Clive Barker’s Hellraiser: Collected Best II

Checker Publishing

Clive Barker’s 1987 film “Hellraiser” remains a classic of modern movie horror, but its casual reputation has been diluted by a string of seven so-so to sorry sequels.

Attempting to restore a bit of luster to the nails adorning Pinhead’s noggin is Checker Publishing’s “Clive Barker’s Hellraiser: Collected Best II,” an anthology of stories from the Cenobites’ world, in comic-book form.

Barker himself doesn’t pen any of the 10 tales within, but his piercing brand of horror “” as much of the mind as the body “” is stamped all over it, as various talented writers and artists explore his established mythology.

Most notable among them is Larry Wachowski “” better known as one-half of the writer/director team of “The Matrix” trilogy and the upcoming “Speed Racer” “” here penning the three-part “Razing Hell,” in which the flesh-hooking creepy-crawlies invade a psychiatric asylum. 

Other installments involve:
” a blind piano player,
” a children’s hospital,
” a poet in Paris and
” a crazy cat lady.

None end happily, of course, with that infernal puzzle box around. These stories span history, cover the globe and spare no one. So long as you can handle the gore, the stuff is good. “”Rod Lott



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