We all know that the big star of 1987’s Hellraiser is the cricket-eating homeless guy who turns into a skeletal winged creature at the end of the movie. Kidding! It’s Pinhead and his fancy box. I had the original poster for Hellraiser hanging on my closet door when I was 12-years-old up until I took it down and replaced it with one for Maniac Cop (a worthy replacement in my opinion).
To my surprise, I came to find out that there was an early promo poster for Hellraiser that looked nothing like the one above. It contained a quote from Stephen King regarding Clive Barker that said “I have seen the future of horror fiction, and his name is Clive Barker…” and included a different tagline as well: ‘There Are No Limits’. But the most jarring omission from this early promo poster was that Pinhead is nowhere to be found. Instead, we have a red demon with a spikey 80’s hairdo and sharp jagged teeth. And even though this red demon doesn’t appear in the film, I somehow kinda dig this poster.
Captain Obvious will tell you that the tagline for the promo poster is far inferior to ‘He’ll Tear Your Soul Apart’, but I love the red/black combo with a little white thrown in to balance everything out. It’s always a nice surprise to find an obscure poster for a beloved horror movie like Hellraiser, but at the same time I get why they made the decision to make Pinhead the star of the final poster. Quite a shame that the cricket-eating skeletal winged creature homeless guy couldn’t get any shine though. Just another sad horror movie injustice for the ages.