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Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth
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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

the series goes commercial

Author: TheNorthernMonkee from Manchester
28 July 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SPOILERS

It was bound to happen eventually that after the first two films, Barker's clever series would go commercial. In the third, fun but pointless, film of the set, this is exactly what would happen.

In the third part, all of the cenobites have been killed or imprisoned. All of the cast from the previous two films are absent with the exception of a few brief video clips from Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence) and to accomodate this, the action is relocated from the small town mental institute to New York. Terry Farrell plays Joanne "Joey" Summerskill, a up and coming reporter who flukily witnesses a man being torn apart by hooks on chains. Researching the incident, she is introduced to Terri (Paula Marshall), her ex-boyfriend J.P. Monroe (Kevin Bernhardt) and a mysterious statue containing the evil cenobite leader Pinhead.

Before really condemning "Hellraiser III", it's worth considering it's good points. These are very limited sadly, but basically can be summarised in that the film is violent, gore filled and contains one or two scenes of intensity. Other than that, it's relatively limited.

On the downside, Terry Farrell, tries very hard to play her role, but ultimately does a very weak performance and does nothing to stop us from remembering her purely for her later role as Jadzia Dax in "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine". The plot is weak and farfetched, bringing in Pinhead's original self, Captain Elliot Spencer, as a form of good to challenge the evil. Truth be told, the only logical reason for even mentioning the Captain is that it seems like Doug Bradley wanted more lines and this gave him them. This leads to the problem though in that Pinhead is always at his best when the silent, mysterious evil monster who can scare you just by appearance. In this film he turns from being terrifying to more a figure of fun. The same feels true of the new cenobites. Whilst in the previous two films all of the cenobites, even the awkward looking doctor in the second, were slightly menacing. In this third encounter however, all of these monsters look slightly farcical. J.P's cenobite appearance at the end in particular is daft in that he feels more reminiscent of a Hammer Horror "Igor" than a serious movie monster.

What else can be said really? With a better plot and with less postmodern cenobites (ones featuring cd players and television cameras are just stupid), "Hellraiser III" could have been an average film. It might be gore filled and extreme at times, but this never seemed to be what this series was about. The first two films contained, at least to some degree, an evil world which was dark and intense. This third effort is sadly more in tune with the more recent Freddy Kruger or Jason Vorhees flops than with it's predecessors. A terrible shame and an utter waste.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

No Justice in Hell

3/10
Author: Angelosilence (Angelosilence@hotmail.com) from Santa Rosa, California
13 July 2003

Hellraiser III is a big departure from the previous two films (although it was written be Pete Atkins, who wrote Hellbound). The beginning of the film presents us with lighting and locales that just seemed too representative of the early nineties time period. A lot of the film doesn't make sense for the first hour, which is punctuated by dreams, and a few killings which just chalk it up to `slasher' status. Events are too formulatic, which cheats us out the novelty of Hellraiser I and II. Things start to make sense after about fourty-five minutes, when we learn that Pin-head's human form has been split from his Cenobite persona, which has taken refuse in a statue, that talks to its owner.

The dialogue from Pin-head is a lot less all-knowing resident of Hell, and a lot more devil-on-your-left-shoulder. But at least his vocabulary stays intact. This doesn't save him from being degraded down to Freddy-status as just another evil voice in the shadows. After being released from the statue, Pin-head goes out on a rampage, and making himself so damn public. Because everyone has seen him (not to mention an earlier hospital scene), the movie seems a lot less personal, and looses traction for it. The up side of this sequence is the end where you watch a closed door seep out blood with hook noises coming from inside for a length of time that just makes one feel slightly uncomfortable. In the final moments, Pin-head creates his own Cenobites, which lessens their mystique. The last four were truely creatures of hell, but these guys just look like a make-up designer's wet dream. All in all I thought it made a good horror film, but its desire to stay with a more conventional formula makes it a bad choice to carry the title Hellraiser.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Not as Bad as I Expected

7/10
Author: patrick_bateman_77401 from California
3 February 2003

I first viewed Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth after I saw Hellraiser: Bloodline in a theater (the most underrated Pinhead flick of all). I was going to rent the original, but they were all out, so I rented the Unrated version of this. And I didn't think it was that bad after what I had been hearing.

Pinhead is pretty much himself in this as he was in the other two. He's just shown killing more than when we just saw him kill one victim. He still has smart things to say. And he still has all 128 pins embedded in his head.

The new Cenobites were interesting, but they weren't as creepy as the Chatterer, Female, or Butterball. The only two real intriguing Cenobites were the CD Cenobite and the Terri Cenobite.

The cast was good. We got to see Doug Bradley as Human and Pinhead. Terry Farrell, long before her role on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, is intriguing to watch as the young reporter who is given the task to stop Pinhead, as well as Paula Marshall and Kevin Bernhardt, who play an ally and foe to the reporter that become Cenobites in the end (I wonder if those were really the actors under all that makeup and leather).

