Long before Clive Barker and the folks at Dimension Films joined forces for Hellraiser: Judgment, the former had another idea in mind: a full-fledged remake of his own 1987 horror flick.
Of course, those plans wound up being shelved in favor of Judgment, which is yet to lock down an official release date over at Dimension. But Barker’s script for Hellraiser is still floating around cyberspace, and Rob Ridenour of the Clive Barker Cast (with a tip of the hat to Bloody Disgusting) has just managed to retrieve it. Not only that, he’s even reviewed it.
It’s essential reading for any horror fan, while those familiar with the original Hellraiser will be able to spot a lot of similarities between Barker’s story template and the Hellraiser of ’87.
The script opens on Devil’s Island in the 1700’s where toymaker Philippe Lemarchand is being held prisoner by an evil warden who wants him to finish building the infamous box—its design closer to The Hellbound Heart here—known as the Lament Configuration. Once done, Lemarchand only wishes to be free and return home to his family. The warden has other plans and wants Lemarchand to open the box, so he can show the toymaker what it does. Things turn quite grisly when a familiar lead cenobite shows up and wreaks havoc on the unsuspecting prison custodian.
The review continues:
The story then moves to present day Massachusetts where Larry Cotton, a college professor, and his unhappy wife Julia are moving into the “old homestead” along with Larry’s daughter Kirsty. Also, to their surprise, Larry’s brother Frank has been occupying the upstairs attic for the past few months. Larry allows Frank to stay in the attic until he can get back on his feet. Little does Larry know, that Frank and Julia have been having an affair. These early parts of the script—other than Larry letting Frank live with them—stick very close to the basic structure of the original film, but Clive writes all this in a new way that makes the material feel fresh. Eventually, Frank opens the box and is torn apart during a ritual where he summons the Hell Priest which forces Julia to once again find his victims, so he can have a new skin.
It’s only when Kirsty escapes from Frank and steals the box, that this story really starts to develop its own identity. The sequences of Kirsty in the hospital are some of the strongest in the script. This is where Barker begins to introduce his new mythology and let Pinhead have some devilish fun.
Pretty cool, no? This is merely an extract of the full piece, so be sure to head over to the Clive Baker Cast if you want to pore over the entire Hellraiser thread. Judgment, on the other hand, is coming by way of writer-director Gary J. Tunnicliffe, who recently went on record to clarify that, no, the horror flick doesn’t feature scenes of animal torture in any shape or form.
Source: Clive Barker Cast