Clive on Hellraiser V : Inferno

"I can't give you details, but I believe that Dimension Films, who released the last film have two more in development. I'm not invited to their meetings."

The Dominion

Transcript of an on-line session at The Dominion, website of the Sci-Fi Channel, 8 March 1999

"The new Hellraiser movie is not something I would like to direct. I really don't like to say this about another's work but I really hate this movie and it seems to have violated a lot of the things that I like about Hellraiser. I kept away from Hellraiser IV; I kept away from Hellraiser V, because in both cases I tried to be involved in the process, and in both cases they said, 'No, we can do this better than you; go away.' That wasn`t from the director, by the way, who is really nice, but it was from some of the suits at Dimension who had absolutely no intention of getting Clive Barker involved in a Hellraiser movie and said, 'Why would we want Clive Barker involved in a Hellraiser movie?' It's painful, because I loved making this movie; I loved making the second movie; I actually had a good time at the third one, and then it started to fall apart. The reason it falls apart is because of certain people who are not creative, who are pencil pushers, the people who went to business school, who went to law school, who have absolutely nothing to do with the creative process who think they know better than creators. And this town is full of them! It's not a matter of a sequel or sequels, but everybody becomes an expert. Everybody's seen horror movies, and says, 'Oh, we know how that's done,' and actually, making horror movies, which I still think is a relatively disregarded craft, is actually kind of difficult. Making good horror movies is difficult. If it weren't difficult, 'Bless the Child' would be a good movie."

Q & A Session

Hellraiser screening at American Cinemateque 1st Festival of Fantasy, Horror & Science Fiction, Los Angeles, 25 August 2000 (Note - full text at

"[Hellraiser : Inferno] is terrible. It pains me to say things like that because nobody sets out in the morning to make a bad movie but you know these guys sent me a script and I said if you want me involved ask me let's do a deal and get into business, but I really don't think this works right now (talking about the script). They said we really don't want your opinion on it we are going to make the movie. So they went and made the movie, and it is just an abomination. I want to actively go on record as saying I warn people away from the movie. It's really terrible and it's shockingly bad, and should never have been made.
"So I want to give Pinhead a good send-off. I want to do it right. If we are going to get rid of the old guy, let's do it with some style. So my whole idea was if I do it with Harry I can bring in two characters at the same time and sort of weave their stories together.
"You can never kill a monster off completely. What it will do for me is kill him in my mythological range. Others may wish to pick the story up and do something else with him, but as far as I'm concerned once I've told the story, it's the last of the guy.
"What I'm trying to do is give the guy a decent dignified send-off. It's really important to me, and I think he's a great monster. I really hate the way he's been treated in this film. I depressed me. It upset me on behalf of Doug, on behalf of myself, on behalf of the people who love these movies. I thought it was disrespectful and I felt as though he'd been tagged on just because they wanted to call it a Hellraiser movie. But it didn't feel like a Hellraiser movie. It felt opportunistic to me. And I want to do something respectful to a character who has been very good to me. And this [short story] will be the way to do it."


By [Craig Fohr], Lost Souls Newsletter, September / December 2000 (note - interview took place 25 August 2000)

...other comments

Scott Derrickson : "When Dimension was looking for writers for the new Hellraiser, they passed on everyone and then came back to us and asked if we had any ideas. We brought them this one, which was so outrageous that we didn't think they would ever do it...
"We were able to do our own movie, so if anybody doesn't like it, they can put the blame on Paul [Harris Boardman] and I... [Dimension] really let us write the script we wanted to write, and the first draft pretty much became the draft we shot."

Things To Do In Denver When You're Pinhead

By Anthony C. Ferrante, Fangoria No 198, November 2000

Scott Derrickson : "[Clive's] reaction, I must admit, was not entirely unexpected. The Hellraiser franchise had (in my opinion) travelled too far in one direction and had quite simply run out of steam. The only interesting path to take in creating another sequel seemed to be the path of total reinvention. Of course Clive Barker isn't going to appreciate that. I never expected that he would appreciate seeing the treasured iconography of his brainchild tossed out the window and replaced with a whole new set of rules. But it seems to me that I made a movie that is too good or at least too provocative for him to just simply dismiss, as he obviously dismissed Hellraiser: Bloodline. This movie actually upset him, and I think I know why...
"This is, in fact, a very good film. It is philosophically ambitious (unlike Hellraiser II, III, or IV), and it represents a moral framework outside that of the previous Hellraiser films and (apparently) outside that of Clive Barker's personal taste. Quite simply, I subverted Clive Barker's franchise with a point of view that he does not share, and I think that really pisses him off.
"I'm honestly not angry about Mr. Barker's comments, and I would even return the gesture of calling him "very nice". However, I do want readers to note that his distaste for the film was not due to it's lack of intrigue or quality, but rather to it's violation of what he deems to be interesting (if not sacred) about the Hellraiser mythology.
"So in short, viewers need to watch this picture with an open mind, and remember that Clive Barker has only made one good picture, and perhaps for that reason, he's a little territorial when it comes to the man with the pins in his head."

