Thursday, 6 September 2012

Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth

"Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth" (1992, Anthony Hickox, Dimension Films, Paramount Pictures) is the third installment in the "Hellraiser" series. It's also the first fully American "Hellraiser" film.

Deciding that the Kirsty and uncle Frank story was getting rather old (it was), the wonderful people behind the "Hellraiser" franchise decided it was high time to get to explaining the mystery behind Headboy Cenobite, Pinhead (Doug Bradley). After revealing that he had been in fact human, and also a British WW1 soldier called Captain Elliot Spencer in the last film, they decided this was a damn good thing to explore.

When J.P. Monroe (Kevin Bernhardt), the asshole owner of a trendy rock club called "The Boiler Room", bought some new 'art' from a mysterious gallery run by a hobo, he didn't quite expect what would happen next.

When a young, down on her luck reporter called Joey (Terry Farrell) stumbled into the biggest story of her life without her cameraman Doc (Ken Carpenter), she didn't realise what would happen next either.

And when lost, young rock chick Terri (Paula Marshall), who suffers from a condition where she doesn't dream (I'm sure it has a name, but I'm just too damn lazy to look it up!), witnesses the puzzle box kill someone and is then dragged back into the nightmare by first Joey and then Monroe, she didn't realise what would happen next either!

As you can see there's a theme here of people making some bloody stupid decisions.

Monroe's ugly new sculpture-pillar of torment takes some victims, awakening Pinhead who was trapped inside the thing, and allowing him to strike up a deal with Monroe, appealing to his sadistic side. Pinhead's plan is to make some new Cenobite friends, take over the world and destroy the only thing still holding him under Hell's rule; the puzzlebox. His issue of course being that he doesn't have the puzzlebox... and he can only have it if someone gives it to him. Geez Hell, always with the rules!

With the help of the ghost of Pinhead's former human self Joey tries to stop Pinhead's reign and defeat his army of rock club reject Cenobites. Now speaking as a frequenter of several rock and metal clubs, I have to say that's a mean task!

There's some side plot but it's barely worth analysing.

One thing, though, does Terri not totally remind you of Faith from Buffy? She reminded me so much of Faith when she was with the Mayor! 

The gore is in-keeping with the usual Hellraiser film style, but only one girl gets flayed this time. I like to see a deviation from the original plot, and a little less reliance on convincing the audience that Pinhead thinks pain is fun. We get it already! We sat through the first two films!

However, the dream sequences were a bit dull, the acting is not the best and aside from some creative things done with chains, this film has little offer in actual plot...

The new Cenobites are uhm... blah. I'm sure you've all heard the complaints before. And the attack scenes in the club lose their engagement about 20 seconds in...

If only they'd stopped at three....

[Image: Dimension Films & Paramount Pictures]