The first two Hellraiser films are, in this Hellraiser fan's humble opinion, the only two unimpeachably excellent entries in Clive Barker's long-running franchise. The rest of the sequels run the gamut between "borderline unwatchable" and "better than you'd expect," but as anyone who's ever had a conversation with a Pinhead ultra-fan will tell you, every Hellraiser fan's mileage seems to vary in terms of which is which ... and few entries in the series are as divisive as 1996's Hellraiser: Bloodline.
Regardless of how you feel about the film, Hellraiser: Bloodline is unquestionably one of the more unique entries in the franchise. It's the one that takes Pinhead to space, the one that features an impossibly young-looking Adam Scott in full-blown 1796 dandy mode (powdered wig and all), the one that's more-or-less an anthology film. Depending on where you stand, the wild swings Hellraiser: Bloodline takes might be features or bugs, though there's no wondering where the film's director, Kevin Yagher, stands on the theatrically-released version: he had his name removed, choosing instead to release the film under an "Alan Smithee" credit.
See, the powers-that-be at Dimension Films weren't so hot on Yagher's cut of the film, and their constant meddling ultimately caused him to walk from the project. Dimensions slashed roughly 25 minutes' worth of footage from that cut, went ahead and released it (with Yagher's preferred Alan Smithee credit), and presumably went right back to ignoring the Hellraiser IP for another ten months or so before hastily assembling another sequel in order to old onto the rights.
Anyway, here's the point: Arrow Video has a brand-new Hellraiser collector's set headed our way, one which includes each of the franchise's first four films in a 4K UHD set. Included amongst that lineup is Hellraiser: Bloodline ... and the never-before-seen "Workprint Version" of Yagher's film, which we assume will restore some of the footage Dimension unceremoniously removed from it. If you're the same kinda Hellraiser fan I am, this is very exciting news, indeed.
UPDATE: According to Arrow Video producer James Flower...
We're tickled pink to bring these films back, *and* in 4K, *AND* with Bloodline to boot! The workprint (*not* a Yagher cut, alas) which has an alternate score and some deleted scenes is a very interesting watch; will be interesting to see which version of the film people prefer! https://t.co/EfJyCtlaEj— James Flower (@jamesflowerfilm) July 28, 2023
The news comes to us from the good folks at Bloody Disgusting, whose report also reveals that Arrow's Hellraiser: Quartet of Torment set will include 4K restorations of each film, new commenatries, and "an exclusive 200-page hardback book with new writing from Clive Barker archivists Phil and Sarah Stokes," all wrapped up in one of the sharpest-looking packages I've seen recently. Take a look at this:
Listen, the inclusion of the Hellraiser: Bloodline Workprint Version alone makes this set a must-have for me (everything else is just a massive bonus). If you're in the same boat, be aware that you can pre-order Arrow's Hellraiser: Quartet of Torment set via their website as we speak (as Bloody Disgusting notes, this is a UK release but the discs are region-free); if you're still not convinced, head on over to BD's report for a more extensive look at all the goodies they've packed into this bad boy. From where I'm standing, there's something in here for Hellraiser fans of all stripes!