ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Hellraiser 7: Deader (2005)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Rick Bota

Starring:
Kari Wuhrer/Amy
Doug Bradley/Pinhead
Paul Rhys/Winters
Georgina Rylance/Marla
PLOT-CRUNCH
Chain smoking and heart shaped behind reporter Amy (Wuhrer) dives head & shoulders first into exploring a mysterious Cult called The Deaders. She’s put through the hell-bent ringer and meets Pinhead & friends along the way.
THE LOWDOWN
The Hellraiser franchise today is a different mammal than the one I fell in lust with way back when. Where Part 1 to 4 covered an ongoing storyline, Part 5 to now 7 (with 8 on the way) mostly act as stand alones, minor references to past films aside, only the puzzle box and good old Pinboy tie the series together. The question is, does it work?

Well, even though they're not really Hellraiser films anymore (they're more like films that Pinhead happen to be in) the films do come through in some ways! I personally boogied to Hellraiser Inferno, thought Hellraiser Hellseeker was "okay" and now here comes Hellraiser Deader giving it a body-shot! To be fair, this gleaming hook-job, kept me watching throughout. The “Ringu with a Cult” like premise was involving enough, the stylish visuals worked wonders (they fully capitalized on their Romanian locations), the suspense gave me a couple of lickings (loved the hang-girl bit), the nifty “shock” moments kept me on my claw-like toenails (all about that bathroom exercise) while the presence of stellar B-Queen Kari “criminally hot” Wuhrer wrapped it all up in a pretty blood soaked bow. In my book of blood (and flesh cantaloupes) Kari Wuhrer is always a sure bet that my eyeballs will be crazy-glued to the screen. I mean the gal is as gorgeous as the most tempting sin and can act most A List actresses out of the freaking ring. You just can’t go wrong with the dame and Deader was no exception. She carried the film admirably and was the "numero uno" reason as to my investment in all of it.

With that said its no secret that “Deader” was an already existing screenplay that was “tweaked” by the filmmakers to fit within the Hellraiser universe. Sadly it freaking showed. The “Pinhead” moments felt forced and out of place whilst the side Cenobites were lazily tossed our way (why even bother). To make matters more painful, the “Hellraiser” elements actually went on to dilute the main narrative line, taking precious screen time away from it. I was interested in the Deader cult plotline and wanted to delve deeper into it! I was never given the chance since the film was too busy trying to tell two tales at once. Consequence: it never came through fully one way or another. My final peeve had to to with the overplaying of one trick. Picture this: a horror scene builds up around our heroine , the stakes are high, we're reaching the crescendo, the uppercut is coming and then…we cut away to the lead waking up somewhere else. BUGH! The device worked the first two times but after that, it became a cheap and tired ploy. To echo what my last date told me: STOP PULLING OUT!

On the whole Hellraiser Deader was a flawed yet still decent and fairly effortless watch. Thank the heavens for Kari Wuhrer! She always comes through! To me, this one is an ideal “pre-going out to get laid” Friday night flick. A good warm up to something better. Now, play with this box and I don't mean the box!
GORE
We get some stabbings; a gun shot wound to the head, slit wrists, hooks in the face, hook shish-kabobs and a person being ripped to shreds by hooks. Red wet enough for me!
ACTING
Kari Wuhrer (Amy) has often been called a poor man’s Ashley Judd by many (I’ve said it too) but allow me to correct that. She’s the rich man’s Ashley Judd with stronger acting chops, a braver demeanor and a sexier aura. She the real, well rounded thing! Judd is just a poor version of her. WE LOVE YOU KARI! Doug Bradley (Pinhead) did what he was asked to do well. Not much more to say than that. Paul Rhys (Winters) looked like a younger version of Lance Henriksen and nailed the part! I wanted to see more of him! Georgina Rylance (Marla) had a small role but her magnetic presence made it a memorable one. Good job girl!
T & A
It’s a tit party over here! We get ample female ta-tas left and right with Wuhrer (minus implants) being one of the benefactors. We also get some girl on girl action (always fun). The ladies get some shirtless dudes and a quick glimpse of a limp noodle…enjoy gals! NOTE: Damn I love being a man!
DIRECTING
I grooved to Rick Bota’s style! He slapped potent atmosphere (the bluish hues so worked) and some nail biting tension laced moments my way while milking his locations to a “T” and knowing how to execute slow motion for maximum whoopass. Good stuff!
SOUNDTRACK
We get a subtle yet moody and effective score. We’re also served with a techno ditty that worked me well.
BOTTOM LINE
Hellraiser Deader sported an enthralling premise, moved at an even pace, looked morbidly spiffy and tossed in enough jugs & plasma to satisfy. The razor blade framed Ace in its sleeve though was the presence of sultry Kari Wuhrer who jacked the whole to a higher “must keep watching” level. Brilliant piece of casting there! It’s a shame that this party favor never went deep enough within its own story to please, played too many games for its own good and half cocked its Hellraiser ingredients. A solid Hellraiser sequel? Nah. An easy and watchable quick-fix horror flick? Sure! NEXT PLEASE!
BULL'S EYE
The flick was shot in Romania for 2 Million clams.

Screenwriter Neal Marshall Stevens is also the scribe behind the script for the 13 Ghosts screenplay.
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