Hellraiser 5 Director Responds to Clive Barker

By Lucius Gore, e.mail to ESplatter, 2nd September 2000 (Note - full text at

Paul Harris Boardman - screenwriter : "They wanted us to bring a breath of fresh air to the series. They really wanted people who didn't have any history with the franchise; they said they were looking for something different, and not to worry a lot about the rules and what had gone before."

Things To Do In Denver When You're Pinhead

By Anthony C. Ferrante, Fangoria No 198, November 2000

Pete Atkins : "Miramax certainly wants to preserve the franchise. One reason why they are spending the extra money in having this extra shoot [on Hellraiser : Bloodlines] is to keep the franchise alive for parts five and six.
Frighteningly they do own Michael Myers, so Pinhead Vs. Michael Myers might be a distinct possibility somewhere down the road, but I swear I'll have nothing to do with that. In a strange way, although obviously they have become creatively bankrupt, those movies, it tickles the old-time fan in me because it is very reminiscent of Frankenstein meets the Wolfman, House of Dracula and House of Frankenstein. The guys at Universal in the thirties were doing what we are doing now which is telling stories about monsters. Eventually they put all these monsters together in one bumper package. It kind of amuses me that, Hey, maybe our monster will get to be part of this big monster mash...tag teams from hell!"

From The Dog Days To Bloodlines

By [Stephen Dressler and Cheryl Bentzen], Lost Souls, Issue 3, 1996

Pete Atkins : "There are already plans for Hellraiser 5, which is likely to go straight to video. I'm not sure if it's been written yet, because I am not going to be involved. After Hellraiser - Bloodline I've done three of them, and people are always very complimentary at conventions about the dialogue I give old Pinhead, but there are only so many ways you can write 'I'm going to fuck you up, but I'm going to tell you about it in a piss-elegant way' before it starts sounding really hammy, so I'm going to back out gracefully. There was a lot of general bad feeling after the problems with Bloodline, so I wasn't too surprised when the phone didn't ring. The last I heard, Miramax were talking to potential writers a couple of months back. A fifth film is probably a kind of low-priority project for Miramax at the moment because they have more successful franchises to work on, like From Dusk Till Dawn and Scream. If they make Hellraiser 5 as a direct-to-video project, for not too big a budget, they will certainly make a profit, and there will probably be a Hellraiser 6..."

Hell's Scribe

By Anthony Tomlinson, Shivers, No 53, May 1998

Doug Bradley : "I've always promised that I will not deal in hearsay or rumour when it comes to the question of whether or not the series will continue, and I've stuck by that in the three years since Bloodline was released in the States. So let me pass on to you that just in the last few weeks there has been a communication between myself and Miramax about a fifth movie. To be absolutely precise, a fifth and sixth movie. Much more than this I cannot tell you because I don't know much more, so... writer?... script?... possible director?... working title?... subject matter?... all these questions and more must go unanswered for the time being.
"I've had a conversation with Clive about it, and Miramax are talking to him, although I don't anticipate he will have much to do with it. Pete Atkins definitely won't be writing the screenplay. I have said nothing more than that I am interested, and Miramax have asked me to keep them informed of my whereabouts and commitments in the last quarter of this year. That suggests that they intend to move pretty fast on it, and that's Clive's feeling as well, but there's many a slip 'twixt cup and lip, so I'm not getting worked up about it, and I suggest that you don't either. The only clue I have is that Miramax are describing this as a psychological Hellraiser. Well, there are those of us who have never considered Hellraiser as anything else, but the executive is always right, so let's leave that one alone, shall we?
"They're also saying that this will be a 'standalone' with no plot connection to the previous four. Even more intriguingly, they're describing the proposed sixth movie as an action movie. Kickboxing Cenobites? Pinhead in a Bruce Willis vest? The mind boggles. Actually it reels in disbelief and will have to sit down in a darkened room to recover..."

Doug's About...

By Doug Bradley, Ingrid Pitt/Doug Bradley Newsletter, Summer 1999

Gary Tunnicliffe : "We are shooting Hellraiser 5 and it is titled Inferno, and will probably be titled Hellraiser:Inferno, true Pinhead does appear for only a few scenes but the film in general has a lot less to do with cenobites and much more to do with a journey into one man's own personal hell.
"However that is not to say that there are not some very strong Hellraiser tones including the hooks and chains and (if I say so myself) some quite cool cenobites including two new very sexy females and the return of an updated and horrific version of chatterer.
"The script is written by and being directed by Scott Derrickson and is being produced by the same team that brought you 'The Prophecy' We are several weeks into shooting and the shoot has so far been an easy and enjoyable affair with all involved trying to make the very best picture that they can, but that at the same time is very different from the other Hellraiser's, in many ways I believe this almost feels like a Harry D'Amour story and I can't confirm this but I have heard that Clive has read and likes the script.
"Personally I like the script a great deal, it is sort of a cross between Hellraiser and Seven and is much more of a psychological thriller than anything else and very different from the films that have been made before and I for one think that is a good thing as a new direction was definitely needed to keep the franchise fresh."

