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I'm not quite sure what happened to poor ol' Pinhead, but his character
got an overhaul for this misfire of a film. He is transformed from his
mysterious visage into a gimmicky Freddy Krueger-type mass-murderer.
Once upon a time in the series, you had to open a puzzlebox searching for the secrets of pain and pleasure to be attacked by the Cenobites. But no more. Hell, all you have to do now is go to a nightclub and you're on the victims list. Sillyness abounds as the DJ becomes a CD throwing cenobite and a cameraman launches missiles (yes, missiles) from the lens buried in his head. Stupid.
Way off base when compared with the rest of the series, and not worth your time.
Being a slasher horror fan during it's rising in the late 70's early 80's
watched the first 2 HellRaiser films and when I saw part 3 I was
disapointed. But watching it again (HBO 01/27/04) I gotta say I was
impressed with the story in general.
I Really got into the last bit where the PinHead chracter confronts it's "good self" Very good plot twist written in the classic feel for the character.
If you were a fan of the first and second HellRaiser films rewatch 3 with an open mind... time heals all wounds.
Watching this film as part of a four movie Hellraiserthon, I was full of expectation after the brilliance of the first two films. This third venture was a total disappointment, replacing the plot and tension of the earlier films with pretty girls and lots of mindless violence. The only saving grace was the excellent performance by Doug Bradley as a very confident and menacing Pinhead. Personally, I'd watch the first two films many times again, but skip this vacation from quality.
I have yet to see Bloodline or Inferno, but Hell on Earth is the worst of the first three Hellraiser movies. It lacks both the wit and the sheer terror of the first two films. What's more, it breaks the rules established in the previous Hellraiser films (that is, Cenobites cannot harm the truly innocent, the Cenobites can be summoned or banished by the box, and so on). And while Pinhead actually spoke very little in the first two films, in Hell on Earth he is downright talky. Unfortunately, only a few of his lines are very memorable. It is unfortunate that Clive Barker did not have more to do with this movie (he wrote and directed the first and wrote the story for the second), as it might have turned out much better.
first of all, Hellraiser III isn't a BAD film. In fact, it's quite good if
it would stand on its own. And it certainly is one of the more decent
efforts in the overall disappointing decade of the 90's. Compared to the
first two Hellraisers, however, it's a bit of a failure. Hellraiser ('87)
and Hellbound ('88) were horrorfilms in the purest possible form and my two
all-time favorites. There were 4 indicators in those movies that brought
them close to being the definition of horror.
1. Creating a unique and utterly morbid atmosphere (through settings, music etc...)
2. Building up an unbearable tension ( the occasional twists etc..)
3. Showing nasty and very bloody sequences in a beautiful way
4. The presence of a true horror icon !! ( in this case...PINHEAD )
Hellraiser III fails to at least 3 of these points...The dark and macabre settings from Hell and the mental institution are replaced by a bar which plays horrible rock music, there's almost no tension to detect and it's a very predictable story. The gore however is still present, but the quality of it doesn't come near the originals. The Boiler Room massacre puts Clive Barker to shame, I think. The whole story know turns around the character of Pinhead. He's more than ever the star of this movie and that almost goes wrong. He talks too much and he even starts to become funny. That certainly isn't good for a horror icon. ( Look at what a joke Fred Krueger became ). Director Anthony Hickox obviously is a big fan of Pinhead and he wanted the movie to be especially about him. Every now and then Hickox tries to link this film to the original story but it clearly isn't his biggest concern. The tapes about Kirsty in the Chanard institute and the dream-sequences where Joey meets Elliot Spencer are too fake and forced. The movie does explain where Pinhead comes from but it certainly isn't stressed enough...
