In the Hellraiser franchise, the demonic Pinhead is a character who delivers punishment to those who deserve it in gruesome fashion. His in-world origins are somewhat vague, yet the character's real-world inspiration is even more surprising. Hellraiser actor Doug Bradley shared a photo on Facebook featuring a glimpse of a wooden board with nails in it, which would ultimately come to life as Pinhead in the film series.
In the photo, you can see a bearded Bradley with Hellraiser creator Clive Barker. The photo was taken while they were making the 16mm film The Forbidden.
On the very far left corner of the frame, which Bradley circled for the Facebook post, you can see nails protruding into the shot, which was a prop used for a visual effect in the film.
"Some of you will have heard me talk about this before. Clive had taken a block of wood, painted it white and (if I'm remembering this right) added a black grid-iron pattern," Bradley recalled. "At each intersection, he'd hammered a 6" nail into the block. The idea was to film it with a light swinging backwards and forwards in front of it. In negative, this now appeared as a black background with a white grid-iron and white shadows from the nails swinging to and fro."
He added, "Nails in a grid-iron pattern hovering next to me Waiting, waiting...little did I know. Entirely typical of Clive's genius that he would come up with this idea and ten years later, first in The Hellbound Heart and then in Hellraiser, want to anthropomorphize and animate that image. And the rest is history."
Bradley played the character in the first eight chapters of the Hellraiser franchise, with Paul T. Taylor portraying the character in the latest sequel, Hellraiser: Judgment.
Taylor's performance of the character gives audiences a much more subdued character than seen in previous films, with the actor recently revealing his approach with ComicBook.com.
"I think it kind of came from the script. It came from Gary's [Tunnicliffe] direction. In this script, it seems that Pinhead is in more of a sort of bored place, but the arrogance is all there," Taylor shared. "He has all the power. As he says unknowingly, he doesn't know what's going to happen, he says, 'I have nothing to fear.' He's just at a place in his life where he's jaded. I think he's possibly older than he's been before in other films, if you can age, a demon can age. In Clive Barker's world, a demon certainly can age. If you've read the Scarlet Gospels."
Hellraiser: Judgment is on Blu-ray and DVD now.
Do you wish Bradley would return to the Hellraiser series to play Pinhead? Let us know in the comments below!