In recent days we've received some communications about the framing on our release of Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth which we would like to address.
The process taken to bring Hellraiser III to Blu-ray was to utilise new 2K scans delivered by Lakeshore International, the rights-owner of the film for the UK. These scans were made from the original 35mm Interpositive elements (second in the printing chain after the Original 35mm Camera Negative) and these files were delivered to us masked to 1.85:1, the original ratio of the film.
While we appreciate the fact that our framing may look a bit different than on previous editions of Hellraiser III, we would like to point out that older releases incorrectly framed the film in a zoomed and cropped 1.78:1 ratio. When we were working on this film it was confirmed to us that this film, like the other two Hellraiser films, should be masked to its correct theatrical original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, which is how we’ve presented it on our release.
Our aim is always to right the wrongs on previous releases and produce a definitive version of the film that is faithful to the original. So whilst it has been suggested that our framing might be a bit off balance, we made the decision to present as much image area as was possible without displaying anything that shouldn’t be visible in the frame. If we were to ‘correct’ for this by shifting the entire picture in one direction, a greater percentage of the image would have had to have been unnecessarily zoomed and cropped. As this is something that would have certainly disappointed more people than allowing for more image area than on previous editions, we decided to maintain the framing as it’s presented on our disc.
It should be mentioned that any restoration is always limited to what materials are available, which can be difficult to access for rights reasons (this was the reason we could not access the original 35mm camera negative for Hellraiser) or for reasons of poor physical condition (as was comprehensively documented on our release of Nightmare City) but in all cases our aim is to produce the highest quality and most accurate representation of the film. We're proud of our restorations of all three of the Hellraiser films and hope you have enjoyed the release as a whole, and that this explanation behind the process helps to clarify the reasoning behind the look of the film.
Head of Film Restoration & Technical Services