First things first. When I say this is a touching love story, I mean touching as in poignant. Not that kind of touching, although there is some of that too. Also, I think it’s wise to have actually seen Hellraiserbefore reading the following. I won’t be explaining the plot much, I’m not your mother. Not that I can imagine “explaining the plot of Hellraiser” is high on that many mothers’ list of things to do.
On to the movie.
I don’t think anyone loves the idea of going to hell. It’s much more convenient to have hell come to you, like a pizza. I think that’s the general premise of Hellraiser – it’s like a satanic pizza delivery service, but instead of pizza, they deliver endless pain and suffering.
But there is more to Hellraiser than hell. Okay, it’s a bit about hell, but it’s more about two people and their One True Love™. With a slight PG edit, it would fit nicely on Lifetime or somewhere similarly awful. Once we take out all the horrible stuff about paper cuts etc, we are left with the story of two star crossed lovers whose bond is so strong it can cross the line between life and death.
Meet Julia and Frank…
The one on the left is Julia. Julia, in case you didn’t know, is a hell version of Public Access TV star Sondra Prill. Anyone with such robust shoulder pads deserves true love, right?
Why we should feel sorry for Julia at this point:
1. Trapped in a loveless boring marriage with the boring… I’ve forgotten his name. Roger?
2. That hair.
3. Her One True Love™ , Frank, accidentally died so they can’t have an affair anymore.
5. She misses Frank and all the sex they used to have.
This last point is demonstrated by a series of flashbacks, including one of her boring wedding day, where she has sex with Frank instead of with boring Larry…
Note that this is the first time she’s ever met Frank, and within ten seconds they’re having sex. This proves that Frank is her One True Love™
Unfortunately, Julia and Frank can’t carry on having an affair, because Frank goes away and buys a box. I hate men who do that. As it turns out, this box doesn’t contain nice things like chicken nuggets or glitter; rather it opens a portal to hell.
Long story short: Frank goes to hell, presumably dying in the process (we’ll come to that later). Julia is all sad, as now she’ll just have to carry on being married to boring Larry, and doing the stuff boring Larry likes to do. I think this is stuff like Crown Green Bowling and visiting Netto to see if there are any dented tins on offer.
Understandably, Julia is not happy, but she tries to make the best of it by buying a haunted house. I think this used to be Frank’s house. This may or may not be relevant later.
She even allows boring Larry’s eyebrow-ridden daughter, Kirsty, to stay. Kirsty makes no secret of the fact that she hates Julia, which makes Julia even nicer in my book. You know what I’d have done? I’d have made Kirsty sleep in the shed with the ladders.
Later on, boring Larry cuts his hand on one of the boring things he’s doing, and his blood somehow brings Frank back from hell. This also makes a bunch of goths appear. As far as I can tell, their main purpose in the film is to recruit people for their weird goth party back in hell.
They’re not important, so we’ll skip their antics.
What does all this have to do with our doomed love affair? Well, reopening the portal to hell means that Frank can get back to Earth, and also to Julia. Unfortunately, while he’s been in hell he hasn’t been keeping up with his ‘cleanse, tone, moisturise’ routine…
As a side note: I was once in the audience of Trisha(DO NOT JUDGE ME), and I’d burned my face and eyelids on a sunbed the day before. Pretty sure I looked like this.
This next bit, then, backs up my entire theory. This is how I know that Julia and Frank had True Love™, instead of just a middle-aged session of knocking their bits together. Julia still loves Frank, despite him now being a skinless hell demon. It takes her about a minute and a half to get over the initial shock, and the ‘Well why didn’t you call me? What they don’t have phones in hell?’ stuff, and to start being completely at ease with Frank’s makeover.
That is True Love™ right there. My boyfriend once had a Tom Selleck moustache for an entire day, so I know what I’m talking about.
I would have preferred it if there had been a comedy/action montage showing Julia trying to disguise Frank in various ways. Perhaps she could have purchased a selection of comedy wigs for him, or try to sneak him out of the house disguised as a washerwoman.
You know what else proves that Julia loves Frank? She goes out and kills a bunch of people for him, so he can borrow their skin or something. Admittedly, she might just like murdering people. Incidentally, she picks up her first victim at a supermarket deli counter. Who does that? I certainly don’t. I mean, not that I’ve ever had victims, just that if I did I’d look somewhere other than the cheese section of Sainsbury’s.
Okay, since viewing that bit again I’ve realised that’s not the Sainsbury’s deli counter, it’s just a rubbish bar. But my point still stands.
At this point we have a pretty strong case for Julia and Frank being properly in love with each other. If he’s been a bit of a dick to her in the past it’s because of his commitment to the box, and also to being a bit of a dick. But he loves her now, because he needs her to kill people for him. This should not be questioned, it’s just how True Love™ works.
Let’s not forget, she’s currently trapped her boring marriage with boring Larry.
This is causing her all sorts of health problems, such as insomnia and piles (probably).
Anyway, the two go about resurrecting their One True Love™ , but are foiled by the eyebrowed Kirsty, who thinks she knows best. She does not. Whatever, she wants to foil them. Frank isn’t happy. Julia isn’t happy. I isn’t happy.
Also, Kirsty really hates homeless people. We know this because she follows them around, scowling at them. This shows us that Kirsty is evil, and that Julia is even more right for trying to abolish her.
Back to Frank. He’s making progress; he’s now wearing a shirt. This is thanks to Julia’s relentless commitment to his rehabilitation, because he is her One True Love™. I’m assuming this, it might just be that he was naked before because he’d become a nudist in hell. I’m choosing not to believe this.
While all this is going on, just in case you doubt Frank’s love for Julia, here is his reaction when he catches her being humped by boring Larry…
So that’s that cleared up. Although to be fair, I get that expression on my face when I get back from the supermarket and realize I’ve forgotten the teabags.
Next bit. Eyebrow Kirsty somehow gets hold of the box (or maybe she had it all along. Who am I, the Hellraiser police?) and threatens to throw it out of the window. Because this will somehow manage to banish all the evil for good.
Then Kirsty has some dealings with the hell people, but really she just wants everyone to pay attention to her, so we won’t. We’ll stay on topic with the Julia and Frank love story. Frank kills boring Larry (I missed where, I was on Twitter) and nicks his skin. So now, whenever boring Larry is being even vaguely interesting, it’s because it’s not really Larry, it’s Frank. You can tell it’s Frank because he tries to have sex with Kirsty. This is okay, he still loves Julia, he’s just trying to have sex with Kirsty to annoy Kirsty (and also because Julia is right there, and she’d kick him in the bum if he tried anything).
Sadly, even after a bitch fight between Julia and Kirsty, Kirsty (with the help of her pathetic boyfriend) somehow manages to defeat all of hell with her eyebrows, and destroy the box. Git. This bit brings the goths from earlier back to show off their piercings. They then proceed to show off by taking Frank back to hell. The could have just magicked him away, like they do in the films, since this is a film. But noooo, they have to pierce his arms and knob and stuff, just to show off.
I didn’t want to include a picture of this bit, as it’s not very nice and goes against the theme of Julia and Frank’s True Love™, so I’ve gone with a picture of Netto instead.
The goths do win for a bit though, managing to nick Frank (who doesn’t want to go with them, I’m so surprised) and take him back to hell, where he will spend his time playing Boggle and stubbing his toe. Thus Julia and Frank’s One True Love™ is scuppered for the time being. I cried when this bit happened. I did the same when I watched Love Actually, but for different reasons.
Things move on in Hellraiser 2, but I’m not here to talk about Hellraiser 2. I’m not here to talk about anything really, I just managed to hack into the site for a bit.