Movie Review: HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER PART II (Special Edition) Blu-ray

HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER PART II is based on Clive Barker‘s novella The Hellbound Heart. The movie was directed by Tony Randel from a screenplay by Peter Atkins and stars Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Kenneth Cranham, Imogen Boorman,Sean Chapman and Doug Bradley. The score is by Christopher Young. Clive Barker served as executive producer for this 1988 sequel.

Picking up right where Hellraiser left off, Hellbound: Hellraiser II expands upon the terrifying universe created in Clive Barker’s original film – taking the story into the very depths of Hell itself. Having escaped the clutches of Pinhead and the demonic Cenobites, Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence) awakens to finds herself detained at the Channard Institute, a hospital for the mentally ill. But her torments are far from over – the chief doctor at the institute is determined to unleash the powers of Hell to achieve his own twisted ends. Hellbound: Hellraiser II is one of the most celebrated horror sequels of all time, offering a vision that is both more gruesome and fantastical than its predecessor.

The beginning of Hellbound: Hellraiser II finds Kirsty locked away inside a psychiatric hospital that’s operated by Doctor Channard (Kenneth Cranham) who’s aware of the horrifying events that took place inside Kirsty’s family home a year earlier. Channard has taken the mattress that Julia (Clare Higgins) died on and resurrects the evil queen. Kirsty catches onto what’s happening and opens up another Lament Configuration that Channard has in his collection. This is when she has another run in with the Cenobites to warn them of what’s going down because Channard has sinister plans. The door is open and Kirsty is able to descend deep into the Labyrinth of the Leviathan to look for her father but she ends up finding her Uncle Frank (Sean Chapman) who’s back in his own personal hell. Julia also shows up and gets her revenge on her former lover.

What happens is, Doctor Channard has plans for Tiffany (Imogen Boorman), another patient who also happens to be a gifted puzzle solver but she teams up with Kirsty to try and stop the disaster that’s looming at the hands of the sinister doctor. Channard ends up getting a surprise procedure of his own courtesy of Julia and the Leviathan that leaves him permanently changed. When the Cenobites finally show back up to collect Kirsty, she reminds them that they were human, and when Pinhead (Doug Bradley) remembers that he was once Captain Elliot Spencer, everything changes. This is when Channard Cenobite shows up and easily destroys the original Cenobites who are now protecting Kirsty and Tiffany. The two girls have to go up against Channard Cenobite alone, but when Tiffany solves the Leviathan puzzle, they’re able to defeat him and escape the horrors of the Labyrinth.

The front of the packaging features newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx artwork that you can see at the top of the page and the back include movie details and list of special features. The reversible sleeve features some original artwork and movie credits so you have your pick of which side you’d like to use as the front cover. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. Hellbound: Hellraiser II has been given a brand new 2K restoration approved by director of photography Robin Vidgeon. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Hellbound: Hellraiser Part II is the perfect companion piece that’s as good as its predecessor and it’s another horror movie that I’ve revisited numerous times over the years. Even though this was a rushed and sometimes troubled production, the final product is a fantastic watch that continues the story that’s centered around this mysterious puzzle box that conjures these demons from another dimension when it’s opened. Things change in this sequel because the antagonists oddly become anti-heroes even though they’re no match for the new villain that emerges plus we get a little bit of a backstory for Pinhead. Everything was bigger and better in the sequel which means more special effects and lots of blood and gore. Simply put, a bigger budget gets you more toys to play with and it’s time to play in Hellbound: Hellraiser II. Back in 2016 Arrow Video released the Limited Edition Scarlet Box Blu-ray Set that included the first three movies so what they’re doing now is release each movie individually and they’ve included all-new artwork and all the extras for the first two. Hellbound:Hellraiser II will be available on a Special Edition Blu-ray on September 24th and is a must have for those who missed out on the Scarlet Box.

Distributor: Arrow Video

Run Time: 99 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English Uncompressed PCM Stereo 2.0 / English Lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: The extras include two audio commentary tracks, the feature-length making of documentary, interviews with some of the cast and crew, the cut surgeon scene from the movie, vintage featurette, behind-the-scenes footage, storyboards, image gallery, draft screenplay, two trailers and two TV spots.

  • Audio Commentary with director Tony Randel and writer Peter Atkins
  • Audio Commentary with Randel, Atkins and actress Ashley Laurence
  • Leviathan: The Story of Hellbound: Hellraiser II – brand new version of the definitive documentary on the making of Hellbound, featuring interviews with key cast and crew members. (2:00:46)
  • Being Frank: Sean Chapman on Hellbound – actor Sean Chapman talks about reprising the role of Frank Cotton in the first Hellraiser sequel. (11:35)
  • Surgeon Scene – the legendary excised sequence (04:49)
  • Lost in the Labyrinth – vintage featurette including interviews with Barker, Randel, Keen, Atkins and others. (17:03)
  • Under the Skin: Doug Bradley on Hellbound: Hellraiser II (10:53)
  • On-set interview with Clive Barker (03:18)
  • On-set interviews with cast and crew (04:45)
  • Behind-the-Scenes Footage (01:51)
  • Storyboards (02:06)
  • Alternate Ending Storyboards (00:10)
  • Stills and Promo Material (02:33)
  • Draft Screenplay [BD-ROM content]
  • Theatrical Trailer (01:52)
  • Red Band Theatrical Trailer (01:33)
  • TV Spots (00:33) (00:33)
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