AWOB00: Hellraiser: Inferno

Hellraiser: Inferno. Scott Derrickson. 2000. ☆☆★★★★


Like Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002) after it, “Inferno” was originally a non-Hellraiser related horror script owned by Dimension. To save money on writing a completely original Hellraiser story, the script was quickly edited to insert the Pinhead and the Cenobites.

Well, that’s promising!

Now I’m picturing a production company sitting on the script to Sex and the City III and wondering: “Can we make this into a Hellraiser movie? INT DAY: Carrie is on her bed writing ‘But have you ever tried washing blood out of your leather lingerie after a hot night in hell?'”

I’d watch it!

Anyway, this is not a very Hellraiser movie, as you might suspect from its provenance. But that doesn’t mean that it’s awful! It’s got things going for it… the actors are pretty good, and the plot (which is basically a police prodecural with a semi-corrupt cop) is confusing as fuck (SUDDENLY COWBOYS), but OK. And it looks pretty.

However: It’s not scary. It’s mostly deathly dull.

This post is part of the A Weekend of Blood blog series.

AWOB96: Hellraiser Bloodline

Hellraiser Bloodline. Kevin Yagher. 1996. ☆☆☆★★★

Pinhead… In… Spaaaaaaace.

This is the final Hellraiser movie that got a theatrical release.


[It’s] the last [film of the franchise] to develop [its] story around the original premise rather than simply tacking Hellraiser elements onto a pre-existing script. As such it’s one which, for all its problems, fans will want to seek out.

It’s written by the same guy who (co-)wrote the previous two Hellraiser movies, and it’s the last one he’s involved with. From here on out, I haven’t seen any of these movies.

But how’s this movie, the final one that anybody sensible should consider watching? I think?

The bluray version is quite nice. They digital effects look somewhat janky, but it’s from 1996, so…

We get presented with the history of the Hellraiser puzzle box throughout the centuries, and the same hapless actor plays a number of people from the same family.

It’s the most mainstream of the first four movies… it’s a normal, professional American horror movie. It’s not very scary, but it’s plenty gross.

This post is part of the A Weekend of Blood blog series.

AWOB92: Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth

Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth. Anthony Hickox. 1992. ☆☆★★★★

After two movies that have a quite homey feel to them, this seems more… professional. I’m guessing it was made in the US? It has that American feel to it. Grips and best boys that are in the union.

The first two Hellraiser movies may not have been, like, good, but they had something going for them. This is a bog-standard early-90s horror movie, with unremarkable (but professional) actors and all.

On the documentary about the first movie, one wit said “no teenagers were hurt during the making of this film”. This one is all about killing off teenagers, so it reverts to horror clichés there, too.

It’s not very scary, either.

This bluray version is odd. Random scenes are super-blurry, as if they had been sourced from… well, I don’t know. It doesn’t look like VHS, but it’s blurry enough to be VHS. I guess they lost some of the film footage?

This post is part of the A Weekend of Blood blog series.

AWOB88: Hellbound: Hellraiser II

Hellbound: Hellraiser II. Tony Randel. 1988. ☆☆☆☆★★

Well, that’s an odd way to start a sequel: We get a very… intense… recap of the first movie! Before the titles! All the famous one-liners and excerpts from the most gruesome scenes.

I don’t think I’ve seen it done that blatantly before.

And then we’re off: Several actors return, like Ashley Laurence and Clare Higgins, and, of course, the guy that does Pinhead.

It’s like… “what if there was more?” So we get some of the background on the monsters, and we get to visit hell (which, it turns out, consists of two corridors and some matte painting).

It’s… more.

The filmmakers pretending that these movies are set in the US is even more amusing this time out, what with unconvincing police uniforms and everything.

So is it scary? Yes. But Tony Randel isn’t as good a director as Clive Barker. So many scenes are without nerve and look, frankly, rather cheap.

But the actors are better. Even the ones that were already good in the first one are even better here. In some ways this is a better movie than the first one, but it’s gone some interminable scenes.

Heh heh::

It is simply a series of ugly and bloody episodes strung together one after another like a demo tape by a perverted special-effects man.

This post is part of the A Weekend of Blood blog series.

AWOB87: Hellraiser

Hellraiser. Clive Barker. 1987. ☆☆☆☆★★

This is pretty scary right from the get go. It’s an original way to introduce the audience to the horrors, too: Give us glimpses of the fantastic, and drench it in blood. Barker is of the Carpenter school of horror movies: Show it all; don’t hint at it.

And then the story starts.

The guy who plays Larry delivers as awkward a performance as I remember. Basically none of the male actors are… good? Barker’s friends, perhaps?

Pinhead’s OK, and Clare Higgins’s fun, though.

Huh. I knew that this movie had a small budget, but I thought it was a major box office smash. It had a budget of about 1M (which is 2.2M in today’s money), and it had a box office of $15M (i.e., 33M now). I mean, that’s a large wad of cash, but it’s less than, say, A Nightmare on Elm Street (which did 25M at the time).

Which makes it slightly more strange that the rights holders go to such extreme lengths to avoid losing the rights.

It looks a lot more expensive than $2.2M. Barker must have had a lot of talented friends to do all the special effects.

I had forgotten how simple a story it is: Most of it takes place in a very small location and little happens, really.

And watching it now, I’m more grossed out at the latex and KY jelly than scared.

I mean, I’m scared, but…

This post is part of the A Weekend of Blood blog series.