Hellbound: Hellraiser II (DVD)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Ashley Laurence, Doug Bradley, Kenneth Cranham, Clare Higgins
Directed by Tony Randel
Distributed by Anchor Bay Home Entertainment
It's hard to believe that just about twenty years ago to the day in December of 1988, Hellbound: Hellraiser II was set to hit theatres. I swear it seems just like yesterday. The original Hellraiser was a groundbreaking movie that forever put Clive Barker on the radar of horror fans everywhere, and this first sequel was just as good, and in some instances maybe even a little bit better. To celebrate this flick's long legacy, Anchor Bay has released a stellar 20th Anniversary Edition that gives us everything that we crave and then some.
You know the story and you know the series so rehashing the plot right now would be absolutely pointless. Instead, let me say this ... the movie has never looked or sounded better. Every flesh-tearing detail is lovingly presented and accounted for so if you're a fan, feel free to double dip. Especially considering the boatload of extras included here, some of which are either brand new or appearing Stateside for the very first time. Let's get to it!
Michael Felsher's Red Shirt Pictures once again hammers it out of the park! First up is a twenty-two-minute featurette entitled The Soul Patrol in which we finally get to hear from the other Cenobites in the pack -- Nicholas Vance (Chatterer), Simon Bamford (Butterball), and everyone's favorite Female -- Barbie Wilde. Given that over the years we've all heard the great Doug Bradley speak about these films numerous times, it's pretty neat to hear from the rest of the demonic brood. Really good stuff!
From there we go Outside the Box with a fifteen-minute interview with director Tony Randel. Stepping in for a sequel to Hellraiser was no small task, and here Randel clues us in on the ups, downs, ins, and outs! Informative, engaging, and totally worth a watch. Rounding out the new goodies is one we've all been waiting for: the fourteen-minute featurette called The Doctor Is In, which focuses on probably the meanest of all the Cenobites, Dr. Channard played by Kenneth Cranham. Someone needs to get this guy on the convention circuit like immediately. Next to Bradley himself Cranham offers the most fascinating fare in this package.
Also appearing here for the first time in the US is the eleven-minute Under the Skin -- Doug Bradley on Hellbound: Hellraiser II featurette that up until now has only appeared on the UK Hellbound DVD. The rest of the extras from the original DVD all have made the jump, and they are listed below for your convenience.
If you're a Hellraiser fan, do not hesitate a single second longer ... Get this DVD! It's everything that a special edition should be. Here's hoping for an eventual Blu-ray release by the Bay sometime down the road. We need to see some legendary suffering in full 1080p! Until then I cannot recommend this one enough!
4 out of 5
4 1/2 out of 5
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