Tuesday, May 7, 2013

DAY 2: Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992)

"What began in Hell, will end on Earth"


Synopsis taken from IMDb
An investigative reporter must send the newly unbound Pinhead and his legions back to hell.

The third installment of the "Hellraiser" franchise turned out to be not as bad as I was expecting. Yeah, it sucked, but I survived it with no trouble. There were even some parts that had piqued my interest. This is definitely where the films start to decline and you can see it transpiring  right in front of you. After remembering his past in "Hellbound: Hellraiser 2", Pinhead is split into two identities. One being his normal demonic self, the other is of World War 1 British Army Captain Elliot Spencer.

A smug punk named J.P. Monroe purchases the pillar from the previous film that has all the cenobites including Pinhead in it. I understand where they were going with having it purchased like it's a piece of art, but J.P.'s character wasn't doing anything for me. There's absolutely no way you can sympathize with him, he's a jackass and you really don't care that Pinhead uses him. One of the most ridiculous things that I didn't like was that it only takes 2 victims to feed on before Pinhead is back again and free of the pillar. You can tell the writing is getting sloppy and it's becoming more about the gore and torture. Did it not take a dozen bodies in the first two films to bring back Frank and Julia? 
Yet Pinhead drains 2 victims at the hands of J.P. and is free to wreak havoc. 

Not to mention that the whole reason Pinhead gets woken up is due to a rat biting J.P.'s hand, and he swings his bloody hand all over the room when he over acts and reacts. I'd like to know what the hell kind of rat that was supposed to be because the damn thing had lock jaw and bled his hand well. I know there are some seriously nasty rodents out there but this is just unbelievable. J.P. didn't take any convincing to be an evil bastard, he shed a few fake tears but the next thing you knew, he was changing his voice to a more sinister tone. Ridiculous. 

They work the reporter angle in this one as well, which I thought was a fresh take, but it doesn't work out too well. It's cool to have someone investigating the weird phenomena, but when they're not personally involved you don't feel for them or care. The characters had no dimension and were paper thin. I did like how the reporter, Joey Summerskill watched Kirsty's tapes from her time at the institution. It showed they attempted to follow the story of the original, but in the midst of doing their own thing they lost sight of what Hellraiser should be.

The main thing that I did not like at all about this movie is that Pinhead isn't the cold and brooding demon like he was in the first 2 films, in this one he actually has facial emotions and acts out more. I don't know if this was Doug Bradley's doing or if this was the production's fault, but it just doesn't work. Pinhead is a calm, collected evil. Not one looking all angry and having different facial expressions. They were adding things to a character that was already well made, and should have just let Doug Bradley's human self do all the facial expressions and acting out since he is sill in the movie as Pinheads human self. It's slowly beginning to not feel like "Hellraiser" anymore.

Overall, I wasn't completely hating this movie but I sure as hell wasn't enjoying it. Compared to how bad some of the sequels to come are I'd say this one is great, but it's really not. This is where the grip of what the first two films had begins to slip and get away from itself. Unless you want to laugh or be aggravated at how poor this movie is, avoid it.


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