Sunday, October 8, 2017

Awesome Horror Streams for Hallowe'en Screams on Roku - DAY 08: Hellraiser (1987) [dir. Clive Barker]

Greetings, Boils & Ghouls...

...and welcome to 'Day Eight' of "Awesome Horror Streams for Hallowe'en Screams on Roku" where I will be bringing you my top picks of the fright flicks in the carefully curated catalogue of macabre movies from the 'Shudder UK' horror streaming service - any of which can then be streamed to your television via the magic of Roku player - so, let's dim the lights... and prepare for some frights! :-O

If you read my hallowe'en blogathon preview - FOUND HERE - published on 30th September, then you will know that I plan to post one Hallowe'en / Horror related article every day, throughout the month of October, each featuring one horror movie from the current 'Shudder UK' content library. With recommendations for thirty-one of the best fright flicks I can find, by the end of the month, this means you should have plenty of great choices for your macabre movie viewing as we count down the days to Hallowe'en... as well as ensuring some top-notch cinematic scares come October 31st! ;-)

Doug Bradley as 'Pinhead' in Hellraiser (1987)
PHOTO CREDIT: Cinemascope Blog

For my eighth instalment in this series of posts I'm going to suggest a feature-length film from the UK, that was directed by Clive Barker, and first released in 1987 under the title of "Hellraiser". Another thing to note is that this movie was a directorial feature debut for Clive Barker and, I have to say, it was a pretty good effort for his first time around. Even famous author Stephen King who, I think it's fair to say, is quite knowledgable on the subject... said, "I have seen the future of horror... and his name is Clive Barker", which is not a bad testimonial to add to your movie poster(s) - and, funnily enough, that's just what they did!

Hellraiser (1987) [British Quad Poster]

This fantasy horror graphically depicts the tale of Larry (Andrew Robinson) and Julia (Clare Higgins) who move into an old abandoned house, with Larry's daughter Kirsty in tow, and discover a hideous creature hiding upstairs - Frank "the Monster" (Oliver Smith) - who, as well as being Larry's brother, also happens to be Julia's former lover. Before this, Frank "the man" (Sean Chapman) was a soulless individual who lived only for life's pleasures. He would go to great lengths to satisfy his lusts, and thought nothing of stepping on anyone to get there. When the film begins, he's offered a bizarre puzzle box: "The Lament Configuration", by a strange man, in what looks and sounds to be a Middle-Eastern market. He is told that the box will open the gates to a world of pleasures which no mortal being could possibly imagine. Frank takes the box, but fails to grasp that the pleasures it offers are to the demons who live within it. The Cenobites, sadomasochistic creatures who live eternally (beyond the gates which the box can open and close), take great pleasure from ensnaring new human victims to toy with... imprisoning them forever in a labyrinth of pain and suffering!

Anyway, having lost his earthly body to a trio of these S&M demons, he is brought back into existence by a drop of blood on the floor. Having been discovered, hiding upstairs in Larry's house, he then forces his former mistress, Julia, to bring him the necessary human sacrifices to complete his body regeneration. After her initial shock and disgust she agrees to help Frank, for whom she still lusts, and begins bringing home the men which she picks up in bars. Julia bludgeons them to death and Frank feeds on them. Meanwhile Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence), Larry's daughter (by his ex-wife), who never liked the pretentious, frigid Julia, starts getting suspicious when she comes face-to-face with "Uncle Frank" and barely escapes his bloody clutches, with "The Lament Configuration" in her hand. She accidentally opens it, and when the demons within, led by the now-famous Pinhead (Doug Bradley), threaten to take her back with them to another dimension, Kirsty makes a deal: she will lead Pinhead, plus "Butterball" (Simon Bamford) and the "Chattering Cenobite" (Nicholas Vince) to Frank, and they can have him instead of her. After that, it's a race against time; will Kirsty find Frank? Can her father, Larry, be saved from the adulterous couple, Julia and Frank, who have been plotting against him in his own house? Or, will it be simply too late for all of them?!

Nicholas Vince, Doug Bradley and Simon Bamford in Hellraiser (1987)

If you haven't seen this film before, here is a brief taster in the shape of the original trailer for this timeless horror comedy science-fiction classic, courtesy of this Scary Channel 'YouTube' video:-

If you'd like to know more... there's a full list of the cast & credits on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) listing for "Hellraiser" (1987), FOUND HERE, which also includes a full storyline / plot summary as well as box office stats, technical specs & much more. For die-hard fans, there's even more tidbits of information to be had from the Wikipedia Page for Clive Barker's "Hellraiser" (1987) VIA THIS LINK, which may help to fuel your appetite for (yet) another screening. Although, if you're as much of a fan of this film as I am, or have a penchant for eighties horror in general, it probably won't take too much persuading for you to watch this supernatural body horror again! ;-) :-)

Hellraiser (1987) [USA Movie Poster]

Anyway... you probably guessed already but, if not, this film (like the others from this series of posts) is also available via the 'Shudder' streaming service and can be easily viewed on any Roku device via their dedicated channel (app) for these streaming media players. There are other opportunities for UK Roku users to watch "Hellraiser" (1987), including via 'Amazon Video'/ 'Google Play Movies & TV' where it is (currently) only £1.99 to rent this film from either service - although I'd suggest taking a look at some possible free alternatives before you part with any money, because there may well be some free sources available. However, since my original idea for this month-long blogathon was to suggest thirty-one great Hallowe'en / Horror themed movies from the fang-tastic 'Shudder UK', I'm going to recommend that you stream it on your Roku device using their channel - if possible! ;-) :-)

