Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth

Year: 1992

Synopsis: The storied Hell Priest has been split into two following his revelation of past humanity and near destruction, and with the help of a young reporter, he works to save Earth from his unbound alternate of evil.

Pros:
• Doug Bradley provided an engaging performance as both the antihero Eliot Spencer and unbound villain Pinhead.
• Seeing Pinhead bend reality to his will was genuinely disturbing at times, largely confirming the power he had in Leviathan’s corner of Hell.
• An overall interesting story of the yin and yang of the human soul, and how good and evil can never truly be made pure.
• The further exploration of the reality of dreams, particularly as a gateway, helped to make up for the film’s weaknesses.

Cons:
• Terri as the Dreamer Cenobite (Paula Marshall) went largely unexplored, even though she might have been the only interesting “shake and bake” Cenobite.
• While unbound Pinhead’s ability to create “shake and bake” Cenobites was interesting, they were largely filled with tortuous puns, and added little to the plot. Most of them seemed to be visual ripoffs of Star Trek: TNG’s Borg as well.
• The more “hard rock” elements sometimes felt at odds with the franchise’s overall themes.

Discussion:
“You’re right. We do belong together.”


In spite of the film trying too hard to differentiate itself with somewhat unharmonized elements, the overall plot of the yin and yang held it all together. There was “good” in unbound Pinhead in his purity, as there was “evil” in antihero Spencer in the very darkness that led to him becoming the leading Cenobite. The undreaming Terri was filled with almost literal darkness, as she only wanted a “full” life. Joey was willing to manipulate to find the story the world needed to know. Thus, the very nearly opposite Pinhead and Spencer were practically breaking reality to achieve their supposedly opposing goals. Hell on Earth might not be as strong as its predecessors, but we were shown the inside of the franchise’s dark heart by cutting it open right down the middle.


Clive Barker’s Official Website

Rotten Tomates — 41%

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