3 Dead Girls

3 Dead Girls

3deadgirls

Chris Broadstone recently edited together a collection of some of his short films, 3 Dead Girls. Overall, these three short films are some of the best micro budgeted shorts I have seen, and that opinion holds strong after screening many short film festivals over the years.
One of the limitation of short films is trying to squeeze an entire story within a very short period of time. With the 2000 short film, Scream For Me, it is readily apparent. We’re given much of the backstory through an extensive and well performed monologue by Gabriel Sigal until Tony Simmons steals the show with his Madman character. Because there was a lot of back story to quickly digest through narration, it may easily slip by how Broadstone perfectly paralleled the beginning scene between Gabriel Sigal and his victim and later when Simmons victimizes Sigal. However, there was no shortage of perversity, sadism, and industrial music to hold our attention for the ride. There were some bonus features which illuminated the behind the scenes fun. Apparently, many out-takes were due to Simmon’s inability to know how to use Duct tape, and I quite enjoyed watching him make the tape completely unusable while never missing a cue or a line.

tony_simmons_my_skin
My Skin is another collaboration between Tony Simmons and Chris Broadstone as well as the final entry, Human No More. Tony Simmon’s transforms from his Madman trucker persona to a pale skinned figure of death incarnate. This story functions more of a final act to a New England Gothic story, as we come upon Death finally having revenge on a killer who keeps messing up his Date of Death ledger. Broadstone, with a micro budget, used the mise-en-scene combined with Simmons performance to create an unsettling sense. However, with such a short story I was kept wanting. I also couldn’t help but think that this incarnation of Death was a precursor to Broadstone’s Puzzleman novel which explores this creepy atmosphere in much more depth and detail.
Human No More is a confessional from a burnt out homicide detective. Broadstone zooms in on the final moments before the detective relinquishes his soul in order to carry on the good fight against evil. This story is very much about surrendering morals. If given a proper amount of time and budget, it’s easy seeing this unfolding into a mashup between Exorcist III and Fallen. Once again, it’s amazing how much insight Chris is able to reveal in such a limited budget and schedule. Despite setting up time, it’s a wonder how he was able to envision these creative and stylized shots. Although the monologue focuses solely on Tony Simmon’s character, he still manages to set up multiple points of view and even one that is presumably of the detective’s inner demon.

chris broadstone
3 Dead Girls is a fun compilation of short horror movies. Along with the films, this release also comes with enough extra content such as behind the scenes footage, interviews, and commentaries to justify picking it up. I, for example, enjoyed listening to the banter between Broadstone and Simmons. Also, despite the packaging and name, these horrors don’t fall on the extreme/snuff side of the genre, so there’s no reason to be timid to show these among a diverse crowd of friends. These gothic films are perfect for a fright night party.

Advertisements

Jake’s Road Interview

Seedy Review recently caught up with Mike Mayhall to talk to him about his new Slasher film, Jake’s Road.

road202620name20-20dark

Hello, Mike. Please tell us a little about yourself and Mayhem Productions.

Hello All …
Where to start? I grew up outside of New Orleans. A city of large character, filled with characters. I starting studying theatre in high-school … went to college for it … and I have never looked back. I started Mayhem Productions when I was living in Orlando, FL. We did improv comedy sword fighting shows. It was a super fun and creative time in my life. At some point I moved to Los Angeles with the want to work in Film. Then Louisiana’s film industry started booming and moved back home. With one goal. Make movies. And, I am happy to say … that’s what I am doing.

 

Besides Jake’s Road, what has been your favorite or most challenging experience of your career?

I can’t choose just one. It’s been a career filled with great memories. And, hopefully tons more. Each project is my favorite. Each experience challenging. I can say this. Every time I stepped into a new arena it was a challenge. When I went from a stage actor to wanted to produce my own live stunts shows … challenging. When I decided I wanted to do stunts in movies and TV … challenging. Making my own film. Very challenging. It’s when ever, I think, anyone steps out of their comfort zone towards a bigger goal or a bigger dream. And, I guess that’s why everything is my favorite. Because I keep trying to move forward.

