“…[The Cenobites] four furies from another dimension look as if they've walked out of Giorgio Armani's bad dreams. ” Observer

“And a nod to the Cenobites costume designer - it isn't often the screen sees Breugel-goes-to-the-leather-bar glad rags. ” City Limits

The Cenobites: One of the essential notes Jane Wildgoose, the costume designer for HELLRAISER, brought from her first meeting with Barker was "repulsive glamour." And her designs capture the phrase to near perfection. The four cenobites are unforgettable in both their tortured flesh and their disfigured beauty. Pinhead is of course the character most easily recognized in the Hellraiser franchise, but the Chatterer, Butterball, and the female cenobite are just as memorable in their design. The leather costuming would eventually become a cliché, but it was Barker and Wildgoose who would create the figures that would be emulated and copied, but never equaled, in the genre. The cenobites are not mere monsters or demons either: they are the guardians of the puzzle box and missionaries of Hell. They reward and punish in one stroke those who attempt to delve into the mysteries of the box. In fact the word "cenobite" is not one made from whole cloth by Barker. The term is defined as "referring to those monks who live and work within the larger community, as opposed to those who live and work in a monastery." The order these particular cenobites represent may not be as palatable as the one their living brethren work for, but they are just as intent in their mission and devoted to their duties. Even discounting this correlation, however, Barker, Wildgoose, and company have created four icons of the terror genre.

Review by IronWolfe


Copyright Jane Wildgoose and The Wildgoose Memorial Library