Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth Reviews

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October 20, 2014
Basically throws the rules the previous two movies had set up out the windiw! Pinhead is a shadow of his former self, spouting blasphemous puns and creating technological Cenobites that are verging on the ridiculous
½ September 25, 2014
Fans of the franchise created by imaginative British author Clive Barker know that the story was sufficiently summed up at the end of the first film. But since the first rule of Hollywood is that nothing this profitable never dies we now have "Hellraiser 3", and while it's by no means great, it is the last film in the series that really tried to be.

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.
½ September 25, 2014
The revelation of his own former humanity has resulted in the Cenobite Pinhead (Doug Bradley) being split into two distinct entities: his former self, World War I British Army Captain Elliot Spencer (Doug Bradley), and a manifestation of Spencer's id, which takes on the form of Pinhead. While Spencer ends up in limbo, Pinhead is trapped, along with the puzzle box, amongst the writhing figures and distorted faces etched into the surface of an intricately carved pillar - the Pillar of Souls. The pillar is bought by the rich and spoiled J.P. Monroe (Kevin Bernhardt), owner of a popular nightclub called The Boiler Room. During her investigation, an ambitious young television reporter, Joey Summerskill (Terry Farrell), slowly begins to learn about Pinhead and the mysterious puzzle box. Joey is introduced to the pain the box can bring when she views a teenage clubgoer being ripped apart by the box's chains in a hospital emergency room. Joey tracks the box and a young woman named Terri (Paula Marshall) to The Boiler Room nightclub. Terri had previously stolen the box from the nightclub. Video tape interviews are recovered from the Channard Institute of one of Pinhead's former victims Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence). Joey and Terri learn through the videos about the demonic Cenobites and the power of the Lament Configuration puzzle box and that it is the only means of sending Pinhead back to Hell. Pinhead remains dormant until one night several hooked chains shoot out of the pillar and rip into one of the club goers, Sandy, whom Monroe had just recently slept with. After killing Sandy, Pinhead consumes her flesh and her distorted face appears on the pillar. Pinhead convinces Monroe to bring him more club members so he can feed on them and be freed from the pillar. Meanwhile, Joey is contacted by the spirit of Elliot Spencer, who tells her that this "Pinhead" is a separate entity than the one encountered by Kirsty previously. Without Spencer's humanity to act as a balancing influence, this Pinhead is completely evil and has no sense of order. Rather than abide by the laws of the Cenobite realm, he will indiscriminately wreak havoc on Earth for his own pleasure unless he is stopped. In order to defeat him, Joey must reunite Spencer's spirit with Pinhead, fusing them back into a single entity...

