Hellraiser: Judgment

‘…a must-rent for Hellraiser fans’
– Forbes


‘…Tunnicliffe absolutely nails the sweaty, fever-dream feeling of a good Clive Barker yarn’
Scott Wampler – Birth Movies Death blog

‘Hellraiser: Judgment‘s biggest accomplishment is that it’s actually good.
​Way better than expected and surprisingly engaging’
Steve Barton – Dread Central website

‘…the most authentic Hellraiser since Bloodline (1996).’
Brad Miska ‘ – Bloody Disgusting blog

‘I can report that Judgment is the best direct-to-video Hellraiser sequel ever.
​ That may sound like faint praise, but it is in no way intended as a damnation.’
Luke Y. Thompson – FORBES Magazine

‘…the result is far, far more compelling than it has any right to be. It’s not a great movie,
but it is a legitimately good one.’
Sarah Szabo – LOOPER Magazine

​’Tunnicliffe — does manage to dip a toe in the tricky hallucinogenic
nightmarishness that gives Barker’s work it’s singular sting.’
Collider Magazine

Kudos to director Gary J. Tunnicliffe for going the whole nine yards with all the creepy imagery
William Bibbiani – IGN Website

‘I want to get it out of the way very early so there’s no confusion:
​I really enjoyed Hellraiser: Judgment. ‘
Rob Ridenour – The Clive Barker Podcast

‘dark, twisted, and effective’
– Cryptic Rock Blog


Please note image below is not an official poster release –

just a cool piece of fan created art from deviantart by NetoRibeiro89
Only took a mere 30 years to get from being a 19 yr old make up fx wannabe living in rural Staffordshire to finally getting to write and direct a Hellraiser movie
​(whilst creating make up effects for a whole bunch of them along the way)

Filming in Oklahoma was nothing short of a phenomenal experience. I was blessed with a cast. crew and locations that propelled the film far beyond our meager budget.

Myself and my incredible Director of Photography Samuel Calvin, prepared extensively prior to the shoot to make sure we maximize our shooting time and locations and even with some complex lighting and camera set ups we were still able to average
30 -35 set ups per day…even pulling of 53 one day!

All departments worked with great enthusiasm and dedication without us ever working more than one 13 hr day…most days ending on or before the usual 12.

We filmed in an incredible derelict building, under an amazing water tower, in a tremendous bar, perfect high end apartment building and penthouse suite, a beautiful church interior, children’s playground, creepy alleyways and on our phenomenal ‘stage’ where we took great advantage of existing rooms and my phenomenal art department built beautiful sets!

My own team of make up effects titans (lead by Mike Regan and Mike Measimer) delivered the goods on set and bought to life Chatterer, the Stitch Twins, The Butcher, The Surgeon, The Auditor and of course Pinhead handling make up fx and costumes plus the various gags and key props needed for the film.

I pushed everyone to the max but always with the proviso that I would work alongside them above and beyond, I especially tested my art department, I’m extremely visually orientated and really just want a team that will exercise my vision and at times I think that was hard to digest for my production designer since I was essentially ‘creatively neutering’ him but he and his team ALWAYS came through with brilliant results and smiles all around and I am SO grateful for that…I know I can be pretty intense about this stuff at times.

Some of the sequences we shot also proved pretty intense for the crew and for the actors, one scene we shot had a couple of people ‘gagging’ (grips of all people!) and one particularly bloody and harrowing scene saw our lead actress close to passing out…I’m not sure that everything will shot will (unfortunately) make it into the final film.

The Cast

So much of the stress of being a director is alleviated by having great cast, your world is SO much easier when people turn up for the job enthusiastic, well prepared and willing to go the extra mile for you, I’ve had situations in the past when that was NOT the case (Gerald McCraney on Hansel and Gretel was stubborn and ill tempered and it made for a miserable time working with him – I replaced him with the great Daniel Roebuck during filming) but everyone, EVERYONE on Hellraiser: Judgment from the lead cast to the day playing extra who walked passed the Police Station came with a gusto and energy that energized me and the crew.

Being hired on a 10th sequel of a horror franchise probably isn’t exactly the ‘dream call’ from Hollywood you hope for when you are at drama school but what was SO great was the way people responded to the script and wanted to be a part of the cast. Chris Feihofer (Casting Director) guided us (and I say US since it was a team who picked the cast) to some amazing choices known for their work ethic as much as their talent and it made for a great ensemble.

Damon Carney (Det. Sean Carter)

Damon was (like most of the cast) a little wary of some of the scripted bizarre and creepy moments in the script but came at it so rooted, so real and grounded. The movie hinges, in so many ways around how he perceives the case under his investigation and the ‘rabbit hole’ it leads him down – he was my rock…solid, steadfast and unflinching even when I pushed him with ‘off camera surprises’ or ‘spontaneous changes’ – a great film actor, who understands subtlety and nuance and how to use them.

