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Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth
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Index 143 reviews in total 

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Pinhead: The Hannibal Lecter of B-Movies

6/10
Author: blubb06 from Germany
6 August 2007

At the end of "Hellbound: Hellraiser II", we were introduced to the human side of Pinhead, the iconic face, voice and hook thrower of the series. The sequel elaborates on this – he has indeed split into two characters, the cenobite and his former self, both more alive than ever.

I read in an interview that actor Doug Bradley got offers from female fans to father their children. There's a sex appeal to the character very like Hannibal's, and it must be in Bradley's facial expression or the fact his make-up doesn't really disfigure him (Unluckily for us, the sexual angle in Clive Barler's Book "The Hellbound Heart" is never explored). Bradley personally thinks it's the way he's filmed in that gorgeous costume. It adorns a plain-looking guy and turns him into the androgynous drag queen from hell.

With 15 years distance and the higher resolution of DVD, a lot of the effects and make-up in this enjoyable shocker look ridiculous, which is half-way compensated by the good acting of the main cast. It has a straight-forward story (Pinhead taking over the real world) and some memorable scenes, particularly when he mocks the Christian last supper. It introduces female heroine and news-hound Joey whose dreams of saving her father (Daddy is back – again!) from death in Vietnam lead her to Pinhead's human self, a disillusioned officer in the trenches of the First World War. Joey is partly accompanied by the tramp girl Terri, a lost soul who can't dream or separate good from bad friends. She's an ex-girlfriend of J.P. Monroe, the sadistic grown-up rich kid who lets Pinhead loose upon the real world. They are all flawed, yet somehow sympathetic. The supporting cast ultimately end up in the meat grinder as usual, but Pinhead has to coerce and seduce rather than threaten this time. He has to use all his remaining brain cells – at least in the first half, which leads to his most intelligent lines in the whole series – maybe. I can't tell, because this was the last one I watched.

Of the first three, it's the most fun and the most spectacular in terms of explosions and massacre, though not the most shocking – the crown of skin-crawlers goes to its prequels, and among those narrowly to "Hellbound: Hellraiser II". Pinhead gets to play his favorite game with a club full of people, some of whom can't act even for their lives, but must have had a great time. The weird "Boiler Room" club setting and constant Heavy Metal music remind me of the Rammstein video "Angel" (Engel). The lighting unfortunately doesn't work very well for Pinhead at DVD resolution, but the set is spectacular. Bradley's performance as his human side relies too much on screen presence – there's almost no acting to speak of in his scenes with Joey as they wander among the mutilated dead of his past. Just like in the unmasking in "Hellraiser II", he remains completely characterless – a cartoon. Maybe that's deliberate to keep him usable in the future, but also a bit disappointing. World War One was disillusioning for many people – one of them created the "Lord of the Rings".

An enjoyable waste of time, and also a cult classic.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Underrated

6/10
Author: JosephLee411 from my local movie theatre
12 October 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Joe Cool Review: Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth

Starring: Terry Farrell as Joey Summerskill, Paula Marshall as Terri, Kevin Bernhardt as JP Monroe and Doug Bradley as Pinhead/Captain Elliot Spencer

Plot: Trapped in the pillar of souls, Pinhead finds a way to escape when a rich guy named JP Monroe buys it as decor. Now free from the rules of hell, Pinhead strives to make a Hell on Earth, with himself as the new overlord.

Openers: This movie is hailed by many as the worst of the series. A lot of people were extremely upset that Pinhead was moved to the foreground of the series when he had been in a supporting role previously. (These were the same people that complained when he was moved back into that very role most likely). And so this movie has become extremely underrated. Does it have it's flaws? Sure. Is it the piece of crap people claim it to be? Far from it. Let's continue.

