never understood the curious disentegratory
nature of horror movie series. Friday the 13th,
Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street etc - in every
case the first film is undoubtedly the best. The
first sequel is where it starts to go downhill,
but it's usually not too appalling. By the time
we're at sequel number four we're suddenly
churning out some of the worst films in the
history of creation. By sequel seven we've
usually got 'self parodies', which is usually
just making excuses for the direness of it all.
Logic would surely dictate that series can only
get better over time; you try a little bit harder
with each new sequel, learning from the mistakes
of the last. In theory.
practise, however, this is of course a load of
old bum (cockney rhyming slang: bum wipe, tripe).
Picking a name right out of the air, let's take
the Hellraiser series. First film is really weird
and clever in a gorey kind of Neil Gaiman way.
Second film is really just more of the same.
Third film is basically a slasher with expensive
make-up effects. I don't get this. Someone
explain it to me.
coincidentally, now we're going to review
Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth, not to be confused
with Doom 2: Hell on Earth, which I think wasn't
out at the time this came out, so we can't fault
it there. As well as the usual Doug Bradley as
Pinhead, our new heroine for today's little romp
is none other than Jadzia Dax from Star Trek:
Deep Space 9. Yes, I'm pretty certain the
character and indeed the actress have their own
names, but as far as I'm concerned they're both
just Jadzia Dax.
this film, Dax has come back in time to present
day New York (I think. It's a city in America and
NY is the only one I can think of), where she has
put flesh-tone make up over her alien face
decorations and taken a job as a TV news
reporter. She's not content however, finding
herself reporting on the really mundane shit,
until some bloke is brought into some hospital
with chains sticking into his face and explodes
while they're trying to stick him full of
morphine. Understandably intrigued, Dax decides
to investigate further.
some bloke we don't know buys a great big pillar
thing which the producers would have us believe
is the pillar that rose out of the bed at the end
of Hellraiser 2, but which is NOTHING OF THE
SORT. This new one's made of stone with lots of
hellish decorations, including Pinhead's funny
face positioned, fortuitously, at exactly the
right position it would be in if, say, the pillar
was actually made of hollow polystyrene and
Pinhead was actually inside sticking his face out
of a little hole. Unknown bloke decides this
would be just thing to brighten up his bachelor
pad, and takes it right away.
Dax traces the girlfriend of the bloke whose head
exploded to the bloke with the pillar, who owns a
nightclub, it would seem. She finds the girl, a
bit down about the whole head explodey adventure
as you'd imagine, and the next thing we know the
girl (homeless, of course) has moved in with Dax.
I think. I've seen this film a few times but I
didn't have time to watch it again before I
started writing this, so I'm unsure about some
details. Anyway, I think the homeless girl tells
Dax that the head explodey incident occurred as a
direct result of fiddling with artefacts from
somewhere called the 'Channard Institute'
(Hellraiser 2 veterans gasp in horror). Dax looks
into that fateful place and somehow acquires a
bunch of security tapes and documents and shit.
She views video tapes of Kirsty, who was the
heroine of the last two films, ranting on about
demons and hell, then some English bloke appears
on screen and says 'SHE'S TELLING THE TRUTH,
DAX,' in an ominous voice. Then he goes away. How
owner bonks some blonde girl then she steps a
little bit too close to the pillar of hell,
whereupon it eats her and Pinhead's face comes to
life, offering empty promises of glory and
sandwiches to nightclub owner if he'll just bring
a few more of these yummy promiscuous girls. He
thinks it sounds like a pretty good deal.
Meanwhile, Dax and homeless have a bit of a
falling out and homeless runs crying back to - oh
dear - nightclub owner, who tries to feed her to
Pinhead but fails, getting eaten himself. Pinhead
now offers himself to the homeless girl (he's
such a whore) and escapes from his polystyrene
prison, holding out his hand for girl to take.
has a funny dream in which English bloke appears
again and starts with the exposition. Apparently
he's the spirit of the bloke Pinhead used to be.
The two (human and cenobite) were once one and
the same, but after the business in the last film
they apparently had a bit of divorce, Pinny
getting stuck in a pillar and bloke getting stuck
in some afterlife dream zone affair that looks a
bit like World War 1. Pinhead has to be
destroyed, 'parently, and Dax must use the puzzle
box she conveniently got from homeless girl.
turns out that after the loss of his mates in the
last film Pinhead is out to set up a bit of a
recruitment party. He offs the entire clientele
of the nightclub in a very lengthy, inCREDibly
gorey sequence which indicates that the producer
ordered a bit too much fake blood and wanted to
make the most of it. Everyone's killed and the
place is repainted in an interesting new shade
called hint of viscera. Dax sees a bulletin of
people with chains in their faces being wheeled
away, and whisks off to combat old Pinhead,
failing to notice that the television is
unplugged. WOOOO FUCKING OOOOOOOO.
she turns up to find her cameraman (amongst
others) dead and Pinhead looking jolly pleased
with himself. He demands the puzzle box from her,
because all villains like having the only thing
that can destroy them in their possession, but
she's not about to be sweet-talked by a
blue-faced drink of water surrounded in
dismembered body parts. Off she flees, to face
Pinhead's new cenobite friends - the DJ has CDs
lodged in his mush because he's a DJ. The
cameraman has a camera stuck in his eye because
he's a cameraman. The homeless woman has a
cigarette in her open throat because she was a
big silly. The barman has barbed wire wrapped
around his face, because ... erm ... because
'barbed wire' has got 'bar' in it. Yeah. None of
them seem to get anywhere in the killing-Dax
stakes, so Dax just solves the puzzle box and
sends Pinhead back off home. In the process she
addresses him as 'Pinhead', incidentally, so I
guess either they got pretty chummy off-camera or
employees of Hell have to wear name badges like
all the other workers in the world.
is visited by the ghost of her dead dad in the
warlike afterlife dream zone place. He asks her
for the puzzle box, which she hands over with
great delight, at which point she realises that
her dead dad died before she was born, and as
such wouldn't know who she was. Surprise
surprise, it was Pinhead all along. I mean,
really. What would her dad have done with the
puzzle box? Maybe he thought it would make a good
centrepiece. Oh well. Anyway, Pinhead's human
self turns up - because this is his realm, which
he rather subtly lured Pinhead into - and they
merge together into one. Pinhead turns out to be
the dominant one, though, so Dax solves the
puzzle box and sends him back to Hell properly
this time. Then she buries it under wet cement,
which of course guarantees that there won't be
any more sequels, because everyone knows cement
is completely unbreakable! Ho ho ho!
In Ears Rating: 6/10
It's more of a gore film than a shock
film, but I suppose if you find people with hooks
in their flesh shocking, then this would keep you
awake at nights I suppose.
To Last Film Rating: 4/10
Disappointing. As I said, there's less
of the old characterisation and clever metaphors
and shit and more blood squirting everywhere like
you've lodged a sprinkler into your neck stump.
and Guts Rating: 10/10
Nekkid and DIE! Rating: 10/10
Two people get nekkid - nightclub owner
and the first woman he rogers - and they both get
eaten by the polystyrene pillar of death. So
that's a 1:1 nudity/death ratio. Full marks!
Heroes Rating: 7/10
Nooo! It's Jadzia Dax! Oh alright. She
is a bit of a cunt in this film. English
human-side-of-Pinhead bloke was cool though.
That's me defending my countrymen, that is.
Horror Movie Sequel Rating: 8/10
Not bad. Not bad at all. Unless you mean
in terms of quality, in which case yes, very bad.
Bad bad bad. BAD.
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