Hellraiser III goes very much over the top near the end and I almost lost my love towards Pinhead after the church scene ! I'm trying to forget that particular part. It really is a shame that this movie is part of the series. If this would have been a new film ( with a new demon ) it would have been an enjoyable, well-made change. But as part of a great series it fails to deliver and you're left behind with a disappointment. This movie was followed by episode 4: Bloodline and a few others after that. The fourth is a surprisingly good attempt to bring back the spirit of the original ones and should be watched directly after the first two. Everything that came after part 4 should be skipped unless you're a die-hard Pinhead fan.
The films 'Hellraiser' and 'Hellbound: Hellraiser II,' weren't like
anything ever seen before. They were doors into new worlds. The end of
II was an open ending, so it seemed only natural that more sequels
come, and 4 years later we got one. But something had changed, and not
necessarily for the better. It was decided that Pinhead, otherwise
known as the Lead Cenobite, would be the villain and given more to do
this time around. On top of that a big studio, in this case Paramount,
would be the new distributor and we all know what can happen sometimes
when a big studio gets involved. If I'm making it sound like I hate
'Hellraiser III,' I don't, but like other fans I feel this is where the
series began to lose it.
Pros: Pace moves right along. Good performances, the standout being Paula Marshall. The urban setting is a nice change of scenery. An OK score that mixes some classic 'Hellraiser' themes with some new stuff. Some really good special and visual effects. The war scenes are well done. Some excellent set pieces, my personal fave being the one in the club. Some pretty neat new Cenobites.
Cons: No real surprises or much we haven't already seen. Though Doug Bradley does a good job as both Pinhead and Captain Elliot Spencer, the fact that Pinhead is made the villain and given more screen time does make him a bit less scary and mysterious. The final confrontation is kind of disappointing.
Final thoughts: Though not at all a bad film, this second sequel to Clive Barker's ground breaking film is a step down from it's predecessors. As I said there's not much here fans haven't already seen and both Pinhead and the film are pretty much on the same level as other movie monsters of the time, which was never the idea. But still it's fun, has some style, and is far more interesting than some of the other sequels.
My rating: 3.5/5
HELLRAISER III: HELL ON EARTH (1992)
starring: Terry Farrell, Doug Bradley, Paula Marshall, Kevin Bernhardt, Ashley Laurence, Ken Carpenter.
plot: Reporter Joey (Terry Farrell), troubled teenager Terri (Paula Marshall) and playboy club owner J.P. (Kevin Bernhardt) are in danger from Pinhead (Doug Bradley) after he is resurrected from his purgatory. Meanwhile, Elliot Spencer's ghost contacts Joey in order to save him from his purgatory, and Pinhead sets out to create 'hell on earth' by creating new cenobites.
the good: The thing that kept me engaged the most was the characters. Joey and Terri had great chemistry and make a good example of true friendship, Doug Bradley is great as the evil Pinhead and the good Elliot Spencer, I loved to hate the selfish and cocky J.P. and Ashley Laurence has a cute cameo as Kirsty.
It also had some fun action and great visuals from director Anthony Hickox.
the bad: Even though Doug Bradley was great as Pinhead, here he is missing what the other films have. The emphasis on how Pinhead is not evil. He does not run hell, he just works at it. He does what has to be done. Here he is just an unstoppable killing machine.
I also hated Ken Carpenter as Doc, he is a horrible actor!
Hellraiser: Hell on Earth stars Terry Farrell as a young television reporter investigating a horrific murder where the victim appears to have been torn apart by hooks and chains somehow connected to a strange puzzle box discovered near the body. The clues lead to a prostitute and a sleazy nightclub owner who's latest art installation is a remnant of the cenobite dimension left behind on our world which contains the blackened soul of Pinhead. Hellraiser II director Tony Randel co-wrote the screenplay for Hell on Earth and he tries to pack a bit too much into the film. The climactic chase through the city streets with pyrotechnics and special effects exploding all around feels forced, like much of the action here. It's dictated by the unwieldly script rather than flowing natuaraly. If you like the first two Hellraiser films you'll want to see Hell on Earth and you may even enjoy it.
