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Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992, Anthony Hickox)

Hellraiser III is one of the first “horror” movies I’ve seen where they seemed concerned with action figure tie-ins, with the Cenobites having gimmicks (they shoot CDs, blow fire and so on). It’s also one of those absurd movies set in New York but clearly filmed somewhere else, in this case North Carolina. It gets more absurd than some, with protagonist Terry Farrell driving an SUV around “New York.” There also aren’t any black people in Hickox’s New York (well, there was one), so it’s kind of like an early Dark Knight.

It’s hard to believe anyone associated with the previous film had something to do with this one, but it’s the same screenwriter–this time he seems to be trying to infer a lesbian attraction between Farrell and Paula Marshall, but the film’s never really willing to commit to it. The big plot twist too, in regards to that relationship, is never explained.

Hickox is a bad director–sure, he’s charged with directing Borg-looking demons on the streets of North Carolina–sorry, New York–so it isn’t going to be an easy task for anyone, but he does a really lousy job of it. Hellraiser III, in a horror franchise without much scare factor (at least the first two had some uneasy gross moments), is kind of like a gory PG-13 sequel to an R-rated movie. It’s actually a lot like Robocop 3.

The worst performance is from Kevin Bernhardt, who, frighteningly, now writes screenplays.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by Anthony Hickox; screenplay by Peter Atkins, based on a story by Atkins and Tony Randel and on characters created by Clive Barker; director of photography, Gerry Lively; edited by Christopher Cibelli and James D.R. Hickox; music by Randy Miller; production designer, Steve Hardie; produced by Christopher Figg and Lawrence Mortorff; released by Dimension Films.

Starring Terry Farrell (Joey Summerskill), Paula Marshall (Terri), Kevin Bernhardt (J.P. Monroe), Ken Carpenter (Doc) and Doug Bradley (Lead Cenobite/Captain Elliott Spencer).


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