 

Can you tell us about the conception and development of Jake’s Road?

I started to focus on Jake’s Road when I moved from Los Angeles back to New Orleans. I wanted to do a thriller and horror movie, because I just love the genre. But, I wanted it to be intelligent and suspenseful, rather than hack and slash. I also wanted it to have personal meaning beyond the story.
I spent many of my younger days at my stepfather’s hunting cabin out in the backwoods of Folsom, LA. A place simply called, ‘The Camp’. It sits on 250 acres of land next to a small stream and is ideal for a horror movie. It’s a place where your imagination can run wild. It was the site of some epic parties. It was an escape from the everyday and was filled with so many wild tales of the unexplainable that they bordered on supernatural.
It was also the birthplace of an old campfire story about a hired hand, named Jake, who went crazy one night and took revenge on the former owners of The Camp. So, I guess you could say Jake’s Road is one half my twisted imagination and one half stories and events from my youth.
But, the story of Jake’s Road is so much more than that. All that is just the back drop. It’s got some great acting, some fun action and twists that are just soul crushing.
I think, as with anything, if you love what you do it shows through. That’s an old adage from my theater days. If you are having fun, if you enjoy you’re performance the audience will enjoy it as well. I just happen to enjoy thrillers …

 

Did anybody else help collaborate with the development?

Everyone helped. I would have been lost with out my fellow producer and long time friend Tim Bell. We started sword fighting together back in Florida and we always talked about doing a film together. So, when the time came I called him first. He also played ‘MIKE’ in the film.
It amazed me how supportive everyone was. From start to finish. And, what I really love is that everyone because a little family. We all still talk today and hang out and support each other. I think that friendship shows in the film. Everyone gave their all, take after take.

 

How long did it take to go from concept to final cut?

Once I had the script done … it happened rather quick. I wrote it over the course of a few months. It was my only focus. Then we hit pre-production and to be honest that was a bit of a blur. It involved hurricane’s, cancellations moving shooting dates, locations being flooded. It was a mess. The actual shooting went great. Super smooth. Then I guess about 4 months after we wrapped he had a final cut.

 

There are a lot of beautiful and brutal shots in the forest. Where was this filmed?

We filming in South Louisiana. And that comes through. Especially when you film in the more rural areas. When those cicadas start up it adds another layer to the world. Something you can feel. Those deep woods. Where there is no where to run for safety.
Night in Louisiana is my favorite. It’s warm with a breeze and teeming with life. You are surrounded by an orchestra. Actually, at times the cicadas and crickets got so loud we couldn’t film. They drowned out the actors.

 

Was it challenging to travel to and film in a dense remote location?

It wasn’t that tough. We had big pick up trucks. Everyone loaded up and off we went.

 

What equipment did you use?

We shot, believe it or not, on a 5D camera. We had a great DP and sound department that made us look like a million bucks.

 

The knife attack scenes were very brutal. What are some of your favorite kill shots?

I have two favorites … I don’t want to give them away, but if you’ve seen it, you’ll know what I am talking about. One is with the main characters. When Sam and Kay stubble across a killing. It’s just macabre. Their slow realization of whats happening. The other is after the group is divided and running. And the killer starts hunting. That’s a brutal, bone crunching hard one to watch.

 

How did you conceive them?

I have a twisted warped imagination.

 

Can you share any information on upcoming projects?

Sure … I have written to full on action films. I am hoping to get them off the ground next year. One I have written for Leticia Jimenez, who plays Kay in Jake’s Road. It’s a darker action film. Think Smoking Aces meets Saw. And the other is an action fantasy.
Where can people watch Jake’s Road?

It’s an easy rental on iTUNES or Amazon. All follow us on twitter. And see the trailer at www.jakesroadthemovie.com

Thanks!
This was fun.

