Road Rash Reviews

Hellraiser: Quartet of Torment 4K UHD Limited Edition Review*****

Cert 18 | 371 mins | 2023

5 star restoration of a delightfully dark horror collection.

Hellraiser: Quartet of Torment is a fantastic box set, which features the first four films from the magnificent Hellraiser franchise based on the stories of horror legend Clive Barker (Nightbreed, Candyman).

This release features brand new 4K restorations of all four films and is available to own in the UK on Limited Edition 4K UHD from 23rd October 2023 courtesy of Arrow Video. It is also available now on the Arrow streaming platform.

“No tears, please. It’s a waste of good suffering.”

The original film, Hellraiser, was released in 1987. Written and directed by Clive Barker, it introduced the world to a new kind of hell and a depth of imagination not seen before. Frank (Sean Chapman – A Mighty Heart, Joy Division) is a hedonist, always in search of the next big thrill. While in Morocco, he buys a puzzle box, which he eagerly brings home and solves in his attic. As chains fly out of the box, he is sucked into another dimension. Here he meets the Cenobites, a group of nightmarish creatures led by the enigmatic but terrifying Pinhead (Doug Bradley – The Exorcists, Back Fork), who enjoy the pleasures of the flesh in the truest sense of the word.

His brother Larry (Andrew Robinson – Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) moves into what he believes is his empty house, with his wife Julia (Clare Higgins – Ready Player One, The Convent), not realising she had an affair with Frank just before they were married. When Frank escapes from the Cenobites, Larry’s daughter Kirsty (Ashley Laurence – Red, Pomegranate) is all that stands between them and their own personal hell.

“The mind is a labyrinth, ladies and gentlemen, a puzzle. And while the paths of the brain are plainly visible, its ways deceptively apparent, its destinations are unknown. Its secrets still secret. And, if we are honest, it is the lure of the labyrinth that draws us to our chosen field to unlock those secrets.”

The second film in the series is Hellbound: Hellraiser II, written by Clive Barker and Peter Atkins (Wishmaster, Fist of the Northstar) and directed by Tony Randel (The Hybrids Family). Released in 1988, it takes place directly after the events of Hellraiser. It also shows us the birth of our favourite sadist, Pinhead.

Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) has been admitted to a mental institution where nobody believes her story (or so she thinks). But Dr. Channard (Kenneth Cranham – Layer Cake, Valkyrie) knows all about the puzzle box and when he hears about the mattress on which Julia (Clare Higgins) died, he wastes no time in having it sent to his home so he can resurrect her. This horrifying event is witnessed by  his assistant Kyle (William Hope –  Aliens, The Whistleblower) who now believes everything Kirsty has told them.

As luck would have it, Dr. Channard has another patient named Tiffany (Imogen Boorman – Dreamchild), who is both obsessed with and very good at, solving puzzles. Ideal when you have a LeMarchand’s Box and a desire to experience hell. Can Kirsty save the day yet again?

“Unbearable, isn’t it? The suffering of strangers, the agony of friends. There is a secret song at the center of the world, Joey, and its sound is like razors through flesh.”

Released in 1992, the third instalment is called Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth and is written by Peter Atkins and Tony Randel. This feature is directed by Anthony Hickox (Waxwork, Prince Valiant). Following Pinhead’s imprisonment at the end of the previous film, the Pillar of Souls has now come into the possession of nightclub owner J.P. Monroe (Kevin Bernhardt – Short Fuse, Shiner). Curiosity and poor decision making result in his freedom and this time it falls to reporter Joey (Terry Farrell – Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) to save the world from the terrors of the Cenobites and their brand of Hell. It introduces some of my own personal favourite cenobites and has lots of dark humour.

“Glorious, is it not? The creatures who walk its surface, always looking to the light, never seeing the untold oceans of darkness beyond. There are more humans alive today than in all of its pitiful history. The Garden of Eden. A garden of flesh.”

The fourth and final film to be endorsed by Clive Barker is Hellraiser: Bloodline. Released in 1996, it is written by Peter Atkins and directed by Kevin Yagher (Tales From the Crypt).

The film opens on Space Station Minos in 2127, where Dr. Paul Merchant (Bruce Ramsay – Alive, Behind the Candelabra) has hijacked the station for his own ends and been apprehended by Rimmer (Christine Harnos – Dazed and Confused). As he explains his motivations we are transported back in time to 1796 to meet the toymaker who started it all, Philip Le Marchand (Ramsay).

His commission piece for occultist Duc De L’Isle (Mickey Cottrell – My Own Private Idaho) opens the first portal for the minions of hell and summons the demon Angelique (Valentina Vargas – The Name of the Rose). In 1996, we see another descendant, architect John Merchant (Ramsay) who has built a tower block reflecting the Lamentation configuration. How are these people connected to Pinhead (Doug Bradley) and what is the end game?

“You have designed a machine that can bring forth demons. Then build one that can destroy them.”

This is an absolute belter of a box set. The brilliant practical effects are brought into their diabolical glory by this 4K restoration and in some cases you can probably see more than you would want to. They also sound better than ever, the screams have never sounded so heartfelt.

