Movie Review – Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth

1992 Paramount Pictures

Two and Half Star

Hellraiser III is the first Hellraiser movie with a story by someone other than Clive Barker. Barker acted as Executive Producer only on this third entry and the style clearly shows his lessened involvement behind the scenes. As the movie begins Pinhead is trapped in the strange Pillar of Souls last seen rising out of the mattress at the end of Hellbound. What this pillar is and why Pinhead even still exists is never explained but what the hell (get it?). Also never explained is why the pillar seen in this movie bears little resemblance to the one in the previous movie. It looks better in this movie so who cares. Anyway back to the story. The pillar has mysteriously found its way to an art gallery and is purchased by a rich dickhead who runs a kinky dance club.  Meanwhile a hot reporter named Joey seeking a story at a hospital runs into a lead she probably wishes she had never followed. A patient is brought in screaming, pierced by hooks attached to chains that act in a not very inanimate kind of way. This leads our intrepid hero on the path to hell and a meeting with everybody’s favorite demon.

Hellraiser 3 is a bit of a departure from the tone of the first two movies. This is a more straightforward slasher movie in many regards. There’s much more action going on as Pinhead goes clubbing and trashes a city street while pursuing his prey. Also the whole Captain Elliot Spencer and Pinhead duel, taking part in Joey’s mind at times, is more of a Nightmare On Elm Street kind of thing.

This is not an awful movie but seems disconnected from the previous movies. Ashley Laurence makes a thirty second cameo as Kirsty but besides that Pinhead is the only character to carry over from the last movie. Not even the original Cenobites make an appearance. Still this is a fun bit of mindless entertainment for horror fans.

The newest weight loss fad. Not for those afraid of a little pain.

The patient suffers some mild trauma and visible wire syndrome.

Okay maybe more than mild.

Terry Farrell stars as Joey. Looks nice.

Ashley Laurence as Kirsty. Looks grainy.

Paula Marshall as Terri. Yowzah!

The good:

Pinhead without his human side. He’s just plain insane in this movie.

Paula Marshall. Yowzah!

More screen time for Doug Bradley.

The body count is cranked up big time.

See. I told you.

The not so good:

The handmade Cenobites are a little goofy to say the least.

Oh lordy. I've had bosses that looked this vacant.

Oh lordy. I’ve had bosses that looked this vacant.

Random thoughts and observations:

The Elm St. Cafe goes boom.

Larry’s? Hmmmmm…

The goofy Cenobites get sent to Hell when the new laser turret box attachment zaps them..

Zap zap.

…but Pinhead gets sent back by getting stabbed with the pointy configuration? How does she know how to do this?

Stab stab.

Joey buries the box in concrete…

…and it grows into a building. How nice???


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