If you haven't already added it to your channel selection, you will find "Shudder" listed among the "Film & TV" channels in the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store. You can easily add it to your Roku player(s) by navigating to the built-in 'Channel Store' (accessed via "Streaming Channels" from the home screen on your Roku device) and scrolling through the options until you see the channel icon (pictured above). It's completely FREE-TO-ADD so, once you've located it in the list of channels, just click the "OK" button on your Roku remote to select it and then click "OK" again where it says 'Add channel' to install it on your Roku player(s). Having done that, it's simply a case of launching the channel via the 'Go to channel' option and navigating the on-screen menu to log-in (if you already have an account, but haven't yet done so) or start your free trial (if you are new to the service) and, once you see 'Shudder TV' playing on the screen, just push the "DOWN" arrow on your Roku remote to get to the main menu... from where you can "Search" for the film, "Hellraiser", and then press "OK" to select and 'Play' the 1987 movie by that name which, for the record, runs to 1h 34mins.


The good news for Roku users in the United States is that Clive Barker's "Hellraiser" (1987) is also available to stream via the 'Shudder' service in USA. However, the same can unfortunately not be said for Canadian streamers... because, at the time of writing, this fantasy slasher does not appear to be available via the 'Shudder' platform in Canada. That said, there are numerous other Roku streaming sources at your disposal so, as suggested earlier for streamers in the UK, it might be best to check for any free alternatives that could be available before you pay to rent this film. If you get stuck, message me via Twitter: @ukrokuchannels and I'll see if I can sort you out with a link if need be! ;-) :-)

Meanwhile, for that full cinema experience, here's a few of the other film posters that movie-goers in 1987 (and more recently) would have encountered depending on their location around the world:

Hellraiser (1987) [Japanese Movie Poster #1]
PHOTO CREDIT: Discreet Charms & Obscure Objects

Hellraiser (1987) [Ghanaian Movie Poster]
PHOTO CREDIT: Discreet Charms & Obscure Objects

Hellraiser (1987) [French Movie Poster]
PHOTO CREDIT: Discreet Charms & Obscure Objects

Hellraiser (1987) [Contemporary Poster by Florian Bertmer]
PHOTO CREDIT: Discreet Charms & Obscure Objects

Hellraiser (1987) [Contemporary Poster]

Hellraiser (1987) [Japanese Movie Poster #2]
PHOTO CREDIT: Discreet Charms & Obscure Objects

Hellraiser (1987) [Fan Poster by Sean Hartter]

Hellraiser (1987) [Australian Movie Poster]
PHOTO CREDIT: Discreet Charms & Obscure Objects

Finally, to round-off this 8th instalment in my month-long blogathon on 'Day Eight' for this 2017 edition of the 'Countdown To Halloween', here's more FRIGHTENINGLY FUN FILM FACTS... for example, did you know that the film was originally supposed to be called "The Hellbound Heart," after the novella upon which it was based. The studio decided the title sounded too much like a romance and asked Clive Barker to change it. He offered "Sadomasochists from Beyond the Grave," which was rejected for being overtly sexual. Ultimately they opened the floor to the production team so that they could offer up their own ideas, which prompted a 60-year-old female crew member to suggest: "What a Woman Will do for a Good F**k", which was no doubt rejected on similar grounds!

Other interesting tidbits of trivia include how the concept of a cube being used as a portal to hell has its basis in the urban legend of The Devil's Toy Box, which concerns a six-sided cube constructed of inward-facing mirrors. According to legend, individuals who enter the structure and then close it will undergo surreal, disturbing phenomenon that will simultaneously grant them a revelatory experience and permanently warp their mind. Another little-known factoid is that 'The Chatterer' and 'Butterball' Cenobites had lines of dialogue in the original script for the film. However, when their make-up made coherent speech impossible, their lines were given over to the 'Female Cenobite' and more especially to 'Pinhead', which then helped to cement his reputation as the film's trademark character. Ironic then, that during a post-production party when filming had ended, Doug Bradley was dismayed at being ignored by the other members of the crew. He felt he got on well with the cast and crew, and it wasn't until later that he realised none of the crew had actually seen him without the makeup he wore while playing 'Pinhead' and therefore did not recognize him - maybe he should've gone in-character!?! :-P


Anyhow, that's all I've got time for today... but do remember to come back again tomorrow, for my next macabre movie recommendation from the 'Shudder UK' streaming library, when I will suggest another film for 'Day Nine' of "Awesome Horror Streams for Hallowe'en Screams on Roku" right here on this blog. Meanwhile... please be sure to visit the Countdown To Hallowe'en website & show your support for this annual online Hallowe'en extravaganza PLUS don't forget to use the links you find there and check out all the other 'Cryptkeepers' taking part this year. I know they'll appreciate it, if you visit their blogs and share your thoughts on the contribution(s) they've made.


ONE LAST THING, BEFORE I GO: Don't forget that, aside from the Hallowe'en / Horror-themed ghastliness going on around these parts for the next month, you can also keep up with the UK Roku action (as it happens) by following the companion Twitter Feed: @ukrokuchannels where you will find that up-to-the-minute info on all things Roku-related is posted on a daily basis (well, almost).

Until the next time, then...

That's all folks !!

1 comment:

  1. I have only watched the third Hellraiser and sadly no Mario Bava.