With the entire internet currently losing it’s collective shit over Halloween and how awesome it’s going to be (so awesome, you guys) we at Factfiend wanted to join the festivities with a week-ish or Halloween content. Today we’d like to talk about how the actor who played Pinhead was really good at applying his own make-up.
Pinhead stands alongside Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers as a true horror movie OG who has rightfully earned his place in pop-culture as a defining icon of the horror genre. While he undeniably shares many similarities with the characters named above, Pinhead is fairly unique for a horror movie villain in that he’s neither a mindless killing machine like Voorhees or a cackling child-molesting maniac like Krueger, instead being portrayed as an articulate and rather well educated individual, more similar to to Dracula or Hannibal Lecter than anyone we’ve already mentioned. This was an intentional decision on behalf of the movie’s creator who felt that a smart villain was scarier than a dumb one because a smart guy knows he’s screwing you over and still doesn’t care, you know, just like it hurts more to be kicked in the dick by another man than it does when someone accidentally throws the remote at your wang from across the room. The knowing makes it hurt more.
Pinhead does share one similarity with Krueger though as both of them were consistently portrayed by the same actor for their initial run of movies by Doug Bradley and Robert Englund respectively. In regards to Bradley, since he starred in all 8 Hellraiser movies, he was more often than not the person on set most qualified to apply the signature Pinhead make-up purely because he’d done it so many times before.
In fact, Bradley was so skilled at applying his Pinhead make-up that he actually has make-up credits on his IMDB page for the third and fourth movies in the franchise presumably because it was quicker and because Pinhead doesn’t dick around.
Fun fact about Doug Bradley, when he was at the first Hellraiser premier, he got increasingly upset that nobody would speak to him, including the cast and crew members he’d spent countless hours talking with on set. It wasn’t until he pointed out that he’d played Pinhead to somebody that he realised that almost nobody on set had seen him without his make-up yet and they weren’t ignoring him, they just didn’t recognise him as the guy they’d worked with for the last 6 months.
So, if you decide to cuddle up with someone this Halloween and indulge yourself in some classic horror and happen to end up watching one of the later Hellraiser movies, just remember that the actor playing Pinhead probably spent a good few minutes making that stupid mascara face in a mirror while putting on that awesome costume.