The Good: I would complain more about Pinhead becoming the main villain if Doug Bradley did a poor job playing him, or if the script gave him really cheesy lines(like they did with Freddy many times) but Pinhead is never made into a joke. They still make him an evil bastard and so he works here. While not as memorable, he does have some good lines here("Down the dark decades of your pain, this will seem like a memory of Heaven.") and some great moments in general. I particularly loved the whole church scene which was so blasphemous and evil. Pinhead escaped from Hell and now he's enjoying his newfound freedom. So Pinhead wasn't ruined. What else is good? How about the fact there is some continuity from the previous two movies? When Pinhead was freed, so was his good version, Captain Elliot Spencer, who serves as a spiritual guide for our heroine and the anti-Pinhead. So Doug Bradley manages to play two roles here. Not only that, but Ashley Laurence makes a cameo here as Kirsty too. Finally, Terry Farrell does a credible job as Joey, even if it does indeed seem like she's trying too hard to follow in the footsteps of Ashley Laurence.

The Bad: That said, this movie has a lot of bad. The new cenobites for example. Half man, half CD player. Half man, half camera. A guy with some sort of piston running through his head, and a girl who smokes cigarettes through a hole in her throat. Nowhere near the creativity or madness that we've seen with such cenobites as Chatterer. Not to mention they all talk and have personality, when in reality it's supposed to make you devoid of personality when it happens to you. And while Pinhead may not have any cheesy lines, he does tend to ramble. A lot. Not to mention everyone else gets bad lines. Let's not forget the typical line to say when fighting Pinhead that's become almost cringe-worthy: Go to hell. Yeah, we get it. Not to mention I felt that the actual "Hell on Earth" mode left a lot to be desired. There wasn't enough carnage for the movie's premise! The supporting cast also didn't do well in their roles I felt.

The Ugly: Again you get pleased by lots of gore. There is an entire scene at a club where EVERYONE is slaughtered. There's more hook attacks, Pinhead eats a girl(in which first her skin is pulled off), and lots more bloody goodness. There's one thing you can always count on with these movies, there will be blood.

Final Verdict: Hellraiser III is underrated. Sure they made Pinhead the lead character, and yes this does feel more like a slasher flick than a typical Hellraiser movie, but it's a FUN slasher flick. I recommended, although it's not required viewing like the others.

Rating: *** of *****

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

R-rated cut review

Author: Christopher Smith
21 August 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After years of all the other Hellraiser flicks being available to own on DVD, fans can rejoice now that Paramount has finally released what the fans want to see...kind of. The DVD, released last week, is the censored R-rated cut that was shown in theaters. Does it matter? In most cases I would say no. Most of the time, I don't think movies suffer when a few minutes are sacrificed in order to get an R-rating. In the case of this particular one, however, I feel that the missing material adds to the film and without it, the censored cut seems a bit choppy. It's clear scissors were taken to it. The unrated version is the better deal. If you have the unrated cut and think the current DVD is worth buying, think again.

So how does the R-rated cut hold up despite the missing footage? Surprisingly pretty well. There is still some great gory moments, a decent plot line, and solid directing. Director Anthony Hickcox handles the kill scenes well and is able to build a fair amount of tension throughout the proceedings. With a lesser director, this third Hellraiser wouldn't have been half as successful as it is. The screenplay could have been better (no Clive Barker to help out with the script this time). There were times when it felt like an uncredited screenwriter was brought in since some things didn't gel with the rest (The whole CD attack for example). Also, leads Terry Farrell and Kevin Bernhardt are sort of bland, though it seems to have more to do with the screenplay than their abilities as performers. Overall, this is a worthy sequel and one of the better horror films from the early 90s. 7/10

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Should have been done better

5/10
Author: nightshade777 from Germany
25 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm a great fan of Hellraiser and I like Pinhead a lot for he is one of the greatest characters in Horror history. By now, I've just watched the first three films of the series. I very enjoyed the first two films, for they had a very cool and creepy atmosphere and were some masterpiece of dark art. But Hellraiser 3 never reaches the level of these two flicks. First of all I missed the great scenes in hell that made Hellraiser 2 such a great and stylish film. Secondly, the acting of some of the main characters is very bad, especially Terry, although the actress is very pretty. Thirdly, there is too much Pinhead. Don't get me wrong, as I already said above, I very like this character, but sometimes less is more, it should be something special and thus rare when he appears, and in this film he appears much too often. Though I liked the idea to bring his human form into play. What I also disliked is the whole disco setting. Although I'm a great Heavy Metal Fan, I didn't enjoy the whole thing, for it lacks the darkness that the first two films had in them. And Hellraiser should not include these massacres, they're under Pinhead's contempt, not his style!

