Quick Cuts (The Hellraiser Edition)

This week, folks, I bring you a special edition of Quick Cuts.  As I am totally awesome and always finish whatever I start, I recently decided that I needed to have seen every single Hellraiser movie.  This is quite a feat, as there are eight films in total.  Who knew love of Pinhead spread so far?

Look, folks, I won’t keep you in suspense.  What I’m giving you here is an extra tiny review of a bunch of movies you should probably avoid watching unless you like having your eyes and brains stabbed repeatedly.  I mean, the Friday the 13th sequels are better than these.  I’m sure you get my meaning.  Granted, at least Hellraiser manages to have a totally different plot every time.  I guess that’s something.  Let’s hear it for… um… being able to come up with more than one stupid plot!

In an effort to be all science-y, I am going to rate each film at the end of the review, and I will use said rating to rank the films at the end of this post.  I do this not because math is my thang, but because I love you, and the fact that you are now making a girl do math means you owe me.  You also owe me for sitting through all of these movies.

I expect prezzies any day now.

(ASIDE: There is a ninth film in the works called Hellraiser: Revelations.  As this will not star Doug Bradley as Pinhead, I propose we pretend it is not happening.)

(ASIDE AGAIN: I am also not considering Hellraiser: Prophecy — the Hellraiser/Prophecy crossover film to be a true entry in the series.  Yes, I realize a similar argument can be made about Hellraiser: Deader, but I actually watched that one, and it stars Kari Wuhrer, and I like Kari Wuhrer, which means I am going to talk about it no matter what you think.  Mayhaps it is time for you to practice acceptance, no? Also, I cannot watch anymore of these movies.)

Hellraiser (1987)

Ah, the original Hellraiser.  What a glorious little movie.  Clive Barker’s meditation on pleasure and pain is still one of the greatest horror movies of the eighties, and it is certainly the best on Barker’s resume (though Candyman could give it a run for its money).

I won’t bother recalling the plot because we’ve all seen it.  (If you haven’t, what are you doing here?)  What I will say is that nearly everything in this first film in the series comes together to create a wonderfully creepy tale with some seriously barf-inducing gore.

The Cenobites in this first film are at their scariest.  You can’t do much better than Pinhead shouting, “We’ll tear your soul apart!”

Rating: 9 out of 10 scary, Spencer’s gift-y puzzle boxes.

Hellraiser: Hellbound (1988)

Holy mother of crap.  This went downhill fast.  While this film still features the lovely Ashley Laurence as Kirsty Cotton, there is much more to be desired from a film that takes place largely in Hell.

I mean, really, how can we be expected to fear Hell when it looks like that baby-chasing scene from Labyrinth?  And what’s with all the black smoke?  What is this?  Lost?  (Yes, I know that’s anachronistic.)

Phew.  This was a stinker.

Raiting: 5 out of 10 scary, Spencer’s gift-y puzzle boxes.

Hellraiser: Hell on Earth (1992)

In this anchorwoman-in-peril movie, Pinhead is trapped in an intricately carved column.  A skeezy nightclub owner frees him and tries to get him to submit to his will, but of course, when you release Hell on Earth, nothing goes as planned.

This was possibly among the worst offenders.  The acting and effects were just abysmal.  Please, please don’t watch it.

I am rating it slightly higher due to the presence of Shawnee Smith whom I like for some unknown reason because she really isn’t talented at all.

Rating: 3 out of 10 scary, Spencer’s gift-y puzzle boxes.

Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996)

Ah, we have now entered the realm of so-bad-it’s-good.  This space-centric sequel details where the puzzle box came from and who made it.  While this would be interesting, it largely ignores any information provided about the puzzle box in previous films.

No matter.  Everyone knows a shitty movie is rendered at least two points higher when it ends up in space.  Of course, the fact that it is told mostly in flashback mitigates this a bit.

Still, I love seeing a Cenobite on a spaceship.

Rating: 6 out of 10 scary, Spencer’s gift-y puzzle boxes.

Hellraiser: Inferno (2000)

This corrupt cop direct-to-video sequel was the worst movie in the entire series.  That’s right, I said it.  It was not a horror movie.  It wasn’t even a boring thriller.  It was… well, it was heartbreaking.  (This whole process has been heartbreaking, really.)

With an almost Pinhead-less sequel, I momentarily thought I had fallen asleep and was dreaming the most boring dream ever dreamed.  Alas, I was not, and this movie is as bad as it sounds.

Highlight: suddenly Pinhead does not actually arrive when you open the box.  Who knew?  Not I.

Rating: 0 out of 10 scary, Spencer’s gift-y puzzle boxes.

Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002)

While this movie was largely a senseless series of dream sequences that made me want to light a kitten’s face on fire, it did bring back the lovely Ashley Laurence (looking pretty hot, I might add) as a wronged (and possibly dead?) wife.  Dean Winters also appeared as the maybe insane, maybe evil, maybe not husband.

As a result of the inspired casting, the film is almost pulled out of the crap heap.  But that senseless plot just made me want to light my own face on fire.

Rating: 4 out of 10 scary, Spencer’s gift-y puzzle boxes.

Hellraiser: Deader (2005)

Here is a movie that was clearly never intended to be a Hellraiser film.  And had the original makers left Pinhead and his cronies out, it might have been an interesting little movie.

They didn’t, however, leave the movie slim and simple.  They overcomplicated it with a bunch of bullshit, and then they added boobs, and then they added Pinhead.

Even Kari Wuhrer could not save this.

Rating: 2 out of 10 scary, Spencer’s gift-y puzzle boxes.

Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005)

The final film in the series is actually a slasher film.  Lance Henriksen stars as the father of a son who died playing the Hellworld game online.  (Yes, you read that right.  This is that inevitable sequel that takes shit to the internet.  Blech.)  He gets his revenge on the kids he blames, but the joke’s on him because the Cenobites are real.

As a slasher film, this was fairly run-of-the-mill.  It fits the revenge murder plot formula perfectly.  But it was… shall we say (again) rather boring.

As a Hellraiser film, this, too, felt like Pinhead was an afterthought.  And by this time, Pinhead has definitely lost his purpose.  He’s no longer a demon and more a minion.  And that, my friends, is a bummer.

Rating: 1 out of 10 scary, Spencer’s gift-y puzzle boxes.

Final Ranking!
1.  Hellraiser
2.  Hellraiser: Bloodline
3.  Hellraiser: Hellbound
4.  Hellraiser: Hellseeker
5.  Hellraiser: Hell on Earth
6.  Hellraiser: Deader
7.  Hellraiser: Hellworld
8.  Hellraiser: Inferno


~ by acaseofyou12581 on December 19, 2010.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: