HELLBOUND - HELLRAISER II

Director: Tony Randel

Starring: Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Kenneth Cranham, Imogen Boorman

Creatures from Hell are resurrected by the director of a psychiatric hospital.

After the traumatic events in Hellraiser Kirsty Collins (Ashley Laurence) wakes up in a psychiatric hospital, under the supervision of Doctor Channard (distinguished British character actor Kenneth Cranham). Before long Channard has resurrected wicked stepmom Julia (Claire Higgins) and they enter Hell, followed by Kirsty and autistic puzzle-solver Tiffany (Imogen Boorman).

Tony Randelís roller-coaster journey to Hell lacks the poetic atmosphere that Clive Barker brought to Hellraiser, but more than compensates in the blood and gore departments, creating a sequel which at least doesnít embarrass the film that spawned it.

The Region 2 DVD, from VCI is very nicely presented, with animated menus, a widescreen (1.85:1) transfer enhanced for 16:9 TVs, and a powerful stereo Dolby Digital sound mix. The disc also contains a number of supplements, including a couple of minutes of behind-the-scenes material, and about five minutes of contemporary interviews. Three trailers are featured, but seem to have been incorrectly mastered and have strange, phasey-sounding audio. Thereís also a selection of about 35 stills (mostly portraits, but also a few poster designs) which can be extracted for printing by DVD-ROM users. Sadly the film itself is heavily edited. The theatrical version released here was the same as the butchered MPAA R-rated one. Even more cuts were made by the BBFC for its eventual release on video here, and this version is almost five minutes shorter than the unrated American one.

The best version to get is the Region 1 Anchor Bay version, which has a THX-approved transfer, a commentary track and a featurette, Lost in the Labyrinth.

 

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