Randy Wallace (Det. David Carter)

It took me a little while longer to ‘figure’ Randy out (and I’m not sure I ever did lol) Randy is a professional who knows his way around the set, in front of the camera and behind and comes prepared and ready to question the validity of a directors suggestions if he finds them alien. Now, some Directors might have issue with that, it’s not a problem for me, I’ve never had a problem defending the actions of a character I’m directing and I’m also not unwilling to hear suggestions or try it another way, a performance is a collaboration between actor and director and it’s not about ego (if it does become about that, about a battle to get it a certain way because of power – then you’ve lost the plot and the movie WILL suffer) I think Randy wants to trust the Director and you have to earn that by demonstrating empathy for that character and knowing him as well as the actor and by showing enthusiasm and respect for the process – once that trust was established Randy relaxed and found David and was a joy to direct and to hang with on set.

Alexandra Harris (Det. Christine Egerton)

Alexndra’s character was not in my original story pitch to Dimension, it was their suggestion to add a third character (the audience/the foil) and I wrote her as a female from day one, I guess I’m influenced heavily by James Cameron and strong leading ladies are fun to write for (I worked on several scripts as a ghostwriter changing male characters to female leads on spec scripts in the late 90’s) and I am SO happy Dimension pushed for this character.
Egerton is thrust into an intense investigation with two brothers and with multiple agendas to serve, Alex came prepared and with steely resolve, easy going, playful and with the most disarming smile off camera, but once the cameras rolled Egerton appeared – professional, focused and not willing to take shit from anyone, I like Detective Egerton, I like Alexandra Harris and my greatest compliment to her as an actress is that the two are not the same person and yet both are real and alive in their respective worlds.

Helena Grace Donald (Jophiel)

Sophisticated, witty, charming, eloquent, professional…now am describing Jophiel or Helena? It’s always fun to see an actor transform, to see them relish the behavior of their character, Jophiel is an ancient, in the body of her choosing, dressed in the clothes SHE likes, a long respected emissary of a MUCH higher power and woe betide those who underestimate any of that. Helena was a graceful breath of fresh, English air that blew through our set on the days she was on camera, blessed with confidence and a natural elegance and all of that informed Jophiel and her character perfectly.

John Gulagher (The Assessor)

There was never ANYONE else in my mind to play this character, if we had a $20 million budget I would have still wanted John and I sincerely hope I can use him again in other films playing different characters. I’d never seen John act, only worked with him ( frustratingly (a fact I have never been afraid to share) with him as my director in my fx days) but I KNEW that he is a born performer and that he would be amazing…and I was right. John transforms into his character and fearlessly goes to the extremes physically and emotionally with profound confidence that evaporates when you call ‘cut’ and reveals a enthusiastic thespian desperate to do better and please the director at any cost.

Paul T. Taylor (Pinhead)

I have compared Paul to Peter Cushing, some people have chosen to take this as me comparing Paul’s abilities to Mr.Cushing’s, I suspect they saw it as me ‘throwing down the gauntlet’ in some ways, I feel sorry for them. Peter Cushing who I followed, read about and ultimately communicated with was known as ‘The Gentleman of Horror films’ and that is what Paul is a ‘Gentleman’. Quiet, considerate, humble and who came to the casting process and ultimately to the set happy, enthusiastic, grateful, excited and nervous to ‘have a crack’ at a brilliantly conceived and performed character much loved, revered and fearlessly protected (by fans) throughout the world. He was well prepared and willing to listen (a joy to any director) but also keen to make the character his own, this was not to be (nor should it be ) an ‘impersonation’,

​ I wanted a slightly different Pinhead for this new tale, there’s a stillness, a dry resolve to this new version, coldness, sarcasm (and no campy ‘one liners’ like the final line spoken by Pinhead in Hellworld ‘How’s that for a wake up call?’) I wanted a Pinhead with a regal sense of arrogance and boredom and Paul delivered , everyday it was a joy to stand in his presence and look into those cold black eyes and see the slightest arch of a brow or curl of a lip make the crew shudder with respect and then see the layers of costume and make up removed at the end of the day to reveal the smiling visage of the actor and my friend within. I hope people give Paul and his interpretation of the character I wrote a real chance, I personally do not think he disappoints …I hope others agree.

