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Deep Dive: Hellraiser #2 Hellbound

Hellbound (1988) – The difficult second album or underappreciated genius? Time to play…


The difficulty with following up an original piece of art is that if you’re too close to what you’ve done before it’s a re-tread and the excitement of the new has gone. Similarly, if you try a radical departure you’re likely to confuse those who fell in love with the original work.

If you produce something that splits the difference you’ve got Hellbound.

That is the only theory I can offer why Hellbound isn’t held up as being a stone cold classic in its own right. Despite my love for Hellraiser, Hellbound is the film I’ve returned to most. It gives you everything you could want expanding the Hellraiser mythology and the new threat manages to muscle in with a great line that I shouldn’t repeat every time I go to the doctors, but is too difficult to resist, although thankfully I have the impression most of the time people think I’m referring to Doctor Who.

I stand by the statement I made in the previous piece, that Hellraiser is the starting place to get a taste of what’s to come but Hellbound is the main course.

Over to Nick….The Doctor is in…

Nick: Quite good. Didn’t understand a lot of it because it was in Spanish.

Ed: Razor sharp commentary, as ever, from Nick. As with the last piece, I’m going to approach this from a personal perspective—I bow to Matt’s superior Hellraiser knowledge. I first watched Hellbound only a few years ago with Nick and I remember us talking about how this wasn’t as bad as we were expecting…it’s actually got some good stuff in it…not bad really…actually…this is quite good, isn’t it? This is a good film. Why did we think this was going to be so bad?

I don’t know that I have the same love for Hellbound as Matt, but I do agree that this is a sorely underappreciated film. I think sometimes we approach franchises with a fixed idea in our heads; Halloween III: Season of the Witch is godawful, Texas Chainsaw Massacre should have stopped after the original, and it’s a fast descent into dreadful cinema after Hellraiser. I stand by Texas Chainsaw Massacre II being one of the worst films I’ve seen, but maybe Season of the Witch deserves another chance and maybe Hellraiser doesn't decline as quickly as you might think because at this stage in the deep dive, Hellraiser is 2 for 2.

And so, on to Hell on Earth.

What’s in b…Pillar of Souls?

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