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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was the definitive movie in the Hellraiser series in that it
defined Pinhead as the ultimate nemesis whereas before, Frank held that
Many critics have stated that this movie was totally unnecessary within the series, but I beg to differ. It explained who and what Pinhead was, introduced you to his character in a much more satisfying way, and allowed the viewer to develop a bond with his charismatic persona; both as human and as demon.
These factors are quite necessary if this series is to continue. Terry Farrel and Paula Marshall (of Warlock: The Armageddon and Steve Martin's surprise 2004 summer hit "Cheaper By The Dozen") both contributed their best work (Paula Marshall was just hitting the big screen), rendering solid performances.
This movie will be somewhat of a disappointment for splatter fans as it is not the bloodiest of the line. While this may not be the bloodiest (but it is quite bloody) or most action-filled installment, it is most necessary in following the story line and flow of the gruesome nightmare journey into Hell that is Hellraiser.
It rates an 8.2/10 from...
the Fiend :.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One of the thing which keeps this series above most of the Nightmare on
Elm Street and Friday 13th sequels is that each new Hellraiser film has
a completely new storyline.
This time Pinhead is trapped within a pillar of souls, but is released thanks to the actions of a sex-crazed nightclub owner. He becomes the central villain as he is let loose upon the city (along with the people he turns into inventively-designed Cenobites). However, a reporter (who witnessed someone being torn apart by chains and is determined to find out what happened) is guided by the ghost of Elliot Spencer, Pinhead's former self who has been released from his demonic side.
All in all, this is an inventive and well-made sequel, probably one of the best of the Hellraiser series.
Pinhead has returned, and again he wants to destroy that pesky puzzle box,
the door to Hell, so that he will never have to go back. His return to the
world of the living is fascinatingly done with an updated version of that
horrific rotating pillar that we're all so familiar with by this point.
Kevin Bernhardt plays J.P. Monroe, an arrogant night club owner (the `Boiler
Room') who is at first persuaded by Pinhead (still trapped in the stone
pillar) to help him come fully back to life in the traditional Hellraiser
manner. As is to be expected, not everything goes perfectly as planned, and
the ensuing madness is both sickening and morbidly entertaining.
Ashley Laurence has been mercifully removed from the cast (probably saving the film from failing like the first two did), except for a thankfully brief cameo in which her character is referred to in order to learn about the history of the box and to prove its capabilities. Hellraiser III gives the series a much needed jump-start, following a weak but cult classic original, as well as an even weaker first sequel. Unfortunately, the `Female Cenobite' (mysteriously left unnamed), `Chatterer,' and `Butterball' (both of whom probably SHOULD have been left unnamed) are gone, but a series of about half a dozen new Cenobites keeps the hellish imagery alive. I think that one of the better elements of this installment in the series is that they show all of the new Cenobites being created. However, when Doc becomes a Cenobite (`Camerahead'), some of his dialogue refers to his life as a human, contradicting the previously established characteristic of the Cenobites that they don't remember their human selves.
In the anti-religious tradition of the Hellraiser series (remember `Jesus Wept,' from part I? That was by far my favorite), some of Pinhead's antics in the church near the end of the film are great. When the priest holds up the cross to him, Pinhead melts it in the poor guy's hand, which is a terribly cruel thing to do, but at the same time he utters an absolutely brilliant bit of dialogue, `Thou shalt not bow down to any graven image.' Words to live by, people. After that, Pinhead's self-crucifixion scene was wonderfully sickening, yet his intentions in doing that were both clearly presented and morbidly farcical. Jesus was crucified, paying for man's sins, thereby saving mankind from damnation and becoming the subject of countless masses of people's unquestioning adoration, inspiring Pinhead to crucify himself and state that `I am the way.' This is great stuff.
Besides all that, I think that this installment had some of the best death scenes of the series so far, particularly in the nightclub. Some of that was almost physically painful to watch, a sure sign of success for a horror film. Not only was that Boiler Room massacre convincingly portrayed, but writer Peter Atkins also had the excellent idea to have poor Terri walk through the masses of mutilated bodies after the massacre had ended. Pretty uplifting stuff, huh? A little too gory and bloody? Don't moan about that, it's not supposed to be good, clean, fun. This is a horror film, and by definition, horror films are supposed to be horrible. And Hellraiser III achieves this horror better than either of the two that preceded it, finally leaving the viewer satisfied. Even when you think you are watching what will be a cheesy ending, a plot twist makes it good again, saving us (and the film, technically) from a goofy and patronizing happily-ever-after.' This was a very good horror film. It's almost worth watching the first two just to get to this one, and hopefully this unexpected but very welcome upward trend will continue with the rest of the series.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I just went back and watched first two before this one. What was Doug
Bradley thinking when he signed on to put Pinhead through this? There
are quite a lot of things wrong with this movie.
