Thursday, July 2, 2009

The House of Hellraiser: Haute Couture, Hell-Style

Ah, Hellraiser. Everyone's seen it. Any possible review or dissection or general discussion has been done. It is an 80s classic, as is its sequel, and rightly so.

Then things started to get weird and dare I say, lame, and there were tie-ins to video games and bad cinematography and completely boring plots and bad acting and more lameness.

But before all that, we had The Originals, and to the fashion-minded, Hellraiser is probably THE most important horror franchise ever created. Why, you ask?

You see, what Hellraiser does is: establish the Official Wardrobe Of Hell.

Apparently, Hell is like going to the grungiest, filthiest, most underground Goth club evar, where there are potential serial killers and Real Vampyyyres and aspiring members of Jim Rose's Circus.

Except they have all spent FAR more money on their outfits than any of you pathetic townies in your Hot Topic miniskirts and Lip Service knockoffs. You can totally forget about winning that Miss Goth Princess title this year.

In order to be one of the Cool Kids, a.k.a. the Cenobites, you need to be wearing full-length high grade leather and PVC, custom stompy boots, and intricately constructed corsets/body armor.

Not to forget Tenebrous Kate's mandate of the HUGE Fucking Sunglasses.

There is also that little matter of creative self-mutiliation.

You don't see the Cenobites with any wimpy mainstream eyebrow piercings or barbed wire tattoos. Oh no. These guys are HARDCORE.

Just be careful not to remind any of them that they once used to be human (or had day jobs), because according to the second film, their totally awesomely cool leader with all the pins hammered into his head...

...suddenly turns into that sad balding creepy old guy trying to wear fetish gear and hit on all the nubile twentysomethings in the place, prompting general shrieks of "NO, NO!! PUT THE PINS BACK IN!!!

I kid. I should show some proper respect for Doug Bradley, who has been picking up steady paychecks for wandering around in SFX makeup sending people to hell for god knows how many bad Hellraiser spinoffs. And he does rock the WWI military look okay.

Then, obviously, there is the all-important "skinless" look, which is apparently par for the course but not all that cool in Hell.

Of course, fashion this extreme makes the hapless human characters look sick. Witness Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence) rocking the glam-metal hair and the Corey Feldman blazer-with-pushed-up-sleeves look:

Although to give her credit, she wears a skin-suit later on. When in Hell, and all that.

And there's Clare Higgins as Julia, who is supposed to be so beautiful that men are willing to drop their trousers the second she looks at them, but instead looks kind of like your really stressed out high school principal.

Unless your particular fetish is "Psycho Margaret Thatcher."

Still, in the second movie she gets a better hairstyle and wanders around in twist-style halter evening gowns.

Even when she is working the full-on-mummy look.

Now THAT is some primo Special Needs material, right there.


flightless said...

Just this morning, in a bit of synchronicity, I was pondering how to add to my novel-in-progress, at least by the time it gets optioned for the movies, a scene where two characters are going out to dinner and one is worried that he's not dressed properly, and the other one says don't worry, the maitre-d will lend you a jacket... and then they get there and it's a totally fabulous goth club, and the maitre-d lends him a Hellraiser coat.


The Costuminatrix said...

Flightless: I always like to think of the Neo from the Matrix vinyl coat as the cheapo Hot Topic knockoff version of the Hellraiser Pinhead coat.

Tenebrous Kate said...

>>Apparently, Hell is like going to the grungiest, filthiest, most underground Goth club evar

Indeed! And much like clubs of this sort, the Cenobites truly do benefit from Strategic Lighting, non?

Thought of the Moment: Skinless Julia kinda reminds me of a special-needs-sexy version of Slim Goodbody.