Pretty Packaging: Arrow's New HELLRAISER Boxset Is Bloody Stylish

Editor, Europe; Rotterdam, The Netherlands (@ardvark23)
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(Maybe I should have put a comma between "bloody" and "stylish", because DAY-AMN...)

Clive Barker's 1987 horror film Hellraiser does not lack for home releases. In fact, some of the past DVD-editions have had gobsmackingly awesome packaging, with the franchise's infamous "lament" puzzle-box having been recreated in cardboard, and sometimes even in plastic.

So I was a bit surprised when earlier this year, UK distributor Arrow announced they would focus on a new home release of Hellraiser, and indeed would create a bells-and-whistles boxset of the first three films in the series, called "The Scarlet Box". New 2K Blu-ray transfers for all three films, booklets, artwork, and tons of extras... the works!

Surprised I may have been, but Arrow has been on a roll for the past few years, so I was quick to pre-order. And a good thing that was too, as "The Scarlet Box" sold out quickly. I still see them being sold on-line, but for three times the amount I paid for it. Phew...

Yesterday, my friendly neighbourhood postman delivered the package, and it looked as great as I had hoped. The absence of a physical puzzle-box is perhaps to be lamented (pun intended), but that doesn't mean this release is a straggler.
So here is a closer look at the packaging job Arrow did, by way of a gallery of shots. Click on the edge of the pictures to scroll through them, or at the center of each to see a bigger version.

And here it is: "The Scarlet Box", adorned by everyone's favorite cenobite Pinhead, courtesy of artwork by artist Gilles Vranckx.

Note that the boxset comes with a wrapper, and all BBFC ratings and such are on the wrapper, not the box itself. Which makes me happy.

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BtoFuNovember 4, 2015 10:37 AM

Pretty pissed off with the scalper prices for this set at the moment.
Arrow has steadily boarded the pre-order culture train that I can't
stand...they're simply not making enough copies to meet consumer demand.
It sucks that anything remotely popular they're releasing is instantly
going OOP and a rake of them end up on ebay like clockwork. I mean good
for Arrow I'm pleased they're cornering this side of the market so well
and deserve their success. However I much prefer seeing in-hand pics
like this before biting and its become a case of if you don't commit
right away before release you're screwed.

Ard VijnNovember 4, 2015 10:55 AM

Up to a point I agree. It's a difficult edge: I want Arrow to keep creating these luscious sets, but if even only one of these sells really badly, leaving them with non-recoverable production costs (as well as stock to be dumped), it could mean their end in the current climate. Therefore I cannot blame Arrow for being cautious with their number-of-copies estimate.

On the other hand, I hope we're not entering a new economy model where these are kept so rare, that scalpers pre-order the lot of them and immediately start reselling them for exorbitant prices.

ManateeAdvocateNovember 4, 2015 11:25 AM

You lucky devil you. Gorgeous set. I hope the prints look just as nice as the packaging does, if you get my meaning.

Vincent KukuaNovember 4, 2015 12:35 PM

This looks really nice, but is there any reason why a box set shouldn't be a BOX? You know, like the Lament Configuration?

Ard VijnNovember 4, 2015 6:32 PM

The only reason I can think of, is that a Lament Configuration box has been done before, in fact several times already. If Arrow had gone in that direction, they would have had to outclass all earlier versions, at great expense.

Ugly Goblin BoyNovember 5, 2015 7:37 PM

Mine is en rue, I can't wait break it open. Although, I am lacking a PAL BluRay player at the moment...

Ard VijnNovember 6, 2015 4:38 AM

Is that still a thing? PAL vs. NTSC? I thought modern HD screens sort-of did away with that problem all together...

This set is decidedly coded Region B though, as Arrow doesn't have HELLRAISER's distribution rights for the North American markets.

Ugly Goblin BoyNovember 6, 2015 7:58 AM

My television can handle it, but I've only ever used my PS3 to play DVD/BluRay. Unfortunately, PS3s are region locked. So I guess I'll have to bite the bullet and spring for a region free player.

Ugly Goblin BoyNovember 6, 2015 7:59 AM

I'm on Arrows side with this one. Much in same way Shout Factory! has had to put caps on their releases, this seems to be the only way to move physical media nowadays.

Ard VijnNovember 6, 2015 8:44 AM

You know what they say about buying regionfree players: the pain is only once... the pleasure isn't!

Stitch_JonesNovember 6, 2015 9:22 AM

Do you have any recommendations for a region-free player, by the way? I really should buy one.

Ard VijnNovember 6, 2015 10:47 AM

Well... there is a shop specialized in them in the Netherlands, almost walking distance from where I live. They took a regular LG player and put an extra chipset in there, and I've had fun with it ever since. I'm not sure anyone is currently selling regionfree players out of the box, they all need to be re-modded first.

J HurtadoNovember 6, 2015 1:02 PM

Go to 220 Electronics online, they have a wide range of region free players at most all budget levels. I've purchased two from them and they've served me well.

Todd BrownNovember 6, 2015 6:12 PM

Not sure they still make 'em, but I have a Momitsu that was region free out of the box. Requires you to punch a code in on the remote to change regions, but no chipset tomfoolery required.

J HurtadoNovember 7, 2015 1:49 PM

Momitsu's out of business, but there are several that are able to be tricked like that.