First off Pinhead is way to "humanized" in this one. He talks a lot which makes him more human and less demon from Hell. I also didn't like how it wasn't really Pinhead doing all the killings. It was just a shell of Spencer's former evil manifested on earth. I hated that. I couldn't believe it when it pointlessly started laughing during the club scene as well. Which brings me to my next points.
The movie was way to urban to be a Hellraiser movie. I didn't like it that it took place in a club a lot and in the city. Plus Pinhead and the cenobites were exposed to way to many people. What ever happened to the only people seeing them was the people that figured out the box? That took away a lot of mystery of them.
Next is all the pointless scenes of gore. I'm a big fan of gore, but the gore meant completely nothing in the movie as compared to the last ones. The club scene where Pinhead out of no where just kills a bunch of people is a shame.
They tried so hard to make Pinhead the anti-hero villain like Jason or Freddy eventually became, but by this time nobody was asking him to be the anti-hero. This was only the third movie. I didn't feel for anybody in the movie and they tried desperately to make people care about Pinhead for some reason.
Next up is the freakin cheesy new Cenobites. I'm sorry, but a fat bartender Cenobite isn't going to replace butterball Cenobite. WTF was up with the camera Cenobite and his one liners? I also had to chuckle at the CD Cenobite.
The pay off to the Spencer/Pinhead separation was done decent, but Spencer and Pinhead being separated really wasn't needed in the first place. Oh well it's rule that classic horror series must be turned into jokes.
In the end this movie was completely abysmal. Which there's not many movies that earn that title from me. Pinhead was elevated to the central character and humanized a lot, because of all the lines he had and his actions. The desperate attempt at making Pinhead the anti-hero villain didn't work for me.
The pay off to the Spencer/Pinhead separation was done decent, but Spencer and Pinhead being separated really wasn't needed in the first place. Part 4 actually seems good in comparison.
In a genre founded on bad sequels, Hell on Earth is one of the worst. After the first two Hellraiser movies developed a powerful mythology, It's all flushed down the toilet in the third movie, apparently to create a franchise in a marketplace dominated by fantastic lead characters. Pinhead does not make a Freddy Krueger, however, and all that happens in this movie is the tearing down of Clive Barker's fantastic world, throwing all of the previous personality and character of it's denizens out the window.
Hellraiser 3 is one of those lame attempts at continuing a horror
franchise that audiences were subjected to in the 90's. Child's play,
Friday the 13th, Halloween, etc. These movies just got silly and poorly
produced by the early 90's.
As for the movie at hand, it's almost totally lacking in the relatively sophisticated mood and creativity of Hellraiser (1987) and Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 (1988). These were movies about the dark aspects of the human condition, about authentic human beings falling prey to lust and temptation. Their misadventures opened the door to the Cenobites, those sinister BDSM icons. Besides punishing sinners, the more innocent also would end up drawn into the mess.
In the 3rd film, we instead get unpleasant and shallow characters that we just don't care about. The compelling thing about the earlier movies was how seemingly ordinary and unpretentious people were seduced by their base impulses. We didn't hate or ridicule these people. The guy who brings the Cenobites back in this movie is a twenty-something L.A. club owner who looks, talks, and acts likes a total jackass. With his shaved and toned chest, he seems like some kind of G.Q. or Playgirl reject who inexplicably got cast in a series which had established a seriousness and maturity with the first two movies. The heroine of this movie is played by a fairly likable actress, but her character isn't interesting and her dialogue/character building scenes come off as flat, like the director couldn't wait to get to the "good" parts.
Also, the first two movies had a kind of stately British vibe to them. Part 3, on the other hand, is very obviously a lowest common denominator L.A. B movie. It tries hard to be "hip" (e.g. now very dated) with it's locations, rock music, and young cast. Sure, some of the 80's hairstyles of the first two films haven't aged all that well, but besides that the first two movie were not about fashion, they were sincere and moody explorations of sinister things. In part 3, the excruciating club scenes are shot and edited frantically, like a music video complete with mediocre 90's hard rock. Not even scary, odd that a "horror" movie would have long stretches that are not even tense, let alone scary.
Being "fashionable" is something that badly hurt 90's horror. Jamie Lee Curtis wore J.C. Penney in Halloween; Tommy Hilfiger got his logo in the credits of The Faculty (1998). Another element to this is the dialogue content and delivery in 90's horror; in 70's and 80's horror characters even when teenage were more low-key and unpretentious. By the 90's it seemed like every script writer and actor came off as trying way to hard to make characters "witty" or "clever". In practice this led to snarky and shallow characters that were hard to relate to.