Nightmare Code Interview with Mark Netter Pt. 1

Recently, PPF and SeedyReview got a chance to sit down with Mark Netter, the director of Nightmare Code, and talked in depth about Nightmare Code and horror movies in general. The podcast can be listened to over at PPF.

You can also go here and read the Seedy Review of Nightmare Code.

Nightmare Code can be watched over at Steam, Vimeo, and many other streaming services and is definitely worth checking out.

PPF: We have MARK NETTER, the director of Nightmare Code, and we actually get to talk to him about the nature of movie and what his intent was. So, where you from?

MARK: Oh gosh, originally I’m from my outside of Albany New York, a town called Delmar New York. I’m actually happy to say that this past month we did a hometown screening in Albany, and we got a great turnout.

PPF: Awesome, did everyone like the movie?

MARK: Yeah, they seem to. It’s funny because a lot of them were my parents friends. We actually had the oldest average age audience. Because the movie has a kind of interesting visual style where for at least half the movie we’re using four images at once on a surveillance monitor and I really wondered how it would play out. If people see it in their teens or 20s they got no problem. I have kids that are 12 and 15. They watched TV with a devices in their hands. But believe it or not, it went really really well.
We got a tremendous set of questions in the Q&A afterwards and great compliments, and I think it worked.

PPF: And we really I enjoyed it, as well.

MARK: Thank you so much.

PPF: We think it’s always fun to explore the antagonist, especially when it comes to Horror. So, maybe start off talking about the AI and explore that a little?

MARK: Sure, let me take you back to the original concept. The whole movie grew out of an initial concept which was when I worked in the video game industry years ago. I am not a programmer. The movie takes place in a troubled startup trying to finish this behavior recognition program called Roper, and it’s called Roper because it ropes in all the video in the area. We came with an acronym for it as well, but it’s not as interesting. and I actually been put on the spot to come up with that and I kinda forget the whole thing.
What was interesting was the idea that before I started in the business I thought if you had two programmers of similar skill and gave them a task to perform, like creating elevator programmer or a calendar app, that the code would look side-by-side 90% similar maybe 95%. It turns out it’s not true at all. Any programmer will tell you that different programmers solve problems different ways and build things differently. What that means is that deep inside of your programs in your computer, your phone, the DOS kernel that’s hidden inside Windows, which goes back to the late 70s early 80s, there is the personality of a programmer that expresses logic, just like a film-maker would be expressed in shots and editing and music choices and things like that. Our idea was well what if that logic and personality were sentient and what if it was extremely pissed off? That was the core idea behind Nightmare Code.
Then I guess the antagonist in the movie is really the program, ROPER. They’re desperately trying to finish it, but it doesn’t seem to want to be finished. The program is writing its own code. Then there’s some question as to whether or not the original architect of the of the program was an old programmer from the old days, a guy named Foster Cotton and this is gonna be his last hurrah. As you learn during the movie and before the movie starts, Cotton had gone on a murder suicide rampage at the start-up. He started killing the top executives who he felt was lying to him about certain things. Then he kills himself.
The question as the movie goes on is whether or not this code is taking on a greater intelligence. Not only can it recognize people’s behaviors and interpret what they’re thinking and feeling, but it is sort of modifying the behavior and starting to resemble those who are closest to the programmers working on it, as well as resemble that of the dead programmer. The question is are you just dealing with a super brilliant artificial intelligence that Cotton created? Or, Did Cotton’s personality or soul in some way enter the machine, and is he the true antagonist that you’re up against. Hopefully with the movie you’ll have an opinion But I hope it’s also ambiguous enough that it’s something you could argue about or discuss afterwards.

PPF: In my reading, when he became part of the computer he lost his humanity. Is that what your intent was? Once you digitize yourself, you lose your physical form and some aspects of your humanity?

