It seems that most horror fans have had a chance to check out the latest Hellraiser installment, Hellraiser: Judgment, and give in their two cents. Although it isn’t the back-to-basics direct sequel or even the reboot that most fans were hoping for, it does offer some new ideas for a franchise that many feel died a long time ago. One of the most interesting things about the film is how incredibly bizarre it manages to be at times. But apparently there was one scene Dimension Films just couldn’t handle being in the movie, and forced the filmmakers to completely tone it down.
“People have been reacting (gagging etc.) to some of the imagery in the film, but the truth is there were elements that were a lot more shocking that were nixed from the original script and from the film itself. For instance the original cenobite sex scene with Damon (as he’s making love to his wife) was much more intense and we kept cutting back and forth; it originally had several false endings with one where his wife goes down on him and after he climaxes she looks up at him, but it’s now his brother looking back, smiling.”
While I’m all for a lack of censorship, it does seem kind of pointless for the scene to have worked like that. Perhaps Dimension had the right idea for once. In another film I could see something like that working, but what in the world does it have to do with Hellraiser? It surely shows that the message behind Clive Barker’s original story has been lost with the franchise’s bizarre antics. And if it already didn’t make enough sense, Tunnicliffe explains how much weirder it could’ve been.
“Then when he leaves the house (to go out) drinking, the sequence was much lengthier and intense. He wanders the alley way apparently followed by a strange figure; he looks back and now the figure is gone; he turns back and slams into the vagrant; the vagrant quotes a line from a tale of two cities and then beckons Sean (Damon Carney) forward to show him two pig masked men (behind a dumpster) having sex with a woman – one in front getting oral, one penetrating her from behind. She looks back at Sean, wiping her mouth revealing herself to be his wife Alison. He staggers back shocked, trips and falls to the floor; he hears a noise and we reveal the jury pulling a lament configuration from a disemboweled goat. The vagrant reaches up and pulls his skin from his face, grabs the box and speaking (with the Auditors voice) says judgment to those who open the box, and then hits him with it.”
What’s interesting is that these scenes along with a few other intense clips were all completely shot and edited. Dimension simply demanded that they not be put into the film, and they have absolutely no plans to release them. It’s strange considering this is a straight-to-video release that only hardcore fans of the franchise will watch anyways, but what can you expect?
Personally, I think the Hellraiser franchise still has endless potential; and plenty more sights to show us. It all depends on whether or not they can acquire someone who understands Barker’s work (or even Barker himself) to redevelop the franchise into something deserving of the original film’s legacy.
In the film…
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.
Hellraiser: Judgment is currently available on Digital and Blu-Ray.
What did you think of the scene? Be sure to tell us your thoughts in the comments!