By Matt Fleming and Jarrod Jones. This is the ANTI-MONITOR podcast, where you should grab anything that might make a good weapon. This week, Jarrod & Birdy indulge in their basest desires–ew, um, scratch that. This week, Jarrod & Birdy delight in the delicious pain–no. Look, they talk about Clive Barker’s ‘Hellraiser’, and things get a little weird. Before that, they take a moment to call out the more pathetic horror movies of the last twenty years.
As always, be wary for spoilers throughout, and please enjoy.
ANTI-MONITOR: MATT — When Clive Barker set out to make his first film, an adaptation of his novel The Hellbound Heart, he had no idea what he was doing. While that may show in some of the cracks and lulls of 1987’s sado-horror flick Hellraiser, the film defies his shortcomings and stands twenty years later as a staple of body horror. Barker’s knack for weaving the narrative on the page translates well in the film’s tense editing, providing the right kind of jump scares and cringes. Perhaps it was his cinematic naivete that served Hellraiser’s violent urges so adeptly; a greater filmmaker may have rendered the movie overwrought with “style.”
Thankfully, Barker and his crew managed to take a downright bizarre premise and translate it into a wholly horrific dive into the id on steroids. Sexual text and subtexts aside, Hellraiser looks terrifying, boasting some of the most gut-wrenching visuals in ‘80s horror. Seriously, Frank’s rebirth stand toe-to-toe with the metamorphoses in films like The Howling and The Fly (1986), only then viewers are subjected to an additional hour of watching a skinless monster seduce a housewife. Pinhead is an icon alongside Krueger and Voorhies, only woefully underappreciated. If you seek some visceral pleasures that will make you cringe, Hellraiser has what you desire.
ANTI-MONITOR: JARROD — Every viewing of Hellraiser I’ve ever had has always been followed by a scorching hot shower, so if nothing else, Hellraiser at least encourages good hygiene. (Paradoxically enough.) Clive Barker will always deserve a place at the table of Horror Masters for this unsettling poison pill, if for no other reason than he coined the phrase, “We will tear your soul apart!” *kisses fingertips* That’s a nice sauce.
CONSENSUS: Hellraiser is unabashed adult horror, and it has aged beautifully. Make this a part of your Halloween viewing. — 7 out of 10
Before: “’YOU’RE NEXT’ Is A Cruddier Example Of The Mumblegore Genre,” here.
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