MARK: I love that. You know, it’s funny like a part of me is the film-maker and I don’t want to give you all the answers. But I think what you’re bringing up are incredibly great questions to explore.
So, here’s a couple different things about it. One of them, is there is a good question of why Cotton is so bitter and so angry that he’s being betrayed that this program is being outsourced and that other people will be finishing it. You know, if his soul does enter the machine or he programs his soul into the machine in some way which I wanted it as, I tend to lean more toward your camp although not all of the people who worked on the movie would agree with you. Maybe that it is just an anger that just continues on.
I love this idea about the loss of humanity because of what the title Nightmare Code is actually inspired by. To me, it has three different meanings. One of them is obviously working on computer code that’s very difficult. Sometimes programmers are brought on to work on someone else’s code. Those programmers will always say that the code is written really badly. They’ll say it’s spaghetti code, it’s all over the place, or in our case it’s Nightmare Code. It’s also reference to one my favorite film noir. It is a really dark movie called Nightmare Alley. I’m gratified to see if you do a search on Amazon for Nightmare Code usually Nightmare Alley is right after it. I even took a screen shot of it. Then, the third thing is the idea that I think all movies are about codes of behavior and that at some level you figure out in the first 5 to 20 minutes of the movie who are the good guys who are the bad guys and why are they good. Depending on the type of movie, you may be rooting for the mafia guy who is the better one of the mafia guys. You might be rooting for Clint Eastwood out there killing people. I think that you know the set of values and codes. I think that what Nightmare Code is kind of saying is that the human codes of behavior, those things that for centuries bound us together, are being loosened or changed. Maybe our humanity, like you’re saying, in the characters are metaphors for being lost because of our interactions with technology.
The example that I like giving is; all these guys who think that somehow they are going to get away with cheating on their spouses by going on AshleyMadison.com. Until the day that, just like Roper, Ashley Madison betrays them and their names are released to the public. Not AshleyMadison itself but the hackers who manipulated the technology. For example, in the movie the main character is Brett Desmond who is this young programmer that is brought in after Foster’s done this horrible act. He’s the one guy, the one programmer left in the office trying to fix it. He’s sleeping in the office. He’s away from home. He is desperate to help finish this because of problems in his own past. He’ll be on Skype or a video chat with his wife and daughter who’re halfway across the country in Chicago. The great thing just like with our Skype call right now is technology enables us to be connected in ways that we never could prior to the existence of things like Skype. By that same token, it can also be very distancing and can provide the sense of “well, they’re really over there, so it doesn’t matter what I do over here”. Or, it can provide a sense of loneliness. They can engender a sense of loneliness that I can say good night to my kid but I can’t kiss her, I can’t give her a hug or I can’t be sleeping in bed with my wife. Sometimes I think technology can emphasize that sense of loneliness. I really do think we’re asking the question is technology not only getting beyond our control but is it changing the way we behave. Is it loosening those bonds.

PPF: The one that we really dug about this movie was that your protagonist wasn’t a clean-cut character. He wasn’t your traditional protagonists. He wasn’t a hero. We have seen this guy before in the real world.

MARK: I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to reveal that this past him to be involved in some sort of whistleblowing. I think it’s a good question as to whether or not that was a good or bad thing to do. I mean, there is obviously laws that he is broken and things that he’s in hot water for. Supposedly if he helps finish this program, everything will be okay. I think the tragedy of Nightmare Code is Brett Desmond. He is played by Andrew J Wester who did a great job. People, and your fans may know from The Walking Dead where he played Garrison in Terminus.
This guy is a brilliant programmer and in a sense he is the best guy for this job, but the question the movie asks is can anybody beat technology, can anyone beat ROPER? Even the best guy… to avoid giving away the movie but it takes a pretty dark view.
There are also things in his personality that we want to be kind of R-rated, you know? You don’t know if he’s completely good or completely bad. I mean, there’s this way he’s somewhat dismissive when he’s talking to his Indian counterpart. He’s the company our optics is now outsourced almost all the programming to except for Brett over to India. There’s some moments he is dishonest. He doesn’t particularly take good care of himself. He is using some chemicals to stay awake at work late nights. I just like that because I think most of us and believe we’re good people but everybody’s got some sort of secret. Everybody’s got different sides to them depending on the situation, certainly depending on the amount of pressure you’re put under.

