REVIEW: HELLRAISER VI: HELLSEEKER

CAST

Doug Bradley (Wrong Turn 5)
Dean Winters (Terminator: TSCC)
Ashley Laurence (Warlock III)
Rachel Hayward (Jake 2.0)
Sarah-Jane Redmond (Smallville)
Jody Thompson (Flash Gordon)
Kaaren de Zilva (Juno)
Kyle Cassie (Andromeda)
Ken Camroux-Taylor (The Flash)

Trevor Gooden (Dean Winters) survives a car accident that apparently kills his wife Kirsty Cotton-Gooden (Ashley Laurence) when their car plunges off a bridge into the river below. Trevor manages to escape with his life, but even though police divers find both car doors open there is no sign of Kirsty.

One month later, Trevor wakes up in a hospital and realizes that his wife is missing, but because of a head injury his memory is uncertain and he cannot distinguish between fantasy and reality. Trevor finds himself the prime suspect in a murder case, and has two homicide detectives on his tail. Many strange events befall him, until the Cenobite Pinhead shows him reality. The reality is that Kirsty is in fact still alive. Trevor learns that in reality he was never a good guy. He cheated on his wife with many other women, and tried to get rid of Kirsty by making her reopen the Lament Configuration. She does, but before being taken, she strikes one last deal with Pinhead: she offers to give him five souls in exchange for hers. She kills three of Trevor’s mistresses and one of Trevor’s friends, who was conspiring to kill her for her fortune.  Trevor is in shock by the revelation and takes off the covers on the operating table, believing it to be Kirsty. The person on the table is not Kirsty, but is in fact him. He is the fifth soul and this entire time he has been in Hell living in limbo. Trying to rediscover his past and piece his life back together was his punishment for his disloyalty to his wife and his inability to accept who he truly was. It seems that she has pinned all of the murders on Trevor and shot Trevor through the head, leading him to crash the car into the river. The film ends with Kirsty walking away from the crime scene with the Lament Configuration in hand.

Pinhead has thankfully been given a much more prevalent role than he had in Inferno, and it’s morbidly pleasing to see some of the familiar Cenobites return, like Chatterer. The movie closes with the old `leave him and take me’ cliché, but as a whole it is a quality entry in the Hellraiser saga. It is well-written, well-thought out, and entertaining, and most importantly, it is more than just another cash in on a successful series.

REVIEW: HELLRAISER III: HELL ON EARTH

CAST

Doug Bradley (Wrong Turn 5)
Terry Farrell (Star Trek: DS9)
Ken Carpenter (Blood Games)
Paula Marshall  (Veronica Mars)
Kevin Bernhardt (Superboy)
Ashley Laurence (Warlock III)
Zach Galligan (Gremlins)

MV5BOWQyMWVmOGMtYTgyZi00OTFlLTg2NmItMzU4N2QwZDFmZmE3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyODUyNjExNg@@._V1_The revelation of his own former humanity in Hellraiser II has resulted in the Cenobite, Pinhead (Doug Bradley), being split into two different entities: his former self, World War I British Army Captain Elliot Spencer, 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.
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The pillar is bought by J.P. Monroe (Kevin Bernhardt), the rich 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 witnesses 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.
MV5BOTE0MmQxYTAtNmQyZC00N2FjLWE4NjMtMTZhODE3NWQyZjI2XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzQ1NjgzOTA@._V1_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 (Aimée Leigh), 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.
MV5BYTgzNjVmNzQtN2NlYi00NWNiLWE3ZTQtMzg0ZmJiZjkwYmZiXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzQ1NjgzOTA@._V1_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. Pinhead and Joey confront each other in The Boiler Room after Pinhead massacres the club’s patrons in various grotesque ways. Pinhead says that he exists to force humanity to recognize the darkness in their heart and his freedom is the only way to enable it. He orders Joey to give him the box but she breaks free and flees the club. Pinhead resurrects the corpses of his victims as Cenobites; Terri, transformed into a cigarette-smoking Cenobite that can dream, which she was unable to do as a human; Monroe, who has pistons jabbed through his skull; the Barman, who has barbed wire wrapped around his head and spits fire from his mouth; The DJ, who has CDs impaled into his skull, and throws CDs full speed at his victims; and ‘Doc’, who has a TV camera forcibly embedded in his eye socket. Joey flees through the quiet streets, pursued by the new Cenobites.Local police are killed by the Cenobites as Joey enters a church and begs the priest to help her. Lacking in faith that demons could exist, the priest is appalled by the appearance of Pinhead. The Cenobites trap Joey on a construction site and prepare to torture her – but the Lament Configuration activates and they are quickly sent to hell. Joey finds herself in a heaven like realm and comes face to face with an apparition who appears to be her dead father. The apparition tells Joey to give him the Lament Configuration, aka the puzzle box, and is revealed to be Pinhead in disguise. Pinhead ensnares her in machinery and prepares to transform her into a Cenobite, but is confronted by Spencer’s spirit, who forcibly fuses himself into Pinhead. Joey breaks free and uses the altered Lament Configuration to stab Pinhead through the heart, finally sending him back to Hell. With Pinhead’s humanity restored, Joey buries the Puzzle Box in a pool of concrete at the construction site.

