“It’s Uncle Frank! Come here, damn you, I want to touch you.”
Those who listened to Joe Lynch and Adam Greens’s “The Movie Crypt” podcast entered hell with filmmaker Patrick Lussier.
Lussier discussed his plans for a Hellraiser remake that he had been working on with Todd Farmer for The Weinstein Company.
Those familiar with Clive Barker’s remarkable 1987 indie Hellraiser remember that the central antagonist wasn’t actually Pinhead and the Cenobites but “Uncle” Frank (Sean Chapman). The film open with Frank receiving Lemarchand’s box and opening it in his attic. When his brother and wife move in, a drop of blood releases him from Hell, sending the Cenobites after him.
Lussier and Farmer’s idea was to tell the story of Frank seeking out the box, which would bring some adventure to the Hellraiser franchise, and reveal the (new) origins of Pinhead.
“We wanted to make another movie with [William] Fichtner,” revealed Lussier, who directed the actor in Drive Angry.
“The idea essentially was that we never see the story of Frank getting the box. So imagine if Frank is actually the darkest version of Jack Bauer (from “24”) and Nicolas Cage from National Treasure. It would have been the evil National Treasure story.”
He continues: “In the beginning [Frank] is going to get the box, and he’s in Shanghai. He gets caught and they hold him down and they hammer these fucking nails into his head, but he gets free and kills everyone. But he does get the box which is being held by this guy who looks like he’s all bloated and has been ripped apart by the Cenobites. Frank steals the box and then… bad things happen.”
In this prequel/remake, Fichtner becomes the new Pinhead for the younger generation.
I absolutely love this idea because the Hellraiser franchise became way too much about Pinhead instead of focusing on the box and the concept of Hell, like the first four films.
Clive Barker was never involved in their take as he had been developing a remake of his own.
The Hellraiser franchise is quite literally in Hell. The Weinstein Company must continue to make films in order to retain the rights. If they can’t get a fresh and reinvigorating interpretation off the ground they will eventually half-ass a sequel, like Víctor García’s Hellraiser: Revelations, and repeat indefinitely. The irony of its tortured existence.
Clive Barker’s Hellraiser is easily one of my favorite horror films, and the first four are all filled with such sweet, sweet suffering. I’d give my flesh for Dimension to put some heart and soul into bringing my nightmares back to theaters.