Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth

Genre: Horror; Starring: Doug Bradley, Terry Farrell; Director: Anthony Hickox; MPAA Rating: R

The Hellraiser movies are the latest entry in the special-effects-laden school of psychedelic horror schlock. In effect, this series has become the new Nightmare on Elm Street, complete with its own Freddy Krueger — Pinhead (Doug Bradley), the cackling lord of darkness whose noggin looks like a golf ball spiked with nails. Cooked up by novelist Clive Barker, the Hellraiser films do have a provocative theme — at least, compared with most of the stuff covered by Fangoria magazine. They’re about the forbidden thrill of sadomasochism. The characters are invited to search their souls for desires that will send them straight to hell. Or, as Pinhead puts it, ”I’m here to press the stinking face of humanity into the dark blood of its own secret heart!” All of which might be fascinating if a movie like Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth — great title! — were actually a kinky horror fantasy about the thin line separating pleasure and pain. Instead, it’s mostly about the prospect of getting your skin ripped by fishhooks. C-

Originally posted September 25 1992 — 12:00 AM EDT

More from Our Partners