This Hellraiser Scene Hit Fans The Hardest

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“Hellraiser,” as one might imagine, had a lot of trouble with censorship given its extreme gore and massive amounts of gore; several shots of nudes and footage of violence had to be cut to avoid an “X” rating. There was also a scene in which the skinless Frank and Julia engaged in a sexual spanking that the ratings boards didn’t like too much. Clive Barker often incorporates explicit sexuality into his stories, frequently attributing magical qualities to human fluids.

It is clear now that the councils were unaware of his work.

One scene that managed to bypass censors and strained review boards was the revival scene at the end of the film’s first act. As Larry and Julia were walking back to their house, Larry digs his hand quite badly on a screw head. He wanders into the empty room where Julia dreamed of her and Frank, distraught at the sight of his own blood. As they both leave to go to the hospital, the camera lingers on Larry’s blood, pooling on the floor. Blood is drawn into the floorboards and activates a mysterious, shimmering, throbbing human organ under the floor which begins to seep into the room with a clear, viscous fluid. From a puddle of gelatinous human glop emerges a pair of arm-like bones. A brain slowly begins to form. The bones solidify when the arms fuse with the brain. A person slowly gathers.

As the scene ends, the top half of a partially formed Frank pulls himself up into the harsh light of the room, moaning like a newborn baby. He is alive again.

Frank’s revival is not a boring, mechanical affair. It looks like it took a lot of work for him to reassemble his body after a wave of near oblivion. Besides it looks like hurt. As if Frank’s very nerves were waking up just to feel the pain again. And, in keeping with the themes of the film, after experiencing a level of pain no one can imagine, the first thing Frank can think of next is asking for sex.

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