Hellraiser 3 Cover One day I decided to set fire to a can of coke and a tray of ice-cubes. Well, after watching this film, I thought that anything was possible. You know, this horror film Directed by Anthony Hickox; and Starring: Doug Bradley, Terry Farrell, Paula Marshall and Kevin Bernhardt. It was made in 1991 and lasted for a whole 93-minute's.

Hellraiser 3 : The Film - The Book

Now in my most humble opinion, I would have to say that over-eager journalist, Joanne Summerskill (Terry Farrell), is one hell of an emotional woman. She's haunted by visions of her dead father dying on a nondescript battlefield. She's plagued by the sight of a young punk blowing up in front of her very eyes. Oh! And let's not forget that she is rather enraptured by the comings and goings of a slightly loose young lady called Terri (Paula Marshall).

Hey! Wait a minute! You do know who Terri is, don't you? She's the 'ex' of that pimp named J.P. Monroe (Kevin Bernhardt), who run's that dodgy night club down town called the 'Boiler Room'. Plus she's also that rather sneaky street-urchin who leads Joanne to discover that J.P. has purchased two strange items of very hellish importance.

Yeah. Honest to God. The first item is a mysterious puzzle-box that caused a major disaster quite some time ago in a mental institute run by a Doctor Philip Channard. Plus the second item is a statue which holds the inanimate remains of the wanton spirit known as Pinhead (Doug Bradley).

Well, when I say 'inanimate', that is until this spiky faced f*cker persuades J.P. to feed him his patron's one at a time, giving him all the energy he will ever need to raise hell on Earth (thus the title).

Still, I suppose that is why what next transpires all kicks off when J.P. and Terri swap vocations, and Joanne is paid a visit by Pinhead's better-half, Captain Elliott Spencer. As origins are revealed - night clubs are a killing field - cleaver journalists run away - and a box is the key that save everyone at the end of the day.

Or does it?

Now if I had to sum up 'Hellraiser III - Hell on Earth' with one single phrase, that phrase would have to be 'Oh dear!'. Well, if I'm being honest with you, dear reader, it looks like this horror flick has been plagued by 'sequel syndrome'. You know what I mean by this, right? It's that hellish film franchise blight which infects all 'subsequent movies' with too much splash-splash, and not enough bash-bash.

Monsters from Hellraiser 3

Attack in Hellraiser 3
Here, let me tell you what I mean by this in bullet point form: (1) For a horror movie, this piece does start off in a very labored way. Honestly, the central plot doesn't really kick in until the forty-five minute mark, and even then it only comes in drips and drabs. (2) There are certain scenes in this film that are played to the camera, as if they were meant to be included in the trailer. Straight up. This becomes more and more blatant as the adventure progresses, with the actors looking just adjacent off frame and declaring something pithy and bold as if they were selling detergent. (3) There are too many illogical plot discrepancies in this film that are sometimes very hard to ignore. For example, why didn't Pinhead kill Joanne as soon as she confronted him, instead of chasing her all around town? Also, what the hell was that whole section with Pinhead and J.P. all about? Why didn't old prick-face just eat whoever he saw fit before hand?  (4) Now taking into consideration the special effects available in this era, I have to say that those on show weren't really that good in execution. It's as though the producers ran out of money or something prior to this stage of development, and just 'made good' with the funds that they had at their disposal. (5) As much as I didn't mind seeing the 'monstrous versions' of the bad-guys, if truth be told, there wasn't that much point to their presence in this movie at all. They came across as too vapid and not enough substance as a theme. Simple as that really. (5) Apart from Joanne and Doc, I couldn't have cared less if the other characters in this film were killed or not, because they did not have that relatable edge I could associate with. (6) To me, the three best parts of this movie were: Firstly -- the whole 'Pinhead origin sequence' with Captain Elliott Spencer. Secondly -- the 'Hellraiser 2 recap' with Kirsty [click on link for the review]. And thirdly -- some of the 'investigative scenes' with Joanne. I found these segments gave the overall production an extra added dimension, which I'm sure could have been expanded upon if the central plot wasn't lost in superficiality.

Pinhead in Hellraiser 3

Hellraiser 3 Hell on Earth
OK, that's enough 'Hellraiser III - Hell on Earth' bashing for the moment. Let's have some filmic-facts now, shall we? (1) This film was released by Dimension on the 11th of September, 1992, and made $12,525,537 at the box-office. This was a lot lower than expected. (2) This was the first 'Hellraiser movie' produced and directed in the United States of America. (3) Whilst Doc is switching to channel 12 at Joanne's bequest, you can see a quick cameo by the director, Anthony Hickox, plus a brief flash from one of his movies called "Waxwork II: Lost in Time". (4) JP's remark to Terry 'Come to daddy', was a homage to the first Hellraiser movie [click here for the review] where Frank says the same thing to his daughter, Kristy. (5) Co-writer, Pete Atkins, adapted the screenplay for this piece based on Clive Bakers original Egyptian / biblical concept. Also, he was planning to direct it too, but Miramax preferred Anthony Hickcock instead, because he had a lot more experience behind him. (6) The scene in which Pinhead enters a church and abases religion caused a major problem for the production. No church would give them permission to film on holy ground, and so they had to cobble together a matte painting by proxy. (7) The band that appeared in the 'Boiler Room' scene was in actual fact 'Armored Saint' performing their song 'Hanging Judge'. (8) The construction yard scene took place on 'Wake Forest University' campus, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The building that was under construction at the time would later become the 'Worrell Professional Center'. (9) The MPAA wanted the initial 'Pinhead' poster to be removed from Miramax's advertising campaign, because they thought it was too intense for the public. Reluctantly Miramax agreed, and used an image of Pinhead from the first movie as a compromise. (10) Clive Barker directed a Motörhead video for "Hellraiser" which featured Lemmy and Pinhead playing a game of cards together.

Hellraiser 3 Scream

Overall 'Hellraiser III - Hell on Earth' is a film that could have been a lot better if it tried to do something more than second guess audience expectations. If it wanted to do a 'Pinhead origin film' -- fine -- they should have done a 'Pinhead origin film'. Instead of introducing new characters that were as relatable as a rich self-imposed orphan who enjoys baroque art for the sake of bravado. Right? Nuff said. 


HELLRAISER III - HELL ON EARTH HELLRAISER III - HELL ON EARTH Reviewed by David Andrews on January 02, 2013 Rating: 5
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