Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Project Hellraiser: Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)

Project Hellraiser Log: A week ago I started on my journey to review the Hellraiser films. I didn’t know what it was I was getting into, but I knew I wanted to know. I had to know. It was simply consuming me beyond all else. Little did I know that even the first sequel after the original one would already bombard me with nonsensical plot devices, ridiculous imagery and a lack of any real substance. But it did have lots of gore and weird things on screen, so clearly I had a lot to wade through. It would be a long torturous journey, but then, I chose this hell. I had to deal with it. So let us recap the exact events that led me to this first log entry…

Director: Not-Clive-Barker
Starring: The special effects crew

The movie begins right after the first one ended with Kirsty waking up in a mental hospital, and finding out that they couldn’t get her boyfriend to sign back onto the movie, so he just “left” the hospital already – yeah, sure. The detective with her has terrible bedside manner and in just a few minutes, he manages to get her screaming and shouting and throwing stuff all around the room. Glad to see someone good at his job! Oh wait…it isn’t opposite day.

So he calls in Dr. Channard and his assistant…well, I forget his name already, so I’m calling him GENERIC HORROR GUY #52789. Kirsty says that the blood they found on a mattress at her dad’s house means that good old Julia can come back to life, so they have to destroy it. How does she know that? When did she suddenly become an expert; in her dreams in the few hours before she woke up? What the hell?

Channard makes a phone call telling the cops to deliver the mattress to his house, and Generic Horror Guy #52789 overhears it and decides to go investigate, because he’s the super sleuth of our times! He luckily gets there just as Channard is calling in that generic ‘GET THEM OFF ME GET THEM OFF ME’ mental patient in every horror movie about a hospital ever made. He hands the guy a knife, makes him sit on the mattress and has him cut himself to bleed all over the mattress and summon back Julia, just like Larry accidentally did for Frank in the last one!

That’s all good and well, but…why didn’t Channard just prick his finger and bleed on the mattress himself? That seems like it would be the easier option, rather than dragging that other poor guy to be a sacrifice and making a mess all over the place. But I guess that would be too subtle for a movie with THIS in it:

Is this looking like your last really wild college party yet?

Ha ha ha…oh Hellraiser II, you are my everlasting disappointment. Don’t ever stop having all that dignity there!

So Julia is back, because I really wanted to see HER again…and she starts making out with Channard, because I guess she finally got over that whole Frank obsession from the first movie after GOD KNOWS HOW MANY flashback scenes of those two having sex. Seriously, this just pisses me off! We sat through all that garbage in the first movie about how much she wants to be with Frank again and now she’s just shrugged it off like last week’s food poisoning? What kinda crap is that?!

I guess the doc has a fetish for bald chicks with no skin. I'd say this surprised me but...no, it really doesn't.

Oh, and before I go any further, I forgot to mention one of the plot devices this movie has; this teenage girl the nurses nicknamed Tiffany for no reason, who likes to solve puzzles. Why, you ask? Because the movie really needs a plot device to bring the Cenobites back in! But that’s not for another few scenes, so shhh, spoilers.

Channard somehow brings Julia a ton of bodies within the span of like a few hours…glad that went unnoticed by anyone on the outside. She becomes human again just in time for Kirsty and Generic Horror Guy #52789 to get to the house to check it all out. Generic Horror Guy #52789 apparently outlived his worth in the movie, because he gets killed off immediately. Hooray for great characterization! Truly this film is a rallying battlecry for great writing.

Tiffany solves the puzzle box and summons the Cenobites, which take everyone to their own Hells – or they say they’re in their own Hells, but really they are all interconnected and in walking distance from one another, so it makes no sense really. Doug Bradley is still cool, but even he can’t save the appallingly hilarious and random imagery that follows:

What is this stuff? I don’t know; I guess the director just wanted to record one of his acid trips or something. Seriously, it’s a clown…with bloody eye sockets…juggling his own eye. And it still isn’t the weirdest thing this movie has in it! God, this is ridiculous. It’s like a circus created by Tim Burton and then visually raped by a troupe of one-legged, eyepatch-wearing midgets with sloped foreheads! And that still doesn't even describe how random it is!

Oooh, her skin just came right off! That’s not stupid at all, right?! No.

They get back into the real world only to find that everyone in the whole hospital has puzzle boxes now and are using them to summon back the Cenobites as well as the now-evil Channard. What, are those things just mass produced at Toys ‘R Us now? If so, I’m going to have to put it on my Christmas list this year.

And…okay, I mean really; was there just a contest in the studio to come up with the worst, most face palm inducing image in the film? Because this is pushing it; it’s really, really pushing it:

Ha ha ha...oh man, I don't even know...is that a rejected Power Rangers villain? A bondage fetishist with a penis growing out of his head? I'm actually curious as to how this was represented in the script..."weird-ass abomination of nature rises up through the window"?

Kirsty then appeals to the Cenobites’ humanity and gets them all to believe in their human selves again! This actually could have been a pretty decent plot device, but never fear a serious or emotional moment, because the movie is here with more ludicrous garbage to rob the scene of any kind of tension:

Aww...that's kind of sad actually. You see, Pinhead used to be a human before he was sent to Hell by a random act of fate and tortured for an eternity and...
Is this movie even trying anymore?

Okay, okay, the guy who put flowers and human fingers in those weird tentacle things wins that ‘worst image in the film’ contest. I concede defeat.

Then they…somehow just get back into Hell without even using any rituals or anything, where they face off against Channard one more time. It’s revealed that Channard once…did something to Tiffany’s parents, it’s really vague and unclear what, and so she cries about it and stuff, but then Julia comes back and makes out with Channard to distract him…and then somehow kills him…I’m not entirely sure what happens, but if it gets this movie closer to ending, then hell, I’m all for it.

Only then it’s revealed that it wasn’t Julia at all, it was Kirsty dressed up in her skin! Uh, no, movie, I’m not buying it. There’s no way she could just slip on that skin in that short of a time AND have it look realistic! I bought it in the last movie because of the supernatural implications, but here it’s just ridiculous! I don’t even care that the movie ends with the characters smiling and happy and what not; there’s no saving it. I’m past the point of buying this crap. Hellraiser II, I can buy clowns juggling eyeballs and naked red people wrestling on the floor, but THIS IS JUST TOO FAR!

Oh, what’s that? There’s an ending scene where some moving guy just touches the bloody bed and a giant pillar with Cenobite faces comes out…okay, well we got a late entry for the ridiculous images contest, but this one is a definite contestant for winner:

WhoooOOOOOOooooo random images!

I might have to re-evaluate the results after all.

…what? Are you waiting for that usual bit where I end the review by summing up my thoughts on the movie?  No; I'm not doing it for this one...it isn't even worth my time. See you for Hellraiser III!