numerous victims to feed off of. How does she repay him? By offering him to Leviathan and having him transformed into a Cenobite.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Sociopathic doctor Channard and newly demonic Julia really hit it off. Even her betraying him and turning him into a Cenobite doesn't deter this given how happy he is to see "Julia" during the climax.
  • Villain Opening Scene: In a way - it begins with the Start of Darkness for Pinhead, as Captain Elliot Spencer is ensnared by Cenobite chains.
  • Villainous BSoD: The Cenobites have this when they realized they were once human.
  • Wham Shot: After the Channard-Cenobite kills the main four Cenobites, we see them reverting back to their human selves. The last one to be reverted is Chatterer, in which he reverts to... a young boy.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Early in the film Kirsty sees messages from his father Larry calling out to her, trapped in "Hell" after being killed in the previous movie. This forms at least part of her reason for entering and exploring the Cenobites' dimension. Along the way, this finding-Larry plot thread is dropped. In-character, the message is revealed to be Frank's doing, impersonating his brother yet again to get to Kristy. The Meta reason is that the script for the sequel was already being written when the first film was still in production, and Andrew Robinson, who played Larry, ultimately did not sign on for the sequel.
    • Also, Kristy's boyfriend Steve is nowhere in sight and only given a brief mention that he was "sent home" by the psychiatric ward, never to be seen or referred to again.
  • White and Red and Eerie All Over: The flayed and bleeding Julia in her pristinely elegant white suit makes for an unsettling visual contrast.
  • Words Do Not Make The Magic: The psychopathic psychologist uses a traumatized girl to open the puzzle box, thus summoning the Cenobites to Earth, figuring that this way it'll be the girl who gets dragged to Hell and not himself. But as Pinhead puts it, "It is not hands that call us, it is desire". They leave the girl in peace and go off in search of the one who truly summoned them.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Many fans were disappointed to see series villain Pinhead and his cronies taken out by the new Cenobite, Dr. Channard. Many have written off his easy defeat due to him being weakened and disoriented by learning he was once human, a notion supported by Hellbound screenwriter Peter Atkins. Not to mention they were acting in defiance of Leviathan, their master and creator, who was connected directly to, controlling and empowering Channard. They never stood a chance.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Julia lures Kyle into a false sense of security by acting like a harmless, scared woman until she's locked the door and promptly kills him.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Leviathan does this to Pinhead and his Cenobites for defying him, as well as to Channard as soon as it's convenient.


Video Example(s):


The Leviathan

The inscrutable entity at the heart of the Labyrinth, the Leviathan is the God of Flesh, Hunger and Desire, commanding the Cenobites and directing the power of the Labyrinth at will; just looking at him is enough to trigger instant Mind Rape.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (26 votes)

Example of:

Main / EldritchAbomination

Media sources: