Tag Archives: clive barker

HELLRAISER’s new Pinhead looks ready to deal her own kind of Hell while honoring legacy

Pinhead is the kind of horror icon that is recognizable even to those who might not have seen a single Hellraiser movie. A head full of nails and an elegantly dark and leathery costume design that finds a sense of twisted beauty in pain and suffering proved the right combination to achieve this during Doug Bradley’s tenure as the Hell priest.

Now it’s actress Jamie Clayton’s turn to push the iconic role into new territory in the David Bruckner-directed Hellraiser reboot set to premier on October 6 on Hulu. It’s not an easy task, that which lies ahead of the movie, but the recent teaser and photo reveals show considerable promise.

Jamie Clayton as the new Pinhead

Created by master of horror Clive Barker, and based on his 1986 novella The Hellbound Heart, Hellraiser is a story of power and pleasure and the horrors they create when absolute self-indulgence and sexual greed lead people to worship at the altar of terrible things. Pinhead is the head of the Cenobites, demons that reward those seeking to experience a higher form of physical gratification through delicately intricate sessions of pure suffering for all eternity.

The Cenobites have been portrayed as living tributes to sadomasochism that are terrifying pieces of art unto themselves. You can’t quite stop looking at them and the ways they embody pain. Of course, there’s an erotic energy coursing through them that makes their brand of suffering unique. So far, their designs combine flayed flesh wrapped over leather and plastic, making it seem as if the mere act of existing comes at the price of a chunk of flesh for even the smallest movement. Wrapped inside all that is the idea that pain equals pleasure, which turns Hell into a place of decadent torment.

Based on the new images published through Entertainment Weekly and Clayton’s social media, the new Hellraiser seems to be doubling-down on the flayed flesh aspect. Clayton’s Pinhead carries the classic full head grid cut with long thin nails sprouting from its cleanly segment sections, but her neck is peeled back and held in place via strips of flesh organized into gruesome patterns.

Like Doug Bradley’s Pinhead, Clayton’s has black eyes, but they hold a deeper stare that clearly unsettles given how much darker they are than the original’s. These changes, nuanced in parts but still clearly identifiable already add a considerable amount of character and presence to the new Pinhead, things that I believe must be present to guarantee the success of this reboot. So far, looks like we’re on the right track.

The Masque, Hellraiser (2022)

Another Cenobite was revealed called The Masque, a pale white being with a human face stretched over a metal frame with flaps of skin and carefully placed cuts adorning the body and creating their own violent patterns. If The Masque is indication of anything it’s of the care and thought that’s also gone into Pinhead’s band of deranged demons (or angels to others). The original movies featured this as well, with The Chatterer, Butterball, and Angelique among the most beloved by fans. That’s another box the reboot seems to be ticking as well.

The only teaser that’s been released reveals very little, but it does show a bit of Clayton’s Pinhead in the flesh (no pun intended). Will the Lament Configuration (the box that allows the Cenobites to crossover in search of whoever opened it) get its own redesign? Will the story journey into the Cenobites’ realm as it did in Hellraiser II or stay mostly within our reality as it did in the first movie?

These are all questions that a forthcoming trailer will surely shed more light on, but for now we have a genuinely unsettling and creepy new Pinhead to enjoy along with a glimpse of the other horrors that’ll accompany her. The sights provided do more than enough to peak anyone’s curiosity. We’ll soon know just how many nightmares they’ll inspire in an eager audience.

Start your Halloween reading list with Hellraiser/Nightbreed Jihad

Hellraiser/Nightbreed Jihad

If you’re like me, then you treat Halloween as a year-long affair, a way of life, that requires a special read or movie to open the best month of the year: October. Some people have a kind of ritual, something they repeat year in and year out to mark the occasion. For some it’s watching John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978), others might prefer a candlelit reading session composed of classic horror short stories from authors that are synonymous with the season (be it Poe, Stephen King, or Lovecraft).

I start October by reading something I’ve never read before, be it a comic or a short story. Last year it was a short story written by Scott Derickson and C. Robert Cargill called “A Clean White Room,” about an Iraq war veteran that becomes a sin-eater in a building that lays atop a crack in the world that has a straight line to Hell. It’s included in The Blumhouse Book of Nightmares: The Haunted City (2015) anthology, a great option for those who prefer their horror to have been published more recently.

