Arguably the most terrifying movie monster/villain ever, ‘Pinhead’, the sadistic and perverse leader of the ‘Cenobites’, has earned his place amongst the likes of ‘Freddy Krueger’, ‘Jason Voorhees’, and ‘Leatherface’, as a legend of classic horror cinema.
Pinhead and the Cenobites are humanoid creatures from an ‘extra-dimension’ who travel to Earth in search of human souls upon which to feast. And in contrast to many of the movie monsters of its time the Cenobites are intelligent and articulate predators, bringing both pleasure and pain to all those who open the ‘Lament Configuration’.
Originally named ‘Priest’, and still officially named only as ‘Lead Cenobite’ within the Hellraiser movie scripts, the name ‘Pinhead’ was coined by the make-up crew working on the original movie. and despite Clive Barkers protests (he considered the name undignified), the name Pinhead gained momentum, and stuck.
Throughout the Hellraiser series Pinhead underwent many character changes. In the first he was depicted simply as part of a group of Cenobites, seeking out pleasure and pain, in the third Pinhead solely was depicted as a chaotic Demon, in the fourth he became a Megalomaniac bent on world domination, and in the fifth he acted as ‘Judge, Jury, and Executioner’, pitting his victims against their sins.
The Hellraiser series is based around a puzzle box known as ‘The Lament Configuration’, a mysterious mechanical device that acts as a key to the Dimension in which the Cenobites dwell, and upon completion of the puzzle the box acts as bridge between realms, allowing the Cenobites access to our world.Clive Barker drew inspiration for the Cenobites look from the worlds of punk fashion, Catholicism, and S & M clubs, with Pinheads character specifically drawing inspiration from ‘African Fetish Sculptures’.