The final scene shows the finished product of the same site – a building built where Joey buried the box, with the interior design identical to the Lament Configuration.It really is a shame that this movie is part of the series. If this would have been a new film ( with a new demon ) it would have been an enjoyable, well-made change. But as part of a great series it fails to deliver and you’re left behind with a disappointment.

REVIEW: HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II

 

CAST

Doug Bradley (Wrong Turn 5)
Claire Higgins (The Golden Compass)
Ashley Laurence (Warlock III)
Sean Champman (A Mighty Heart)
Kenneth Graham (Layer Cake)
Imogen Boorman (Dreamchild)
William Hope (Aliens)
Angus MacInnes (Hellboy)

MV5BNTg2OTkzMGUtYjgwMi00Zjg4LTg0ZWEtNjljYmY3YjY3MmRlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzI1NzMxNzM@._V1_Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence), the protagonist from the previous film, has been admitted to a psychiatric hospital, still haunted by visions of the unspeakable horror that destroyed her family. Interviewed by Doctor Channard (Kenneth Cranham), and his assistant, Kyle MacRae (William Hope), she tells her account of the events depicted in the first film, and pleads with them to destroy the bloody mattress her murderous stepmother, Julia Cotton (Clare Higgins) died on. Despite her frantic urging, MacRae is the only one who seems to believe her. However, it is revealed that the obsessive Dr. Channard has been searching for the Lament Configuration, the doorway to the world of the Cenobites, for years. After hearing Kirsty’s story, he has the mattress brought to his home, and has one of his more deranged patients lie on the mattress and cut himself with a straight razor. The resulting blood frees Julia from the Cenobite dimension, as it did with Frank in the first film, though Julia’s physical form is immediately whole, only lacking skin due to the amount of blood.
MV5BNTQ2NjQxMzQ5Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTI4MjMyMDI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1534,1000_AL_Meanwhile, Kirsty is awakened in her room to a vision of her father, who tells her in writing that he’s in Hell and to help him. This is witnessed by MacRae, who had snuck inside Dr. Channard’s house to investigate Kirsty’s claims. He returns to Kirsty to tell her, and the two decide to return to Dr. Channard’s house, so Kirsty can attempt to save her father who she believes is still trapped in Hell. They also decide to bring a young patient named Tiffany (Imogen Boorman), whom Kirsty has befriended. Tiffany, who hasn’t spoken for years, demonstrates an amazing aptitude for puzzles. Meanwhile, Dr. Channard, seduced by Julia, has surreptitiously brought more mentally ill patients to his home for her to feed on. When Kirsty and the others arrive at Channard’s home, MacRae heads to the attic, and discovers the grisly remains of their bodies. Julia, her skin almost completely regenerated, appears and kills him, consuming his essence and completing her skin regeneration. Kirsty hears the commotion and rushes up to the attic, and walks in on the scene. Enraged, she attacks Julia, but is knocked unconscious.
MV5BOTllYzA1MDAtODBiZC00YTU0LTg1YjAtZDY3ZmQ3MGUwYzU4XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzI1NzMxNzM@._V1_Using Tiffany as a proxy, Channard and Julia unlock the Lament Configuration puzzle box and enter the world of Pinhead and the Cenobites. Here it is learned that the act of opening the Lament Configuration is not in and of itself reason to be targeted by the Cenobites. As Pinhead states, stopping his fellow Cenobites from attacking Tiffany, it is not hands that call them, but desire. Thus, it was Channard´s desire who made him use Tiffany to open the box and, because of this, he is the Cenobites´ target. Kirsty ventures into the Cenobites’ domain and encounters Frank Cotton (Sean Chapman). He reveals that he is condemned to Hell, and that his punishment is to be teased and seduced by writhing female figures on beds that withdraw into the walls, depriving him of any pleasure. He also reveals that he tricked her by pretending to be her father to lure her into Hell so that he can use her for his own pleasures. At this point, Julia appears and destroys Frank in revenge for his killing her (in the first movie).
MV5BYmJhODk3ZTYtNzAyMC00YmVkLWEzODAtZDk0ZDc2Y2FmM2ViXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyOTc5MDI5NjE@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,999_AL_In a vie for power, Doctor Channard, having been changed into a Cenobite, kills Pinhead and his minions. Kirsty later tricks Doctor Channard by donning the deceased Julia’s skin, giving Tiffany the opportunity to finish the Lament Configuration puzzle, killing Doctor Channard and allowing them to return home and close the gate between the two worlds. The movie ends with Kirsty and Tiffany leaving the now unoccupied hospital. Two men are removing what remains in the doctor’s house and one of the movers comes across a blood-stained mattress on the floor. As he bends down to examine it, two arms reach out from the pool of blood, killing him as they withdraw, taking his upper half with them. When the second mover finally enters and observes the scene, a large spinning pillar rises from the bloody floor, decorated with several Cenobite faces inset, including Pinhead’s. Staring at the ghastly faces, one of them (the vagrant from the first film) speaks to the mover, asking him, “What is your pleasure?” as the movie ends.MV5BOWQyMWVmOGMtYTgyZi00OTFlLTg2NmItMzU4N2QwZDFmZmE3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyODUyNjExNg@@._V1_Cracking follow up to the original masterpiece, that manages to be both more epic, yet maintain the more intimate dysfunctional family feel of the first. Inventive, disturbing, surreal and wonderful, with great performances from a (mostly) returning cast. a truly fantastic horror sequel.

