We Have Such Sights To Show You  

MissAnnThrope 56F
11679 posts
10/27/2005 11:56 pm

Last Read:
7/29/2006 9:50 pm

We Have Such Sights To Show You

Tonight, as part of Monster Fest, AMC had on "Hellraiser." An edited version, which I don't get. They show all this blood and gore, but at the end, they cut out the close-up of Frank, with his face being stretched by hooks. The scene where he says, "Jesus wept."

Now,I noticed they also muted the word bitch. I don't get that, as they say that on network TV during prime time. I especially don't get why, if they're so hung up on morality, they would show a horror movie with such heavy S&M overtones.

It's no secret that Clive Barker is in the lifestyle. He's always admitted to that, along with being gay. However, for some reason, perhaps because this was the first I've seen it in years, I really noticed the how heavily influenced the movie is by S&M.

From the get go, this is as much a lifestyle movie as it is a horror movie. We meet Larry and Julia, moving into his childhood home in London. She's Domme right from the start and Larry seems to enjoy the emotional torture and humiliation. Then there's Frank, his brother and Julia's lover, who is the reason we have a movie. He opened a puzzle box, summoning the Cenobites, who are sort of emissaries from Hell.

When you summon the Cenobites, you are damned. They are demons to some, angels to others. In Frank's case, they were angels as, "I thought I'd gone to the limits. I hadn't. The Cenobites gave me an experience beyond limits... pain and pleasure, indivisible." However, he wasn't too hot on leaving the physical realm and going with them.

Then there's Kristy, Larry's daughter, who is vanilla and none too happy when she finds the box and opens it. As it was never meant for her and to save herself, she offers to deliver Frank to the Cenobites.

The Cenobites themselves are all well, damaged from extreme S&M play. This movie was made before piercing everything was a trend among young people. The very first time they hit the screen when you first see this movie is one of the eeriest things in movie history. The female Cenobite has a pierced face and a gash in her throat that, when you think about the S&M spirit of this movie, well, the shape... Ouch. Then there's Butterball who is just plain eerie and deformed. Next there's the Chatterer, who has had his lips ripped off, not to mention a few other deformities. Finally there's Pinhead. Who, 18 years ago when this first came out, was the scariest movie demon ever. Yet while they have been victims of extreme edgeplay and piercings, they are definitely Dom and do NOT take, "no, I do not want to suffer." as an answer. They also wear the height of leather fetish fashions. However, they forgo the whips and skip right to the chains and meathooks.

To open the puzzle box is to be initiated into a world of extreme sadomasochistic play. "We have such sights to show you," is a line uttered by Pinhead. These sights are, the suffering of the damned. "No tears, please. It's a waste of good suffering," tells us that those who open the box are those looking to push beyond their limits and enter extreme sub space, in the name of pleasure through pain.

Next, there's the set design. The attic room where most of the gory action takes place is bare and dark. In one scene, where a hall to another dimension opens in Kristy's hospital room, the decor is pure dungeon. Then, when things happen in the actual hospital room, well, can you say medical fetishes?

At first, I thought my just noticing the overtones was just me. After all, I never noticed them before. I figured that it was just my knowledge of Barker being into the scene. But then I did some looking. The original title of the movie was, "Sadomasochists From Beyond The Grave."

I can be a bit slow sometimes.

rm_rsp54 58F
531 posts
10/28/2005 8:16 am

Slow, you? Hardly. This was a great synopsis of that flick!

StreaktheFreak 38F

10/28/2005 1:42 pm

this in one of my favorite movies...i saw this when i was around 12 and really starting to understand certain things...

im not sure what it says that i list it as an influence on my sexuality along with a clockwork orange

MissAnnThrope 56F
11488 posts
10/29/2005 11:35 am

rsp, yeah, I was slow to pick up that the movie really is about S&M. Perhaps because the first few times I saw it, it freaked me so badly. Perhaps because the sequels really had nothing to do with the original. The last sequel I watched, Pinhead was all but reduced to a comic character. Which really does suck. But that does seem to be a trend in horror movie sequels. Hey, I may be out to kill you, but I'm not really a bad ghoul!

Streak, I'm singing in the rain, just singing in the rain... That's another one of my favorites. I was more than thrilled with the DVD transfer. So amazing and crisp, compared to the video. (In the late 70s, early 80s when this was the Monday night midnight movie at the 8th St. Playhouse, no one would ever go with me. I had to wait for video.) Something tells me that you'd be one of the few people not to be scared of my movie collection.

warmandsexy52 64M
13164 posts
10/30/2005 5:28 am

Good review. Shame it was an edited version and I agree with you about the sequels. My guess is that the money people in the movie industry have some cynical investment-return formula for sequels, as so often they become pastiches of the original.

I'm a bit of a Clive Barker fan. He writes well. There is a dark and menacing S&M dimension to much of his work, but to me the real appeal is the existence of parallel realities that are so close to the veneer of our existence we can almost touch them.

TheQuietGuy2005 54M
2386 posts
10/30/2005 7:48 pm

I've read a lot of Barker's stuff and seen Hellraiser a couple of times but I never made the link to the S&M lifestyle (now who's the naif? ). I'm definitely going to have to watch it again - on my own though, as my inevitable comments along the line of "well I never" and "oh, she's sooooo right" would probably annoy anyone else.

As for the editing, as a Brit I've always found US attitudes to what is and isn't permissible for TV viewing odd. I know it's just a cultural difference and I'm not necessarily saying the UK status is better but I do find it bizarre that the networks will happily show unlimited violence but will chop out a bare breast. Don't make love, make war!

I remember watching "Total Recall" in Connecticut. Amidst the wall-to-wall carnage, the shot of the triple-breasted whore was cut ...

MissAnnThrope 56F
11488 posts
11/3/2005 12:50 am

warmandsexy, when I think about it, there really is that entire S&M feel to a lot of his work. One short story springs to mind, I wish I could remember the name of it offhand. But it's the one about the guy who decides to perform a few control experiments on his classmates, in the name of psychological research. Then again, I once had a dream based on that story and "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency." Sort of. In the dream, someone I knew went nuts and hacked me to death with an axe and I spent the rest of the dream having a Gordon Way experience. It's stuck with me after nearly 20 years and it taught me not to mix genres right before bed.

QuietGuy> The realization came to me this time around. I can't believe it took me so long to make the connection. I did end up pulling the DVD off the shelf the next night, to watch again, uncut. Why I didn't just do that in the first place, well, I was being lazy.

Now, don't you know, violence is good, clean entertainment in this country, but a bare breast or worse, a completely naked person, will warp impresionable youth and cause them to go out and start women at random? But glamorizing violence and showing bullet riddled bodies on the news won't warp children? Now, if you had been watching "Total Recall" on premium cable, they would have shown it.

That's another thing! "Hellraiser" was on cable. Granted, AMC is a basic cable station, but it's still cable. They were cutting out things that would have gotten past network censors. As in the free stations. I just didn't get most of the cuts. Especially since the movie is a bloodbath from start to finish.

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