This year, Halloween begins with a crossover horror comic that features two uniquely terrifying worlds created by legendary author Clive Barker and it’s called Hellraiser/Nightbreed Jihad. It was published in 1991 by Epic Comics but those interested in it can find it in the Clive Barker’s Nightbreed Archive published by BOOM! Studios, along with a comics adaptation of the movie by Alan Grant, John Wagner, and Jim Baikie.


Hellraiser/Nightbreed Jihad is written by D.G. Chichester and illustrated by Paul Johnson and it centers on a war Hellraiser’s cenobites want to wage on the Nightbreed given the latter’s existence threatens Hell’s eternal mission of bringing agony and suffering to the souls of the damned.

The Nightbreed, a race of magical creatures that live in an underground city called Midian away from humans, are apparently disrupting the balance of chaos in the world by merely existing. A purging seems the only sensible way forward for the tortured lords of Hell, although there are different schools of thought as to how to deal with the problem.

At a glance, the story carries the look and feel of a Clive Barker tale. It’s ambitious in its worldbuilding and it fuses dark fantasy elements with dangerous magic to dive into taboo topics and subvert them. As is characteristic of Barker’s work, sex factors into the story and is presented as a kind of transcendental experience that courts pain to repurpose pleasure as a ritual that both punishes and rewards.

Paul Johnson’s art is exquisite, leaning heavy on the fantasy elements of its already dream-like worlds to establish a sense of danger and wonder that’s unique to these licenses. This carries over in the new creatures and monsters accompany the already well-established characters seen in the film adaptations of Barker’s books. They expand upon the possibilities of the horrors they embody in each world and give Johnson ample space to experiment with design.


Chichister’s writing is finely tuned to the sights, sounds, and voices of both sides of the war, relying on the complex vernacular of each world’s reality to provide a very lived-in sense of story early on. It captures the constant state of violence that governs the two groups quite well and it sets up some wonderfully macabre moments that show no intention of holding back on the bloodletting.

Based on what I’ve already read and seen throughout the pages (I couldn’t help myself), Hellraiser/Nightbreed Jihad looks like it will set quite the tone for this year’s Halloween season. The challenge, then, will lie in trying to find something that compares or surpasses this horror comic. It’s a hard one, but there are 31 days-worth of opportunities to indulge in the search.

Preview: Clive Barker’s Next Testament Omnibus SC

Clive Barker’s Next Testament Omnibus SC

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer:  Clive Barker, Mark Alan Miller
Artist: Haemi Jang
Colorist: Vladimir Popov
Letterer: Steven Wands
Cover Artist: Goñi Montes
Price: $29.99

Finally collected in one complete volume, experience the terrifying madness of Master of Horror’s first original comic book series

Julian Demond is a captain of industry who left behind everything and began a walkabout, believing himself to be on a mission from above. He soon discovers a figure unlike any other, one who calls himself Wick…and claims to be God.

Bestselling author Clive Barker, co-writer Mark Alan Miller (Clive Barker’s Hellraiser), and internationally acclaimed artist Haemi Jang (Clive Barker’s Hellraiser: The Road Below) come together for a thrilling story not of this world, collecting all twelve issues of the Harvey Award-nominated horror epic.

Clive Barker's Next Testament Omnibus SC

Preview: Clive Barker’s The Great and Secret Show Deluxe Edition

Clive Barker’s The Great and Secret Show Deluxe Edition

Clive Barker, Chris Ryall (w) • Gabriel Rodriguez (a & c)

Clive Barker’s sprawling epic begins inside a Nebraska dead letter office, where Randolph Jaffe’s quest to possess the Art sets into motion a battle between the forces of light and dark. This lushly illustrated tale is equal parts horror, fantasy, and love by one of the masters of the genre. Also included is the horrific standalone tale, “Seduth,” as well as annotations by writer Chris Ryall and artist Gabriel Rodriguez.