PPF: Would you say knowledge is one of the corrupting factors in this story?

MARK: You know that’s kinda like a real Adam and Eve thing, right? It’s like the whole idea that the Apple was knowledge and that somehow they got the knowledge of their nakedness and then suddenly down comes the garden or they were kicked out of the garden. I think that’s really kind of interesting idea.
We were kinda going with the idea with Cotton. That you never know who’s watching you. I think we live lives now where even in private we have to be careful of what were doing isn’t being publicized in some fashion. Since we started working on the movie and telling people about it, other people tell me that they cover up the camera on their laptop or their computer. Unless they want to be seen and they flip-up a piece of cardboard, but they keep it covered.
But, I think you’re kinda right in a way. I think it’s kind of a cool horror movie thing to write. The the familiar classic horror idea is Bluebeard. Bluebeard gets his young wife and says, “you can go to any place in my home you like. I’m going out on a business trip or hunting trip or whatever it is just don’t go in to that room, okay? If you stay out of that room everything will be okay, and of course she goes into that room. She finds mutilated previous wife corpses. She drops the key. The key gets blood on it. She can’t get the blood off. She comes out. She thinks that she’s okay and locks the door. Bluebeard comes home and within five minutes he knows that she’s been in there and that’s going to be curtains for her. So I think that’s kind of our horror idea of be careful what you want to know. Maybe that’s our way of doing it in Nightmare Code.
Also, if you’re an audience member, you know that the way we kind of ended up showing what happened and the actual massacre that Foster did is we find out when Brett does. Brett gets onto Foster’s computer because he has to at a certain point look for previous builds because his old and new ones are getting corrupted. He finds the videos that Foster has saved on his computer around and even after Foster’s death. The one that Brett finds one that’s a whole point of view sequence for Foster going to the office and basically extracting his revenge on people. Each time he comes across somebody, it’s in a sensor of ROPER. The technology is making a decision and you see it based on how they’re interpreted with it whether they’re friendly or whether they’re angry or they are somebody that Foster is gonna want to kill or not. He makes his decisions about who he’s going to pick off and who he is not going to pick off. To some people who are fans of the movie it is a sense of justice. They almost agree with him about his choices which is crazy, but I think that what is really fun for the audience is you’re kind of seeing it go through Foster’s eyes and are also seen through Brett’s eyes, because he’s watching it at the same time and getting just as shocked as you are. Then you’re watching through your own eyes as well, so you’re getting a triple vision going on. There’s a lot of knowledge coming at you very very quickly.

Nightmare Code (2014)

NIGHTMARECODE

Nightmare Code is part of the Techno Horror genre that takes aim at the dangers of AI or technological dependancy while captivating the audience with unnerving tension balanced with twitch style editing.

The Techno Horror genre flourished in the early nineties with movies like Lawnmower Man or franchises like Terminator or Cyborg. However, due to budget restraints or poor execution the genre quickly went dormant. After all, this was a genre where it was ok to hit stop before the final act. Twenty years later, society has AI on the horizon and is struggling with its addiction to technology. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise the Techno Horror genre is being revitalized. Nightmare Code is one of the newest additions to the genre.

Largely, it’s shot and edited together, and using fixed camera perspectives giving us the illusion of watching everything through security cameras or webcams. Often, each scene cycles through a four-panel grid giving the audience a lot of information to digest. The pacing of these scenes and edits keeps our eyes glued to the screen absorbing every detail looking for clues. In addition, the panels are often out of chronological sequence with one another. The camera will also focus on protagonists and points of interests. This creates the unsettling revelation that everything we’re seeing is subjective, and someone or something is behind our monitor’s controls. This is much similar to My Little Eye where the audience becomes voyeurs while trying to unravel the who-done-it mystery.

