Sunday, 3 July 2016

POP! Movies -- Pinhead

Pinhead Funko POPCompany: Funko
Series: POP! Movies
Year: 2015

The first Hellraiser movie brings an oddly… classy tone to subject matter and visuals that would not be out of place in some kind of sketchy grindhouse flick. It’s not a film for everyone, by any means, but it stands head and shoulders above plenty of its 80s horror contemporaries, even if it never reached the heights of fame that series like Friday The 13th and Nightmare On Elm Street did. Perhaps it’s because it was just too visually unsettling to have the same audience reach, or perhaps because the whole slasher craze was dying down by the time it came out. Who knows? But either way, central antagonist Pinhead has become a true horror icon, despite the increasingly poor quality of the films he’s starred in.

And as with all true horror icons, it’s time for cutesy merchandise that is totally at odds with the creation that spawned it! There’s already been a Living Dead Doll and Fluffy Lament Configuration Dice from Mezco – but now Funko has come to the table with an addition to its POP! Movie range.

Pinhead and Ghost Rider
Actually, who would win in this fight? They're both from Hell,
love chains and black leather. and have monged heads. 
Funko have been smart here – officially, this figurine is licensed from the (dreadful but entertaining) Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth*. The costume differences between this and the first film are pretty minor to a layman like me, and I’m sure the costs involved were a fraction of those for licensing the original film. To my understanding, it’s also the film where Pinhead really transitions from antagonist – he’s certainly evil, but in the first film he’s more handing out punishment to the actual villain – to full-blown monster.   
I can’t imagine that leather outfit is comfortable to wear – but it’s been incredibly influential. Just as The Crow launched a thousand goths**, so too did Hellraiser. The influence of the film’s art design and costuming has reared its head across goth, extreme metal, and countless other – usually lesser – horror films. Hey, Ozzy even wrote a song about it – which Motörhead then recorded for the soundtrack of the third film, which as previously mentioned, this POP is based on. Funny how things come full circle, isn’t it?      

But even more than the outfit, Pinhead’s signature facial piercings that have cemented him in the public’s consciousness. It looks great rendered in Funko style, though as I mentioned earlier – it is kind of weird seeing him in such a cutesy style. We’ve been seeing these Freddy, Jason and even Leatherface for decades, but Pinhead…there’s something that just feels wrong about it on a subconscious level.   

There’s actually a lot of other gross detail going on too; it’s more obvious on the other Cenobites, so some of Pinhead’s particular features can escape your attention. Parts of his chest and ribcage have been flayed, and his fingertips are bloody. The tools hanging about his waist are also bloodied, though I don’t think you ever actually see him use them in any of the films. Good attention to disgusting detail, Funko!

Naturally, he’s also holding Lermachand's box, aka the Lament Configuration. Open it and bad things will happen, but fortunately it appears to be closed here. There was some explanation for how Pinhead got hold of it in the film, but last time I watched it was approximately ten years ago in a busy sharehouse and so some of the *ahem* subtleties have been lost to time.   

As for paint… well, if Funko had done this POP a few years ago, it would have been a disaster. The little details all over the sculpt would have been a sloppy mess. Things could be a little bit tighter, particularly on the pins, and the bloodied implements, but it’s adequate.

Tobias and Pinhead
"I'm looking for something that says 'Dad likes leather' ".
On the whole, this is another fine addition to my expanding horror POP collection. I think I’ve picked up all the characters I want from the range, but we’ll see what the future brings. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m still hoping for Zombie Flesh Eaters ones, but I might just have to make a custom one day.   

*Side note: for whatever reason, here in Australia the third film has always been the easiest to find on home media. I could never find a copy of the second film in my more avid horror-watching days, and the first one was similarly tricky to find – frequently outrageously expensive when you did, too. So the third film was the first one I saw. Pinhead is much more prominent than he is in the original film, but I would strongly suggest watching the first one instead.

**Actual number may be much higher

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