ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth (1992)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Anthony Hickox

Starring:
Doug Bradley/Pinhead-Elliott
Terry Farrell/Joey
Paula Marshall/Terri
Kevin Bernhardt/JP
PLOT-CRUNCH
After his confrontation with "Channard" in Part 2, Pinhead is now split in the middle. His good side wanders dreamland and his bad side is trapped in the pillar of souls. Pinhead is eventually freed from his prison and goes about turning earth into a bloody mess. But the sultan of pain is in for a surprise, heart-shaped arse journalist Joey (Farrell) is out to stop him. Beauty versus beast.
THE LOWDOWN
What have they done to Pinhead?? The two previous Hellraiser flicks were never about him, he was only there to complement the stories (Although in part 2 they did hint at exploring him more…urgh). The first movie was character driven, the second was a visual roller coaster ride and this one borders on the line of bullcrap.

Making Pinhead the central character is a big mistake. He makes a fool of himself (especially when he’s in the pillar), he turns into that drunken uncle we all hate. Every time he opens his mouth he just talks and talks and talks…shut up dude! You’re boring me!!! Having Pin get all that screen time ruins the mystery and elevates the character to a jokey level (why are all my fav horror monsters becoming punch lines??).

And what about the new Cenobites??? Half man, half CD Player, half man, half camera…WTF??? The new Cenobites are far from scary and very cheesy.

The scenes between Joey and Elliott in dreamland are very tacky and made me groan on many occasions. What’s up with that awful dialogue??

When the movie does have a chance to go nuts, it does it half arse. The scene where Terry is being chased by the Cenobites in the streets of New York (reminded me of Superman 2) could’ve been awesome. Here the streets are almost deserted and even though we get lots of explosions and car crashes it feels very empty. Empty mayhem, is that a contradiction? Well here it applies. The scene is a let down.

I will admit being impressed by the "Vietnam" scenes. They felt very real. I liked how they incorporated Frank’s classic line (from the two previous films) in there "Come To Daddy", I chuckled. I also liked the club carnage, lots good fun gore, that scene is the highlight. The production values here are better than on the previous two (more money) and the film does look very polished. But in the end, the flick doesn’t have the depth of the first one, or the fun of the second. It feels very empty and embraces mainstream (the first two were far from mainstream). The Hellraiser themes (sex, lust, pleasure, pain, desire…) are handled here in a very obvious way and make the two previous films feel like Shakespeare. This is not the direction I wanted this series to take…Is the jig up?
GORE
Dinner is served. Deadly hook attacks, Pinhead consuming a girl, a slaughter in a club…we get lots of sauce…I hated the silly morphing at the end of the flick.
ACTING
Doug Bradley (Pinhead-Elliott) hams it up as Pinhead and I didn’t buy it. He does fine as Elliott, it's just too bad that his dialogue sucks. Sexy Terry Farrell (Joey) gives a clumsy performance, she feels very off, especially when she shares scenes with Paula Marshall, who’s obviously a stronger actress. Hot to trot Paula Marshall (Terri) impressed me. Her character is very layered and she handles it very well. Kevin Bernhardt (JP) does an evil Matt Dillon (wait a minute, Matt is already evil), he’s on, he’s off but he’s always fun to watch. Ken Carpenter (Doc) cannot act…period.
T & A
Kevin Bernhardt spends most of his screen time shirtless and chicks will love it. Brother’s pumped! For the dudes we get some hot dumb blonde half assing a tit shot and walking around in her panties…kind of a let down. It's ladies night on this flick. Dig in, girls!
DIRECTING
All style, Hickox goes ape shite here, pulling every camera trick in the book. He also plays with sound a lot and loves slow motion. The film looks very slick (loved that shot through the hole in that guys head). Too bad all the style in the world can’t cover up the film’s poor content.
SOUNDTRACK
Some hard rock stuff (remember Motorhead?) and the occasional sample of the Hellraiser score.
BOTTOM LINE
This third sequel has a lot in common with Elm Street. It has lots of dream sequences, lots of one-liners and a villain that used to be in the shadows but is now tossed in the spotlight. This flick sacrifices the soul of Pinhead in order to hear those cash registers cling louder. I guess they wanted the Hellraiser flicks to reach a wider audience. The movie has a few things to offer, namely some good gore, effects and a few hot broads but all in all, it’s a big let down. Why? Cause it’s a Hellraiser flick.
BULL'S EYE
Kevin Bernhardt is also a screenwriter: He wrote "The Immortals", "Turbulence 2" and "Jill The Ripper" (also directed by Hickox).

Ashley Lawrence has a cameo via a video taped session in a hospital.

Peter Atkins (the writer) has a cameo. He plays the barman. Anthony Hickox also shows up in the film as a Vietnam soldier and on a TV talk show (briefly)

The US unrated laserdisc release from Paramount is uncut and features brief extra footage of a topless girl dancing in The Boiler Room and two new scenes:

Immediately after Terri moves out from Joey, there is a scene inside the Boiler Room nightclub where a couple are seen buying some drugs from a drug dealer. Terri is in the Boiler Room, where she witnesses a couple in love, which makes her even lonelier. Next, she purchases some coffee, and looks up to see JP who says "Hey baby, glad you could make it." This new scene ends here; next JP is seen telling Terri to "come on in" to his room. When Elliot tells Joey about his past, they are standing around a campfire.

There is a new scene immediately before the footage from Hellbound (Elliot playing with box at start), in which Elliot is seen buying the box in an Indian bazaar.
Strikeback
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9:24PM on 10/23/2006
The only reason I give this movie a two is that it had a rather strong first act and the production values were strong. I also loved the club massacre. However the story could've been awesome but was poorly executed. I have a feeling it was partially due to a) bad dialogue and b) bad directing. Hickox directs this movie like an amateur. It lacks the elegance of the first two films. Aside from that, the two things that really hurt this movie were one, as Arrow said, the new Cenobites.
The only reason I give this movie a two is that it had a rather strong first act and the production values were strong. I also loved the club massacre. However the story could've been awesome but was poorly executed. I have a feeling it was partially due to a) bad dialogue and b) bad directing. Hickox directs this movie like an amateur. It lacks the elegance of the first two films. Aside from that, the two things that really hurt this movie were one, as Arrow said, the new Cenobites. They were the cheasiest, dumbest things on the planet. They weren't scary at all, they were just stupid looking, especially the camera Cenobite and the CD Cenobite. Why couldn't they have just kept the original ones in there? They were awesome. These new ones were just atrocious. B) was, again as Arrow pointed out, the fact that Pinhead ceases to be side character and becomes the full-on villian. He almost feels like half-assed answer to Freddy. It sort of reminded me of "Nightmare 3" in regard to what they did to their trademark monster. This movie gets a two, strong first act, weak second act.
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