Schlocktoberfest #26: Hellraiser: Bloodline
I love the original Hellraiser, but the sequels, even Hellbound, are severely lacking and this is no exception. I’m told they only get worse. The director- Kevin Yaghee, who’d only done a “Tales from the Crypt” episode prior to being handed this feature- bowed out when they cut the gore, explanations of the story, and forced “Pinhead,” as he’s known, to show up as early as possible. The movie suffers incredibly due to this meddling, and the script was iffy to begin with. When a newb director decides to go the Alan Smithee route, perhaps you’ve got a piece of poo here.
It begins in space. Yes, space. A descendant of the original builder of the infamous puzzle box is on a space station in 2127, using a robot to solve the box. But a military team is raiding his ship to stop him. Pinhead shows up, and we go into a flashback, to see the origins of the box which summons our prickly pals the cenobites. The space dude’s predecessor is a toymaker commissioned by a de Sade-alike French nobleman, and does not know his creation was built to open a door to Hell. Even we don’t know. The toymaker sees what he has made and tries to destroy it, but fails; the nobleman’s consort Angelique, who is apparently a demon- whether she’s summoned by the box or not I don’t know- and tries to kill off the toymaker’s bloodline to ensure the box’s safety.
In the second movie we learned that “Pinhead” was a soldier of the Great War lured in by the box, but here he is an eternal being, and the film either doesn’t care about what has gone before or doesn’t know. We return to the present day and meet another member of the bloodline, who’s a sculptor. They’re all played by the same guy, of course. Angelique and Pinhead want to force him to keep the doorway to Hell open; she does so by seduction, and Pinhead through torture. He makes a new cenobite out of twin security guards by mashing them together, and he has a skinless monster dog called “Beast” to do his bidding. When the chains fly and the flesh is made the devil’s plaything, the movie is quite good. It’s just got a plot as confusing as the puzzle box itself, and seems to be missing a lot of scenes.
The effects are great for the time, but the story is such a mess that you have to put it together yourself. If the entire future/space plot was culled, we’d have something. The movie shits on its predecessor by changing the box from a demonic lure to trap those seeking pleasures beyond imagination into a combination lock on the door to Hell. It suffers considerably, and if this is one of the “good” sequels, I’m going to avoid the rest. For example Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth, which has a cenobite who shoots compact discs out of his face like buzzsaw blades. That might be a good laugh, but what the hell were they thinking? Angels to some, CD players to others. We’ll tear your music collection apart.
On the other hand, I wanted to know the history of the puzzle box, so I’m to blame. It lured me in, and I let the movie sink its hooks into my face and pull me apart. Pinhead has some good lines in this one- “Do I look like a person who cares what God thinks?” but this is the Kingdom of Crystal Skull of the series. He never needed to go to space. Pinhead got raped as sure as Indy did. Jesus wept.