And a big plus is that they use the original score instead of cooking up some cheesy score as most third sequels do. It's good to hear the original score, which mixes horror with eroticism.

Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth is not a disappointment.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Not bad at all!

7/10
Author: Bogey Man from Finland
3 June 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Many consider that this third Hellraiser: Hell on Earth, directed by Anthony "Waxwork" Hickox is very bad and stupid, but I don't think so and I was pleasantly surprised when I viewed this. The story takes place this time in a big city in which the Pinhead and cenobites try to attack and bring Hell on Earth, thus the title. There is again a certain way to call Pinhead, and all the weak persons do so in order to get some satisfaction and pleasure...Instead, as we have learned in the previous films, they get something that PINHEAD considers pleasant and satisfying! Pain.

There are many atmospheric scenes and one disco mayhem scene is memorable as Pin and pals attack and soon many kind of killing machines are invented and *small spoiler* cenobites destroy the whole place and people in it. Flying and slicing CDs are only among the many "creative death tools" found in this nice piece of horror trash. *no spoilers anymore!* The atmosphere is very dark in the streets throughout the film and I think this is as "noteworthy" as Hellraiser 2, as far as we talk about sequels. Part two has that problem that it relies too much on splatter effects and becomes pretty stupid and boring. This third installment is in my opinion far more interesting and also inventive, and I was pleasantly surprised having read all the bad comments from some people. This is not a horror masterpiece like Barker's first Hellraiser, but as a sequel and piece of 80's (often stupid) horror, this effort by Anthony Hickox is very well done and can be viewed several times without getting bored.

7/10 but still, cannot be mentioned in the same sentence with the original Hellraiser.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Hey, it was decent! (SPOILERS in here)

Author: AndrewWalker747
18 November 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I don't know why this movie got a bad rap. I personally thought it was well-done. Some parts were actually pretty scary (ie. when Pinhead traps everyone in the nightclub and kills em with chains, and Pinheads demolition of New York. The whole idea of Pinhead's "good self" (capt. Elliot Spencer)was nicely drawn out and contrary to popular belief,was not corny at all. It made the movie more interesting. The new cenobites were actually kinda cool and funny (Joey's camera guy's funny line after he was turned into a cenobite-"Look what he did to me, you little bitch!") Anyway, I could go on and on about this but to keep it short this was a pretty good horror flick. It didnt have all the unnecessary gore like Hellraiser II did, and it still was scary and good to watch. 7/10

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

what a trip

Author: Loff24 from Portugal
25 July 2001

Really, and I thought "Moonwalker" was a treat. I had to turn my tv on in a dutch hotel and stumble into the last 30 minutes of this comedy. The things explode everywhere, a guy which is killed by a cd, another one which is killed by a augmenting lens, and I was laughing so hard my guts were aching. All the clichés were there, all the improbabilities, etc. If this movie has its last 30 minutes like this, I wonder how mediocre the rest will be. When the pinhead melts with the priest or the scientist or whatever it really had me laughing... even those Z movies deliberately made in an awful way aren't this good. For a trip like this I also recommend "The Exorcist 2" or "Showgirls"...

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

While not the best of the series, it was certainly hilarious!

7/10
Author: Aussie Stud from Providence, Rhode Island
24 June 2001

The third installment in the Hellraiser series, we follow a female reporter, Joey, who stumbles upon the infamous 'Puzzlebox' and unleashes the terror within.

The opening scenes of the movie are quite amusing. We see a screaming male wheeled into an operating room on a gurney. He has the infamous metal hooks and chains hanging from his shredded flesh and we can immediately identify this to the joyous work of Pinhead and his cenobites. As the doctors calm the screaming male, a sadistic nurse lays out weird-shaped and rather deadly looking implements on the table behind him. This really has nothing to do with the story, but it gives you the sense that these people aren't really Doctors and nurses. Before they can operate on the male, the chains spring to life and rip his body apart and we are introduced to the central character of this story.

Joey is a struggling reporter who decides to cover this particular story. She talks to the victim's girlfriend, Terri, who explains that all of these things happened after he played around with a 'puzzlebox' that he stole from an antique collector. Terri gives the puzzlebox to a sleazy club owner who she once slept with and he unleashes Pinhead and his cenobites once again as he accidentally opens up the portal that connects Hell with Earth.

The fun starts here once Pinhead gatecrashes a popular night club called "The Boiler Room". This is actually the highlight of the whole movie. As the patrons run towards the chained doors, each one is killed in a brutal yet hilarious fashion. One female patron has a spear of ice jutted into her open mouth. A male patron gets three snooker balls shoved down his mouth!! You basically see a lot of people getting hoisted into the air with chains and whatnot, but we get to see very elaborate killings.