 

REVIEW: HELLRAISER

CAST

Doug Bradley (Wrong Turn 5)
Andrew Robinson (Star Trek: DS9)
Claire Higgins (The Golden Compass)
Ashley Laurence (Warlock III)
Sean Champman (A Mighty Heart)
Robert Hines (Wetherby)

MV5BMTAzNzI0OTc5MDNeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDMyODIzMjAy._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,927_AL_In Morocco, Frank Cotton buys a puzzle box from a dealer. In a bare attic, when Frank solves the puzzle, hooked chains emerge and tear him apart. Later, the room is filled with swinging chains and covered with the remnants of his body. A black-robed figure picks up the box and returns it to its original state, restoring the room to normal.
jayandsilentbobstrikebackpicSome time afterward, Frank’s brother Larry moves into the house to rebuild his strained relationship with his second wife, Julia, who had an affair with Frank shortly after their marriage. Larry’s teenage daughter, Kirsty, has chosen not to live with them and moves into her own place. Larry cuts his hand carrying a sofa up the stairs, and lets his blood drip on the attic floor. The blood resurrects Frank as a skinless corpse, who is soon found by Julia. Still obsessed with Frank, she agrees to harvest blood for him so that he can be fully restored, and they can run away together. Julia begins picking up men in bars and bringing them back to the house, where she murders them. Frank consumes their blood, regenerating his body. Frank explains to Julia that he had exhausted all sensory experiences and sought out the puzzle box, with the promise that it would open a portal to a realm of new carnal pleasures. When solved, the “Cenobites” came to subject him to the extremes of sadomasochism.

Kirsty spies Julia bringing men to the house; believing her to be having an affair, she follows her to the attic, where she interrupts Frank’s latest feeding. Frank attacks her, but Kirsty throws the puzzle box out the window, creating a distraction and allowing her to escape. Kirsty retrieves the box and flees, but collapses shortly thereafter. Awakening in a hospital, Kirsty solves the box, summoning the Cenobites and a two-headed monster, which Kirsty narrowly escapes from. The Cenobites’ leader, Pinhead, explains that although the Cenobites have been perceived as both angels and demons, they are simply “explorers” from another dimension seeking carnal experiences, and they can no longer differentiate between pain and pleasure. Although they attempt to force Kirsty to return to their realm with them, she informs Pinhead that Frank has escaped. The Cenobites agree to take Frank back in exchange for Kirsty’s freedom.
MV5BNTQ2NjQxMzQ5Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTI4MjMyMDI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1534,1000_AL_Kirsty returns home, where Frank has killed Larry and taken his identity by stealing his skin. Julia shows her what is purported to be Frank’s flayed corpse in the attic, locking the door behind her. The Cenobites appear and demand the man who “did this”. Kirsty tries to escape, but is held by Julia and Frank. Frank reveals his true identity to Kirsty, and, when his sexual advances are rejected, he decides to kill her to complete his rejuvenation. He accidentally stabs Julia instead and drinks her blood without remorse. Frank chases Kirsty to the attic, and when he is about to kill her, the Cenobites appear. Now sure he is the one they are looking for, they ensnare him with chains and tear him to pieces. They then attempt to abduct Kirsty. Ripping the puzzle box from Julia’s dead hands, Kirsty defeats the Cenobites by reversing the motions needed to open the puzzle box, sending them back to Hell. Kirsty’s boyfriend shows up and helps her escape the collapsing house.
MV5BNTg2OTkzMGUtYjgwMi00Zjg4LTg0ZWEtNjljYmY3YjY3MmRlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzI1NzMxNzM@._V1_Afterwards, Kirsty throws the puzzle box onto a burning pyre. A creepy vagrant who has been stalking Kirsty walks into the fire, and retrieves the box before transforming into a winged creature and flying away. The box ends up in the hands of the merchant who sold it to Frank, offering it to another prospective customer.This film received an X rating when it was first released, The gore effects are only a tad dated, but they’re still quite shocking. I think the X rating might have been due more to the films unrelenting sadism than anything else. It’s sick and remorseless, but that’s not to say it’s bad. It’s innovative. Nothing like it had been seen up to that time, and it still remains an original. It never imitates; it’s all fresh and frighteningly new and should be appreciated for that if nothing else. Followed by one pretty good sequel and a handful of really bad ones, this first installment remains the best. Should be seen at least once.