aka: Candyman 3: Day of the Dead
Director: Turi Meyer
Starring: Tony Todd, Donna D’Errico, Jsu Garcia, Wade Williams, Alexia Robinson
Blood is sharper than the blade
Director: Victor Garcia
Starring: Tracey Fairaway, Fred Tatasciore, Nick Eversman, Jolene Andersen, Steven Brand
The two childhood friends Steven and Nico decide to run away from their families and travel to Mexico for a weekend filled with alcohol, sex and other debauchery acts. The two boys never come back home and the only thing that has any hints of what happened to them is their found video camera with footage of everything they did south of the border.
A year after their disappearance, their family members gets together for a dinner and to grieve together over the fact that their private investigator still haven’t found anything that could solve the mystery of Steven and Nico. Their night together will however bring answers, in form of a strange puzzle box.
So… the rights to the Hellraiser franchise was apparently about to end, forcing Dimension to create another sequel if they wanted to keep them for a few more years. That’s not exactly the best starting point in creating a film, but Dimension went on with it and the result is perhaps the worst film that will ever bear the Hellraiser name in its title.
aka: Hellraiser: hellworld.com, Hellraiser 8
Director: Rick Bota
Starring: Lance Henriksen, Katheryn Winnick, Christopher Jacot, Khary Payton, Henry Cavill
Burning with evil
A young group of friends are fascinated by an online game called Hellworld. Even though the game caused one of their friends to commit suicide, the rest of the friends don’t think twice before accepting an invitation on the website to attend a private Hellworld party in a huge mansion.
When they arrive, they are greeted by a middle-aged party host who offers them drinks and shows them around. It doesn’t take long before the young ones get settled and start to have fun, but before the night is over they will find out that the party has more than booze and sex awaiting them.
Hellraiser in… cyberspace? Another Hellraiser, another finished script that had nothing to do with the original films that the studios found a way to add the cenobites into, another disappointment for the fans of Pinhead and co. Hellworld is more like a bad late 90’s slasher film with a big “twist” at the end that honestly doesn’t do anything except make the entire thing feel stupid.
Director: Rick Bota
Starring: Kari Wuhrer, Paul Rhys, Simon Kunz, Marc Warren, Georgina Rylance
The latest most terrifying evil
The tough journalist Amy Klein has just finished her latest feature about crack addicts in the inner city before being sent right out again on another dangerous mission. This time she is sent to Bucharest to investigate a cult that call themselves for “The Deaders”.
She finds one of the deceased members of the cult and a strange puzzle box next to the body. When opening the box, she also opens up to a world filled with pleasure and pain, not to forget life and death…
Deader is the seventh entry to the Hellraiser franchise and fans who have stayed on for so long should not be surprised to see it not containing a story about Pinhead and his crew of cenobites. This time we again deal with personal demons within the main character, although that part is even less interesting this time around than in Inferno or Hellseeker.
Director: Rick Bota
Starring: Dean Winters, Ashley Laurence, Doug Bradley, Rachel Hayward, Sarah-Jane Redmond
Evil. Deadly. Immortal.
Kirsty Cotton had survived the terrible encounter with the cenobites back when she was a teenager. Now she is a fully grown woman who has found love and gotten married with a guy named Trevor Gooden.
While driving on the road, the couple gets into an accident that leaves Kirsty drowned and Trevor as the only survivor. He still has his life, but is tormented by gruesome visions and terrible headache and amnesia. While trying to get over the accident, puzzles of his life and what really happened are starting to become more and more clear…
Hellseeker is, like Inferno, originally a psychological thriller with the Hellraiser franchise added to it. To make it connect this time around, they decided to bring back the survivor of the first two films – Kirsty Cotton (played again by the ever so lovely Ashley Laurence). Even if she is brough back, the story doesn’t revolve around her but it rather focuses on her husband Trevor.
aka: Hellraiser 5: Inferno
Director: Scott Derrickson
Starring: Craig Sheffer, Nicholas Turturro, James Remar, Doug Bradley, Nicholas Sadler
The terrifying new chapter in the “Hellraiser” legacy!
