Two titans of terror nearly met in a horror movie so bonkers it would make Freddy vs. Jason look like a kids movie. OK, that might be a bit dramatic, but it’s a fact that Halloween’s Michael Myers nearly had a big screen battle with Hellraiser’s Pinhead.
Cast your mind back to the heady days of the early aughts, and the aforementioned Freddy vs. Jason has just made $116.6 million at the box office. As a result, studios all over Hollywood were looking in the back of their IP closets for any potential franchises, they could mash together in the hope of earning a bit of cash.
While scraping out the bottom of their particular barrel, Dimension Films found that they owned the rights to both Michael Myers and Pinhead, so the obvious solution was to let them fight. Dimension set a release date and started planning their ambitious crossover with Hellraiser writer and director Clive Barker, and Halloween’s own original co-writer and director John Carpenter both approached to work on the movie.
Barker was going to write it, and Carpenter would direct. In an interview with Den of Geek, Pinhead actor Doug Bradley revealed some of the Pinhead vs. Michael Myers plot details. He explained that Clive Barker didn’t want the two horror icons to just have a fistfight for no reason. He instead was looking for a natural way to have the characters crossover.
“Clive said that the versus bit, the Michael Myers vs Pinhead bit was a bit beside the point – it was a bit boring given that Michael doesn’t speak, which makes him a disappointment to Pinhead,” Bradley explained. “Clive wasn’t interested in a mano-a-mano confrontation. He was interested in finding the places where the Hellraiser and Halloween landscapes might have crossed over. ”
Bradley explained that Barker planned to reveal that Myers was a
“sadomasochistic sexual pervert and serial killer”, and it was this twisted hedonism that would pique Pinhead’s interest in the mute killer.
Unfortunately, before work could properly begin on the movie, the whole thing was torn apart like Frank Cotton at the end of Hellraiser. Halloween producer Moustapha Akkad – who owned the rights to the character – hated the idea and put a stop to the movie.
Interestingly, though, Den of Geek reports that this wasn’t the first time the duo nearly crossed over. In the late ’90s Dave Parker, the moviemaker behind Psycho Granny and Twinsanity, pitched a Cenobite versus silent stalker action movie.
Parker outlined his vision for the movie to Fangoria. He planned on revealing that it was the Lament Configuration -the puzzle box that summons Pinhead and his mates – that had, in fact, turned Michael into an unstoppable killer.
“I was just trying to come up with a plausible way to get [Michael and Pinhead] to fight. So, why does he all of a sudden go out and kill his sister on Halloween? He’s trick-or-treating in a flashback, and he goes up to this one house … and sees the guy with the black boots, who gives him the box,” he explained. “He opens it, and the Lord of the Dead – Sam Hain – escapes from Hell and takes over Michael’s body because he doesn’t want to be in Hell. Now, Sam Hain is who the Shape is, and that’s why he can’t be killed.”
The story would then move to the modern day where some unnamed people (presumably helpless teens) discover the evil puzzle box in the old Myer’s house, and Hell literally breaks out as Pinhead tries to drag Sam Hain, possessing Michael’s body back to Hell. Unfortunately for Parker, he was a few years too early for Dimension, and the studio rejected his “Helloween” movie for fear it would flop. I bet they regret that now.