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Thread: The Hellraiser Films

  1. #1
    Administrator Ian Jane's Avatar
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    The Hellraiser Films

    I bought a cheap Echobride release with four Hellraiser sequels on it.

    I'm going to force myself to watch them.

    Here are some thoughts on Bloodline.

    I thought I had seen this before, but if I had, my memory is completely shot. Because I watched it yesterday and had no recollection of it at all. OK, so in the future there will be a space station and in that space station will be a hot future cop type chick. This chick and her other future cop friends will capture a guy who uses a robot that looks kinda like a Terminator to try and open the Lament Configuration - what's he doing? And why? Well it turns out that he's the descendent of a toymaker named Le Marchent, the same guy who originally designed the puzzle box way back centuries ago in France. He sold it as a commission piece to a rich guy who got killed by his assistant after summoning a demon that they put into a hot chick's body and named Angelique. The toymaker tried to stop all fo this but it was too late and his bloodline was cursed. Cut to sometime in the 90s and one of the toymaker's descendents is an architect trying to make a building based on one of the designs that has been in his family for years. Angelique is still around as is her handler but he makes the mistake of 'getting in the way of Hell' and she gets rid of him. Pinhead shows up and they kidnap the dude's kid and blah blah blah. Cut back to the space station and Cenobites and hellhounds are running around and stuff but... lasers!

    The end.



    This was.... fun. Not particularly intelligent, mind you, it jumps around and the effects are goofy. The acting isn't good and hey look, identical twin security guards - let's turn'em into a Cenobite! Doug Bradley does what he can here. Once at a horror convention with Toyboy and Busterface we wound up tending bar for some reason. Doug Bradley was there and he wanted a beer but there was no bottle opener around so I managed to get the cap off with my ring. He was pretty stoked and now I get to brag that I gave Pinhead a beer.

    Anyway, as brainless as this was, it was fine as 86 mintues of gory entertainment. And yeah, lasers. Lots of lasers towards the end.

    That's all I've got on this one.
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  2. #2
    Intellectual Carrot Scott's Avatar
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    I like all of them up to and including part 6, although it's very much a case of diminishing returns. I remember seeing part 4 in the theater with my mom. I remember we were both suprised by how short it was. Too bad it wasn't fleshed-out more, no pun intended, especially the flashback part. I still like it though. 1 and 2 are the only real classics in the series, IMO. It gets pretty goofy after that.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Apronikoff's Avatar
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    When I was a teenager I was REALLY into the Hellraiser movies. I absolutely loved the first two, and enjoyed the third (even though it was a massive step down). So when Bloodline came out in theaters, it was an event for me. Pretty sure I saw it opening night.

    And I fucking LOATHED it. Got so angry, in the way only a young obsessive fan can, that I basically washed my hands of the franchise for years.

    Which makes me think it's due for a rewatch. I haven't seen it since then (although I have seen a couple of the DTV sequels that I enjoyed), but these days I could just enjoy it as ridiculous gory fun.

    And Scott's right about parts 5 & 6 definitely being worth watching. 5 in particular I thought demonstrated an interesting way forward for the series. All of the DTV sequels started life as unrelated scripts that got re-written to include Hellraiser elements to make them more marketable. But 5 feels like it was done in such a way that it adds to the mythology of the series rather than detracts from it.

  4. #4
    Scholar of Sleaze Paul L's Avatar
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    I've got the same Blu-ray set with the four movies on it, Ian, but I haven't opened the seal yet. I love the first two and enjoyed the third. (A friend of a friend provided some of the effects for the second and third films, oddly enough - including, as I recall, designing the CD Cenobite in HELL ON EARTH.) I saw BLOODLINE when it was first released and was hugely disappointed, and read the usual articles about how much the film was mangled in post-production. I've got the workprint sitting on an external hard drive somewhere and should get round to watching it some day.

    I've been planning to watch the other sequels for a while. I've heard about 5 & 6 being an improvement over BLOODLINE. When I've got some time, I'll get round to opening that Blu-ray case and watching them back-to-back over a couple of nights. When I get the time, that is...
    'You know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Pissholes in the snow'

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  5. #5
    Administrator Ian Jane's Avatar
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    Apro - check it out again. It's got LASERS!

    Just finished Inferno. Agree with you and Scott both, it was actually pretty good. Not taking it into space was a nice step but on top of that it had a decent story. Almost a film noir in spots, the twisted cop, the dead hooker, the seediness of it all. I don't think the 'slow jams' on the soundtrack really helped but it yeah, ok, the story took me in at least. Cool to see James Remar pop up in this. Bradley is good too, as usual. Pinhead doesn't get as much screen time here but the movie doesn't need it. I liked how the when the cop went to his 'hell' it was tied into his childhood. The whole scene where he goes back to his parent's place and sees himself as a kid eating brownies and then watches it all decay and his parents turn to walking corpses while what could be snow or ash comes in was well done, and an interesting segue to how he then revisits his sins.

    Inferno was a big step up, at least conceptually, from Bloodline. Bloodline was dumb, gory fun. LASERS! Inferno was actually... good.
    Rock! Shock! Pop!

  6. #6
    I was fan of this franchise growing up. The only horror franchises I really wasn't into growing up were The Phantasm flicks and to an extent the Halloween movies but I like (and still like) the first three films.

    The first half of part 2 was damn good but then it took a hard right turn in the 2nd half and went into schlock territory. When Chenard becomes a cenobite and spouts one liners pretty much killed the movie despite an amazing first half and superb visuals throughout.

    Part 3 is a guilty pleasure. I think because it was directed by Anthony Hicks (the same guy behind one of my all time favorite guilty pleasures Warlock: The Armageddon) and has that similar frantic, ott, don't give a fuck it's a horror film let's have fun with it, attitude. The series lost all legitimacy at this point but it's still fun and the scene in the Church could be one of those moments that defines the entire series.

    Part 4 I kinda' sorta' not really but half-heartedly somewhat lying to myself like. The troubles the director experienced with the Weinstein's is interesting and I've seen the workprint footage and overall I can see what was attempted and respect what they tried to achieve. But it just didn't work. It has some good moments and the gore with the Twin Cenobite is epic.

    Part 5 (Inferno) I honestly think is the best of the sequels. It's like if David Lynch made a Hellraiser flick.

    The other sequels are complete dog shit.
    "Birds born in a cage think flying is an illness."

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  7. #7
    Administrator Ian Jane's Avatar
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    And...Hellseeker. Cool to see Ashley Laurence return to the series here but this was the most obvious of Dimensions 'take a script that's already done and put Pinhead in it' Hellraiser movies so far. Just a goofy whodunnit. A couple of okay gore scenes I guess but nope, this one didn't really do it for me.
    Rock! Shock! Pop!

  8. #8
    I think Bloodline is my least favorite of the sequels. I like em all (even 7 & 8). Don't know if the new one they put out can be counted since Doug Bradley isn't in it. Sucky flick anyway.

  9. #9
    Administrator Ian Jane's Avatar
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    I just got Deader on Blu for $5 at Best Buy. It's actually got a bunch of extras on it, which surprised me.
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  10. #10
    Administrator Ian Jane's Avatar
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    Also... Deader is a stupid name for a sequel.
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