It’s Hellraiser…in SPAAAAACE!. Sort of. Unlike the other franchises that have sent their killer antagonists into the future, Hellraiser IV: Bloodline, the 1996 entry in the Hellraiser series, only takes place partially out in the black. Most of the film takes place either in 18th century France, or contemporary New York City. It would be disappointing, as I was looking forward to watching Hellraiser turn into an Alien ripoff, but this is one ambitious shitty movie, so not all was lost.
Bloodline had a checkered path to the silver screen. There were many creative disputes, crew dismissals, and general miserableness. To add to the troubles, after the film was delivered to Miramax, reshoots were demanded, and the film’s director, Kevin Yagher, quit. When the film was finally released, Yagher didn’t want his name on it, so the film’s credited director is Alan Smithee, that wonderful DGA pseudonym for directors who went out for a pack of cigarettes and never came home. Continue reading “Attack of the Franchise Sequels: Hellraiser IV: Bloodline”
Some horror films live and die on spectacle. They don’t use fear of the unseen to unsettle audiences. Rather, they go all-in early. The Saw franchise went for spectacle above all else, and it worked so well for them that there are nine films in the franchise as of this writing. Aliens was another film that used spectacle. James Cameron used spectacle so well, compared to the wrought tension of Ridley Scott’s earlier film, that it’s easy to forget that an entire hour of runtime passes before audiences see the first alien. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Rawhead Rex”
Deciding to write about a particular movie has some unexpected difficulties (pardon me while I moan). I don’t get paid for writing about movies. I do this only because I feel like it. That is why there is little rhyme or reason when it comes to the reviews. I go where the mood takes me. But sometimes I get the urge to write a series of reviews, and make the decision to write a review before I watch a movie, rather than after. The distinction is important. If a film really grabs me, for whatever reason, I am more likely to write a review than not. But if a film is anonymous, leaving me troubling to recall what I saw mere hours after the credits rolled, then I probably will not bother with a review. How, then, to treat Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth? I decided to write this review as a follow-up to Hellraiser II, a film that was better than I expected. But this... Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth”
It’s not a good sign for a sequel when there is not one, but two recaps of the previous film within the first twenty minutes. The Friday the 13th franchise used to have recaps at the beginning of every movie, but that was to pad runtime. In essence, recaps, sometimes in the form of extended flashbacks, are lazy filmmaking, entrusting big chunks of storytelling to a predecessor’s efforts. But, Hellbound’s director Tony Randel must have learned the technique as producer on Godzilla 1985, a film that was a recut bastardization of the Toho release, Return of Godzilla.Godzilla flicks are fun but they are stupid. They are stupid fun, I guess. Randel was part of a team that found a way to make a Godzilla flick even more stupid. Hopes were not high for this film. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Hellbound: Hellraiser II”
Clive Barker has a sick little mind. There’s no other explanation. His idea of a dimension of pure pleasure becomes twisted into a place of unending pain, and thus are birthed the Cenobites, cinema’s most inventive sadomasochistic villains. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Hellraiser”