Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth

 Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth

PLOT - Pinhead is stuck in a block after the Big Confrontation in "Hellbound," The block containing Pinhead and the puzzle cube is bought by a young playboy as sculpture. Pinhead busies himself escaping by getting the playboy to lure victims to his presence so he can use their blood. Once free, he seeks to destroy the puzzle cube so he need never return to Hell, but a female reporter is investigating the grisly murders and stands in his way. 

LOWDOWN - Clive Barker changed the world of horror in the late 1980's with his freshmen effort Hellraiser. A twisted sadistic fairytale of lust, pain, pleasure, and murder completely reshaped the look of Gothic horror for good. Creating a new horror icon, and getting high praise by Mr. Stephen King himself, Barker went on to make two more utterly amazing stories of the dark world with Nightbreed and Lord Of Illusions. 

In 1988 director Tony Randel (Amityville: 1992 It's About Time) took over the director's chair a year later to continue the storyline of poor Kristy Cotton as she was dragged further and further down into the depths of Hell itself. With a amazing storyline by Barker himself, and Randel in the director's chair, Hellbound is one of my all time favorite sequels ever. In fact I feel the Hell they created is by far one of the most realistic and unsettling worlds ever made on screen.

Well of course there just HAD to be another sequel, even though in my eyes I feel Hellbound wrapped things up very nicely.

Now I really haven't watched many of the Hellrasier sequels. I'm a fan of the first three, and respect them for being not only beautifully made, but brilliant in storyline. Unlike so many slashers that came out of the 1980's, Pinhead was a monster that underneath it all had a soul. This reminded me of the classic monsters from the 1920's and 30's. In fact, Hellbound did something that very few movies can do for me...

Make me feel sorry for the villain/monster.

Hell On Earth takes the storyline further, pulling away from Kristy Cotton's POV and bringing in fresh new characters, and elements. I loved how the first two Hellraiser films took place two days within each other, this one is a few months later where most of Dr. Channard's estate was sold to an art dealer where one of the biggest assholes to grace the silver screen Mr. J.P Monroe. A smooth, slick dickhead who owns a popular night club The Boiler Room. 

Well he buys what he believes is a fancy piece of artwork, and well...it doesn't take long before some blood is spilled and Mr. Pinhead himself, trapped inside it begins telling J.P to feed him souls so he can be released. 

I bet you won't guess what happens!

I really liked the Joey character. Not only was she gorgeous, she was a nice follow up to the Kristy character. Here we meet another strong willed woman with a past (loved the flashbacks with her father, and I'm sure many of you spotted Mr. Hickcox aka the director as one of the solders.) I loved the scene where she first sees the guy being wheeled in from the Boiler Room and how confused and scared she is.

We also get the lovely Paula Marshall who would go on the next year to work with Mr. Hickcox in Warlock 2. I found her character and Terry Farrell (Joey) very endearing and interesting to watch. Wish these two ladies had more screen time together.

Well this movie is a good sequel, in fact I really gotta start re-watching these movies to see if this is truly the last good sequel. I find that Mr. Anthony Hickcox did a great job making this sequel. After making my all time favorite Waxwork movies, this was his next project along with Warlock 2. Like I said in my Warlock 2 review, this man's style can be spotted a mile away. He makes adventures with characters you care about, amazing special effects, and of course a great storyline. I will and always dream about what Waxwork III would have been about had he made it in the mid 90's. Sadly this never came to be. Still, Hickcox made two very great sequels which were amazing follow ups to great movies. Hellraiser III is visually stunning, and yet again goes deeper into the whole Pinhead storyline. I liked how the human side of him was trying to contact Joey. Loved the radio scene and of course like I said all the war flashbacks with the father.

This movie is best known for it's Boiler Room scenes. First we get a pretty graphic sex scene from Mr. J.P who feeds his lay to the Pinhead art piece (amazing effects but had to laugh at Pinheads' face just sitting in the little of the statue.) I mean really...what would have happened if he hadn't of given it any flesh?

Loved how J.P's girlfriend turns on him and how the second Pinhead is released he goes nuts in the nightclub in what I like to call the famous Boiler Room massacre. Besides some dated CGI, this scene is pretty sick. This is the most we've seen Pinhead and his friends go wild and I enjoyed it. In fact as many of you, Mr. Zach Galligan who worked with Hickcox on both Waxwork and Waxwork II had a brief cameo as one of the people in the nightclub who gets impaled by a pool stick. During his Q&A, I actually asked about this. He said Hickcox called him up asking him to visit the set, when he did he literary threw him into the scene and the effects guys strapped the pool stick thing to him. You really gotta have fast eyes to spot Zach but it's pretty amusing to see him get killed by Mr. Pinhead himself.

There's also a few brief clips of Waxwork II that play in the movie if you look closely. As a crazed fan like myself this always brings a smile to my face.

The showdown of course is awesome, we get new cenobites, and Pinhead owning the entire end (love the church scene "Well what the fuck is that?") Like I said this movie is beautiful to look at and with it's classic score playing it gives a horror nerd like me chills every time. In fact I loved the war scene with the father changing and how Pinhead told her dreams weren't off limits to him. Even though the ending seems a bit rushed, I did like the whole puzzle box office building at the end. Creepy, and stunning.

For a third entry in a horror series with two VERY strong films ahead of it, Hellraiser is a great follow up lead by a very amazing director. I'll have to check out the other movies in the series to see if the goods dried up with this one. Still, Hickcox owned it with this sequel and made it a very awesome film to watch!

3 1/2 stars!


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