Joseph Thorne is a working detective in Denver that takes everything he has for granted. He has a beautiful wife, a lovely young daughter and a respectable job, but he still can’t let go of living a life of sin. He cheats on his wife, is hardly home and doesn’t play it straight at his job.
After investigating a strange murder, he finds a puzzle box that he takes with him home. After opening the box he Thorne opens up the doors to another dimension that will mess with him while he is still trying to solve the murder case by hunting down an evil being named “The Engineer”.
This fifth entry in the Hellraiser series marks a change in the direction. No longer does the story really revolve around the puzzle box and the cenobites, instead the fans got several sequels that felt like they were original scripts that they just found a way to add the cenobites and the puzzle box into. Why the studios decided to go this way with such a fantastic and popular franchise is beyond me and is the biggest puzzle of the entire franchise.
aka: Hellraiser: Bloodline
Director: Kevin Yagher, Joe Chappelle
Starring: Bruce Ramsay, Valentina Vargas, Doug Bradley, Charlotte Chatton, Adam Scott
This year, the past, the present and the future will all meet at the crossroads of hell
Dr. Merchant is on a mission to close the gates to hell forever. He comes from a long line of toymakers and it is actually his ancestor from the 18th century that is responsible for building the original Lament Configuration that had the power to open the gates and release the cenobites into our world.
Merchant has been able to make a reverse box that he will use to save humans from the terrible torture brought on by the cenobites, but the cenobites knows what the toymaker is up to and will do whatever they can to stop him before his plans are put into motion.
Hellraiser 4: Bloodline, or Hellraiser in Space as it is also cruelly called, tries to tell the backstory of the puzzle box. We go from the 18th century, to modern day and into the future with the Merchant family line and how this puzzle box has affected their bloodline through the times. It is a very ambiguous story to tell and sadly due to studio interferences, budget problems, re-shoots and re-editing, the movie ended up being anything else than an epic saga of the Lament Configuration.
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.
aka: Hellraiser 2
Director: Tony Randel
Starring: Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Kenneth Cranham, Imogen Boorman, Sean Chapman
It will tear your soul apart… again
Kirsty Cotton survives her worst nightmare, but also lost her father and stepmother after the atrocious events that happened in their house after the gateway to hell was opened. Of course nobody believes Kirsty when she tells the story of what happened and she is quickly admitted to a hospital where she is put under the care of Dr. Phillip Channard.
Kirsty is still haunted by the entities from hell and when she gets a bloody message that she believe is from her father, asking for her help from hell, she desperately tries to find a way to save him from the eternal torment of the cenobites.
After the huge success of Hellraiser, it was only a matter of time before a sequel was put into production and only a year after the release of the first film Hellbound was ready to disturb horror fans worldwide. Most of the crew involved with the first film came back for the second film, except a few changes like Tony Randel directing the film instead of Clive Barker who rather stayed on as a producer instead.
Director: Clive Barker
Starring: Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Sean Chapman, Oliver Smith
It will tear your soul apart
Frank Cotton is an adventurous deviant who is never satisfied and always on the chase after some new undiscovered thrills. His seeking has led him to Morocco where he is able to get his hands on a mysterious puzzle box that is supposed to hold the secret of all things please and pain, and that’s exactly what he got.
Back in the states, Frank’s brother Larry and his wife Julia is moving into his childhood home. It doesn’t take long before Julia is getting a sense of Frank’s present and due to her lust for him and lack of love for Larry, she is able to bring Frank back and he is not coming alone.
In the last half of the 80’s, horror became more and more reliant on special effects and catered more towards the teenage crowd. While Hellraiser has some brilliant special effects, the film deals with mature issues and was more darker than the average horror film that was being made at the time. The addition of S&M elements was also quite new and fresh to the horror scene, although pleasure and pain has played a part in several earlier films in the genre of course, Hellraiser was able to bring it more into the spotlight by becoming a huge success. Even Stephen King had to give it props and named Clive Barker the new face of horror.