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Hellraiser III:Hell On Earth was not as good as the first two films but it
was a reasonable entry in the series.
Some people have criticized this film for not having Ashley Laurence or Claire Higgins from the first two films in it. But did we really want to rehash the same old plot? This was something different which is why I respected it.
That pesky box is back causing trouble and the sexy Terry Farrell is the reporter who gets drawn into it's world. Pinhead is back (with some new, and sadly, inferior Cenobites)and he plans on bringing hell to earth literally. Only Farrell and Pinhead can stop him.
What do I mean, Pinhead can stop Pinhead? Well, Pinhead used to be a human Army Captain in his former life and his human alter ego is trapped in limbo. Only Pinhead can stop Pinhead...does that make sense?
The film is in no way as atmospheric as the first two films which were set in that horrible house and we don't get to see hell this time because most of the action takes place on Earth. But the film does have it's moments and there are a few scares to be truthful. It's also nice to get a bit more backstory on Pinhead's life as human after the first two films which only briefly touched on the subject.
All in all, Hellraiser III is a respectable film. Don't compare it to the first two films (like I have done). Just watch and enjoy.
I remembered this film to be very entertaining, but I just saw it a few days ago and it's not that great as I remembered. There's some pretty bad acting, and the direction is pretty bad too. It's very unintentionally funny, if you want some laughs and the gore and nudity are great! But the least of the series. NOTE : This film mainly focuses on Pinhead, one of the cinema's most freaky villains.
*** 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.
I was living in New York City when I saw this movie. At one point, Terry
Farrell goes running down the street with several Cenobites hot on her
trail. They happened to chase her past the very movie theater I was inside
watching the movie. I was badly frightened and began to scream and panic.
I thought, "The monsters are right outside. What if Terry Farrell leads
them in here? What if they decide to stop chasing her and come into the
theater to get me?" I was terrified, rooted to my seat thinking that if
they did, I would see my own self on the screen, being killed, sent to Hell
or at the very least seriously mutilated.
By the way, it's virtually impossible to translate Clive Barker to the screen. He can't even do it himself ("Hellraiser," "Nightbreed," "Lord of Illusions.") This is an exception. It's a pretty decent horror flick with a delightfully ominous and grisly opening.
rating: ** 1/2 out of ****
I've put off watching Hellrasier III: Hell on Earth for a long time now, probably because of how I didn't particularly care that much for its predecessors. The original Hellraiser was a so-so horror film that was veering dangerously close to sub-par territory and Hellbound was a sequel that featured an incredibly silly core for a plot when you think about it (It turns out the girl's journey to hell was nothing more than an attempt by her uncle, of all people, to get her into his bed). But it's to my surprise that Hellraiser III is actually better.
Why is this? Probably because it has no pretentious story pretending to tell more than there actually is. This film is made for no other purpose than for sheer entertainment value, and for that I find it considerably more respectable. It also has Terry Farrell in it, and she's a considerable improvement above Ashley Laurence and Claire Higgins combined in both acting ability and looks.
The movie begins with Joey Summerskill (Terry Farrell), a down-on-her-luck reporter, trying to get her "big story." She's in a hospital one night, and a young man is admitted and he has chains embedded into various parts of his body. The doctors try to do what they can but he literally tears apart in front of their eyes. This, Joey believes, is the story she's been looking for. She tracks down the person who brought the young man to the hospital, a woman named Terri, who apparently is the boyfriend of J.P. Monroe, the owner of a popular club. It's also this same club that contains a statue of the cenobite Pinhead, whose demon form is now trapped in this condition but can be revived with blood. Pinhead is eventually awakened and he makes a deal with Monroe, thus creating a chain of events that sets Pinhead free and out to wreak havoc on the city.
There are a few things that are immediately noticable about this film when compared to the previous installments. For one, it doesn't have that dark, pervasive atmosphere, which is good since it wouldn't fit here at all. Another thing is that the movie has a more polished look to it, due mainly to the fact this was a big studio release. So, on a technical level, this movie does indeed look more professional and competent than the other entries. Of course, it takes more than just that to make Hellraiser III superior to its predecessors, and it accomplishes that because it's a fun ride and acknowledges its own lack of ultra-seriousness.
It's in my opinion that series fans are being far too hard on this movie and are pretty much wrong when they consider it among the series' weakest films. I've even heard complaints that it lacks the depth of the original, which just makes me want to laugh because the original had about as much as depth as a puddle of dog urine. Stylish direction and weird imagery does not add up to meaningful and deep, and director Clive Barker didn't have the convictions to take his film beyond the level of a gorefest, albeit still a somewhat stylish one. The sequel, Hellbound, was just a dreary and silly descent into a very bland-looking hell.
