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directed by Clive Barker
UK/USA 1987

 

Larry Cotton (Andrew Robinson, DIRTY HARRY) and his wife Julia (Claire Higgins, B. MONKEY) move into his childhood home, which has been empty for years since his mother's death. They discover signs that his ne'er-do-well brother Frank (Sean Chapman, EAT THE RICH) has been squatting there recently. Little do they know that Frank has solved a puzzle box that opens up a gateway to the world of the Cenobites, and that he has been torn apart after experiencing their extreme forms of sadomasochism. Larry is also unaware of Julia's brief affair with Frank and her pining for his brother. When Larry cuts himself and rips blood all over the attic floor where Frank died, Frank is resurrected and implores Julia to help him. Julia brings a string of men to the house under the pretense of sexual encounters and murders them so Frank can feed on them. Larry's daughter from a previous marriage Kirsty (Ashley Laurence, LURKING FEAR) grows suspicious of her stepmother's behavior. While snooping around the house, she comes across Frank's latest victim and then skinless Frank himself. After a scuffle with Frank, Kirsty escapes with the puzzle box. She collapses in the street and wakes up in a hospital. Kirsty solves the puzzle box and the Cenobites come to get her, but she may be able to save herself if she can lead them to Frank. After two previous adaptations of Barker's work (RAWHEAD REX and UNDERWORLD) proved unsatisfactory, Barker set about adapting his novella THE HELLBOUND HEART for his directorial debut. The script and resulting film differ in some important ways from the source, but the changes serve to weave the first film into a "family saga" in which the iconic Cenobites are nowhere near as vile as the human villains. From the third part of the series onward, the Cenobites - Pinhead, particularly - were often portrayed as the principal villains and usually as agents of hell rather than beings from another dimension ("Angels to some, demons to others," says Pinhead); although, in the sequel, Julia identifies their god as Leviathan (depicted as a monolithic, three-dimensional lozenge floating in the center of a layrinth). New World's contributions to the film included the shooting of Frank's resurrection, Christopher Young's renowned orchestral score (in place of the electronic tracks composed for the film by British group Coil, which were released on CD), as well as a very clumsy attempt to Americanize the film by dubbing all of the supporting characters - as well as Frank - with American accents (despite the locations, some indirect comments made by Kirsty's new boyfriend, and about Julia being back on her own turf). Although Pinhead was not technically the villain, he has joined the ranks of American horror film villains alongside Freddy Krueger, Jason Vorhees, Michael Meyers, and Leatherface. Kirsty's encounter with "The Engineer" showed up on a TV screen in Paul Verhoeven's BASIC INSTINCT.

Eric Cotenas

 

Posters

Theatrical Release: 18 September 1987 (USA)

Reviews        More Reviews       DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Anchor Bay Entertainment (2000 THX-approved DVD) - Region 1 - NTSC  vs. Image Entertainment "Midnight Madness Series" - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Gary Tooze and Eric Cotenas for the Screen Caps!

(Anchor Bay Entertainment (2000 THX-approved DVD) - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs.  Image Entertainment - Region 'A' -  Blu-ray - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

Distribution Anchor Bay Entertainment
Region 1 - NTSC
Image Entertainment
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:33:12 1:33:21.804
Video

1.83:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.7 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 16,940,778,496 bytes

Feature: 16,475,344,896 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 19.97 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate: Anchor Bay Entertainment (2000 THX-approved DVD)

 

Bitrate: Image Entertainment Blu-ray

 

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1; English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2216 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2216 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

Subtitles English (closed captioning) None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.83:1

Edition Details:
• Fullscreen Version
• Audio Commentary with writer/director Clive Barker and star Ashley Laurence, moderated by writer Pete Atkins
• Featurette: Resurrection (4:3; 24:24)
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 1:29)
• Still Gallery

 

DVD Release Date: 26 September 2000
Amaray

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio: Image Entertainment

 

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 16,940,778,496 bytes

Feature: 16,475,344,896 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 19.97 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (1:24)
 

Blu-ray Release Date: September 6th, 2011
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Image Entertainment "Midnight Madness Series" - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - September 11': Not much to say here - the Image Entertainment transfer marginally elevates out of SD status with a puny file size. I tend to trust the colors of the Anchor Bay a bit more - and find them pleasing by comparison (orange skin tones on the Blu-ray). More noise on the DVD if you find that distracting. The lossless audio is actually quite good and the best part of the package. There are no subtitles, nor extras aside from a trailer. I wouldn't bother upgrading but for those who have never seen the film and are not into the DVD extras (commentary!) nor require subtitles - the 1080P is priced low (lower than the DVD) and will give a decent presentation with the advanced audio.

NOTE: We'd like to compare one day top the OOP Anchor Bay Blu-ray available HERE.

***

ON THE DVD: First issued by Anchor Bay as a barebones non-anamorphic widescreen DVD in 1998, the film was reissued in 2000 - under review here - with a new 16:9 transfer (a fullscreen option was also included on the single-sided, dual-layer disc) and extras. Rather than carrying over the Clive Barker commentary recorded for the special edition laserdisc, Anchor Bay recorded a new commentary with Clive Barker and Ashley Laurence, moderated by Barker associate Pete Atkins, who was not involved with the first film (the Anchor Bay UK edition features both commentary tracks as well as a DTS option). "Hellraiser: Resurrection" includes input from Barker, Laurence, and several other cast and crew members (including Pinhead actor Doug Bradley and effects artist Bob Keen). The Dolby Stereo track was remixed in 5.1 by Chace Studios (a 2.0 surround option is also available). The fullscreen version is cropped on the sides, but also reveals some additional vertical information matted off in the widescreen version. A 20th Anniversary edition was issued by Anchor Bay in 2007. It dropped the fullscreen transfer and added new featurettes. Anchor Bay issued a Blu-Ray edition in 2009 (HERE), but that disc is no out of print (Anchor Bay's rights have expired to the New World titles and owner Lakeshore Entertainment has signed a new deal with Image Entertainment.)

 - Eric Cotenas

 


Menus
(Anchor Bay Entertainment (2000 THX-approved DVD) - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs.  Image Entertainment - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT)


 

 
 

 

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

(Anchor Bay Entertainment (2000 THX-approved DVD) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs.  Image Entertainment - Region 'A' -  Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


(Anchor Bay Entertainment (2000 THX-approved DVD) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs.  Image Entertainment - Region 'A' -  Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


(Anchor Bay Entertainment (2000 THX-approved DVD) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs.  Image Entertainment - Region 'A' -  Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


(Anchor Bay Entertainment (2000 THX-approved DVD) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs.  Image Entertainment - Region 'A' -  Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


(Anchor Bay Entertainment (2000 THX-approved DVD) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs.  Image Entertainment - Region 'A' -  Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


(Anchor Bay Entertainment (2000 THX-approved DVD) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs.  Image Entertainment - Region 'A' -  Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


(Anchor Bay Entertainment (2000 THX-approved DVD) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs.  Image Entertainment - Region 'A' -  Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

More Blu-ray Captures

Report Card:

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Anchor Bay

 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

Distribution Anchor Bay Entertainment
Region 1 - NTSC
Image Entertainment
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray

 

 




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