Celebrity Interviews Pick of The Week Pop Culture News Reviews

‘Sadomasochists From Hell: 50 Shades Of Eww’ – The Best Sex Of The Hellraiser Franchise

Our resident deviant J-Mo is back with another titillating feature as he journeys into the deeps of Hell’s Labyrinth for a sampling of the best “beast with two backs” sessions of the ‘Hellraiser’ franchise. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, no less. That’s right folks, he’s counting down the top scenes to, um, “enjoy,” whether you find yourself stranded on an island with nothing more than your Hellraiser movie collection, a television with sufficient power and Blu-ray player, or you simply want to get the easy one out before you head out to a romantic dinner with your significant other.

First, let’s establish some ground rules:
1) J-Mo is counting them down from Most Vanilla to Kinkiest. 2) Though some movies have multiple romps per film, J-Mo is only choosing one scene per flick. 3) Thoughts and views on sadomasochistic acts, misogyny, sexism are those of J-Mo and do not reflect those of the staff at Icon Vs. Icon, any of their affiliates or sexual partners. Please do not contact Icon Vs Icon with any potential hate mail. You can contact J-Mo at ohgrowupyoudumbprudes@#metoo.org/thisisafunnybit

Yes, Hell Priest, we shall. Through the years, I’ve dissected the some of the sexiest material ever put to film. With pieces like Legendary Racks: The Top 12 Boobs of the ‘Friday the 13th’ Franchise, Heavy Hangers: The Best Boobs of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween Knockers: Celebrating Haddonfield’s Most Memorable Racks, even the Dreamboats: The Hottest Hunks of Elm Street, I couldn’t decide what franchise to focus on next. So many to choose from, but how to narrow it down? Well what franchise has a new release Tuesday, February 13th entitled Hellraiser: Judgement? Hellraiser, duh. So why not celebrate the sweet flesh. And with romance in the air, why not focus on couples. It feels more…”PC” to say the least.

I’d like to point out that this, like any other form of entertainment, is purely subjective. Sex is no longer taboo in Popular Culture. It comes in many forms from art – to cinema – to selling body spray. Sex sells. We know this as a society. We accept it. And only as of late, we’ve begun talking about it. But what defines kink? To quote a bloated politician lobbying to keep pornography under wraps and off shelves, “…I know it when I see it.” Can you get any more vague? Perhaps. What I consider vanilla, my mother might consider the most graphic act ever placed on celluloid. Also, we’re dealing with a very small sample size…

HELLRAISER: DEADER (2005) – Unknown Participants

The hardest part of these types of lists are settling on which film to start things off with. Never one to offend on purpose, I put too much reassure on myself. What if one of the many people that busted their ass come across this list and shout at their screen “we’re number nine!?” As if coming across a “Best sex of…” list is flattering, I’m sure. Hellraiser is no exception to this inner struggle. I’m such a fan of the franchise. Hardcore. But this franchise did the hard work for me as there isn’t really any sex in this film. Sure, star Kari Wuhrer lets us glance at her breasts more than a few times during the film, but that is a story for another list.

The best Deader has to offer us is what I like to call the Subway Car Orgy. Which isn’t really an orgy at all. Many topless women, and a nude dude, grace the screen, but nobody is penetrating, or so it seems. So, number nine is saved for the lost art of foreplay. The subway car acts as a home/nightclub/solid hang for many deviant misfits in Romania. A great place to cruise a possible lover, get a tattoo, or get shredded by a Cenobite.

HELLRAISER III: HELL ON EARTH (1992) – Aimee Leigh & Kevin Bernhardt

One-night stands are common practice in the Hellraiser franchise. Kevin Bernhardt’s “J.P. Monroe” is one of the best. A collector of the macabre, J.P.’s senses almost seem dull to the act. Flexing and grabbing fistfuls of boobies, Monroe can’t get this chick out of his loft quick enough. During the scene I almost expect him to use Leigh’s “Sandy” as an ashtray. Which would have upped the kink factor for sure. Not to mention added to his supreme dickishness. But at the end of the day it feels like J.P. is just going through the nightly motions as he searches for the fuck to end all fucks.

As a side note I’d like to say I would have loved seeing Aimee Leigh come back as a Cenobite act the end of the second act. An airhead Cenobite has yet to grace the screen. Which I’m sure is for the better, but in a film that seems to take cues from the puns of Freddy Krueger, how cute would Sandy the Cenobite have been? Someone get on that fan fiction asap!

