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Clive Barker’s mother was horrified by Hellraiser

Clive Barker's Hellraiser got a rollicking reception among the midnight screening audiences in 1987, but the horror movie didn't go down well with his mother

Doug Bradley as Pinhead in Hellraiser

Hellraiser is commonly heralded as one of the best horror movies of all time, thanks in no small part to how gross and gory it is. Clive Barker, who directed the first Hellraiser movie and wrote source material the Hellbound Heart, is rightly proud of what he achieved, though the reaction from his mother is slightly different.

Bloody Disgusting hosted a chat between Barker and David Bruckner, who directs Hellraiser (2022). They talk about reactions to the original monster movie, and Barker recalls that his own parents weren’t exactly beaming with pride.

“The last test would be my mom watching it,” Barker says. “She was delighted until the titles were over, and it went down from there onwards; she was appalled that her son had produced this thing. Truly like, I can feel her eyes on me. She turned in the darkness, looking at me like, ‘What did I produce?'”

As much as love the Hellraiser franchise and Pinhead – yes, even the later sequels – we can imagine what it must’ve been like seeing the original in 1987. This dude summons these strange demons called the Cenobites, and now he needs the blood from random victims to get his body back? It’s just so weird.

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After nearly 30 years languishing in the straight-to-video space, Hellraiser has been soft-rebooted with a new cast. In Hellraiser (2022), Jamie Clayton takes over as Pinhead, and the Lament Configuration is discovered in a different context by more unfortunate souls. The film is available on Hulu in the US, and we think we need a follow-up from Buckner on his mother’s reaction.

We’ll keep you posted on a UK release date. In the meantime, peruse our list of the best vampire movies.