Hellraiser_IIIDimension Films
1992
R

“Unbearable, isn’t it?  The suffering of strangers, the agony of friends.  There is a secret song at the center of the world, Joey, and its sound is like razors through flesh.”

When playboy club owner J. P. buys a mysterious-looking puzzle box and mistakes it for a work of art, he has no idea that Pinhead, “the Black Pope of Hell”, is trapped inside and playing tricks on his mind.  Pinhead tries his best to manipulate J. P. into breaking him out of his prison – that is, until an astute journalist begins to suspect something.

The early 1990s wasn’t exactly good to horror flicks in general.  For some reason, a lot of them just came off as goofy shadows of their former iconic greatness.  Freddy, Jason, Michael, Pinhead…all of these suffered at the hands of studio execs that had no idea how to handle such modern horror icons.  So they made them wacky, sucking the scary out of them, stripping them of what made them icons to begin with.

Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth is one such example.  While the first two are still strong entries in the series, this third one turned Pinhead into a wisecracking demon prankster.  Mind you, he was still dangerous, but since all of the Cenobites died at the end of Hellbound (oops, spoilers there), he had to make some more minions,and the choices are what you would call facepalm worthy.  There are some rather good imaginative kills, and the setting in the club (complete with Armored Saint, before John Bush jumped ship to front Anthrax, as the house band) was pretty cool.  Overall, though, this third entry in the series just seemed disjointed and awkward at times.  Oddly enough, this is still not the worst one in the series, though I do recommend having some friends around to help dull the pain.

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