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Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth - Pinhead Unleashed
By James Whittington, Monday 9th March 2009
Over the last few weeks I’ve be looking at the Hellraiser phenomenon as well as each of the three Hellraiser movies that Zone Horror will be broadcasting. We continue with how the third part of this franchise came to life and how it was the last time Pinhead was to venture into the cinema.

 

After the critical success of Hellbound: Hellraiser II one would have expected part 3 to have followed pretty quickly. In fact fans had to wait until 1992 for Pinhead and his paranormal crew of evil Cenobites to return to the big screen. This wasn’t due to lack of interest but because the film company that held the rights to the Hellraiser movies, New World International had ceased trading.

 

One idea was that the film was to be set in Ancient Egypt, another that the Lament Configuration itself would be a populated building where the corridors would twist and change. But eventually it was settled that it would be present day America, the Torture Pillar, which usually made appearances at the end of the movies would become a focal point and Pinhead’s back story would be fully explored.

 

!Spoiler Alert! If you’ve not seen Hellraiser then read this section after the event.

 

Pinhead (Doug Bradley) has been caged in the Torture Pillar, his evil secured for all eternity. But a club owner J.P. Monroe (Kevin Bernhardt) buys this bizarre sculpture and accidentally cuts himself during its installation, dripping blood onto the ancient monument. This resurrects Pinhead but this time he’s up against a reporter Joey Summerskill (Terri Farrell) who battles Pinhead into facing his own, tortured past.

 

Helmed by Waxwork 2: Lost in Time (also being shown on Zone Horror) director Anthony Hickox (his father directed the Vincent Price classic Theatre of Blood) Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth is a fitting end to what had evolved into one of the most brutal yet entertaining horror franchises to have been created. Being set in modern day America it changes the tempo of the series, being filled with quick editing and bright, gaudy colours, this was in huge contrast to the darker hues of the first two instalments. Pinhead too was given more to do and had become more interactive with his victims, like a cat toys with a mouse Pinhead seemed to relish the slow capture of his prey.

But what makes the movie is the story of Captain Elliot Spencer and how he became the evil Pinhead. By adding a full personality and history to the beast the character becomes even more complex and for a short time you begin to sympathise with his predicament.

 

The change of cast and crew help the themes from the first two parts seem fresh and add their own polished spin to them. Couple to this a whole army of brand new Cenobites and you have a sequel that stands up to what has gone before without watering the central character of Pinhead down.

 

One final fact: Clive Barker directed the video for the Motörhead single Hellraiser which formed part of the soundtrack for Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth.

To try and win a Hellraiser Box Set signed by Doug Bradley plus 4 tickets to the London Dungeon click here.


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