Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth Review

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After his last battle, Pinhead was imprisoned in a marble block. This block has been bought as a statue for a nightclub by its playboy owner, J.P. Pinhead uses his new location to take the blood from his victims. It's only the presence of investigative reporter Joey, investigating the murders, who stands in the way of his plans to destroy the earth.


If you’ve lost the plot since Hellhound: Hellraiser II you need to know little more than that Pinhead (Bradley), the demonic acupuncture ad, has been trapped in a pillar of lost souls. He gets back into the land of the living by persuading a decadent New York nightclub owner to sacrifice stray bimbos, while one of those penetrating TV journos (Farrell) who make ideal horror movie heroines has realised something's amiss.

Having witnessed a bizarre death by supernatural chains, Farrell starts hanging out with punkette Marshall who is also mixed up in the morbid goings-on. As supporting characters get either skinned or turned into PVC-and-body-pierced demons, Farrell is egged on by dreams of her dead dad to confront Pinhead, who has apparently come from hell with bad news for the world.

Directed by the man who gave you Waxwork and Sundown: The Vampire In Retreat, and scripted by novelist Peter Atkins who gave you Hellbound, even if you weren't too happy with it, this gets the Clive Barker-generated horror series back on track. Gone is the confusion of the earlier films (which weren't even sure whether they were set in America or North London) and mercifully gone is the waffling metaphysics of the second film; instead there are surprisingly careful characterisations and good, creepy, squishy horror stuff.

For all the blasphemies and British accent, Pinhead is just a sub-Freddy goon, and the ambiguities and perversities Barker is so fond of have been neatly tidied-up. This is the sort of picture teenagers in malls in Akron, Ohio might understand — a good ho