A scene often changes radically between first conception in the writer's mind and its final publication or public airing.
This is perhaps especially so in the melting pot of collaborative effort on a movie and the sequence we've chosen below
charts the progress from page to screen of a classic scene from Hellraiser,
from novella to draft script to shooting script to the editing suite...
The scene recounts the one and only sexual consumation between Julia and her husband-to-be's
brother, Frank, before the wedding. Julia recalls the encounter as she stands alone in the room in which, unknown to her, Frank subsequently
encountered the Cenobites. The scene concludes with the shedding of her husband's blood which serves as a conduit to
allow Frank's return.
Script To Screen
Shooting began in September 1986, following a reasonably linear path through the script. The original sexual encounter
between Julia and Frank was, however, re-shot later at the insistence of the studio and the censors.
Images and dialogue from the theatrical version are presented below, alongside the July 1986 second draft/shooting script.
The importance of collaboration in movies is in strong evidence, with the screenplay being realised in a powerful series of images by
the intensity of the performances of Clare Higgins as Julia, Sean Chapman as Frank and Andrew Robinson as Larry, by the
special effects of Image Animation as the nail digs deep into Larry's hand and the deep red blood falls onto and is sucked underneath the
floorboards, through Robin Vidgeon's lighting, in Richard Marden's pacing and scene placement in the editing suite and Christopher
Young's sublime orchestral score.
|40 INT. TORTURE ROOM DAY
We have an odd, hovering point of view of JULIA,
as she steps inside the room. Something about the
atmosphere distresses her.
There is a scratching sound. She looks down. A
wood-louse, recalling Frank's foresaken bed, crawls
along the edge of the skirting board. She crosses
to the window, and tears away a little spy-hole
in the aged newspaper.
From downstairs, the voices of the bed-movers.
1ST MAN :
Have you got it?
2ND MAN :
I've got it. I told you -
The light through the window falls on her eye.
The screen becomes a white-out, from which emerges:
Frank: What should we drink to? Wedded bliss?
Julia: I'm very happy.
Frank: I'm sure you are. Are you going to let me kiss the bride?
Julia: What about Larry?
Frank: Forget him.
|41 INT. JULIA'S FLASHBACK DAY
A bedroom, with afternoon sunlight pouring between the slats of bamboo blinds. Outside we can hear
children playing summer games. Inside, a fly buzzes.
JULIA, the younger self, is holding her wedding dress in front of her, displaying it.
FRANK (O.S.) :
I don't want to see the dress.
But you said -
I don't want to see the dress.
JULIA lets the dress drop a few inches in front of her. She stares at FRANK.
You know what I want.
Still she doesn't let the 'defence' that the dress offers - a reminder of her imminent marriage - fall. She stares
though, and there's an invitation in her eyes.
I want you.
FRANK. He is not so bedraggled as in the first scene, but the heat of the day has brought a sheen of sweat to his
face. Standing half in shadow he looks almost dangerous.
Now JULIA lets the dress drop, putting it on the bed behind her.
FRANK steps towards her.
What about Larry -
FRANK takes hold of her. She doesn't resist him,
though there is barely disguised fear on her face.
He puts his hand inside her blouse.
||42 INT. TORTURE ROOM DAY
In extreme CLOSE UP, JULIA blinks into the light
through the window, as LARRY's voice from downstairs
calls her from her reverie.
Slowly, will you? Slowly!
Again, a white-CUT, from which emerges:
|43 INT. JULIA'S FLASHBACK DAY
The two are naked on the bed, both sweating now.
Beneath them, the wedding dress, crushed under their
Their love-making is not straight-forward: there is
an element of erotic perversity in the way FRANK
licks at her face, almost like an animal, his hold
on her too tight to be loving. The sequence
escalates into a series of strange details from
their locked bodies. Nails digging into palms;
sweat rivulets running down their torsoes. And
once in a while we see their faces. JULIA watching
FRANK, mesmerized and amused by his intensity;
FRANK almost pained by his desire to push the
experience TO THE LIMIT. Their passion is rendered
stranger still by the way the light through the window
falls on their bodies, making striped creatures of them.
At last, as their urgency increases, we move up
until we're looking directly down on the bed.
From here it is JULIA's face we can see, and the
ecstasy of the moment has seized her. Her arms
are flung up over her head; her eyes are closed
as she murmurs:
Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh
The scene whites out.
44 INT. TORTURE ROOM DAY
JULIA is still staring into the light. She sobs, very
JULIA (a whisper) :
Oh Frank ...
Larry: Take the weight from me - my foot's caught. You got it?
Removal Man 1: Got it.
Larry: Now, just push it to me as I pull.
Frank: It's never enough.
Larry: (in pain) Julia.