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Worst of the first three

4/10
Author: Vampenguin from Canada
15 April 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Anthony Hickox's father, Douglas Hickox, directed one of my all-time favourite horror films, Theatre of Blood. When I saw the Hickox name appear in the opening credits, I thought maybe, just maybe, greatness could run in the family. Put simply: It doesn't. The two Hellraiser films up to this point were both very well done, different horror films. This, on the other hand, was likely made simply to cash in on Pinhead's icon status, and turn him in to another Freddy Krueger. Though it did start out pretty good, the more it told us the worse it got. The killing blow was when Capt. Spencer called Joey over to "his world". Made an already cheesy movie even worse, flashback and all. Shortly after that, they decide to break their own rules by killing a ton of innocent people. Make sense to you? Me neither. The new Cenobites were awful, especially the CD dude. They were definitely scraping the bottom of the barrel for that one. The film's two redeeming qualities were the incredible gore effects, and Doug Bradley. No matter how pointless and cheesy his character gets, this guy always puts on a good performance. As far as this series goes, stick with the first two.

4.5/10

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Pinhead Released

7/10
Author: saxon-7 from Denmark
25 February 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Pinhead Released on Earth is basically the story of this addition the Hellraiser franchise and while it's not as good as the first it's better than the second, if a bit poorly made (some of the Cenobites are a bit laughable). The story while good isn't that well executed by Anthony Hickox, but it's fun to see what Cenobites Pinheads creates, while these new Cenobites aren't as scary or should we say serious than the ones in the first two, they sure are a comic bunch. The way that Pinhead is brought back from his demise is a bit so-so (come on he can't really be killed anyway.), it's still keeping with the character's background.

The acting in this one is, apart from Doug Bradley; who ones again outperforms his co-actors as Pinhead/Elliott Spencer, is very lacking. Terry Farrell is so over the top in her acting of Joanne Summerskill; an journalist that comes across a video recording of Kristy, that it's more of a joke than anything else, granted she some shinning moments but they are few and far between. Paula Marshall does an okay job as Terri; a lost teenager that has no place to go but of cause knows where Pinhead's monolith is, but the character dosn't have that much dept. >Spoiler< The Cenobite made out of her is almost as laughable as the one made from her former boyfriend. Ashley Laurence's role is so small that it's can't be judged, but nice to see her in this as it keeps this installment in line with the franchise.

I give this 7 out of 10, mostly due to the fact that the effects are better than in Hellbound. It's still worth seeing in a continuance viewpoint, but if you haven't seen the first two movies then see those first before seeing this.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

I enjoyed this movie but.......

7/10
Author: Preston Deboer from United States
28 May 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As much as i enjoyed this movie due tot he fact that Pinhead is a prominent part in this one the constant reminder that he is all to naive gets rather irritating. He is constantly monologuing and acting as if he does not have the power to stop the female lead in her tracks. He also is not as frightening because of the constant humor which is actually quite enjoyable. I enjoyed that this movie explained exactly where pinhead came from. I liked how at the end Both the previously human pinhead and pinhead joined as one in order to save the lead female. However, it would not be the end of pinhead. considering he comes back for the sequel Hellraiser: Bloodline. It had no tension nor parts where i had to cover my eyes (except for some of the gory imagery) in fear of what may come next. I very much enjoyed this movie and would recommend it as long as you can stomach it and are not eating and if you enjoy pinhead a great deal!!!

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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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