Hellraiser #Reflection

Hellraiser

Where do I begin? I could go all the way back to 1987 when the first movie came out. Some of us remember that time, right? Clive Barker was emerging on the scene and his graphic splatter horror was making waves. The stuff had a depth to the macabre that had transcended much of what we were seeing and reading at the time. But this has less to do with that time than it does with more recent thoughts. Or maybe not…

See, we can’t think of Hellraiser without going back to our first introduction to the Cenobites and their brand of pleasures. The idea of Pinhead gave me chills. His evil knew no bounds. It was a service he offered when he flayed the flesh from your bones. Which brings us back to the now. Back in 2013, Clive Barker joined forces with Christopher Monfette and gave us the first of a 20 issue series by the simple title of Hellraiser (Boom 2013). This was built into a five volume series of graphic novels.

These stories brought us back to the fun of the first couple movies. And I want to say that there are heroes and villains in these stories but honestly, you can’t say that about anyone. Pretty much every character we run into is a horrible human being in one way shape or form. And the blood…

I mean seriously, there is so much blood and gore and just awful death. It’s everything you could hope for and more.

I burned through the books. Hell, when it came to downloading the 4th book and I ran into glitch issues with the download, I ended up contacting customer support to find out what was stopping me from digging through more of this. We’re talking a few days of rapt attention to every moment. I’ve branched into the continuations of the story line in follow up collections of stories. This stuff consumes you.

Anyway, a driving force will always be Elliot Spencer/ Pinhead. It’s that Darth Vader level of villainy that draws you to the character. Sure it might be that he is a seriously sick individual but at the same time, you can’t pull your eyes away from the train wreck. You know you don’t want that to haunt your darkness but you’re going to look anyway.

The point is driven home in the Bestiary series (limited run of 6 issues). It’s a series of short stories that stand on their own, but there is a longer story carrying through the issues. Some fools capture Pinhead and collect his pins. It’s all in his reaction. He tells them to make him suffer and take their time with it. It’s that sadomasochistic arrogance that drives his every interaction and you just can’t wait to see him destroyed while at the same time you are silently rooting for him to do his worst to those who dare to show themselves in his presence.

And so I sit here and realize I haven’t done much more than gush like a school girl over the dreaminess of these stories. Yeah, I went there…

But then how could I not? Clive Barker’s stories are probably the ones that drew me into horror more than any others. They gave me something more than just terror. As I think about the stories I have read over the years I have images flow through my mind that he gave me. The sites I have seen because of him may never really be unseen. But isn’t that something we read for? Aren’t the adventures we uncover the whole reason we read?

Although, this does make me wonder, what exactly does this say about me? If his writings and reading his works were counted as therapy… Yeah, probably best not to take that route. That way only madness lies…

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If you enjoy these stories, consider leaving some coffee money in the jar or you could buy a book or two. Either way helps keep the stories flowing.

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