Heather Langenkamp (the landlady)

No one….NO ONE was more surprised than me when Chris Freihofer (The casting director) asked me if I’d be interested in Heather for the (small) role of the landlady, it was an utter bolt from the blue and a complete shock! What, How, When? I asked. Turned out Chris (who knew her) gave her a copy of the script and she reacted to it – she basically said that she gets a fair few horror scripts to read (as you might imagine she would) but that she found this one utterly compelling and utterly fanstastical, shocking and bizarre! and was willing to take a minor role for the fun to play a ‘character’ part…and all I can say is that I am blessed and grateful that she did. Heather came to set, in the zone and ready to rock and transformed herself (with the help of the wonderful make up designer Adrienne Lynn) into the weathered and worn, foul mouthed, seedy landlady and was all business on the set and all giggles in the bar after – thankyou Heather!

The Stygian Inquisition

​The Auditor
The flesh pages of his typewriter inked by the very blood of the candidates he probes for every sin and transgression

The Assessor
The gluttonous, he processes the pages, passing on his findings to the Jury

The Jury
Empaths, they examine the ‘findings’ of the Assessor, casting their verdict

The Butcher
A lumbering, blunt tool with one skill, the evisceration of flesh from bone.

The Surgeon
Parasitic, double balded, skilled in the art of execution and exuviation

*Not seen in
Hellraiser : Judgment
but part of the Stygian Inquisition

The Seamstress
Preparer of the flesh pages used by the Auditor

The Bone Collectors
Ancients captive in mis-shapen half bodies, they collate the skeletal remains of each candidate

The Order of Exudation

The Effluviam

​ Gary J. Tunnicliffe on Directing…

” You spend many thousands of hours on a film set and you are bound to ‘pick a few things things up’ and I never just ‘sat around chit chatting’, I consider my (fx designer) job the greatest film school ever and watching and working with Directors like David Fincher, Patrick Lussier, Renny Harlin, Clive Barker, Tim Burton, Wes Craven, Joe Dante , Scott Derrickson etc , Producers like Michael DeLuca, Larry Franco, Joel Soisson, Ron Schmidt, Roger Corman, Scott Rudin and actors like Robert DeNiro, Johnny Depp, Christopher Plummer, John Travolta, James Woods, Christian Slater, Malcolm McDowell and Nicolas Cage was nothing short of a phenomenal education.”

A Few ‘Behind the scenes’ shots….

Gary J. Tunnicliffe (writer/director) discusses a scene and the famed ‘Lament Configuration’ puzzle Box with Damon Carney playing Detective Sean Carter

Carney playing Detective Sean Carter ‘The Butcher’ and ‘the Director’ (with Mike ‘Chatterer’ Regan photobombing)

‘The Auditor’ awaits his next ‘candidate


Paul ‘Pinhead’ Taylor visits the Two Hours in the Dark workshop for lifecasting and first costume sizing, he later graciously shaved his head especially for the shoot!
I decided to change the costume slightly in honor of an new actor joining the legion, we changed the ‘flesh exposed’ to a diamond shape (honoring Leviathan) and added a ragged robe to give his shape a slightly more regal feel, we also gave him an actual chain mail butchers skirt (something that was initially discussed but not done for the first film) and took away the multitude of tools (which tend to catch the skirts on set) in favor of one more streamlined skinning tool.

How often does the writer/director also sculpt the prosthetics!, Mike Regan (Bacground) jams on the rest of the pinhead prosthetic and ponders having to clean up and texture my sculpture as usual!

PLEASE NOTE! – Paul aka Pinhead is NOT FAT as some people suggested when they saw him in costume…he’s wearing a ROBE!

How often does the writer/director also sculpt the prosthetics!, Mike Regan (Bacground) jams on the rest of the pinhead prosthetic and ponders having to clean up and texture my sculpture as usual!

The Auditor…
…who, what, why.

Well, first of all he is NOT a Cenobite, he is NOT a member of the ‘Order of the Gash’ lead by the Inglorious Pinhead, the Cenobites are a faction of Hell who offer seekers of forbidden pleasures the ultimate experience once they solve the riddle of the Lament Configuration.

The Auditor is a clerk, a blue collar worker ‘intercepting and processing the souls of the guilty’

His inspiration comes from many places, he is undoubtedly a combination of ‘Sam Lowry’ from Brazil (in terms of being a ‘cog in the machine’) and visually and tonally ‘Itzhak Stern’ from Schindler’s List (two films that I love for all aspects Direction, Design, Performance, Cinematography etc)

So The Auditor and those who work in the ‘Stygian Inquisition’ The Assessor, The Jury, the Butcher and The Surgeon (there were/are many others but budget decreed a limit – maybe one day we will see The Bone Collectors, The Seamstress and The Sentinel) are members of (one of many) orders that populate and serve Hell.