HELLRAISER: REVELATIONS (2011) – Sue-Ann Pien & Nick Eversman

Hellraiser: Revelations‘ puzzle box donkey punch is a highlight in what many have called the worst thing to happen to the franchise since Barker and Miramax parted ways. Revelations isn’t a masterpiece, but it has a lot going for it. The effects are top notch when they’re practical. The story is well thought out, though rushed for many reasons I’m sure were outside the filmmakers control. The actors give it their best. And we’re treated to a Donkey Punch via Puzzle Box.

Okay, so it isn’t really a donkey punch, but when you watch the film again and tell yourself it is, the scene plays out much funnier than it is supposed to. In another staple in the series, young Steven Craven seeks the company of a hooker. As he rails away on her frail figure, his dead buddy Nico reaches out to him. If you’ve been around the franchise this long you’d be right in assuming Nico needs the hooker’s flesh and blood to return from the depths of hell. In the throes of madness, Young Steven grabs the box and swings. The scene loses kink points due to the graphic death that interrupts coitus. Call me old school, but I think both parties should consent and have a safe word to avoid, you know, dying.

HELLRAISER: BLOODLINE (1996) – Valentina Vargas & Bruce Ramsay

Lust. Desire. Fantasy. Pain. Constant themes throughout the series that all harken back to Clive Barker’s novella ‘The Hellbound Heart.’ L’Merchant, the Toymaker, crafted the Box, or Lament Configuration, in the 18th century. Nothing more than a hired gun, the act of crafting a portal to hell would curse his family for generations. Enter John Merchant, one helluva architect, whom unknowingly comes closer to crafting the Elysium Configuration than any of his ancestors before him – through pure fate, of course.

Merchant’s titular bloodline brings him to Angelique, Hell’s princess. Though a happily married family man, Merchant is drawn to Angelique in his dreams. Their passion filled trysts, a courtesy of his lineage, come to him through his subconscious. Eleven-year-old me thought Valentina Vargas was the most exotic creation in all of history. In hindsight, things always seemed grander in scale during one’s youth, including Vargas’ ample bosom.

Side note: Kim Myers’ Bobbi Merchant is the real hero of the 1996 timeline, sending the Hellhound and Pinhead back to the depths of hell after her husband’s early exit. Also, interesting enough, she is the first of The Elm Street gals to not only dispatch of Freddy, but Pinhead as well. I noticed Heather Langenkamp plays “Landlady” in Hellraiser: Judgement. Something tells me she isn’t there to kick Cenobite ass.

Shout out to Kevin Yagher as well. Though he did exit the production, the master special effects artist is why Bloodlines‘ effects are pretty fucking dope.

HELLRAISER: HELLWORLD (2005) – Desiree Malonga & Henry Cavill

I know what you’re thinking… Really J-Mo? A blowie lands this high up on the list? Is it because I’m a Henry Cavill mark? Maybe, but there is no doubt that this man (of) steals every scene he is in, especially whilst receiving very public head. Henry Cavill plays douchey Mike. He’s gathered alongside his pals to escape into the debauchery of Hellworld, kinda mourn the death of a bro, and get sucked off in the middle of a room dedicated to swingers and exhibitionists. I could say a lot about this scene, but how about we just play a clip for your enjoyment.

Solid, right? Hellraiser: Hellworld is one of my favorites of the franchise. Carl V. Dupre’s screenplay is a smart, fresh take on the franchise. I’ve always been confused as to why our Hell Priest has been lumped in with he slashers of the 80s. Hellraiser never was a slasher franchise. Not in the 80s, at least. Sure, the pressure of the big three got to the filmmakers with 92’s Hell on Earth, but quips and “how is Freddy suddenly crashing a pool party” logic aside, the film was still a study on good vs evil. Darkness vs The Light. Bloodline retconned the slasher elements and the franchise went further into the depths of the psyche than ever before. Until 05’s Hellworld, of course. The film plays like a Slasher film with Pinhead and Cenobites hiding inside a mansion ready to pick off our cast one-by-one. But the third act twist is so clever (I refuse to spoil is here for any first timers out there) that it turns the rules of the film on its head and delivers one of the truest films to the source material that we’ve had the pleasure of watching. Kudos to Dupre, director Rick Bota, and all involved.

Also, you folks gave us a film co-starring Superman and Cyborg. You’re Saints in my book.

