Hellraiser II: Hellbound (1988)

Most of the cast and crew of Hellraiser returned to make this movie and you know, despite the reduced budget, the dark tone of this movie and continuation of the themes from the original makes this one of the better horror sequels.

Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence, returning from the first movie) is admitted to a psychiatric hospital where Doctor Channard and his assistant Kyle MacRae listen to her story. She begs them to destroy the bloody mattress her stepmother Julia Cotton (Clare Higgins) died on but Channard ends up being a man who has been obsessed with the Lament Configuration. After a patient slices himself open upon that cursed object, Julia comes back to our reality.

Channard and Julia have been luring mentally disturbed men to his home so that Julia can feed off of them. Meanwhile, Kirsty meets Tiffany, a girl skilled at solving puzzles who is forced by the doctor and his demented mistress to open the gates of Hell with the infernal box at the heart of this story.

Within the dimension of Leviathan, the humans are more duplicitous than the demonic Cenobites that carry out the orders of their master.

Barker had plans to show how each of the Cenobites had once been human and how their own vices lead to their becoming angels to some, demons to others. You’d think that with the success of the first film they could have had a little more money here.

Another intriguing notion is that Julia was originally supposed to rise from the mattress at the end of the movie as the queen of hell and be the recurring character. As the first movie gradually became a success, Pinhead ended up becoming the favorite.

Back in the video rental days, I may have brought this home more than twenty times. I was obsessed by the look of Leviathan’s dimension and the strange sound that it makes — Morse code for God — blew my teenage mind. It still holds up today, despite a litany of lesser sequels (which trust me, we’re getting to).

You can watch this on Tubi.

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