Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth Reviews
The problem with a film that was made purely in pursuit of profits is that there really isn't a story to be told, and that's the one thing that plagues this well made but completely unnecessary picture. Anthony Hickox was the go-to guy in the early 1990's for skillfully made but cheap sequels, and the guy really has a flair for them. The conclusion of this is a lot of fun, even if it is a bit of a riff on "Carrie," because you get to see Pinhead and his compadres wreak havoc in our world for a change.
However, so much of the set-up feels very familiar. The Kevin Bernhardt character is interesting and reminiscent of Sean Chapman from the first film, but he's disposed of all too quickly. There's an interesting backstory here involving the actor who has portrayed Pinhead in all of the films, Doug Bradley, getting a rare chance to shine in his human form, but it doesn't do enough to add to the mythology of the franchise.
The original Cenobites are traded out for humans-turned-demons this time out including a DJ killing people with CD's and a cameraman spouting silly one-liners, and none of that really works either. "Hellraiser 3" is good only when compared to the desperate films that would follow. This is too much of a let-down.
The third act of the Hellraiser series gives us both high marks and low marks. The storyline has suddenly taken some sort of teen slasher turn and gives us a bit of a weak plot/foundation with plenty of gore. The oh so lovely Terry Farrell and the same goes for a young Paula Marshall adds female flair to the story, and Doug Bradley´s Pinhead does have a few rememberable scenes (like the church scene when he mimics the Jesus Christ pose). But, the direction and photography is a way too B-classy, the acting pretty uneven and the design of the "new" Cenobites is not really pleasing. "Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth" is sort of so so.
Rich and entitled JP mistakes one of the pillars of souls (which includes a puzzle cube) as a work of art, and purchases it. Clever lad.
Joey is a junior reporter who is discouraged that she is not getting good stories to cover. Then she witnesses a man being destroyed by what looks like a cenobite attack. So who would believe her? Her only clue is Terri, who might be one of JP's girl friends. Terri kept the cube that the dead man broke out of the pillar of souls that JP bought.
JP gets bit by a rat hiding in the hold in the pillar of souls. His blood is absorbed by the Pinhead part of the sculpture.
Terri welcomes Joey's interest in the case, and helps her dig into the artworld and nightlife that JP inhabits. They find a connection to the Channard institute from the second film.
While JP entertains a new girl he's picked up, Pinhead shows signs of waking up. The next morning, Pinhead absorbs the girlfriend into the pillar of souls, and Pinhead becomes able to talk to JP about their mutual interests. JP is repelled and quite curious at the same time. He tries to lure Terri back to get further along in the game with Pinhead. She decides to return to the familiar, in spite of everything. JP tries to feed her to Pinhead, but Terri turns the tables on him.
Pinhead's human side contacts Joey via television (hokey moment there) asking for help.
How does Terri do against the resurrected cenobite Pinhead? Will Joey get any traction helping the human side of Pinhead? Will the open doorway for the cenobites be closed again?
Cinematography: 5/10 Netflix, oi. Netflix streamed this film in 1.33 aspect, despite the fact that the film was shot in 1.85. This means visual information was literally cut off.
Sound: 8/10 Music was composed for the film by Randy Miller, plus music from a number of rock acts was included. Some of the club scene 'live' music was pretty good.
Acting: 4/10 I liked Terry Farrell as Jadzia Dax in Star Trek: DS9, but not so much here. To make it worse, the movie made a poor attempt to convert the actress into being a blonde. Doug Bradley was fine as usual. Paula Marshall I could have done without. Kevin Bernhardt showed all the talent of a bad high school actor.
Screenplay: 2/10 The character Terri could knock out JP with one short jab? Give me a break. There's a whole lot less here in terms of story and motivation than in the first two. The feeling of suspense, menace, and what-happens-next was considerably less. The carnage at the club was less affecting than the more personal horrors in the first and second films.
SFX: 3/10 Very little special here. Explosions for the sake of explosions is just the opposite of convincing. Some of the special FX were just stop action with very few stops.