Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth
USA. Horror/Fantasy. 93 minutes. Directed by Anthony Hickox. Starring Terry Farrell, Doug Bradley Paula Marshall, Kevin Bernhardt, Peter G. Boynton, Lawrence Mortoff, Lawrence Kuppin, Sharon Percival, Philip Hyland.
22 November 2008
Somewhere in Hellraiser III, probably in the middle where I loose interest, I realise that I’ve never been particulary interested in the story of this epic of gothic gore. To me, the mumbo jumbo about this, that and the other thing in and around Hell, was just an excuse to put up some surreal gore-extravanganza in the first movie, and it was probably why I never liked it as much as everybody else. It was probably also why I preferred the sequel, which was a great ride where nobody had to think too much about the story. In Hellraiser III, Clive Barker is barely executive producer but it’s still a movie in his tradition, slowly building up the tension in the first half and releasing hell toward the end.
Initially, I don’t have any problems. The plot’s succession is done a bit sloppily, but I’ve seen worse, and I accept this story about a very 1992 April O’Neilish journalist looking for a big scoop and stumbling across a couple of guys who play around with that old familiar box. Soon enough, you guessed it, hell breaks loose. Surprisingly though, the moment Pinhead enters the movie, it becomes a drag. Naturally, this being made in the early nineties when horror movies were dead and if alive gimmicked to death, he has turned into a cartoon, following the likes of Freddy Krueger. In this movie, Pinhead is the villain, trying to kill people and throwing away bad jokes. I shouldn’t have a problem with it, I assume – as did the producers – that a demon from hell with pins all around his head should be menacing enough to make at least one decent Horror movie. But Pinhead was actually not any villain in the first movie, he was just a demon doing his job (collecting souls) and had no agenda of his own. Actually, he wasn’t even a main character, it was other people in the movie that drove the story along. In the sequel, he wasn’t that big of a character at all, in fact he kinda drowned amongst all the other effects even though we did get some interesting backstory on him. But in the third movie, all this exposition of him just kill off the mystery of his character and the biggest problem of having him as a villain is the fact that he has no motivation. He’s already in hell, one soul here, one there, what difference does it make?
The story looses focus halfway through and becomes a big mess about hell this and hell that, some truly ridicilously designed demons and go-to-hell-jokes in infinity. The horror genre was dead around this time, and it’s not hard to see why. I won’t be the first one to say it, but then again, I won’t be the last:Hellraiser III could have almost sent it to hell.
I have no furhter interest in seing the subsequent Hellraiser-movies, they are made for video and I don’t review films made for video. It’s a snob thing, sorry. I’m glad though, had they’ve been ”real” movies, wouldn’t you think I’d force myself into watching them aswell. All damn seven of them.