Reviewed by Jeremy Melton
I can’t believe there is anyone out there paying $30 for this movie. That’s right. Don’t believe me? Check Ebay and Amazon.com. See?
I know it is out of print. But, come on. It is owned by Paramount and a remake of the original is in the works. You just know this one is not staying out of print for long. Oh well, I will just keep buying used copies at FYE and selling them at a 200% profit until Walmart eventually includes this along with Candyman: Day of the Dead and Child's Play 3 and calls it something like “Terrible Terrors Triple Pack”.
But, don’t get me wrong. I think this is the best Hellraiser movie. Unfortunately, that is akin to calling Blanche the hottest Golden Girl.
This particular Hellraiser was the franchise’s attempt to compete with the popular Nightmare On Elm Streetmovies. So, Pinhead becomes Freddy and there are a lot of dream sequences.
For the first time, the central female in a Hellraiser movie is not Ashley Laurence (who has been the lead in three of the Hellraiser films. To date.). This time we get Terry Farrell, who, from what I can gather, is best known for her role in the show Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I can’t say I ever caught that one. I know her best, though, for her role as “Reggie” on the show Becker. Man, I loved that show until Nancy Travis came onboard. Which is about the time Terry Farrell left. So, call me a fan, I guess. I also like that her name only has a one letter difference from the lead singer’s name of one of my favorite bands-- Jane’s Addiction.
Terry Farrell plays Joey Summerskill, a news reporter on the beat that accidentally comes across the story of her career when she stumbles upon this Pinhead mess. Now this probably goes without saying, but female reporters in movies are always favorites at Tower Farm. I cannot think of one female reporter or anchor woman that has ever been played in any way other than completely over the top in any horror movie ever made. That is just the way that we like it.
The only other real character in this one is Terry, played by Paula Marshall. She is pretty unconvincing as kind of a goth kid. Anyway, this actress later went on to play in every show that has ever been on NBC. If you like Seinfeld, you make recognize her as the college girl that “outed” Jerry and George in the famous “not that there’s anything wrong with it” episode.
Now, just because the movie does not star Ashley Laurence doesn’t mean she is not in it. I mean, just watch the opening credits. We are told that there is a “Special Appearance by Ashley Laurence as Kirsty”. I don’t mean to split hairs, here. But, I think this is maybe just a tad misleading. Ashley Laurence only special appears in flashback sequences that are either directly from or outtakes from the prior Hellraiser movies. She didn’t ACTUALLY film ANYTHING for this movie. Oh, and she is seen in one photograph our crack reporter digs up.
A lot of this movie’s action takes place at The Boiler Room. Some sort of dorky goth-metal type club run by a twerp who collects art. The great thing about this club, though, is that it allows Hellraiser 3 to have a hip soundtrack, like Nightmare on Elm Street 3, Nightmare on Elm Street 4, or, much, much less successfully Halloween 5. The Boiler Room’s house band is Armored Saint, for Christ sake! You may not know who they were. But, trust me, they were one of the best trash bands to come out of the late 80s/early 90s.
Pinhead comes back and kills everyone in the club. In doing so, he changes a handful of the victims into cenobites (the equivalent to being an associate if Pinhead is a Team Leader). These people are made into demons that have some fighting power based on what they were doing right before they died. For instance, club’s DJ uses CDs as weapons. The cameraman has a camera attached to his head… so he can do scary filming things… okay, it is a little lame. The bartender throws flaming cocktails…. Jesus H. Christ.
All the while Pinhead runs around spouting hammy Freddy lines. The best one is when he is at a church. He does a Christ Pose and says, “… I am the way”. Then he laughs and laughs.
Anyway, the ending is a total mess. Pinhead ends up battling his former human self. I don’t get it.
Now, I know I was a little harsh to those of you who have bought a copy of Hellraiser 3 for $30. But, to put things in perspective, I recently paid $40 for a solo CD that was put out by the bassist of Jane’s Addiction. So, I really have no right to judge. If Hellraiser movies are your thing… Well, I don’t know… $30 still seems like a lot for this one.