TPB • FC • $29.99 • 336 pages • ISBN: 978-1-68405-489-3

Clive Barker’s The Great and Secret Show Deluxe Edition

Preview: Clive Barker’s Hellraiser Omnibus Vol. 1 SC

Clive Barker’s Hellraiser Omnibus Vol. 1 SC

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writers: Clive Barker with Mark Miller, Christopher Monfette, Robb Humphreys, Anthony Diblasi, and Brandon Seifert
Artist: Leonardo Manco, Jesús Hervás, Stephen Thompson, Janusz Odon, Michael Montenat, Ibrahim Roberson, André Stahl Schmidt, Giovanni P. Timpano, Marcio Henrique, Tom Garcia
Cover Artist: Tim Bradstreet
Price: $39.99

Clive Barker returns to tell a new chapter in the official continuity—a trajectory that will forever change the Cenobites… and Pinhead!

Dark Horse Ventures Into “The Dark North”

Dark Horse and Charles Wood Publishing AB are excited to terrify more readers with The Dark North! Originally crowdfunded for publication in 2016, this illustrated prose-art book fusion features five unique tales ranging from Norse mythology to apocalyptic science fiction to fantasy.

Writer Martin Dunelind composes The Dark North’s five enthralling tales. The Dark North showcases artwork by Scandinavia’s leading illustrators and concept artists—including Peter Bergting, Henrik Pettersson, Joakim Ericsson, Magnus Olsson, and Lukas Thelin. Lukas Thelin also creates the beautiful cover. With a foreword by author and filmmaker Clive Barker, this anthology is sure to delight and terrify any horror fan in equal measure.

The Dark North goes on sale September 27, 2017.

Preview: Clive Barker’s Nightbreed Archive Vol. 1 HC

Clive Barker’s Nightbreed Archive Vol. 1 HC

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writers: Clive Barker, D.G. Chichester, Alan Grant, John Wagner
Artists: Jim Baikie, Paul Johnson, Martin Emond, Jackson Guice, Alfred Ramirez, Bret Blevins, Mike Manley, Ricardo Villagrán
Cover Artist: Mike Mignola
Price: $44.99

Explore horror master Clive Barker’s ’90s cult-classic Nightbreed series like never before in this comprehensive hardcover archive collection.

Features the adaptation of Clive Barker’s original screenplay; year 1 of the original ’90s Nightbreed Epic comic run; and theHellraiser/Nightbreed crossover, all remastered and collected for the first time.

First appearing in the cult classic 1990 film, the Nightbreed is a tribe of monsters and outcasts who hide out from society in an underground community called Midian.

Features a Foreword written by D.G. Chichester.


Preview: Clive Barker’s Next Testament Vol. 3 TP

Clive Barker’s Next Testament Vol. 3 TP

Writers: Clive Barker & Mark Miller
Artist: Haemi Jang

In the final chapter of the Harvey Award-nominated epic, Tristan and Elspeth desperately race to a library in Providence, Rhode Island, where their only hope of defeating Wick awaits. Meanwhile, Wick finds a new apprentice and Julian’s final fate is revealed. Collects issues #9-12.


Preview: Clive Barker’s Nightbreed Vol. 1 TP

Clive Barker’s Nightbreed Vol. 1 TP

Authors: Clive Barker & Marc Andreyko
Artist: Piotr Kowalski

What’s to Love: Before Fables, before Once Upon a Time, Clive Barker created a secret city of With Clive Barker’s vision for Nightbreed finally released—Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut—this series gives readers the untold histories throughout time for the monsters of Midian that fans have been craving. The Nightbreed is a secret society of monsters and misfits that hide away from humans, but have been a part of this world since time immemorial. Explore both the past and the present of this clandestine tribe, unleashing new secrets and horrors as they fight to coexist with mankind. Collects issues #1-4.


Preview: Clive Barker’s Next Testament Vol. 2 TP

Clive Barker’s Next Testament Vol. 2 TP

Authors: Clive Barker & Mark Miller
Artist: Haemi Jang

The being known as Wick has been freed, and has begun delivering swift vengeance upon the world. But he’s not alone in his quest, as he gains acceptance and followers around the world—and crushes any that oppose him. Meanwhile, Tristan and Elspeth try to pick up the pieces in the wake of a devastating plane crash, and must survive the deadly obstacles thrown in their path as they weave their way through this new and inhospitable world. One of the most critically acclaimed horror comics in recent memory, this edition collects issues #5-8 of Horror Master Clive Barker’s latest epic, with help from co-writer Mark Miller (Hellraiser) and artist Haemi Jang (Hellraiser: The Road Below).


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