Because of the unforgiving nature of the camera style, it’s unfair to assess the actors’ performances. There are times that the acting seems awkward or comical because of the camera’s high-low direction. On the other hand, much of the script’s character development is done through philosophical dialogue, which can go from thought provoking to superfluous in a single breath. That isn’t to say all the characters aren’t well done. This movie provided the antagonist with an original and very eery character arc. One of the highlights of the film was when it put us in the POV of the antagonist, Foster, via techno sunglasses and is able to provide a jaded understanding for the character.

The movie juggled a lot of paranoid themes against technology and it struggled to focus on just one. However, it decided to settle upon society’s desire to become immortalized through our technological avatars and the willingness to sacrifice our real lives and our connection to everyone around us. Although Nightmare Code’s final act stumbled with pacing, struggled with its lofty idea, and broke its camera style, it was able to push the audience to a satisfactory finish.

Human Centipede (2009)

In 2009 Tom Six released HCa film everyone knows, few have watched, and nobody wants to see. Human Centipede reminds us of the exploitation era of the seventies where films like Last House on the Left, Cannibal Holocaust and Salo were considered too shocking to watch. Unlike other modern Torture Porn movies like Hostel II or the Saw franchise, Human Centipede slows the pacing down thereby dancing on the razor’s edge between body horror and torture porn.
Is it sadistic or entertaining to watch? It is definitely entertaining. One can’t ignore the deliberate framing and composition of every shot. This isn’t a shaky cam running through a film makers sadistic imagination. From scenes of deep green’s and reds to warm amber tones, we view Tom Six painting with colors and always directing our visual focus. This even includes using paintings of bloody siamese twins. It’s pleasing when we can tell we’re moving to the next sequence simply due to a detailed shot composition.
The story focuses on Dr. Heiter, a sadistically evil doctor of Nazi proportions. Dieter Laser’s performance of Dr. Heiter is beyond extraordinary. His body language is so masterful there are times we can see rage boiling beneath his skin. One of the truly terrifying moments is when he is coaxing Ashley C. Williams’ character, Lindsay, out of her hiding place. His life is dedicated to realizing his fantasy of creating conjoined creatures, such as siamese twins or a Human Centipede, and that is the premise. A body horror premise that is so simple but it carries enough weight to gross out and scare people away from ever watching it. Yes, there is definitely a moment one may pause and wonder if it’s the Deep Throat for those with the scatological fetish. Maybe, it would be if it lacked the previously mentioned technical skill and the theme wasn’t about pain.
The theme is where we edge back against the torture porn. The genre isn’t about the actual infliction of pain and suffering. Rather, it’s about isolation and submission. Them not being able to fight back or has any power to stop their conjoined fate is terrifying. Then, when reality starts to settle in, we realize this self proclaimed doctor lacks the ability to successfully pull off this experiment. This is one of the most mature aspects of the writing. When we begin, we’re given an absurdist movie, there’s a shot of a guy mourning his three conjoined dogs, and we visit the lives of the two melodramatic girls. However, as the story progresses, we see the colors fade into a sterile white and the operation becomes more documentary style. There’s an unnerving scene of the doctor formally explaining their procedure while an unmic actor screams in the background giving it more of that “this could happen to you” tone.
Although our victims go to a point of no return, our catharsis is delivered because of Dr. Heiter’s ego. After he takes on godhood, we watch his ego stumble and become careless. One could easily imagine all the problems going wrong with this doctor’s conjunction and procurement of victims. However, there are no quick endings in this tale of madness, for not even a bullet to the head promises a quick death. In the end, the slower pacing made sure this movie never pushed to extreme shock, and the high production quality and great performances continue to make it a horror that shouldn’t be ignored.

