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[Help] Hellraiser (Clive Barker, 1987) – 35mm Scan
#1
Since Big Trouble In Little China is nearly finished (waiting on a couple last things before I can release a proper MKV), I thought I'd start talking about the next preservation on my roadmap. A movie that got me started into fan restoration work in the first place.


I'll be taking it from the top for those who are unfamiliar with the regrade I attempted.

Here's the nutshell. One day, I stumbled randomly across a post on the Blu-Ray forum about how the Hellraiser 2K restoration put out by Arrow looked practically nothing like its 35mm counterpart.
JohnCarpenterFan;15869547 Wrote:It is very interesting that you brought up Hellraiser.

I recently managed to get my hands on a well-preserved archival print, watched it, took some scans, made sure they were representative of how it looked correctly projected and compared it with the Arrow Blu-ray.

Be aware that I really liked the Arrow Blu-ray despite the peculiar grain, and didn't have any problems with the color timing... When I watched this print, I couldn't believe my eyes. This film when viewed on film looks absolutely incredible, very stylish, quite a lot of blue lighting. I had no idea this film looked that good, home video has just done it a complete disservice.

One thing I will say is that this print was not grainy at all, even in low-light conditions there was nothing out of the ordinary, I wasn't even aware of it most of the time.

When I flicked through the Arrow disc not long after, it looked flat and orange compared to what I had seen, it looked ugly and noisy. In the scene where the cenobites appear at the hospital, the room in the print appeared more blue with Pinhead's skin also being bathed in blue which helped draw attention away from the make-up, on the Arrow the room is more neutral and the make-up job on Pinhead really stands out. Also in a scene near the end (see last picture below), in the print, there's clearly blue lighting in the background and the characters directly in front of the camera are covered in a warm glow from a fireplace (IIRC), yet on the Arrow, everything is again flat and orange.

[Image: h1.jpg]
[Image: h2.jpg]
[Image: h3.jpg]
[Image: h4.jpg]
[Image: h5.jpg]

It was like watching the film for the first time. I'd love it if every studio/label took the Warner approach and used answer prints (or at the very least view multiple theatrical prints) to assist with color timing. This "Hold back on the colors/contrast, keep the shadows intact, make everything look natural" way of thinking has got to go. It's not purist in the slightest, in fact it goes directly against what film naturally looks like.

Regarding Zombie, finally got to sit down and watch the 4K restoration in full. This is an incredible disc, the colors are absolutely gorgeous, don't see why anybody would have a problem with them unless they've subscribed to that silly notion described above.

Blue Underground pulled off an incredible accomplishment releasing this and Maniac back-to-back. Almost seems like they're saying to the other labels "Just you try and beat this, I dare you." Very excited to see their future 4K remasters which I hear will include The New York Ripper and Dead and Buried.

Edit:

Should also note that the extra information on the top and bottom of those scans isn't part of the intended composition and was matted during projection. There is some information on the left or right (depends on which image) that was on the print that I didn't manage to capture due to equipment used and lack of time.
And having seen his and his screencaps, I can never unsee just how horrid the Arrow master really is in comparison. All of the stylish blue flair and whatnot is just dull, neutral, and lifeless! It's very much akin to how Fox treated BTiLC.

This led me down a sort of train of hobby work for a here on FanRes where I tried to regrade with Arrow BD with those five 35mm stills above as well as a gallery of other stills provided from the same guy below.
[Image: Hellraiser-Extra-Stills.png]
The results were mixed admittedly. Although I did come out with a release of the regrade, I was never truly happy with the results for a variety of reasons.

The first big reason was that I was brand new to the community and I was still trying to figure out how to approach this project. The long story short in that regard was @TomArrow being basically my mentor as he watched me continually struggle trying to piece together basic stuff (though I am very thankful that he was a very patient person and stuck around). Since then though, I've learned some newer techniques and stuff that'd helped me a lot back then.

The second biggest reason was that there was a lot of educated guessing involved which I didn't like to do since I had no idea how the colors were supposed to be handled for scenes outside of those stills and I couldn't tell what was fading or photochemical color grading more often than not. Although there is a laserdisc that does respect the 35mm color grading, I have no means of ripping it even if I could get my hands on it.

On top of all that, there was still the weirdly harsh grain issue in the BD that I had no way of really fixing easily without accidentally DNRing detail. At the end of the day, it was a bit of a mess that I hoped to revisit someday.

Fast forward a few years later when I stumbled onto the collector and scanner for The Keep, I noticed that they actually have a print of this movie in the inventory.

Quote:HELLRAISER (1987)- LPP, 5rls, Near Mint #

A perfect opportunity to finally be able to see how the whole movie looked in 35mm for the first time and in 4K no less!

Calculations had roughly estimated the project costs to be $1000 to cover rental, shipping, scanning and a hard drive.

As usual, I'll start with pledges, though I'll make a PayPal Pool if it looks like we can overcome the initial cost hurdle.
[Image: ivwz24G.jpg]
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#2
Count me in for $50.
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Thanks given by: LucasGodzilla
#3
I Missed Big Trouble and The Keep but would love to help with this one....count me in for a tenner!
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#4
Yeah happy to help out. I remember the grain being really harsh as you say, have you come up with a way of managing that a bit more?
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#5
Put me down for £20
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Thanks given by: LucasGodzilla
#6
I'll put $30 in for this.

It might be worth reaching out to JohnCarpenterFan, his recent 35mm screening may be of use when it comes to correcting the scan
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Thanks given by: LucasGodzilla
#7
Stick me down for £20
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Thanks given by: LucasGodzilla
#8
(2020-10-01, 09:54 AM)alexpeden2000 Wrote: Yeah happy to help out. I remember the grain being really harsh as you say, have you come up with a way of managing that a bit more?

I sort of have but I never got around to testing it. Nutshell would've been straight up just degraining it, regrading it, and then overlay the original grain at a lower opacity.

(2020-10-01, 01:40 PM)zoidberg Wrote: I'll put $30 in for this.

It might be worth reaching out to JohnCarpenterFan, his recent 35mm screening may be of use when it comes to correcting the scan

I have actually tried reaching out to him, but he hasn't checked his PMs on the blu-ray forum for quite some time it seems.
[Image: ivwz24G.jpg]
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#9
I can do $15!
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#10
Probably going to be dropping cash on the NEAR DARK thing but until I see how much that ends up having to be, you can pencil me in for $20.
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Thanks given by: LucasGodzilla


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