Friday, March 14, 2008

Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth

Big fans of the Hellraiser series may be a little surprised, even disheartened, to find that I actually like this film more than the original. This movie gets pretty universally dumped on by fans of the series for being really campy, but frankly, while it’s no great shakes, I do still prefer the camp and over-the-top hysterics of this film to the overwhelming dullness of the first film.

The film revolves around a large sculpture acquired by a rich, violent prick that seems to be curiously made out of Cenobites, the demonic villains of the series. After bedding some ditzy chick and then trying to kick her to the curb immediately afterward, he is surprised to see the statue come to life and murder the girl, and then talk to him about a deal wherein he will continue bringing girls back there for the statue to feed upon, in exchange for power or something. Of course, he eventually brings back the wrong girl, who manages to overpower him and make her own deal with the statue, and the statue of course eventually gets enough victims to bring it to roaring full life, whereupon a gang of demons descends upon the city, but frankly, these are obvious plot elements that I’m personally quite fine with.

Let’s be honest here, what would you rather see in a movie? Would you like a movie that’s got one monster in it that spends the entire film hiding in a room in someone’s house waiting for some unlucky people to intrude on him? Or would you rather have a whole group of monsters charging through the streets going on a killing spree while the main characters all run around screaming and panicking and over-dramatic music thunders all around? I know which one I’d go for. The first movie was boring as hell, with nothing really happening for most of its running time. This movie, on the other hand, tries to throw everything it can think of at us, up to and including a Cenobite that fires horrid-looking CG discs at people to kill them, like the alien in I Come in Peace. This may not be the best film ever made, it may not even be a good one, but it is a decent film, and after way too many atrocious budget pack movies from the Tomb of Terror collection this week, I’m willing to accept decent for now.

Rating: **

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