Music Video of the Day: Hellraiser by Motörhead (1992, dir. Clive Barker)


Kirsty: I only know what it does. It hurts.

Oh, Kirsty. Yes, Hellraiser III was awful. Yes, it is sad that it’s the movie that got Motörhead’s version of Hellraiser. But it could have been worse. It could have been Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005) that got this song. That would have been truly painful.

Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005, dir. Rick Bota)

Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005, dir. Rick Bota)

In 1992 they finally got around to making a third film in the Hellraiser franchise. It really has nothing to do with the first two films. Once you’ve seen Pinhead create a cenobite with a face made of CDs, there’s no going back. If you’ve only seen the first two films, then stop there. You can watch this music video to get one, if not the only good thing about the third film–this song.

According to The Official Clive Barker website, this is what Barker said the concept for the video was:

We open on Motorhead’s performance, set a large, cavernous space. Dante-esque, dimly lit with pools of light on the band members and their instruments. As the camera moves around the space, various creatures are revealed, oily bodies shining through their ragged bits of clothing, prosthetic pieces (a claw, a beak etc.,) and bandages, stylized make-up all showing that they are THE DAMNED. All of this is shot in shadowy black and white. We also see Props from “Hellraiser 3” (the baby, signage, etc.), which become match dissolves to footage from the film itself.

Back in our black and white cavern a roadie sits in a large Overstuffed chair toward the back of the space, smoking, watching the band’s performance. Suddenly light streams in when a door crashes open. We switch to color as Pinhead makes his grand entrance, rim-lit, a delicate presence. The demons begin to writhe madly to the music. The band’s performance builds as Pinhead moves across the floor, throwing the roadie out of his chair and out of frame. Pinhead takes the seat and gulps virgin’s blood from smoking cup. From Pinhead’s point of view we watch the band.

We cut to a scene of Lemmy and Pinhead in two chairs at a gaming table. Intercutting with performance footage and Hellraiser III footage, we see Lemmy and Pinhead playing cards, drinking, Serious competitors having fun. The demons writhe behind Pinhead, the band stands behind Lemmy as the tension builds between the two.

Doug Bradley added the following in 2005 concerning Lemmy:

The card game finished with me getting the Ace of Spades, so the idea is that Lemmy wins the game but at the price of losing his soul. But that was funny, when we were playing that card game there was a decanter on the table, just as a prop, and Lemmy had a word with one of his people, the decanter disappeared but it came back again full of amber liquid which Lemmy proceeded to drink his way through while we shot that scene, like you and I would drink orange juice, while the dark pope of Hell sat on the other side of the table demurely sipping Evian water…

The attraction of this music video is when Lemmy and Pinhead play cards.

However, there are a few other things I enjoy about the video.

While the footage of the band playing is boring, I do like the reverse shot where Pinhead is at a Motörhead concert.

Why is this person wearing something similar to the jaw-breaking device from the Saw movies?

A bit of a Queen music video is going on here.

I normally don’t go for unintegrated movie footage in videos of this sort, but I appreciate that Barker left in one particular sequence from the movie. There is a scene where the cheap cenobites that Pinhead made chase Terry Farrell’s character onto a street to do a scene similar to the one from Superman II (1980).

Superman II (1980, dir. Richard Lester & Richard Donner)

And yes, Henry Cavill was in Hellraiser: Hellworld where he got killed off by Lance Henriksen, not Pinhead, since, like the other movies after IV, Hellworld was a different movie that had elements of Hellraiser grafted onto it. Pinhead doesn’t actually exist in the movie until the very end of the film.

During that street destruction scene, there are at least two places that get their signs destroyed.

Larry was a character from the first Hellraiser movie played by Andrew Robinson who would go on to be on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine with Terry Farrell in 1993–one year after this movie came out.

If you have the misfortune to watch Hellraiser III, then you might notice that the statue Pinhead is in with what I remember to be trapped souls is just a tad similar to something from A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987). In that movie, Freddy Krueger explains that he has gotten stronger by capturing children’s souls which he then shows as part of his flesh. I’m sure the similarities weren’t lost on the people involved in both franchises. Elm Street started back up the same year as the Hellraiser franchise started. Also, makeup artist Kevin Yagher, who did makeup on Elm Street 2, 3, and 4, would go on to direct Hellraiser IV as Alan Smithee.

Barker could have just as easily used footage from the club parts of the movie instead of Farrell running on the street. Instead, he left in those shots.

Other than those things, it’s just the song and the card playing scene, which yes, is similar to The Seventh Seal (1957) with its game of chess with Death. There’s nothing else particularly interesting. You’re watching to see Lemmy turn up a joker and the ace of spades.

Enjoy!

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