‘Pinhead is back… and he brought some friends too’
Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth is a 1992 American-Canadian horror film directed by Anthony Hickox from a screenplay by Peter Atkins and Tony Randel based on characters created by Clive Barker.
It stars Doug Bradley, Terry Farrell (Legion, Psychic Murders), Paula Marshall (Warlock: The Armageddon), and Kevin Bernhardt. It was the first Hellraiser film to be made outside the UK.
Heavy metal band Armored Saint appear in a nightclub scene. The film featured a metal-rock soundtrack and Barker directed the Motörhead video for “Hellraiser“, featuring Lemmy and Pinhead playing a game of cards.
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The revelation of his former humanity in Hellraiser II has resulted in Cenobite Pinhead being split into two distinct entities: His former self, World War I British Army Captain Elliot Spencer, and a manifestation of Spencer’s id, which takes on the form of Pinhead.
While Spencer ends up in limbo, Pinhead is trapped, along with the puzzle box, amongst the writhing figures and distorted faces etched into the surface of an intricately carved pillar — the Pillar of Souls.
The pillar is bought by the rich and spoiled J.P. Monroe, owner of a popular nightclub called The Boiler Room. During her investigation, an ambitious young television reporter, Joey Summerskill, slowly begins to learn about Pinhead and the mysterious puzzle box.
Joey is introduced to the pain the box can bring when she views a teenage clubgoer being ripped apart by the box’s chains in a hospital emergency room. Joey tracks the box and a young woman named Terri to The Boiler Room nightclub. Terri had previously stolen the box from the nightclub.
Videotape interviews are recovered from the Channard Institute of one of Pinhead’s former victims Kirsty Cotton. Joey and Terri learn through the videos about the demonic Cenobites and the power of the Lament Configuration puzzle box and that it is the only means of sending Pinhead back to Hell…
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“Despite its spotty pacing, schizophrenic plot veerings, and frequently unimpressive special effects, there’s still just a few tasty drops of fun to be found in Hellraiser 3 — especially if you’ve already seen episodes four through eight. The commitment to the previous entries is tenuous, but it seems clear that director Anthony Hickox and screenwriter Peter Atkins were at least trying to offer some new mythology…” Scott Weinberg, DVD Talk
” … there is no trace of the disturbing intersection between the physical and psychological that were the backbone of the first two films, and even though Bradley plays Pinhead in all the same ways, the villain feels much different and more hollow: he’s just a killer with outré fashion sense. He isn’t actually dangerous, any more than any given movie psycho slasher is dangerous because he just fills a story role.” Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
“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 horror sequel, and that’s all.” Jack Yeovil, Empire
” … sundry characters are skinned instantly, sliced with CDs, have drills or cameras rammed through their heads, smoke cigarettes from open wounds, explode in bloody chunks or distort like toffee. In the tradition of sequel-as-spectacle, this is almost as effective and crowd-pleasing a recap of basic principles as A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3: Dream Warriors (1987) or Evil Dead II (1987).” The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror
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