After a long delay, Hellraiser: Judgment – the latest entry in the long-running horror franchise – has finally gotten a release date. Beginning life as a adaptation of Clive Barker’s novella The Hellbound Heart, it’s fair to say that not even Barker could have envisioned how iconic a character Pinhead – referred to in the first film’s credits as Lead Cenobite – would become, much less how many sequels 1988’s original Hellraiser would spawn. Written and directed by Barker himself, Hellraiser was not a high-budget film, but still managed to wow audiences with its story of tortured love, its magnificent practical gore effects, and an endlessly captivating performance from Doug Bradley.
Bradley’s Pinhead – pictured above – quickly became a horror genre icon, and he would reprise the role in seven sequels. His last performance as the character was in 2005’s Hellraiser: Hellworld. In 2011, Dimension Films was desperate to retain the rights to the Hellraiser franchise, in the hopes of eventually making a theatrical remake. To do so they needed to make a new film, and fast. The studio threw together the universally hated among fans Hellraiser: Revelations, which cast actor Stephan Smith Collins as Pinhead after Bradley balked at both the script and the rushed shooting schedule. The less said about that film, the better.
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A few more years went by, and Dimension Films had still not managed to make a Hellraiser remake. Once again desperate to prevent the rights from reverting to creator Barker, the company gave the greenlight to Hellraiser: Judgment, set to be written by Revelations scribe – and veteran SFX creator – Gary J. Tunnicliffe. Despite how Revelations turned out, Tunnicliffe asked fans to give the new film a chance. Many were willing to, but Judgment has since sat on a shelf for nearly two years. Now, Bloody Disgusting reports that Judgment is finally getting released, at least according to a new pre-order listing on Amazon that sports a street date of February 13, 2018.
Interestingly, the Amazon listing lists Hellraiser: Judgment’s distributor as Lionsgate, not Dimension Films. While it’s possible that Lionsgate simply stepped in to distribute this particular entry, one wonders if Dimension has finally given up trying to hold on to Hellraiser. After all, the studio has been in disarray since sexual assault scandals rocked corporate parent The Weinstein Company awhile back. If Dimension has lost the rights, that could be a great thing indeed for fans frustrated with the declining quality of the direct to video Hellraiser sequels.
Worth noting though is that this isn’t the first time Hellraiser: Judgment has received a reported release date. In fall 2016, new Pinhead actor Paul T. Taylor posted on social media that the film would be arriving on March 28, 2017. That obviously didn’t happen, so those interested might be wise to take the Amazon listing’s date with a grain of salt, despite how legit it appears. However, if this new date comes and goes with no film once again, Hellraiser devotees might start to wonder if these endless delays are themselves an effort to tear fans’ souls apart.
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Source: Bloody Disgusting