Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Making a HELLRAISER Musical?

I'm a regular participant in the Concellation Facebook group created to provide people who would have attended conventions canceled due to COVID with a social outlet. In late December I adapted my blog post about how Labyrinth is Hellraiser for kids into a YouTube video and posted it in the group. Someone asked if Hellraiser had a musical number, what would it look like? My response was that you could actually make a full-blown Hellraiser musical.

So here's where I plot out a Hellraiser musical. Some ideas for songs and sequences, complete with the relevant film clips.

*At the beginning, Frank Cotton has a musical number while he solves the Lament Configuration. He discusses how he's experienced every pleasure the world has to offer (with some pretty big hints that many of these pleasures are illegal and/or immoral) and now he's looking for pleasures beyond the world. As he solves the box and the boundaries between the worlds start to thin, an ominous chorus of the Cenobites join in. The song culminates in the solving of the box, the chain-attack on Frank, and the first appearance of Pinhead. Here's the relevant scene in the film.

*When Larry Cotton (Frank's brother) and his second wife Julia move into Frank's old house, we could have a three-person musical number featuring Larry, Julia, and Larry's daughter Kirsty from his first marriage. Larry is hoping moving back to Julia's hometown in Britain will help save their marriage, Julia is lamenting how boring it is to be married to Larry, and Kirsty (arriving later to help) sings about how she misses her biological mother and how much she dislikes Julia.

*Frank's resurrection from the floorboards of the room where he was taken to Hell, culminating in a terrible scream, might be an instrumental number. Alternatively, it could have Frank recounting in some kind of spoken-word fashion the horrible things the Cenobites did to him as his body reassembles itself from the floor.

*Bored at a party attended by Larry, some of his work friends, Kirsty, and Kirsty's new boyfriend Steve, Julia goes to investigate the strange noises in the attic, culminating in the encounter with the skeletal resurrected Frank. There's a duet between the two where Frank begs her to help him fully regain his body while Julia is torn between her disgust at this meatless bony monstrosity and her memories of Frank seducing her before her marriage to Larry. At the end of the song, she agrees to help Frank, provided no harm comes to Larry. Despite his obvious contempt for Larry, Frank agrees.

*We next have a musical montage number (possibly some kind of ballet?) of Julia luring men back to the house and killing them for Frank to feed on. Some near-misses where Larry nearly discovers what's going on and Julia has to come up with an increasingly bad series of excuses to conceal her and Frank's activities.

*Befuddled by his wife's odd behavior, Larry takes Kirsty out to lunch and they discuss the situation. This could be dialogue-only, or a sweet-natured duet between the two of them.

*Kirsty sees Julia bringing a man into the house and comes in, only to see Frank kill him and eat him. Frank then attacks her, either in a sexual fashion or to simply eat her too, but she's able to fight him off with the puzzle box and escape the house. She's taken to the hospital with the box, which she refuses to give up, and locked into her room by the staff, plays with it and accidentally solves it. This calls forth the Cenobites and we have a whole musical number about how the Cenobites are "explorers of the furthest reaches of experience, demons to some [and] angels to others" and how, since she's solved the box, Kirsty must come with them and "taste their pleasures." The terrified Kirsty manages to bargain with them, offering them Frank in return for herself.

*As Kirsty rushes home to warn her father, Frank and Julia murder him and Frank skins him. This is something that wasn't in the movie, but should have been, so the confrontation between the brothers and Larry's murder should be a musical number culminating in Frank's horrific appearance and Larry's death. Kirsty arrives and, momentarily deceived by Frank's disguise as her father, briefly encounters the Cenobites in the house as they brood over Larry's corpse. Frank attacks Kirsty, accidentally killing Julia (whom he feeds on as she's dying) and pursues Kirsty into the attic room where Larry's body is. There Kirsty tricks Frank into confessing his true identity and the Cenobites arrive to claim him.

*The Cenobites then try to abduct Kirsty anyway ("we have such sights to show you"), but she uses the box to banish them. Steve arrives and the two attempt to destroy the box, only for a vagrant to appear, take the box, and transform into a dragon before flying away.

You guys like? There's a ballet based on Dracula and a musical based on Evil Dead, so as long as the musical retains the film's score (or at least a version of it) and the best lines, this could be better cool. Heck, some of the film's best lines like "we have such sights to show you" could be the titles of songs.

(Also, check out the Myopia Movies episode on Hellraiser.)

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