Leviathan's Lamentations

E-mail from Gary Tunnicliffe to Tripps at the Hellbound Web (see Links), Autumn, 1999

Doug Bradley : "Hellraiser 5 was shot in Los Angeles last Autumn and, indeed, I believe is now finished... It's called Inferno. Clive has had nothing at all to do with it, nor has Pete Atkins who had written the previous three screenplays. New writers, new direction really, which I think fans may find an interesting new direction. Pinhead's barely in it, so that's an interesting new direction for a Hellraiser film - but then, of course, he was barely in the first film, so it kind of makes sense."

Maximum Exposure

By [ ], Sci Fi Channel, Maximun Exposure, 2000

Doug Bradley : "Dimension.. sent me the screenplay and they clearly wanted my opinion and I had two opinions, one was that I didn't think it was good enough, and the second was that I was surprised that I was in it so little. The irony is, and I said this to them, that if they had actually seriously bothered to canvas my opinion I would have said that I think we need to hold back a little bit. I think you can over-expose, and the law of diminishing returns kicks in, but I think they went to another extreme.
"What irritates me, and I know it upsets the fans as well, was that they then smothered the video cover with pictures of Pinhead, and that tells everybody that it's his film again - he's the featured character. Well, no he isn't, so don't sell it on that.
"So I worked a grand total of three days on Inferno, but I'd rather do more. They were three very well-paid days, the kind of days that keeps the wife happy. If that could be my daily rate for the rest of my career I'd be very happy indeed!"

Pins And Needles

By Chris Fullwood, Firelight Shocks, Issue 4, September 2002

Scott Derrickson : "The series had become the Pinhead show, and what I loved about the original was that awesome sense of mystery that surrounded him. Personally, I'm very happy about the lack of Pinhead in Inferno, but if I had to do it over again, I'd put a bit more of him in there for the sake of the fans...
"And Doug Bradley did a great job with the ending. He's a Shakespearean actor at heart, and he added quite a few lines to that final speech that made it a lot better."


By Scarecrow, The Hellbound Web (see Links), 24 September, 2002

Scott Derrickson : "The church loves truth in its prescriptive form, truth that says, 'Here's what's wrong, and here's how you fix it. Here's the diagnosis, and here's the cure.' The truth of the artist, although far more often descriptive, is still truth. Church people are uncomfortable with too much descriptive truth. It's often ugly, confusing, disorienting, problematic, wild and sensual. But prescriptive and descriptive truth don't cancel each other out. They coexist. Films and screenplays can contain prescriptive truth, but unless they're also saturated with descriptive truth they won't work. The most common problem of Christian art that it tries to get to grace too quickly. It's uncomfortable with tension. It's uneasy with any questions left hanging.
"My work on Hellraiser: Inferno was in some ways a personal rebellion against all this. I wanted to make a movie about sin and damnation that ended with sin and damnation. After all, isn't that the experience of many people? Isn't that descriptively true? Some Christians who have seen that film like to quote Philippians 4:8 to me: 'Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report ... think on these things.' And I have to stop them and say, 'Wait a minute, what was the first thing you said? Whatsoever things are true.' Things that are true are not necessarily lovely, and St. Paul is not saying that all the qualities he lists together have to characterize everything. Perhaps truth is named first for a reason."

Behind The Lens - A Christian Filmmaker In Hollywood

By Scott Derrickson, Christian Century, 30 January 2002

Scott Derrickson : "When the job was first offered to me, I turned it down. Then, without really trying, I thought of a way to do the film that would be personally fulfilling. I remember exactly where I was at the time - I was standing in a hotel room in Indianapolis, and the idea came to me that the movie could end with a character confronting the two sides of himself - his spirit and his flesh. Then I thought, 'That's great, but the studio would never let me do that'. Obviously, I was wrong...
"I really didn't worry about the other films. It was a dead franchise, and I knew that my approach was a bit subversive. Clive Barker wasn't happy with what I did, but if he wanted to protect the franchise, he shouldn't have sold it to Dimension. They owned it, and they asked me to reinvent it, so that's what I did. The fans of the franchise are split about it - some love it, and some hate it. No one seems to be neutral about it, which I think is great."

Raising Hell

By Annie Young Frisbie, The New Pantagruel, No 1.4, Fall 2004

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