Where Hellraiser 1 and 2 were both very dark and very British,
Hellraiser 3: Hell On Earth is very Hollywood.
J. P. Monroe is the scumbag, soulless owner of The Boiler Room, a somewhat gothy dance club decorated with morbid art. In his search for more profane objects to add to his collection, J. P. comes across, and subsequently purchases, an odd pillar in an art gallery, which fans of the first two films will have no trouble recognizing. Enter Joey Summerskill, a frustrated reporter who comes across a bizarre death in a hospital emergency room. As she watches, a young man is torn to pieces by hooks and chains that appear out of midair. Eager to discover the story behind the gruesome, supernatural death, and with only one clue to follow, Joey arrives at the Boiler Room and befriends the insecure and abused Terri, J. P.'s ex girlfriend. Together, they discover the history of the Lament Configuration, the bizarre happenings at the Channard Institute and the story of Kirsty Cotton. But it doesn't end there. Joey begins having dreams about a man named Elliot Spencer, a World War One soldier who warns her that evil has been unleashed in the form of his own evil alter ego, the Cenobite Pinhead. Indeed, Pinhead soon breaks free and turns The Boiler Room into a slaughterhouse. Now he wants Joey. But can Elliot Spencer stop Pinhead before Joey is taken to Hell?
This isn't a terrible sequel, really. It's not great, but it's nowhere near as bad as some of the others that followed. There's some nice bloody gore and naked girls, and Pinhead, as always, seems to be enjoying himself immensely, seducing his victims with a smile and making his offer of an eternity of pain seem quite irresistible. His scene with a priest is particularly nasty and blasphemous...and wickedly funny. The storyline doesn't always make sense, there's a lot of unintentionally laughable moments and some of the acting borders on the ridiculous, but all in all, Hellraiser 3 is pretty good cinematic junk food. If nothing else, Doug Bradley alone always makes these films watchable with his flawless portrayal of Pinhead.
6 out of 10.
Sensing a chance for a real story, a newswoman stumbles upon a
sociopath art dealer who's in possession of the box that summons
Pinhead and his demons and forces her to find its origins to finally
Frankly, this one is one of the most underrated efforts in the series. Among the many positives here is the fact this one finally manages to uncover the real past involving Pinhead and his connection to the box which causes this to really connect the series together. By doing that in accordance with the heavy use of action within this, as there's no shortage of exciting, high-energy action scenes, this one is packed to the brim with exciting elements. The opening hospital scene that sets up the cause to investigate the nightclub, the first encounter in the bedroom with the Pinhead statue, the gradual realization of the friends turned into the new Cenobites and the massacre at the nightclub are just some of the rather impressive and exciting action through this, and each one tends to get all the more exciting by gaining in spectacle that causes all the rather enjoyable fun throughout. Of course, the real spectacle here is the mad dash through the streets where there's non-stop threats on display, from the initial attacks like the possessed power-lines and charged water chasing after her to the blasting eruptions underground and finally the appearance of the Cenobites which lead s to all sorts of chaos as their new-found powers are put on display against the few passersby left on the street as well as trying to contain her running down the street. This is a lot of fun and really gets the kind of exceptionally enjoyable and gory action-packed sequence that scores quite well as a show highlight as well. There's also the rather fun feature of having Pinhead around for quite a bit of screen-time being ably rewarded with him fully getting those glorious monologues and dementedly enjoyable quips that he goes through on the others, and the ones in here are among the better ones in the series due to all the extra time he has. That also gives him some fine extra scenes as the tormenting of the priest in the church and the release from the statue which really completes this one quite well. The only thing that really hurts this one is the battle in the secondary dimension that really just amounts to all sorts of posturing without really doing anything and is filled with some lame special effects throughout despite being quite impressive the rest of the film. It's the only real flaw in this one.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language, Brief Nudity, a sex scene and mild drug use.
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