Hellraiser Bloodlines Review.
Oh boy here we go. It’s the last week of spook month and I got us a real doozy today! Hellraiser Bloodlines is the fourth film in the Hellraiser series, and the last one that was actually originally written to be a Hellraiser movie up until Hellraiser Revelations. Basically in order to keep the Hellraiser license Dimension Films is required to keep making Hellraiser movies so they would just take random scripts they had lying around and throw Pinhead into it.
This film is also the only one in the series so bad that it got the Alan Smithee treatment, which is when a director feels as though the film he made is so bad, it no longer represents his original vision so he has his name replaced with Alan Smithee. That’s not really a good sign but, hey maybe it’ll at least be fun!
It’s not fun. The film begins in the future where some guy on a space station uses a remote controlled robot to open the puzzle box. Just as he does and Pinhead appears, but before anything happens, the US space force breaks in and has the man arrested since he apparently took over the ship. Thanks trump, it’s because of your space force this movie exists at all! Anyways, the man is then interrogated by a lady space officer, and then we’re suddenly in the 18th century.
We get the backstory to the puzzle cube, where a toymaker, who is the mans ancestor, is told to make a normal puzzle box, which would then be used, somehow, by a satanist noble to summon a demon which then took the body of some random girl. Her name is Angelique, and yes I did have to look that up. So Angelique then proceeds to kill the noble, and fuck some random guy. The toymaker decides he should make a box design to reverse the summoning, which he makes, but then dies immediately.
Later on in the future, some random guy who is apparently the descendant of the toymaker. For some reason Angelique wants to keep killing the toymakers descendants, so she kills him, then we cut to the future, but not the future future the future compared to the past, so I suppose the present. Wow that joke was terrible, anyways, turns out this descendant is an architect, and he designed this building that, on the inside, looks a bit like a puzzle box.
Angelique meets up with him as well, but he goes off to his mother and child. She then seduces a random guy, makes him open up the puzzle box, which is for some reason inside of the buildings foundation. She makes him open it, and bada bing bada boom it’s pinhead time! He calls Angelique a bitch, then kidnaps the descendants son. He uses him as bait to get the descendant to use the capturing box on Angelique, which he does, dies, and we cut back to the future. Believe it or not we’re pretty close to the end so let’s take a break.
These characters are, well, nonexistent really. Angelique wants to kill all the descendants of the toymaker, but it’s never fully explained why. Everyone else is so useless because we barely spend any time with them! The acting is also terrible, with one exception, Doug Bradley as Pinhead. He is really into his role here, and he’s really the only good actor in the film, so it’s nice to see that at least SOMEONE gave a shit while making this film. Well, actually in all honesty that’s not true, but there is a reason why this film is so terrible.
The Movies Backstory:
The backstory to this movie is FAR more interesting than the actual movie, so let’s talk about it real quick. Clive Barker originally wanted to do something fresh after the first two sequels, and planned this film to be a trilogy taking place over three different timelines. Eventually though it was scaled back to only being one film, but the original script, written by Peter Atkins, was deemed the best of the sequels, and while at first it seemed like this film would be great, things immediately took a turn.
Miramax refused to provide a budget for a lot of the stuff Peter Atkins wanted, so a lot of the script had to be scaled back. When it came time for them to begin filming in 1994, directed by Kevin Yagher, it was absolute hell. Multiple people got sick, the entirety of the art and camera crew were fired, and the original cinematographer was replaced mid way through filming. When it was finally presented to Miramax, they decided the film was shit and demanded reshoots and new scenes to be made.
Once these were finally done, the editing team took a chainsaw to the film, cutting out 25 minutes in total! When the final film was shown, Kevin Yagher was so angry at the changes made, he requested that his name be taken off of the credits, and thus the film was directed by Alan Smithee. This explains a lot about why the film is as nonsensical as it is, and it is sad seeing that the films original script had such praise. Much like Halloween 6, there is a reconstruction out there, but I haven’t seen that. Maybe we’ll do it at another time. Now, back to the review!
Now that that story is finally done, it’s time for our cenobites go on a killing spree! They kill basically all of the space force on the ship, except for the girl and the guy who took it over, who both manage to escape while transforming the space station into that reverse puzzle box, trapping pin head and then blowing him and all the cenobites up! And then the film just, stops. No really this is the most literal time I’ve ever said that, our guys are on a spaceship, they fly away just barely missing the explosion then we just cut to credits. Can you tell the reshoots were shot between April and May of 1995?
This film is a mess, a horrible, boring mess. I do not suggest this movie for anyone. Still though, lets at least take a moment here, since it is the end of spook month, to highly recommend the first two Hellraiser movies. They are masterfully shot, acted, basically everything in the first two films are incredible! This film has nothing fun, nothing interesting, nothing even worth mentioning. So I hope you guys had a great spook month, saw some genuinely good horror movies, and I hope you all have a great Halloween! See you next month.