Horns (2014) Review

horns-horror-and-humor

Alexander Aja, Joe Hill, and Keith Bunin pulled together to create a Gothic romance called Horns. Iggy, played by Daniel Radcliffe, is accused of murdering his childhood sweetheart and future fiancée, Merrin who is played by Juno Temple. One of the unique parts of this story is Iggy is developing devil horns which entices people to ask Iggy if they can act out their darkest desires. Although this ability creates some great laugh out loud moments, the story largely focuses on the mystery of who killed Merrin. The story follows a duel narrative structure. One takes place in the present and follows Iggy uncovering clues. Solving the murder will help prove Iggy’s innocence and create an opportunity for him to enact his revenge. As Iggy follows the trail of breadcrumbs we discover nobody believes Iggy is innocent. The horns, bringing out the worst in people, forces Iggy into many awkward confrontations, especially amongst his immediate family and friends. The second narrative interweaves in and out of the present. Although it’s a tonal shift from the present day, it’s justified because it focuses on the blossoming romance between Iggy and Merrin. The greatest part about Horns is how each flashback will give more information which will completely change the context of both the present and past. This Memento-esque style enhances the rewatchability. When it comes to directing, this is Alexander Aja’s best yet. Every shot and frame was beautiful. The camera work kept the viewer interested in every aspect of the action. Each scene was well paced and wouldn’t linger too long. Daniel Radcliffe’s performance ran the gamut and was believable every step of the way. Watching Radcliffe’s transformation from lover to devil felt genuine and enhanced the tragic tone of the story. Overall, this was a captivating story which showed what it would take to awaken the devil hidden inside all of us. However, the narrative never gets weighted down by becoming too lovesick or preachy. The pacing flows smoothly and naturally. This gothic horror also showcases Aja and Radcliffe’s range of talent as well as new comers Hill and Bunin’s ability to craft a fresh take on a familiar tale of tragic romance.

Hellraiser (1987) Review

hellraiser2

In the fall of 1987 Clive Barker reshaped the erotic horror genre with his sadomasochistic Hellraiser. Unlike the previous decades Hammer Films, Barker used eroticism to flesh out the duality between pleasure and pain. Although each scene built upon the character’s sexuality, they were overshadowed by the painful depictions of gore and torture. Although Clive Barker uses a lot of religious symbolism, much of the story as well as editing focuses on the dichotomy between pleasure and pain. Furthermore, as the story progresses, the iconic Hellraiser puzzle box becomes synonymous with Pandora’s box, the box which contains all the evils and forbidden desires of the world. The tragic personification of this is embodied by Clare Higgin’s character Julia. We learn Julia had fallen in love with the seductive evil brother in law Frank. Some time later, she is confronted again by Frank, explaining to her, she must help him in order to save his life. Keep in mind she is being told this by a Frank who is now little more than a sticky body consisting of little more than bloody tendons and bone, and saving him involves her seducing men and killing them so Frank may feast on their body. Consequently, we watch Julia’s state of mind slip into a constant state of anxiety and fear. In addition, we see her personality go from being timid towards blood and violence to deriving pleasure from them. As she becomes more of a succubus, Julia pulls further away from her own sense of humanity and autonomy. Meanwhile, the story also follows Kirsty, whose sexuality and adulthood is being awakened. This is depicted by her finally moving out of her father’s house, drinking alcohol, and making love to a boy before she confronts her stepmother. Kirsty’s Elektra complex leads to her stealing the puzzle box and being told by her doctor to open it. As she playfully opens the box, we see a curious cliché montage of flowers blooming. This symbolism suggests Kirsty has bloomed into adulthood and literally only hell follows. Although the underworld of Hellraiser and Kirsty will be explored more in the future installments, Julia’s tragic path was perhaps the most focused and seductive aspects of the original. Barker’s Hellraiser use of symbolism, extreme violence, sensuality, helped illustrate a fresh take on a female’s path towards the Original Sin. This combined with Christopher Young’s score and the production created a timeless erotic horror.