The movie climaxes with an orgy of mass-violence (shot and edited in an overactive way, just like almost everything else in the movie) that reinforces the notion that overuse leads to boredom. Pinhead and his new cast of Cenobites (that are more poorly designed and acted than the earlier Cenobites) murder more people at a faster rate than any other "slasher" villain ever did. I'm sure it seemed cool at the time, but it's not scary and it destroys the credibility of the villains who were more restrained in the first two movies. Also, having everything be on "Earth" (or at least a theatrically flamboyant early 90's version of Earth) means that we don't get the ambitious Hellscapes that were well-realized in the 2nd movie. The stop-motion wonders of that film's climax are gone too, as for this movie it's just Pinhead and his new boring crew giving the F/X crew opportunities to hone their make-up wound skills. After you see a neck slash or head gouge for the tenth time, who cares? So it's a three for me. It isn't as aggressively sloppy as some of the other "efforts" of it's period, so if for no other reason than that, I'll give it credit.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
So again I watch this film for the 2nd time in 3 years & again, only
remember little bits & pieces due to the lack of interest. Though this
one was slightly better than the first 2 it still didn't have an
interesting enough of a story despite the change from the first 2
This film focuses on a art collector who buys a statue with the Lament Configuration on it along with Pinhead himself. The film focuses on Pinhead & his orgins along with the cenobites in the previous installment as they're revealed to be all human or once before they were transformed. It focuses on how pinhead was once a sgt. in the air force back in the 1920's before he came across the Puzzle Box & was turned evil. He himself asks to be freed from the evil or at least for it to be destroyed.
I found the film to be quite decent & had some gory bloody visuals as always. I furthermore, liked the ending climaxed scene with the normal humans who were cenobites walking down the street terrorising everybody! That was great being honest & aside form a few gorgeous actresses here & there. It was more action packed & had a bit more going for it. Though sadly it still wasn't iconic enough.
I'd give this film a 5.5 out of 10, it was like I said slightly better then the first 2 installments. But just not enough for it to be totally iconic.
With the title "Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth" this third installment
of the "Hellraiser" franchise does seem to want to accomplish something
extraordinarily grand. But truth be told then there wasn't even
remotely anything even close to Hell being unleashed unto our world.
That being said then don't get me wrong, because "Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth" is still an adequate movie in the "Hellraiser" franchise. But it just wasn't as thrilling or vile as the original "Hellraiser" movie.
One of the good things about this third movie is that more depth is added to the Pinhead character and it was a nice touch to offer that to the fans of the franchise.
The fans watch "Hellraiser" for the deviant ideas and creations of Clive Barker's warped mind, but sadly this third movie didn't have a lot of a screen time with the Cenobites, which was a real shame. And the new Cenobites that were introduced in the movie just weren't all that impressive or memorable. I was, however, quite impressed with the stone pillar in which Pinhead was imprisoned. It had amazing details and a certain H.R. Geiger quality to it.
"Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth" is an entertaining enough movie in its own right, but it just wasn't the best in the "Hellraiser" franchise.
After two serious and dark films, Hellraiser 3 takes a different direction, away goes the grittiness and in comes comedy, explosions and pop-culture. Also looks like the movie makers wanted to make Pinhead more like an iconic super-villain like Jason and Freddy. Hellraiser 3 can't be looked at with serious eyes, because it's so campy and ridicules, it's a very typical for late 80s and 90s horror films where the movie makers just wanted to make them light and cartoonish. Hellraiser 3 does offer some entertainment value but nothing more. I've seen all of the Hellraiser movies and for me Hellreiser series died after Hellbound (Hellraiser II).
I'm shocked to see it's still holding a 5 rating on IMDb, what a travesty in ratings. Hellraiser 3 is a poorly acted, poorly scripted, plodding craptastic insult to special effects and slap in the face to the first 2 classics in the franchise. This is a steaming pile of cinematic garbage served with freaking puns...PUNS NOW...on the side. Some reviewers on here are giving it 5 or 6 stars...why? Why in the name of all that's Clive Barker would you give this movie an average or better than average grade? What have you been watching to think this is an average movie people? And...8's? 9's? 10's? TENS EVEN!?! People...you're being bamboozled I tell you. A 10 in the horror genre is perhaps...The Shining, The Exorcist, Alien, you know...something with a strong screenplay, suspenseful cinematography, interesting and strong visuals...something that gets under our skin. How could you idiots rate this a 6 much less a 10, unless you have some sort of bad movie fetish, I just don't get it. I give this a 3. The acting was atrocious, the F/X were pitiful, the cinematography was hackish, and the plot was boring. The cenobites were oafish and pathetic....just a mess all around and if you like this movie then...well whatever. It gets a 3 from me because sadly there's even worse movies like this out there and I give Doug Bradly props for repping Pinhead...the other stars are for doing the credits the right way I guess...whatever, don't even watch this crud.
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