Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988) (Arrow Video) (BLU-RAY REVIEW)
DIRECTED BY: Tony Randel
Starring: Doug Bradley, Ashley Laurence, Clare Higgins
RATED: R/REGION A/1:85/1080P/NUMBER OF DISCS 1
AVAILABLE FROM Arrow Video
Confined to a mental hospital, young Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence) insists her supposedly dead father is stuck in hell, controlled by sadomasochistic demons after being betrayed by his evil, occult-obsessed wife, Julia (Clare Higgins). Few believe Kirsty, except the thrill-seeking Dr. Channard (Kenneth Cranham), who is intrigued by S&M and the young woman’s lurid stories. So when Kirsty and fellow patient Tiffany (Imogen Boorman) head to hell for a rescue, Channard and Julia are close behind.
While I literally just spent a whole review talking about how great Hellraiser is, Hellbound: Hellraiser II is the Hellraiser film I grew up with and probably saw the most. This sequel picks up soon after the events of the first film with Kirst being sent off into the nuthouse because nobody believes she saw all the sights she saw in Hellraiser. The thing is, here her doctor is secretly obsessed with such matters and uses the puzzle box to box to not only resurrect her awful stepmother, Julia, but he brings forth Pinhead and his group as well. I feel like while maybe not as good, this movie does go all in with the effects and with the visuals. If you had to bring hell alive on screen and not just in your usual typical way, then this movie would be the best indication of it this side of The Beyond. It really sets a mood visually and its a wicked and cool one.
While I admit that the later Hellraiser films weren’t anything to write home about, you can’t go wrong with the first three and part 2 here is one of my favorites. Arrow gives it just as much attention as they did the original with this solo release and I’m very happy about that. This too has the 2K restoration approved by the director of photography Robin Vidgeon and it also has the second part of the Leviathan documentary, dealing primarily with this movie. That and all the other cool extras you get make this the best solo version of Hellbound: Hellraiser II you can find. You even get never before seen stuff that you can only find on the Arrow version of the Hellraiser II releases. If you didn’t get the box set that came out, then you can’t go wrong with these Blu-ray releases. I can only hope that eventually part three comes out in the same way for those who don’t already have it.
– Brand new 2K restoration approved by director of photography Robin Vidgeon
– Audio Commentary with director Tony Randel and writer Peter Atkins
– Audio Commentary with Randel, Atkins and actress Ashley Laurence
– Leviathan: The Story of Hellbound: Hellraiser II – brand new version of the definitive documentary on the making of Hellbound, featuring interviews with key cast and crew members
– Being Frank: Sean Chapman on Hellbound – actor Sean Chapman talks about reprising the role of Frank Cotton in the first Hellraiser sequel
– Surgeon Scene – the home video world premiere of this legendary, never before-seen excised sequence from Hellbound, sourced from a VHS workprint
– Lost in the Labyrinth – vintage featurette including interviews with Barker, Randel, Keen, Atkins and others
– Under the Skin: Doug Bradley on Hellbound: Hellraiser II
– On-set interview with Clive Barker
– On-set interviews with cast and crew
– Behind-the-Scenes Footage
– Rare and unseen storyboards
– Draft Screenplay [BD-ROM content]
– Trailers and TV Spots
– Image Gallery
Quality of Transfer: 97%