Doug Bradley On Why the Infamous ‘Hellraiser II’ Surgeon Scene Didn’t Work
Ever since stills of the deleted scene were published, Hellraiser fans have wondered what went so wrong with the “surgeon scene” that it had to be cut from Hellbound: Hellraiser II. Not only cut, but not even included in unrated editions of the film and DVDs, until Arrow’s Scarlet Box Trilogy Set. At this past weekend’s Screamfest Q&A for film’s 30th anniversary, Doug Bradley explained why the scene never worked.
For those who couldn’t swing the Arrow set, Bradley recapped the scene.
“Kirsty and Tiffany are running around the corridors in the Channard Institute,” Bradley said. “Two gowned and masked figures emerge from the room. One of them says words to the effect of, ‘What are you girls doing here. You know you’re not allowed in this part of the hospital.’ As he speaks, the mask fills with blood and nails emerge.”
It was only two lines of script, but it did give Bradley pause contemplating how they’d pull it off with 1988 special effects.
“I do remember when I read the screenplay wondering how this mask was going to work,” Bradley said. “Obviously, it either had to be another actor or it had to be a mask that covered all of Pinhead’s face because Kirsty was pretty savvy about Pinhead by this time, and doesn’t recognize him. I put that question in the back of my head. Then, of course, we’re on set and we had masks here, which made it appear it was happening.”
Two lines end up being the most complicated shot in the film.
“I did remember thinking, because of course it takes that much time but there’s a lot of shots and setups within those two lines in the screenplay,” Bradley said. “10 pages of dialogue sitting at the kitchen table between two actors, you’ll get in one shot but that kind of stuff is going to take you a long time.”
Joining the Q&A with Bradley, director Tony Randel took full responsibility for the scenes’ failure.
“It was terrible and it was my fault,” Randel admitted.
“So in editing, I cut it out. That’s the simple answer. There are stills that survive from it but hopefully, no one ever sees it because the director screwed it up.”
Told by Bradley that the footage has surfaced, Randal said, “Oh no.”