Packed with special features, this contains everything a horror/Clive Barker fan could possibly want (apart from a functioning LeMarchand’s Box, of course) and is definitely a must own, there are such sights to see here…

Hellraiser: Quartet of Torment is available to own in the UK on Limited Edition 4K UHD from 23rd October 2023 courtesy of Arrow Video. It is also available now on the Arrow streaming platform.


  • Brand new 4K restorations of all four films from the original camera negatives by Arrow Films
  • Ultra High Definition (2160p) presentations of all four films in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
  • Original lossless stereo and DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround audio for all four films
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Ages of Desire, an exclusive 200-page hardback book with new writing from Clive Barker archivists Phil and Sarah Stokes
  • Limited edition layered packaging featuring brand new Pinhead artworkDISC 1 – HELLRAISER
  • Brand new audio commentary featuring genre historian (and unit publicist of Hellraiser) Stephen Jones with author and film critic Kim Newman
  • Archival audio commentary with writer/director Clive Barker and actor Ashley Laurence, moderated by Peter Atkins
  • Archival audio commentary with writer/director Clive Barker
  • Power of Imagination – brand new 60-minute discussion about Hellraiser and the work of Clive Barker by film scholars Sorcha Ní Fhlainn (editor of Clive Barker: Dark Imaginer) and Karmel Kniprath
  • Unboxing Hellraiser – brand new visual essay celebrating the Lament Configuration by genre author Alexandra Benedict (The Beauty of Murder)
  • The Pursuit of Possibilities – brand new 60-minute discussion between acclaimed horror authors Paula D. Ashe (We Are Here To Hurt Each Other) and Eric LaRocca (Everything the Dark Eats) celebrating the queerness of Hellraiser and the importance of Clive Barker as a queer writer
  • Flesh is a Trap – brand new visual essay exploring body horror and transcendence in the work of Clive Barker by genre author Guy Adams (The World House)
  • Newly uncovered extended EPK interviews with Clive Barker and stars Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, and effects artist Bob Keen, shot during the making of Hellraiser, with a new introduction by Stephen Jones and Kim Newman
  • Original 1987 Electronic Press Kit
  • Being Frank: Sean Chapman on Hellraiser – archival interview with the actor
  • Under the Skin: Doug Bradley on Hellraiser – archival interview with the iconic actor about his first appearance as ‘Pinhead’
  • Soundtrack Hell: The Story of the Abandoned Coil Score – archival interview with Coil member Stephen Thrower
  • Trailers and TV spots
  • Image gallery
  • Draft screenplaysDISC 2 – HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II
  • Brand new audio commentary featuring Stephen Jones and Kim Newman
  • Archival audio commentary with director Tony Randel, writer Peter Atkins and actor Ashley Laurence
  • Audio commentary with director Tony Randel and writer Peter Atkins
  • Hell Was What They Wanted! – brand new 80-minute appreciation of Hellbound, the Hellraiser mythos and the work of Clive Barker by horror authors George Daniel Lea (Born in Blood) and Kit Power (The Finite)
  • That Rat-Slice Sound – brand new appreciation of composer Christopher Young’s scores for Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II by Guy Adams
  • Archival on-set interview with Clive Barker
  • Archival on-set interview with cast and crew
  • Behind the scenes footage
  • Being Frank: Sean Chapman on Hellbound – archival interview about the actor’s return to the role of Frank Cotton
  • Under the Skin: Doug Bradley on Hellbound – archival interview with the iconic actor about his second appearance as ‘Pinhead’
  • Lost in the Labyrinth – archival featurette featuring interviews with Barker, Randel, Keen, Atkins and others
  • Trailers and TV spots
  • Alternative Unrated version (contains standard definition inserts)
  • Brand new audio commentary featuring Stephen Jones and Kim Newman
  • Archival audio commentary with screenwriter Peter Atkins (Theatrical Cut only)
  • Archival audio commentary with director Anthony Hickox and actor Doug Bradley (Unrated Version only)
  • Previously unseen extended EPK featuring interviews with Clive Barker and Doug Bradley
  • FX dailies
  • Time with Terri – archival interview with actor Paula Marshall
  • Raising Hell on Earth – archival interview with director Anthony Hickox
  • Under the Skin: Doug Bradley on Hellraiser III – archival interview with the iconic actor about his third appearance as ‘Pinhead’
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Brand new audio commentary featuring screenwriter Peter Atkins, with Stephen Jones and Kim Newman
  • The Beauty of Suffering – brand new featurette exploring the Cenobites’ connection to goth, fetish cultures and BDSM
  • Newly uncovered workprint version of the film, providing a fascinating insight into how it changed during post production
  • Hellraiser Evolutions – archival documentary on the evolution of the franchise and its enduring legacy, featuring interviews with Scott Derrickson (director, Hellraiser: Inferno), Rick Bota (director, Hellraiser: HellseekerDeader and Hellworld), Stuart Gordon (director, Re-AnimatorFrom Beyond) and others
  • Books of Blood and Beyond: The Literary Works of Clive Barker – archival appreciation by horror author David Gatwalk of Barker’s written work, from The Books of Blood to The Scarlet Gospels
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Image gallery
  • Easter egg
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DirectorClive Barker, Tony Randel, Anthony Hickox, Kevin Yagher
AuthorClive Barker
StarringDoug Bradley, Nicholas Vince, Sean Chapman, Ashley Laurence, Terry Farrell