500 Words on the Topic of Hellraisin’

My donors are so shy and unimposing.  I have a guess who one of them is, and if I’m right, he might like a word about cenobites…  Jeezis Shit, I just went searching for the origin of the quote “Sticks and stones may break my bones but whips and chains excite me” and the entire internet thinks Rihanna came up with it.  I heard that shit in junior high and I’m forty-seven years old, so … time travel?  I was thinking, maybe Andrew Dice Clay, but that didn’t come back with anything.  Why can I imagine it in Woody Allen’s voice?  Somebody help me.

Anyway, sexy menace.  Tearing your soul apart as a euphemism for the ecstasy of orgasm.  Chains and blades and hooks with a life of their own.  The black-eyed priests and nuns and less specifically gendered clergy of Hell, in sexy leather clothes, ready to give you the business.  You know you want it.

Something about the cenobites from Clive Barker’s Hellraiser (original story Hellbound Heart) is just sooo iconic.  They are gods among monsters.  I’d love to come up with something that hits the same way, but is it possible?  Is that kind of idea just lightning in a bottle?  Were they a Platonic Ideal just waiting in the realm of Forms, and Barker just happened to be the first guy to pluck them from that airy plane?

There’s the seeker.  Frank “Come to Daddy” Cotton and his ilk.  Somebody chasing a high that can only be found in transgression, and there’s never enough.  Then there’s the box.  Beautiful, elegant, small, activated by touch, by curiosity.  The cracks in the world, admitting the power of Leviathan.

Then there’s the Apostles of Pain.  The cenobites.  Love those guys.  I’m not into S&M, not really, but the look of it all?  Very cool.  I like cool things.  I like the aesthetics.  Total poser, I know.  I remember being in The Metro on Seattle’s Broadway buying leather accoutrement, and the clerk asked, “Stocking up for a good time?”  I felt so uncool.  Whaddyagonnado?

I guess I could seek the box, do that fiddly hand jive, unlock the lament configuration, and get my cool on.  Or my flesh off, whichever happens first.  I’ll be like the doctor in Hellraiser II, “To think, I hesitated!”

I came up with the core of a formula for trying to arrive at the power of Icon in monster design.  Come up with Sinister Themes of the monster, Visual Motifs, Colors, Shapes, Textures, Powers, and Places associated with them.  You can see some mention of it here.  I still haven’t successfully used it to come up with anything interesting.  Just never got around to it.  Maybe on another one of these posts.

For now, this post will just be a note of admiration for the creation of a master.  Maybe when I’ve sold my screenplay for Gun Lemurs and made a bank full of money, I can buy the time to pursue my own immolation.  To earn that charisma.  Wish me luck?

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