Director: Anthony Hickox
Starring: Kevin Bernhardt, Lawrence Mortorff, Terry Farrell, Paula Marshall, Doug Bradley
What began in Hell, will end on Earth
J.P. Monroe is a spoiled brat who in his mid 20’s owns a popular nightclub called The Boiler Room. He gets his hands on a totem that contains the flesh and blood of Pinhead and it doesn’t take long before they strike a deal that will unleash Pinhead into the real world.
The young and aspiring journalist Joey Summerskill is slowly learning about the macabre events that are starting to take place in The Boiler Room and at night she is haunted by the spirit of an ex-soldier named Eliot Spencer, who turns out to be the human spirit of Pinhead. She has to figure out the reason behind all that is happening before it’s too late, or else there will be Hell on Earth.
The third entry in the Hellraiser saga marks a departure from the dark and adult world of the two first films. Instead comes a more time appropriate effort fitting with what’s cool in the early 90’s, even making the cenobites deliver cheesy one liners and playing it more safe with the gore. Even so, it is still a fun film and even if it has gotten a bad rap over the years, I would have no problem choosing it as an example of an entertaining early 90’s horror film and it also stays entertaining even through several revisits over the years.
Even if the characters are very cliché, they all come to life and are portrayed good enough by the actors. I became especially fond of the lovely and hot Paula Marshall as Terry, a good hearted girl who has become lost in the big city. Terry Farrell does a good job in the leading role as Joey and Kevin Bernhardt gives his best effort in making J.P. into the douchebag that he is supposed to be. Doug Bradley actually gets to do some acting here aswell since we are getting plenty of backstory on the Pinhead character, which is probably the most memorable parts of this movie for fans of the series.
The tone of the film is uneven and it seems like it doesn’t quite make up if it wants to be scary or just cheesy entertainment. Director Anthony Hickox had done the two Waxwork films before this one and this film can be explained by combining the tone of the Waxwork films and the Hellraiser universe together. The visual stuff in this is great though, instead of trying to do too much like they did in Hellbound they seemed to be able to play well within their budget on this one.
Hellraiser: Hell on Earth is perhaps not a great horror film, but it does the job of entertaining you for 90 minutes and it also expands our knowledge of the Pinhead character. Compared to most of the films that were to follow in this series, it is definitely one of the most entertaining and by also adding the fact that it came out in a poor time for the horror genre I would say it deserves a chance.