Director Anthony Hickox chooses to play Hellraiser III as a thrill ride in one form or another and is mostly successful. The movie begins somewhat slowly (though never boring for a moment) but builds up to a furious final half-hour that features a hell of a lot of gore, some terrific visual effects (as well as some weak ones), and a slew of new cenobites, all of which lack the dark seriousness of the previous ones and are obviously played for laughs here. Not a bad thing, if you ask me, considering some of the past cenobites were a little unintentionally funny and a change of pace is welcome.
As is usual, you can expect tons of gore from a Hellraiser film, and this one's certainly no exception. I believe I saw the R-rated version, so that probably explains why a few scenes looked a bit trimmed and toned down. There are still some very memorable scenes of mass slaughter, such as a nightclub massacre that results in what must have been 100 total deaths, an immense body count! The gore here looks less grimy and repulsive, and as a result, is less disgusting and disturbing than the previous films.
Terry Farrell is pretty good as the reporter who has stumbled across the biggest story of her life. Admittedly, her good looks do mask some of her less convincing moments, but she's fairly solid for the majority of the running time. Doug Bradley is a scene-stealer as Pinhead, who is used more extensively in this film. Gone is the "enigmatic" creature and in its place is a more darkly humorous and delightfully wicked villain. A lot of series fans complain about this rendition of Pinhead, but I enjoy it far more than his "We have such sights to show you!" bits from the original. His performance as his human self is not bad, either, and it's actually a little hard to believe (in a good way) that these two very different characters are played by the same actor.
Now, this is a good sequel and fun horror film, but it's by no means a great movie, which obviously means it still has flaws. The plot stretches a bit thin at times (but there's still far more of one here than in Hellbound) and some of the effects work is a bit shoddy at times. Some of the one-liners are also more groan-inducing than hilarious, such as "That's a wrap!" and "Time for your close-up!" The movie is also never scary or particularly suspenseful and you do get the feeling that Hickox was often trying to play the film as a flat-out horror flick.
But on the whole, this is much better than I could have ever expected and it's nice to be pleasantly surprised by a film that I was certain was going to be pretty weak. Another sequel was made not long afterward, entitled Hellraiser: Bloodline, which I have yet to see but have read almost nothing but bad reviews. I'll have to check it out sometime, but it seems likely that Hellraiser III is probably the best in this series.
I picked this bad boy up on DVD, all I can say is I only wish I had seen it
before buying it. I had seen Hellraiser 1 & 2 before and thought that the
story was progressing fairly nicely until I watched this monstrosity.
The director of this movie took a new twist and made it more into a wide spread killing spree than the other films. I found that the bar scene was done tackily and that the effects were mediocre at best. The editing was well done and kept the story moving along nicely.
Overall I would say rent this one before buying it due to the fact that it's not everyone's cup of tea!
3 out of 5
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.
This is the Hellraiser movie that made ME a fan! Great plot, cool new Cenobites, LOADS of blood and gore,...ok, most of the acting- cept for Doug Bradley( Pinhead), and one or two other characters- completely blows. But there's one thing that separates this film from all the others, pretty much making it tie in the top spot with Hellraiser II: the Lament Configuration takes a few new forms in this flick- new forms, might I add, that it takes in THIS flick, and ONLY in this flick! This one's a keeper- and DEFINITELY worth checkin' out!
For being a horror-loving maniac, I hate to say I had not seen either of the Hellraiser movies until recently. I was born in 84, so I definitely had time to catch this one. My mother suggested I rent the first movie one night b/c I was searching for a bloody, scary, sickening movie...yes, I love those the best. So I picked it up...and, suffice to say, I thought was good and went and got part II, III, and IV. I should say, no movie I have seen has had such gore...well, besides brief moments in EVENT HORIZON (my fav movie of all time...maybe) Doug Bradley makes Pinhead almost loveable. For me at least. I find I hate him at points, but love him at others...maybe it's my fascination with the underworld. He has a unique look, as well as the other cenobytes. Out of the series (haven't seen part V yet....still on the one-night shelves) this one (III) is most definitely my favorite. The humor is great. Pinhead is in it enough to satisfy me...whereas he was not in the previous ones. Pinhead makes even the ugliest depths of hell look beautiful. Of course, being a gore and hell fanatic...maybe it's just myself. I would love to meet Clive and Doug and see how it really was to make these films. To me, they are brilliant and amazing. Most definitely good horror films. This one, being the best. :-)
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