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Hellraiser (1987) with round-table introduction 24 May 2024

Film “Screaming” Event: Hellraiser

On 24 May 2024 the Dark Arts Research Group at the University of Copenhagen and the Bloody Weekend are teaming up for their first ever “film screaming” event at Empire Bio in Nørrebro, Copenhagen.

Heralded as one of the greatest horror films of all time, Hellraiser was based on Clive Barker’s chilling novella, The Hellbound Heart, from 1986. After solving a mystical puzzle box, the hedonist Frank Cotton inadvertently summons into the human world inter-dimensional sadomasochistic beings known as the Cenobites. After Frank is torn apart by these gruesome beings and transformed into a supernatural entity, a hellish story unfolds. Ever since its original release in 1987, Hellraiser’s visceral exploration of human desires has echoed through the horror genre.

From Pinhead’s menacing interpretation of human nature in the underworld to its exploration of body horror within the realm of sadomasochism, Hellraiser has encouraged the genre to go deeper into the darker aspect of the human psyche and sexuality.

Hellraiser was released in 1987 during the height of the Satanic Panic in the United States. This period witnessed a significant cultural clash between Christian conservatives worried about the moral and religious well-being of American youths and a growing counter-culture fascinated by the occult. There was a genuine concern by these conservatives that horror books and films like The Hellbound Heart and Hellraiser would lead young impressionable minds down dangerous paths toward Satanic worship.

Prior to the screening, there will be a round-table discussion featuring researchers from the University of Copenhagen who will discuss the history of occultism in the United States, Lovecraftian fiction, and the era of Satanic Panic during the 1980s. 

Round-table speakers:

Efram Sera-Shriar, Department of English, Germanic and Romance Studies

Kasper Opstrup, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies

Tim Rudbøg, Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies

NB: The round-table introduction will be in English.

Time and place:

Date: 24 May 2024
Time: 19:30
Place: Empire Bio, Guldbergsgade 29F, 2200 København