HELLRAISER: HELLSEEKER (2002) – Sarah-Jane Redmond & Dean Winters

Adultery will not only ruin your marriage, it could tear your soul apart. Hellseeker reunites Doug Bradley and Ashley Laurence for the first time in the franchise since 1988’s Hellbound: Hellraiser II, not counting the cameo VHS tape appearance in Hell on Earth, of course. Another extremely smart screenplay, this time from Carl V. Dupre and Tim Day, the film is helmed by Rick Bota as well. Hellseeker is another {insert Cenobite here} film, but it doesn’t feel like it. You see, in the early 2000s in order for Miramax to keep the rights, they needed to release films. They would take existing screenplays and pepper in the Hell Priest and his leather clad buddies, slap a film onto the DTV market, and retain the rights and count the cash. Or so it is rumored. I’m fairly certain more would go into the formula than that, but I digress…

Hellseeker’s appeal lays on the shoulders of Dean Winters, everyone’s favorite Mayhem and the best thing to happen to Liz Lemon. Dean Winter’s is a journeyman that not only wrecks every role he’s cast in in the absolute best way possible, he’s also a man that has overcome death. That’s right, folks, Winters has stood toe-to-toe with Pinhead in film and bitch slapped the Grim Reaper in real life. Winters’ plays (SPOILER ALERT FOR A 15 YEAR-OLD FILM) the titular Hellseeker. We find that out through a wonderful performance of a man coping with short-term amnesia putting together the pieces of his fractured mind while trying to find out what happened to his wife, Laurence’s Kirsty. I can’t say enough great things about Winter’s performance. He is, like, 100 percent my favorite.

Much to his surprise, Trevor (Winters) begins to realize he wasn’t such a good dude prior to a car accident that has left him with memory loss and his wife missing. Multiple affairs, a plot to inherit his wife’s small fortune, and an appetite for knowledge of the great beyond, Trevor uses anyone to further his plan. But if we’ve learned one thing from Kirsty Cotton over the course of these films, it is that she is the only one that can cut a deal the Hell Priest can’t refuse. She should write a book. “The Art of the Squeal: 1,000 Ways to Save Your Life From A Cenobite Encounter” could be a best seller.

Winters and co-star Sarah-Jane Redmond land at number four on the list for good reason. The scene is epic in creep factor and perhaps a bit of foreshadowing of things to come in Hollywood as Redmond’s Gwen quips “good luck on getting a promotion” after being turned down for a recorded sex act that I only assume would be rough and nasty. Because for sure sex in exchange for personal gain is a new concept.

Side note: After this portion on Winters and the next spot on our list perhaps this thing is turning into LOST IN THE LABYRINTH: THE STUDS OF LAMENT…

HELLRAISER: INFERNO (2000) – Sasha Barrese & Craig Sheffer

Hello adultery, our old friend… Seriously, you’ll be hard pressed to make a great Hellraiser entry without characters that cheat on their spouses. It makes their suffering so much more legendary. Scott Derrickson’s Hellraiser: Inferno is the first of the series to go DTV, but it is one of the best in the series. Also, the first of the alleged “add a splash of Pinhead, rinse, repeat” screenplays, Derrickson and his longtime co-writer Paul Harris Boardman tell the tale of Detective Joseph Thorne, a master of sleight of hand, puzzle and riddle enthusiast, and horrible husband, son, father. Detective Thorne is played by another stellar character actor in Craig Sheffer. Sheffer of course is no stranger to the work of Barker having played Boone in the cult classic Nightbreed. I know and love him as Joe Kane from The Program where he put the women and children to bed and went out looking for dinner with ten of the most talented men to ever win a bowl bid under the James Caan coaching umbrella.

After catching a case of “Who’s Finger Is This Anyway,” Det. Thorne heads home, puts the wife and daughter to bed, and goes out looking for dinner. Thorne’s appetite leads him to Daphne, a young girl hanging out on a street corner with some friends that enjoy accepting payment for company that may include, but definitely not limited to, snorting drugs and doing whatever you want, as many times as you want it, because you offered up said drugs. The scene is brief, but also may very well be why I’ve been known to google CFNM from time to time. Thanks, Sasha Barrese!

Years before her husband was getting lost on Vegas hotel rooftops by his idiotic friends suffering from wicked hangovers, Sasha was taking all of Thorne’s stolen coke and then complaining “hasn’t (she) earned her money yet”…Seriously Daphne? Hooker etiquette dictates when you offer whatever he wants, as many times as he wants it, you deliver. On the other hand, and this is pure speculation as the brief scene leaves much to the imagination, she did give up the butt, so maybe she earned the right to give Thorne the cold shoulder moments before he opens the Box and spirals into a purgatory that involves a Torso Chatterer, Ninja Cowboys, Wonder Twin Cenobites, and The Engineer played by another fan favorite, James Remar.

HELLRAISER (1987) – Clare Higgins & Sean Chapman

“What’s your pleasure, Mr. Cotton?” The opening line of 1987’s Hellraiser are as epic as the franchise. Five words and nine syllables are all it takes set the foundation of the film for Frank. The film, written and directed by Clive Barker is adapted from Barker’s novella “The Hellbound Heart,” a masterpiece to some, erotic sleaze to others. The film and the book depart in some avenues, but stay synced in many others. The root of both, of course, is the relationship of Frank and Julia. Frank, Julia’s brother-in-law, is a globe trotter, always seeking the next thrill to push his limits of pleasure and fill his vices. Julia married Larry, Frank’s brother, but has sent her life reminiscing of a brief affair with Frank a week before the wedding.

