You know, when it comes to horror movies in the 80’s and 90’s, there really weren’t a lot of original movies. A lot of them were part of a franchise. I mean, you had Friday The 13th, Nightmare On Elm Street, Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre (technically those last two started in the 70’s but they did carry over). The Hellraiser franchise was not one of my favorites and to be fair, I thought the character of Pinhead looked pretty stupid. But I will say that Clive Barker is definitely capable of creating some “creepy ass shit.” Now I am sure some of you are wondering why I have this movie if I was not a fan of the series. The answer is….don’t know. I just do. So let’s go ahead and get right into today’s movie, Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth.
The plot: After the events of Hellraiser II, the Pillar Of Souls is sold to J.P. Monroe, who uses it as decoration in his nightclub called The Boiler Room. Days later, Joey Summerskill, a young TV reporter, is doing a story on a local emergency room when she witnesses a young man brought in with chains attached to him. When the chains suddenly rip the boy apart, Joey’s only way to figure out what happened lies with the Terri, the girl that came in with the victim. Joey tracks down Terri who claims that she found the kid in an alley outside the club and that the kid was claiming the chains out of a box that he had stolen from the statue. They go searching for more clues and discover video tapes from the Channard Institiute of one of Pinheads previous victims, Kristy Cotton, who claims that the box is the only way to send Pinhead back to Hell. Meanwhile, Monroe has just finished having sex with a random club patron when she is suddenly attacked by chains coming out of the statue, with the chains ripping off her flesh before dragging her to be consumed by the pillar. This allows Pinhead to regain some of his power and he convinces Monroe to bring him more victims. Monroe tricks Terri into coming back to his place and he tries to get her close to the tower but she knocks him out with some brass knuckles. Pinhead then convinces Terri to release him by pushing Monroe closer to the pillar and in return, he will give her the gift of dreams. When Pinhead is released, he proceeds to go down to the club and kills all of the patrons there. Meanwhile, Joey is contacted by the spirit of Elliot Spencer, Pinhead’s human side, who tells her what Pinhead’s plans are and that the only way to stop him is to reunite Spencer and Pinhead into one being. Joey heads to the club but when Pinhead orders her to give him the box, she runs, causing Pinhead to reanimate some of the corpses as new Cenobites to chase after her. They eventually trap her in a construction site but the box suddenly opens, sending the Cenobites to Hell. Joey is tricked into giving Pinhead the box but Spencer shows up and forcibly fuses with Pinhead, allowing Joey to stab Pinhead in the heart with the box and sending him to Hell. Joey then buries the box in the cement floor of the construction site to hopefully seal it away for good.
Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth received some pretty negative reviews, earning only a 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Many critics complained about the departure from the previous films as well as the weak plot and character design. I have to say that it is amazing what references make it into popular culture since many fans criticized the Cenobites as looking like “knock-off Borg extras.” The movie did pretty poorly at the box office, earning just over $12 million in the U.S.
Yeh, this was a pretty bad movie. The story was pretty over dramatized but the plot was incredibly weak. The acting was pretty awful with some of the actors not even giving any real inflection to their voices to add any emotion, just bland speaking. The effects were decent at times but they hardly made up for all the shortcomings in this film. To be honest, this should only be watched if you want to watch the entire series but otherwise, you should really skip this one.
Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5