Julia: Please. I'll do anything you want. Anything.
|45 INT. HALLWAY DAY
Downstairs, LARRY and the men have moved the bed
across the hall to the bottom of the stairs.
All three are weary now, and getting careless.
As they start up the stairs we see trouble ahead
for LARRY, whose hand is moving closer and closer
to a nail proturbing from the woodwork of the
LARRY (to Movers) :
Will you take the weight while
I take a step up?
He backs towards the stairs - and the nail.
Damn it, will you take the -
The side of his hand is impaled by the nail. He cries
out. The weight of the bed, which he cannot relinquish,
drives the nail deeper, and gouges a long cut from
the ball of his thumb to his wrist. Blood pours out.
1ST MAN :
What's the problem?
My fucking hand!
He drops his edge of the bed, and disengages his hand
from the nail upon which he's injured himself. He
lifts his hand, from which blood is pouring.
You fucking ass-holes.
1ST MAN :
Who are you calling a fucking
ass-hole? It's this bastard
bed that's your fucking problem!
LARRY isn't listening. He's looking at the wound
in his hand. He hates the sight of his own blood.
Any moment, he may faint.
... Oh Christ ...
But not in front of these bastards. He turns and
starts up the stairs, groggier by the moment.
... oh ... Christ ...
||46 INT. TORTURE ROOM DAY
JULIA is standing in the middle of the room. A single
dart of light, through the hole she tore in the
newspaper, strikes her face. Softly on the soundtrack,
the scrabbling noise of the woodlice.
47 INT. HALLWAY DAY
The bed has been put down. 1ST MAN and 2ND MAN are
putting on their coats. KIRSTY comes through from
2ND MAN :
Where's my father?
1ST MAN :
He's fucked off.
2ND MAN (mock chiding) :
Eh ... language.
1ST MAN :
Sorry. He's gone upstairs. So
we're fucking off too.
2ND MAN takes a sheet of paper from his jacket.
2ND MAN :
Will you sign for the bed?
Julia: Is it deep?
Larry: I don't know, I haven't looked. You know me and blood. I'm going to faint.
Julia: You're not going to faint.
Julia: Let me see.
Julia: It's going to need stitches.
Larry: I'm going to throw up.
Julia: You're not going to throw up. Just take it easy, just take it easy, it's going to be alright. Let's get you to the hospital.
|48 INT. STAIRS DAY
LARRY, his hand running with blood, climbs the last
flight of stairs.
LARRY (weakly) :
... Julia ...
49 INT. TORTURE ROOM DAY
JULIA hears him, and turns from her silent communing with
the room. She crosses towards the door. Too late.
It opens. LARRY steps inside, blood pouring from
his right hand, which he attempts to staunch with his
What have you done?
I cut myself.
Blood has started to drip, unnoticed by either of them,
onto the bare boards. Heavy splashes.
LARRY looks sick; his face clammy with sweat. She stares
at him without a trace of feeling for him on her face.
Is it deep?
I don't know, I haven't looked.
You know me and blood.
You're not going to faint.
LARRY (he leans against the wall) :
Let me see.
She goes to him. He looks away as she unglues one hand
from the other, and looks at the wound. Blood comes faster,
hitting the floor between them.
It's probably going to need
I'm going to throw up.
No, you're not.
The blood keeps hitting the floor. Slap; slap; slap.
We'll get you out into the
He is again clamping his hand over the wound, as JULIA
helps him to the door. They leave the Torture Room.
We hear their voices receding down the passageway,
as we again assume that hovering view point. The
floor, is heavily spattered with blood.
Take it slowly.
So damn stupid.
You're done worse.
I'll be scarred for life.
No you won't.
Larry: I'm so stupid.
Kirsty: What happened?
Julia: It's just an accident, he's alright. Look, will you drive? He needs stitches.
Julia: The keys are in the kitchen.
Larry: So stupid.
Julia: No you're not.
|50 INT. HALLWAY DAY
KIRSTY is half way up the stairs, as JULIA and LARRY
Just an accident. He's all
right. Will you drive? He
The keys are in the kitchen.
KIRSTY heads back to the kitchen. JULIA helps LARRY
towards the front door.
The CAMERA swings away from them, upstairs, and
begins to track ...
INT. UPPER LANDING DAY
... we continue to track, towards the Torture Room.
Downstairs, the front door slams.
INT. TORTURE ROOM DAY
From outside, the sound of a car door slamming. An
engine starts. The car drives away.
We move towards the blood on the floor. As we watch,
it begins to disappear, as if being absorbed by the
room. We pan up to the wall. The plaster is not
quite smooth; indeed, it now begins to grow restless,
and cracks. Something begins to move in the wall...