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darryll

Is Hellraiser Lovecraftian?

Is Hellraiser Lovecraftian?  

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  1. 1. Is Hellraiser Lovecraftian?



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darryll
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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kelvingreen
I'm not sure Hellraiser is particularly Lovecraftian, but The Madonna (from Books of Blood) most certainly is.

Do tell, Kelvingreen.

Well, for one thing the ending is lifted pretty much wholesale from The Shadow Over Innsmouth, and the entity at the heart of the story is almost certainly a mythos creature, possibly an avatar of Shub-Niggurath. The synopsis on Wikipedia doesn't do it justice, but I'd be very surprised if the story weren't written as a deliberate Lovecraft pastiche. There's a movie coming out at some point; it'll be interesting to see if the Lovecraftian elements remain. I turned it into a pretty successful CoC scenario without changing much at all.

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mr_mitts

Nightbreed definitely ends on a Shadow over Innsmouth note; the entire raid strikes me as deeply parodic. Plus it's an underrated movie.

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king_in_yellow
Nice, Squasha. That gave me an idea for my next topic thread: Are the Transformers Lovecraftian?

 

Potentially the sequel film may qualify that particular iteration of the Transformers (no promises), and I would almost qualify any comics that use Primus and Unicron as Elder God entities, but none of the cartoon series.

 

i wouldn't dismiss the cartoon so quickly, it has at least one episode i know of that is noted as "heavily influenced by the writings of H.P. Lovecraft". it involves ancient monsters imprisoned in a dream like statis, deep within Cybertron. one of these monsters has tentacles and the ability to turn transformers into a sort of zombie/vampire creatures. there might be some more like that in season 3, but i havnt looked at them in years.

 

http://transformers.wikia.com/wiki/Dweller_in_the_Depths

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Guest squashua
Nice, Squasha. That gave me an idea for my next topic thread: Are the Transformers Lovecraftian?

I would almost qualify any comics that use Primus and Unicron as Elder God entities, but none of the cartoon series.

 

i wouldn't dismiss the cartoon so quickly

...

http://transformers.wikia.com/wiki/Dweller_in_the_Depths

 

Season Three episode. No wonder I missed it. Whenever I tried to watch those, they just kept replaying the same ones over and over. So tired of the Broadcast of 2005.

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yronimoswhateley

I hope nobody minds me bringing this thread back from the grave.

 

I recently had reason to review the Hellraiser films, and thought I'd add my own take to the above:

 

In the backstory of the first film, an obsessed seeker of forbidden lore obtains a tome-like puzzle-box from a mysterious dealer, unlocks its secrets through an excess of unnatural study, and uses it to open a gate into a mysterious netherworld from which he summons monstrous Old Ones (explorers and seekers of cosmic horror, devils to some and angels to others) who are indifferent to human ideas of good and evil, and wish to pursue their own otherworldly agenda; the cultist goes mad from the revelation and suffers hideous body horror for his trouble; afterward, his family begins piecing together the clues to what happened, and find themselves facing the horrors he left behind....

 

The first film, at least, is loaded with Weird Fiction cliches - they're just tough to recognize as part of that genre due to the degree to which they've been flavored by... shall we say, Clive Barker's signature interests and eccentricities?

 

Regarding the "religious overtones", they are no less "Lovecraftian" than, say, Lovecraft's own identification of Nyarlathotep in "Dreams in the Witch House" with the "Black Man of the witch-cult" (i.e., Satan, complete with a book for witches to sign their souls away in blood with!)  The sadomasochism is certainly a quite different take on "forbidden lore" from that Lovecraft might have taken (Lovecraft seemed to be quite a bit more comfortable with delving into the secrets of genealogy, mathematics and physics, astronomy, and history than with the secrets of pleasure and pain), but can be thought of as simply an alternative take on the standard Lovecraftian "forbidden lore" theme.  There is, perhaps, a lesson to be learned from this:  with a little imagination and ingenuity, even the most stale Weird Fiction cliches can look quite unfamiliar thanks to an emphasis on some new cosmetic elements.

 

To that degree, I'd say that the first Hellraiser film, at least, is Weird Fiction, and to that extent is as "Lovecraftian" as anything that any other Weird Fiction writers more readily considered "Lovecraftian" have produced, and arguably a bit more faithful to Lovecraft's vision than most of his imitators have managed to get.

