Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992)

Skinned Alive!

Skinned Alive!

What I’m about to say might make horror fans the world over gasp in disbelief; any credibility that I haven’t already lost might go up in smoke completely, but I do not care, I must proclaim the truth! Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth is most definitely my most favorite Hellraiser film of them all!

I grew up on Hellraiser flicks. Pinhead and sweet old Uncle Frank have been scaring me since I was far too young to be watching such things. I love the first two just as much as the next guy, but Hell On Earth has something I think it’s pretty safe to say the first two don’t have: a sense of humor. For me, that’s the key. I’d much rather be watching something with a little bit of goof in it than something that takes itself too seriously. And, yes, that includes horror – heck, perhaps especially horror requires such goofiness to be truly successful!
Pinhead will use all his people skills to get the heck out of this statue...

Pinhead will use all his people skills to get the heck out of this statue…

Anyway, plot: Kristy Cotton and her unfortunate family are nothing but faded memories, and one would hope the evil found in Pinhead’s box is long dead and buried. But there’s no money in a dead Cenobite! This time it’s the wonderfully sleazy J.P. Monroe, owner of Gasworks, the hottest goth nightclub in town, who unwittingly unleashes the evil upon us.

It all starts when Joey, an aspiring and currently flailing newscaster, witnesses some pretty bizarre shit in the ER: some dude rolls in on a stretcher with blood pooling on the sheets and chains exploding from his face! Joey’s Nancy Drew instinct kicks in, and she’s on the hunt for the truth. Her only clue: the box. She convinces a desperate, scared and broke young

It's that darned box again!

It’s that darned box again!

woman named Terri, an acquaintance of the unfortunate young ER visitor, to help her solve the mystery. You know what comes next: the innocent Joey is dragged into a world of pain and horror!

Yes, it’s gory and it still has all of Pinhead’s ridiculously dramatic soliloquies about pleasure, pain and the human condition. But this time, it makes you giggle, just a little bit, and not in a sneering way; you’re giggling because Anthony Hickox wants you to giggle. And it rules! I must say, I’ve gone through a few “best of Hellraiser” lists on the web and I’m astounded to find Hell on Earth is often very low on the totem pole while some others (pretty bad ones that I’ll be posting about pretty soon) are up high. I guess when one thinks about Clive Barker, one isn’t necessarily looking to bust a gut, and I suppose I can understand that, but really, this movie is totally entertaining. I definitely recommend.

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