When some of the unfortunate victims return as cenobites, Joey discovers that she's stumbled upon more than just a "hot scoop". Actually, the cenobites in this movie are the most creative out of the whole series. Joey's cameraman gets turned into a cenobite and he has his camera installed into his head! A disc jockey has the unfortunate experience of having CD's implanted into his head and further uses them like Ninja stars as he hurls them as weapons! A bartender concocts molotov cocktails as he 'shakes but not stirs' his 'special' drink as he throws them at police officers who fire pointlessly at them with their guns.

The most hilarious scene is when Terri (now a cenobite) walks around with a cigarette poking out of the flesh of her exposed throat and she burns Joey with it.

But all good things must come to an end once Joey sends them back to where they came from. Not much insight is given to Joey's character - but the viewer hasn't really come along for the ride to learn about someone we don't really care about. We all came to see Pinhead and his cenobites, and that's what we got! The only one real surprise about this installment was catching Kirsty in a cameo as an asylum lunatic trying to convince everyone that she has been to Hell and back. It is quite obvious she was placed in this scene as a special treat for all the Hellraiser fans out there as this scene was completely irrelevant to the storyline.

While not the most memorable of the Hellraiser series, it certainly provides enough laughs for an hour and a half of fun. It usually airs on the Sci-Fi Channel every few months. Keep your eyes out for it!

6/10

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Another good sequel. Almost exactly as good as part II.

Author: aaronzombie (aaronzombie@aol.com) from Yucaipa, CA
12 February 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Once again we are drawn into the world of Pinhead and the Lament Configuration. However, if you think this film is like the first two, you are wrong. Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth is a different approach on the Hellraiser mythology, and a good one at that.

!!!POSSIBLE SPOILERS!!!We open up in a city Hospital where a reporter named Joey witnessess the death of someone who opened the infamous puzzle box. She tracks down the person who witnessed the man opening the box and together the two search for some answers. However, a nightclub owner has found the soul pillar where Pinhead has been imprisoned since Hellbound and accidentilly releases him. Joey learns that in Hellbound Kirsty had split both the good and bad sides of Pinhead and with the help of the good half must destroy Pinhead before it's too late.

Good story, acting, and effects. *** out of *****. The last good Hellraiser(So far anyway).

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

"The best of the lot!"

Author: John Sanders (dobbs-11) from Rotherham, England
24 November 1999

I really don't care what anyone says. This film is definately the best in the series. It's full of shocks, gore, excitement and tension. Just like a good horror movie should be. Although this time around some of the claustraphobia is lost through the streets of New York, rather than in an old house like the original 'Hellraiser'.

Ashley Lawrence doesn't really make an 'official' appearence which I think, is a good thing as her character couldn't really be improved, they'd just be dragging out a perfectly good charatcer.

There's also a good back story in this film, explaining how Pinhead came to life. But it's more of an action/horror film, rather than just pure horror. Fans of the series don't miss this, but be wary of Bloodlines. It has nothing to do with its predecessors and is just plain stupid.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

pretty good for a "hip" sequel

Author: Anne Drogyness (artnotart@jewishmail.com) from Chicago Vatican
2 August 1999

In the past few years, there have been a lot of horror sequels that are really just "hip updates" of the originals. Carrie 2, Halloween H2O, and the Friday the 13th where Freddy goes into the Nintendo come to mind. Each of these sequels paled in comparison to the original, partly because they are dated in their "hipness" after five years. This is not the case with Hellraiser III. It is a pretty good story. As usual, we get the gore and cool costumes. There are more cenobites in this one than all of the others movies in the series (i DO miss the other original three, though). The "Pillar of Souls" is here (from the end of the second one), along with some brief recaps of the second movie (there is even a cameo from Kirsty!). The soundtrack is okay, but it should be pointed out that this soundtrack has music from actual "bands": KMFDM, Motorhead, etc. which is a first for the series. Anyway, the story is about a reporter, Joey (Terry Farrell), who wants to get a "Big story". She stumbles on a victim in a hospital who has hooks dangling from him- Hellraiser style. The victim had been brought to the hospital by a girl named Terri (Paula Marshall). Her investigation into the story through Terri leads her to a cool club called "The Boiler Room". Terri's ex-boyfriend owns the club, and happens to be an artist/art collector who recently acquired the Pillar of Souls. The story has some insight into Pinhead, too. One of the things I like about Hellraiser III is that it doesn't mess with the storyline. Pinhead's character is a real focus of the movie, all the way to the end. Don't worry, though- he still has his "profound" lines throughout the movie, but he also has a sense of humor now! My favorite scene in the movie in definitely the church scene... I should probably say now that the fourth movie is not as good as any of the others in the series and was a huge disappointment for me. But that is a different review...

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