Review – Leviathan: The Story of Hellbound: Hellraiser II (Disc 2)
Living in the world of Clive Barker this past year has been nothing but pure bliss. Imajica was everything all the fans said it would be. A book so in love with the imagination that it inspired me to start working on my own novel. Then I dove right into his highly intense and grotesque new novel, The Scarlet Gospels, which sent Pinhead out with a bang. I didn’t think there could be anything else that could top such wonderful experiences. That’s until I sat down and watched the very extensive and exhaustive documentary, Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II.
There’s so much material covered I don’t know where to start. For a documentary that runs over 7 hours, plus bonus features that run almost about 4, everything that you’ve ever wanted to know about the first two films it’s all here. Luckily, I was given the assignment of reviewing Hellbound: Hellraiser II! I quickly jumped at the chance since it’s my favorite of the series.
First off, from a production standpoint everything is first class. The interviews with the various actors and effects people are edited together very nicely. They don’t feel slapped together that’s for sure. And for such a long documentary, I never once got bored.
I also liked how the interviews were mixed with behind the scenes video of the effects guys working their magic on set and the custom artwork from the makers of the film. There’s a wonderful drawing of the bloody Julia that someone did that I felt captured the nasty beauty of that character. Smoking hot!
But my favorite part of the production was the highly inspired score by Lito Velasco. His music sets the tone perfectly and captures the essence of Christopher Young’s score for the first two films. I’m sure Mr. Young would be proud. And let’s hope for a official release down the line.
Some of my favorite interviews were with director Tony Randel and writer Peter Atkins. They share a great deal of behind the scenes stories that I’ve never heard before. They talk about developing the script and the changes that went along the way as Peter was writing. Also, Peter said one of the best things I’ve ever heard for any inspiring screenwriters to remember and that is when writing scripts “you must learn to understand to write in pictures.” That’s some great free advice there.
They also talk to the very outgoing Andrew Robinson about why he didn’t return for the sequel. He said quite frankly (no pun intended) there wasn’t really that much for him to do. And he wasn’t that fond of the script either. Writer Peter Atkins was actually relieved that the character of Larry didn’t return because “why would Larry go to hell?” He was never in favor of that idea.
But like I said everything you want to know about the film is here. You want to know more about the Chatterer face lift scene? It’s here. Or what about the in depth creation of the Channard character? They’ve got you covered. And most importantly was the infamous Surgeon scene ever shot? You’ll have to buy it to find the answer to that one.
There’s also a lot of funny stories along the way. My favorite being the story of Doug going “stir crazy” while getting tired of being put into makeup and not getting enough sleep! Also, when actor Ken Cranham got lost on the set at Pinewood in full Channard costume. And Imogen realizing that the device controlling Channard was actually “A PENIS!”
Another wonderful thing about the making of both movies is that everyone enjoyed working with one another. There’s a lot of great behind the scenes video clips showing everyone having a wonderful time. Drama was kept to a minimum and everyone wanted to make the best films they could possibly make. I believe they succeeded even though Hellbound is a flawed film compared to Hellraiser.
Director Kevin McDonagh and Producer and Co-writer Gary Smart and their team have created the ultimate Hellraiser documentary. I would trust them with any property they’re given to work on. Hopefully, they’ll revisit the world of Hellraiser with another combo documentary of Hell on Earth and Bloodline. There’s so much to be told between those films to make another huge documentary.
For any Clive Barker or Hellraiser fan this is a dream come true. You get everything here and more! So when there’s a much bigger release do yourself a favor and buy a copy. They have such sights to show you!