The act plays out shorter in the film, but the set piece remains the same. I understand the film version was trimmed a bit to please the bastards at the MPAA for an R rating. Frank seduces Julia, lays her atop the wedding dress and begins to pound her with” the aggression and joylessness of rape.” I guess that’s some people’s idea of a kinky fun time. Before I continue, both fictional characters consented, and she spends the rest of her short-lived days pining for and servicing Frank’s needs to feed in attempt to become whole.

Like the “Jason’s mom, Pamela Voorhees is the killer” swerve, many forget that in the first film Julia is the true antagonist of the film. Frank’s brought back, but without a body, skin, etc., he isn’t much of a threat until Julia spends her afternoons leading unsuspecting men home to bash them in the head with the claw end of a hammer to feed Frank. That is of course until Frank can manage to steal Larry’s skin and come for Kirsty in a third act round of hide ‘n seek for an audience of then unnamed Cenobites.

Without this sex scene Julia doesn’t fall for Frank. Frank doesn’t have a servant to feed him after he escapes the Hell Priest. The Hell Priest doesn’t broker deals with Kirsty. Kirsty doesn’t “Come to Daddy.” Thank god for infidelity.

HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II (1988) – Clare Higgins & Sean Chapman

Before you protest, I almost called dirty pool on myself. Two actors, virtually the same scene on the same list. Allow me to explain–

A. Though the same sexual encounter, Hellbound: Hellraiser II delves deeper into the passion and obsession between Julia and Frank. I don’t know for certain, but perhaps this extended encounter is part of the cut footage from Hellraiser that hit the floor to ensure the R rating.
2. Clare Higgins and Sean Chapman bring the heat. We may have seen some bits of this scene in the original, but it is so damn hot it DESERVES two spots on this list, ultimately sharing number one and two.
D. I stole this joke structure from John Hughes.

Hellbound: Hellraiser II is a solid sequel. It promises to tear our souls apart…again, and the film delivers. The film gives us more blood; more gore; more nudity; more Cenobites. It also takes us into the labyrinth. We see Leviathan and all its matte painting glory. Hellbound also brings Peter Atkins into the fold. A key ingredient to the franchises success. Before Carl Dupre and Tim Day were tasked with keeping the troupes alive while fresh, Atkins was taking Barker’s work and creating on the fly. The scribe penned Hellbound, Hell on Earth and Bloodline, never repeating himself and only calling back to the source material when called upon. Atkins managed to pump more and more into Pinhead and the Cenobite’s lore, while introducing fresh faced protagonists into the fold to thwart the Hell Priest’s plans for demonic dominion over earth.

Fun fact: Hellbound: Hellraiser II was also my earliest recollection of missing footage. How many of you out there saw the still of Pinhead and Bitch wearing surgical attire on the back cover of the VHS, DVD, or in a magazine? How stoked were you when Kirsty and Tiffany exit the Labyrinth for the first time, are running through the corridors and come across the room where all of the patients are laid out in bed, clutching boxes, chains dug deep into their flesh. And how sad were you when there wasn’t a Cenobite payoff? There should be a Facebook group for us, because that scarred me for life. To this day when a publicity still or footage is missing from a film I leave the cinema and scream to the heavens “Damn you, PR Department! You Hellbound me!”

In conclusion, with a new film on the horizon I am excited to check it out and continue the journey into Hell. Friday the 13th was an early and constant love, but Hellraiser has a special place in my heart. I revisit the franchise more often than most and truly love everything about the films. I can’t wait to see how veteran FX artist and Pinhead make up guru Gary J. Tunnicliffe handles the franchise from the director’s chair. Hellraiser and its sequels get short shafted within the horror community. Many are quick to claim love for the Cenobites yet turn their back on anything post Hell on earth. Not me. I eat these DTV projects up like a fiend. The box sets are beautiful. The comics are badass. The toys are beautifully grotesque.

In a perfect world the Hellraiser franchise would have an in-depth documentary alongside Crystal Lake Memories and Never Sleep Again. And/or a book as thick and lovingly wrote as Peter M. Bracke’s Crystal Lake Memories retrospective that the documentary was based off of. If nobody jumps on that prime real estate I will be forced to take matters into my own hand. Don’t tempt me, I will talk about doing it for years and maybe get around to creating a GoFundMe for it. I’ll do it, I swear!

Special thanks to all that worked so hard throughout the years to bring this franchise to light.