Anchor Bay has knocked another one out of the park with this evil little gem called HellRaiser. The restoration shown to this 1986 film is simply fucking awesome. You see? This is what I'm talking about over and over again. Some companies treat horror titles like trash filmed for the moronic (see Hatchet 2 review). Horror fans deserve TRUE HD quality, just like fans of Brokeback Mountain, and Gandhi! Anchor Bay has restored the New World title based on Clive Barker's Hell Bound Heart and his demonic brood called Cenobites. Other worldly dealers of horrible pleasures and exquisite tortures. Pinhead puts it perfectly in saying "We are angels to some, demons to others".
The story if you don't know (hang your horned head in shame) is essentially the escape of a scoundrel named Frank from the Cenobites dimension, and his convincing his brother's wife whom he had been doing while alive to deliver him blood to restore his destroyed body and soul. A word to the wise for anyone with a desire to negotiate Lemarchand's Lament Configuration. NO one escapes the hell of the Cenobites for long. Frank soon finds this out.
Ashley Laurence plays Franks niece who essentially leads the cenobites back to Frank in an attempt to save her own ass after solving the "box". Claire Higgins is quite fetching as the evil unfaithful bitch Angela who lures poor Johns back to the blood thirsty clutches of Frank. She also returns convincingly in the sequel. This movie kicks ass. Even better is the Blu-Ray features with interviews with cast AND audio commentary with Clive Barker, and Ashley Laurence. So many extras ready to tear your soul apart!
Video: 4 out of 5
The cool thing about High Def of our horror faves like this one is the you see things you might not have noticed before. The spinning wooden torture post now has splits and splinters in it, the chains, and flesh hooks are rusty, and the flesh puzzles glisten with blood and disease. The hospital room where Kristy is kept reveals the yellowing sickly pallor of the white walls of an aging mental ward. (Don't ask how I know….) All in all Anchor Bay did us a solid. Even the torture tools/weapons carried by the Cenobites seem much more realistic.
Audio: 4.5 out of 5
Every ripping of flesh, every scream, and every chain clink is loud and proud! Re-mastered in Dolby TrueHD 5.1. Pinhead's voice is thick and horrifying in his stating that tears are a waste of good suffering. You can even hear the Chatterer's teeth coming from behind you in one scene.
Go get this Blu-Ray if you have not already, what the "Hell" are you waiting for? Get it? Get it?