Hellraiser - Bloodline (1996)
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
Pinhead returns to movies for the fourth time in this graphic and gory entry in the Hellraiser series. In this story, set in the early 21st century, space station astronaut Paul plays with a strange puzzle box and ends up opening the gates of hell, letting loose the bloodthirsty Pinhead.
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Critic Reviews for Hellraiser - Bloodline
Except for the most undiscriminating gorehound, pic is a pointless mess.
There are just enough good ideas sitting around in their loneliness that you can imagine a version of this story that is actually worthwhile.
It's a surefire sign you're in for a thrill ride when you see director Alan Smithee at it again...
What a swell idea! I wish they would put more slasher icons in space...
Actually the most intriguing entry of the series, with all the backstory.
'Alan Smithee' is a wuss. This film isn't half bad.
Audience Reviews for Hellraiser - Bloodline
Hellraiser: Bloodline is one of the best Hellraiser sequels. The film is notable for the Pinhead in space concept. In this fourth entry we get a glimpse of how the puzzle box came into existence which is truly interesting. The box's origins are traced back to toy maker Phillip Lemarchand. The film shows the box's as they are passed on from person to person over the centuries right up to a space station. Many people have dismissed this sequel, but I really don't understand why. The film is very engaging, gory, scary and above all interesting. The film leaves a lot of ideas unfinished due to the budget concerns, however for what it is, Hellraiser: Bloodline is a step up off its previous film, and is the best sequel since part 2. Clive Barker produces this film, and it's a good thing as well because his ideas and imagination is what makes the Hellraiser films (at least the ones he's involved in) worth seeing. It's obvious when he stopped producing Hellraiser sequels, the series started suffering. But Bloodline is a sequel that fans might actually enjoy if they can get passed the budget restraints and B grade acting. This film is quite enjoyable and manages to be a strong sequel despite its flaws. But I wouldn't go ahead and call this film a classic by any means, but I would definitely call it a pleasant time waster.More
You know your horror franchise is in trouble when it resorts to sending its villain into space. And you know a movie is in really big trouble when it's been directed by none-other than Alan Smithee, the pseudonym coined for directors disowning their films. But despite all it's got going against it, "Hellraiser: Bloodline" is a surprisingly well-made and entertaining entry in the "Hellraiser" saga. Not without huge flaws, "Bloodline" would be the last "Hellraiser" flick to make it to theaters, followed by a cluster of direct-to-video releases that, sadly, are much worse. The director of the film, it turns out, is Kevin Yagher, the go-to guy for creature effects on such franchises as "Child's Play" and "A Nightmare On Elm Street." It seems he was at odds with Dimension (the studio that produced the film) and when they decided to go behind his back and re-shoot some stuff with director Joe Chapelle ("Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers") in tow, he walking away, burdening this film with the Smithee trademark.
Truth be told, there's an interesting story beneath all the issues this film has, mainly a back-story that tells the creation of the puzzle box, and the war raging between Hell and the bloodline of the creator of the puzzle that spans from the 18th century to modern day (well, 1996, mind you) and all the way to the final frontier of space. "Bloodline" manages to engage and entertain with its tale, especially in the 18th century and modern day bits. These bits (really, 80% of the movie) are the meat (bad word usage considering the film, I suppose) of the film, bookended by the space tale. Aboard a strange spacecraft, we watch Pinhead and the cenobites stalk their way through the crew, which feels less like "Hellraiser" and more like "Friday The 13th" ("Jason X" to be exact) but that's forgivable. What really kills this film are the bits where we watch Pinhead plot and scheme and make rambling speeches. What was once meant as a minor and mysterious character has been reduced to a Freddy Krueger-type (thanks goes to "Hellrasier III: Hell On Earth") and nearly every time he shows up on screen and opens his mouth, the narrative comes to a screeching halt. On the upside, however, the rest of the story is fairly faithful to the source material. The back-story that opens the film is about as mean and gruesome as "Hellraiser" can get, and the modern day piece might have made an okay sequel in its own right. The film also looks good, which will come as a bit of shock considering Yagher's lack of experience in directing. The Joe Chapelle scenes, while directed well, stick out like a sore thumb and are a serious detriment to an otherwise solid sequel.
All in all, for a film that was directed by Alan Smithee, "Hellraiser: Bloodline" is ok. Fans of the first two films will feel a rush of relief that most of the corniness at play in "Hellraiser III" has been abandoned (no CD throwing here!) and that, for the most part, this flick remains true to its roots. For all it's got going against it, it's overall entertaining.
How can any Hellraiser film get under 4 stars especially on the night before Halloween. . Not from me, but this one was close as Pinhead pops up way way in the future in outer space. But the story goes from outer space back to the past. Which saved this movie. Anyway only one from the past to show up was Pinhead, but some new cenobites were created, as usual unreal special effects and make up. Others might rate lower but I a Hellraiser fan have to sick with a 4 star rating .More
Bloodline is easily the best of the post-part III Hellraiser films. Like many third sequels, it takes the path of going back to the series' roots; thus tracing the origins of the central prop; the box that opens the gates to hell. The film starts aboard a space ship, and we witness the seemingly insane ramblings of a madman. He then tells the story of the curse on his bloodline; starting off with the toy maker who made the box and opened the gates to hell. The man plans to create a box to counter the original, and send the demons back to hell. The rest of the more modern sequels follow plots that have nothing to do with the original films, so at least this one doesn't suffer from that. The plot isn't completely relevant to the story of Frank Cotton in the first Hellraiser, but at least it isn't merely another episode of Pinhead taking some guy's soul. On the subject of Pinhead; this film takes place in the time that he was still evil, rather than being a mere shadow of the cenobite that we all know and love. Pinhead plays a major part in this movie, and that's always welcome as far as I'm concerned.
Bloodline is more of a fan's movie than the rest of the series. That, therefore, means that if you haven't seen, or didn't like the previous three films; there really isn't much on offer here. Things that have been explained in the first three aren't re-explained here, and therefore it's really important that the other films are seen before this one. Bloodline is surprisingly gruesome, and a lot of the film is very dark and bloody. No bad thing as far as I'm concerned, as I go into Hellraiser films expecting to see gore, and tend to be pleased when they deliver. The acting here is largely terrible, with only Doug Bradley saving the film in that respect. He only does what he's done before - but it really does make the movie. It's surprising how much this deviates from the original; but I'd rather see a sequel do something a little different than merely retread the same ground, as far too many do. That's the reason I aren't slamming this film like a great deal of other's are. It may not be great, and doesn't change the fact that the series dried up after Hellbound...but at least it's not a total dead loss.
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