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.
½ August 31, 2014
Ok, as if it wasn't weird enough before, well now it's getting weirder but also a bit silly. Again picking up vaguely where the first sequel left us, we now watch as a perverted slime-ball nightclub owner purchases the freaky column that houses all the souls of those that have fallen victim to the box. Of course it's only a matter of time before those trapped inside are freed having feasted on more human flesh. Having previously criticised the series for not devoting enough screen time to Pinhead and his cenobites, this instalment is focused entirely on him, in his human state, and his tortured form. Alas, his mates aren't with him this time though. In my opinion, it does kind of lose its way a bit more in this one given that the new breed of cenobites are allowed to roam free in the nightclub, streets and churches destroying anything in their path. It's lost that focus upon its central characters, as well as that S&M feel to it when everything was set within the dungeon like torture room, and it's become more of a trashy zombie flick. When you have baddies called CD head who fire compact discs to kill people, you know the concept is struggling for ideas. The previous lead has deserted the cast in this one so we have a new journalist as the heroine, but although there are still some connections to the originals, all ties are now pretty much severed (as well as a few more limbs). What I hadn't realised, until just now, is that there are in fact several more sequels, none of which I suspect will surpass Hellraiser 1 or 2. I'm guessing they're just another excuse for random gore effects and soft porn as opposed to the unique horror story classics that the early chapters have become.
August 29, 2014
The bloodiest in the franchise!
½ August 5, 2014
At first I was put off by this film due to pacing. The first 2 were much slower, but after I adjusted and started getting into the film, I realized it was unique and had its own style. This film, I feel, is bashed unfairly. It's really not that bad, in fact it's had a good idea, Doug Bradley being a badass, and is good movie in general.
July 18, 2014
End credits song by Motorhead is honestly highlight of this movie. Poorly written and even worse acting.
July 7, 2014
Well you know how when you like a horror series and you seem to like one of the entries more than everyone else? I think this one is the Hellraiser of that scenario for me. I loved this movie it's highly underrated. It's far less creepy or violent than the first two its still just as great as a film. Pinhead is amazing in this one, the kills are epic and in the first time in the series we get a little bit of comic relief (don't worry it was in a minute but still hilarious.) I don't know why but this one really worked for me. A great third entry.
June 12, 2014
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½ May 12, 2014
The mysterious box and Pillar of Souls now passes to a nightclub owner with a reporter snooping around for her big break story. Okay but series already becoming somewhat redundant and stale. A good hard rock soundtrack though, with Motorhead hilighting closing credits.
½ March 25, 2014
What a giant step down.
March 20, 2014
Hellraiser III is everything I thought Hellraiser II would be. So a reporter who is in dire need of big break (Terry Farrell) may have bitten off more than she can chew when she investigates the back-story of a young man that was ripped apart by chains. This is a big step down from the first two movies, and let me tell you why. For starters, the lead actress is one of the weakest acting talents of the Hellraiser movies so far; sure, this isn't a series that is known for its award winning performances, but seeing her here makes me feel bad for calling out any stiff acting from the first two installments. Next, this has almost nothing to do with the continuing story set up by the first two; believe it or not, Hellbound made me realize how much I was actually getting invested in these characters. Here, everything that wasn't Pinhead got dropped like it was deadweight. And speaking of Pinhead, while Doug Bradley is chewing up scenery left and right (and is easily the biggest and only reason to watch this), they drastically changed his character motivations; he used to be shrouded in mystery and only looking to take his pound of flesh from people that tampered with the puzzle box, while here, he becomes this laughing homicidal maniac, a la The Joker. All of the replacements to the Cenobites are pretty lame, and so much about this feels like it was made by a completely different team that never shared in that original vision. While this isn't something I would call terrible, it definitely fails to deliver on everything that you want out of a Hellraiser movie.
March 10, 2014
Considering its ghastly reviews, the film is decent. Although the plot is sometimes confusing and utterly pointless, the film still centers around Pinhead and The Cenobites thirst for souls. Still a grood slasher film.
March 10, 2014
Considering its ghastly reviews, the film is decent. Although the plot is sometimes confusing and utterly pointless, the film still centers around Pinhead and The Cenobites thirst for souls. Still a grood slasher film.
March 6, 2014
"That's a wrap" on what could have been one of the greatest horror franchises ever.
March 1, 2014
One line summary: Failure in the writing; most of the thrill was gone.


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.
February 20, 2014
The visuals and acting in this movie is passable but the story is weak.
½ February 7, 2014
Worse than the previous yet more entretaining
January 29, 2014
It wash't as bad as I remembered, but still a major step down. I compared Hellraiser 2 to Dream Warriors, and if that is the case, Hellraiser 3 is more like A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: Dream Master. Higher production values, arguably better direction, tighter editing, but just flat overall. Anthony Hickox is a more exciting director than Tony Randel, but the action feels out of place for this Hellraiser series. The gimmicky cenobites is really cheesy and definitely takes this once original and creepy franchise into MTV territory. It reminds me a bit of Robocop, where it's obviously an ultra violent movie for adults, yet you can't help but get the feeling it's marketed for kids to sell new cenobite toys. I remember hating this movie as a kid (I saw the first four when I was about 10/11-years-old), so even if this movie was intended to sell toys (which would be dumb as hell if it was the case) they did a terrible job. The acting has its ups and downs. Terry Farrell is actually a pretty good lead (and possibly the best in the series), but the rest of the cast is either hit or miss. I would likely put a lot of the blame on the script, though, as there wasn't much to work with and a lot of the dialogue is cringe worthy. It's unfortunate too, because the editing was better and the movie was more polished, but Anthony Hickox may have been the wrong person to be at the helm for this movie. Not recommended.
½ January 22, 2014
Much of the originality has gone, becoming something of a generic 90's horror, but with that loss comes silly, bigger, louder splatty fun, Doug Bradley's committed performance as pinhead proving him the staple (or pin) of the series...
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