 

However, the 8 or more subsequent films were handled by a variety of other writers, directors, and producers who each had their own idea of how to interpret and use the core elements from the first film, and vary wildly in how "Lovecraftian" they can get:  some of the films take the devil, hell, and "evil" elements more literally and actually make the Cenobite monsters demons or devils from Hell; others are just thinly-veiled slasher movies; and others do their best to try to reboot everything back to the Weird Fiction roots with varying degrees of success, only for their efforts to get undermined by a subsequent sequel:  your mileage may vary on how "Barkerian" each sequel might be, let alone how "Lovecraftian" they are.

 

 

 

 

TLDR:  I'll say "yes" to the first film, and "maybe" to at least one or two of the sequels, but, predictably for sequels, probably not all of them.

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skaye

I have vague memories, which may or may not be accurate, of Scott Aniolowski saying Penelope Love's "The Masterwork of Nicholas Forby" in Sacraments of Evil was inspired by Hellraiser.

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DAR

I'd agree, ​Hellraiser is almost certainly Lovecraftian (aka Weird Fiction I suppose - and I'd agree that it's only the next couple that really have the right vibe though). Interestingly enough tonight I watched Wicker Man again (because a housemate had somehow never seen it, *sigh* she's young...)  and then followed it with the Unrated version of the original Martyrs. Both of which certainly have their elements in common with many a gaming scenario - and Martyrs is pretty much made to adapted in some way for Delta Green.​

 

There is a certain vibe of *some* body horror, especially when mixed depravity, that seems to ping the Lovecraftian vibe.

 

D.

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CryAxe

I hope nobody minds me bringing this thread back from the grave.

 

I recently had reason to review the Hellraiser films, and thought I'd add my own take to the above:

 

In the backstory of the first film, an obsessed seeker of forbidden lore obtains a tome-like puzzle-box from a mysterious dealer, unlocks its secrets through an excess of unnatural study, and uses it to open a gate into a mysterious netherworld from which he summons monstrous Old Ones (explorers and seekers of cosmic horror, devils to some and angels to others) who are indifferent to human ideas of good and evil, and wish to pursue their own otherworldly agenda; the cultist goes mad from the revelation and suffers hideous body horror for his trouble; afterward, his family begins piecing together the clues to what happened, and find themselves facing the horrors he left behind....

 

Direct quotes from the movie:

 

"The box.  You opened it.  We came.

"It's just a puzzle box!

"Oh no.  It is a means to summon us."

"Who are you!?"

"Explorers, in the further regions of experience.  Demons to some.  Angels to others."

"It was a mistake!  I didn't - I didn't mean to open it!  It was a mistaaake!"

 

I'd have to agree that it certainly has Lovecraftian elements.  Investigations into lost lore.  Secret revelations.  The price of knowledge being far beyond what could be imagined.

 

The origins of the entities is of little consequence.  In many Lovecraft tales, where the things originated is not the crux of the story.  It isn't even referenced in many cases.  The fact that the investigators' life long perceptions of reality are being challenged and ultimately dismantled by the revelations of terrible truths is often what makes Lovecraft stories horrific.

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Dante7

Nice, Squasha. That gave me an idea for my next topic thread: Are the Transformers Lovecraftian?

 

Unicron... ;)

Dr. Channard, Elliot Spencer, Frank Cotton, all seekers of the forbidden.  

 

Barker's Hell is not moralistic, good and evil don't matter, there are rules and that's it. It's even mentioned that "Hell" is our interpretation of the dimension, not necessarily what it is, and, remember, the Cenobites are "Demons to some, angels to others.".  

 

Leviathan certainly comes across as Lovecraftian to me, and Barker depicts other such entities in his other books (most of which are tied together by threads). The Father, the Madonna, the Ias Uroboros, the Requiax, just to name a few, are Great Old One-esque. He even has his own Dreamlands (which are implied to be the origin point for more conventional notions of angels and demons, they arise from the dream-sea,and this humanity's consciousness)

 

(note: i'm going from the original novella and the first two movies here, the rest of the films had no real involvement from Barker. I've not read Scarlet Gospels yet but i've gathered that some Judeo Christian elements enter in to the mix there in some manner)

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