Over the course of my life there have been numerous occasions where I’ve had to call strangers into my home to fix/install/evaluate things I’m not capable of handling on my own. Even though it generally feels somewhat awkward having these guests-of-necessity in my home, they’re almost always friendly, well-meaning folks who, through a self-imposed need to make polite conversation, sometimes create entertainingly odd exchanges. There was the cable guy who shared a little too much about his wife’s recent surgery. There was the couch repair guy who stressed the wrong syllable when he said “upholstery” so that he pronounced it “UPholstery”. He also, for reasons not apparent, offered up that when someone touches his feet it gives him the “weebie-geebies” (not a typo). And then there was Jimmy the dishwasher installation guy with whom I had the following conversation:
Me: “I’m going to have a Diet Coke, would you like one?”
Dishwasher Jimmy: “No thanks, sodas make me kinda heartburny.”
Me: “Oh, well how about a glass of water, then?”
Dishwasher Jimmy: “Nah, water makes me heartburny too.”
Dishwasher Jimmy: “Yeah, I usually try to stick to drinking dairy, but I’m lactose intolerant.”
I decided not to pry any further into Dishwasher Jimmy’s fluid consumption (he had already told me he doesn’t drink alcohol anymore) and that’s not really the point here anyway. The point is that as long as the job gets done, most of us are willing to tolerate, and can even find the humor in, a few uncomfortable but otherwise harmless moments. There are limits, though, and that brings us to the actual topic at hand: the Hellraiser moving guys.
The moving guys make their appearance helping Larry carry a mattress up the stairs. To begin with, they seem like pretty crappy movers. The fact that Larry is helping at all is bad enough, but he also appears to be doing most of the work. He is lifting one end of the mattress by himself while the two moving men are lifting the other end and Moving Man 1 still manages to get his arm wedged against the wall, shutting down the whole process. This prompts Larry to call for a break and Julia barely makes it into the room before Moving Man 2 asks her for beer. When Larry begrudgingly goes to fetch the beer, they make little attempt to conceal their ogling of Julia as she walks up the stairs, and no attempt at all to conceal their ogling of Kirsty when she walks in a few seconds later. Then, in what may be simultaneously the worst and most inexplicably creepy pick-up line ever uttered, Moving Man 2 looks at Kirsty and says, “Do you wanna buy a bed?”. I’m not really sure why anyone would say that, nor do I have any idea what it means since it wasn’t even his bed to sell, but I am sure that the way he said it made him the most appalling character in the movie, keeping in mind it’s a movie that includes a guy who wears his brother’s face as a mask. To finish it off, Moving Man 2 feels it’s necessary to imply to Larry directly that his wife and daughter are hot while inadvertently mentioning Kirsty’s dead mom. Moving Man 1 seems to find all of this hilarious.
I don’t know which I’m more intrigued by: that the movers are so overt in their crassness, or that everyone else seems to be resigned to the fact that sexual harassment and demands for alcohol are just a mildly annoying but acceptable part of the package. I’m not sure how much Larry paid for their services, but based on the condition of the house he just bought for his new bride, I would guess his cheap ass called around until he found some bargain-basement movers willing to work for next-to-nothing. Well you get what you pay for, Larry, and your attempt to save a buck just got your wife and daughter eye-groped in your own home, sir!
Larry was about to have much bigger problems and I’m sure he didn’t give the moving guys another thought. Their short time onscreen has always stood out to me though, possibly because it’s the only part of the movie I can directly relate to. Sure, sadomasochistic demons make for a great story, but having strangers in my home creating awkward situations – that’s truly terrifying.
And that’s why The Hellraiser Moving guys are unsung heroes of 80s horror.
Read the review of Hellraiser