The Hellraiser Chronicles

Authors: Clive Barker and Stephen Jones
Titan Books
RRP 12.99, US $14.95, Cdn $19.95
ISBN 1 85286 423 0
Available 21 May 2004

For those of you not conversant with the Hellraiser premise, it surrounds a puzzle cube known as the Lament Configuration. Once solved, the cube opens a gateway to a hell dimension called the Outer Darkness. The demon-like Cenobite creatures within promise sensual physical pleasures but this materialises through eternal pain so intense that it becomes almost exquisite. Leading the Cenobites is Pinhead, whose philosophies preach experiences beyond human understanding. His phrases ("It will tear your soul apart." "I have such sights to show you." and my personal favourite, "No tears please. It's a waste of good suffering.") are alluring rather than threatening.

The Hellraiser Chronicles is a book which was first released in 1992 to tie-in with the imminent cinematic release of Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth. The format is pretty straightforward, with a synopsis and cast and crew listings for each of the three films, and then quoted dialogue from various characters. Any fans of these Clive Barker stories (well, the first two were written by him) will already know the plots and actors involved, so this presentation is intentionally more about the photography. As well as depictions of the three film posters, there's a great collection of publicity shots and film grabs covering all the main characters, both human and Cenobite.

Of more interest to me is the seven-page introduction by English horror maestro Clive Barker (it's pleasing to see that photo of Clive and Pinhead again), and the Stephen Jones behind-the-scenes feature of Hell on Earth, called Creating the Cenobites. The latter incorporates interviews with make-up effects artist Bob Keen and Pinhead himself, Doug Bradley. There are also some interesting pictures showing Doug receiving his make-up.

Whilst I don't understand the timing significance of the reprint, it is entertaining as a film trilogy souvenir. For those of you like me, who crave so much more indepth information, you're certain to be left wanting.

Ty Power

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