Sunday, March 18, 2012

Project Hellraiser: Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996)

Okay, all bets are off. I’m out of the torture dimension of Pinhead and I’m ready to kick these demons’ asses for keeping me trapped there for two of their god-awful films. This time I’m fighting back! I’m going to DESTROY THEM ONCE AND FOR ALL! And unfortunately for me, that means I have to sit through the worst Hellraiser film, Bloodline.

Director: Alan Smithee (Kevin Yagher), Joe Chapelle (finished the movie after Yagher left)
Starring: Bruce Ramsay, past, present and future...groan

This is a real horse’s rectum of a movie – I mean how much worse can you even get than this garbage? This utterly repugnant slime? It’s so god-awful it actually renders the other movies in the series completely pointless, and those were already bad enough! You heard me right. Bloodline is the kind of movie that not only poisons itself, but also everything else around it too. This is the cancer of horror franchises, folks. The utter black plague that decimates them all.

There are three horrible things about it even before you play the movie itself.

Number 1, it’s a prequel AND a sequel at the same time. Confused yet? What ever happened to the days when movies were just movies, and didn't have to jump around to five billion different time lines in order to please the caffeine generation that can't sit still for two seconds?

Number 2, 85 minute runtime. Keep in mind that this is a movie that encompasses three vastly different time periods hundreds of years apart, and the film is supposed to tell the story of how Pinhead actually dies once and for all as well as how that evil puzzle box was actually created in the first place. And it’s supposed to do that in 85 DAMN MINUTES?! How is that supposed to contain such an epic story? The only possible conclusion is that the movie is REALLY gonna suck or it’s REALLY gonna be a damn wonder of a film by someone clearly gifted beyond human conception. And if you can’t guess which one of those THIS PILE OF FELCH is, I suggest you watch the film, because you’re probably its intended audience…

Number 3, Director Alan Smithee. Apparently original director Kevin Yagher's version of the film was a lot different, contained more graphic imagery and explained everything that happened, but the studios disagreed and just wanted Pinhead in there in the first 30 minutes or something, so Yagher was booted off the production and had his name changed to the generic pseudonym Alan Smithee. Another guy, Joe Chapelle, was brought on and re-shot some scenes and did things the way the studio wanted. Because you know any movie will be good when you have this kind of editorial control being exerted over it, right? It just spells success in big bold lettering! I bet this is really gonna be something good, what with THAT sterling recommendation…

...okay, enough with the sarcastic bullshit. I’m ready to start kicking this movie’s ass into next Tuesday.

The film starts off with rejected Star Trek sets and a bald guy who can’t act, so of course the movie has him in three separate roles throughout the different time periods. Because, you know, gotta play to your strengths…anyway, his ship gets ambushed by a bunch of people led by an agent who looks like a fashion model, and they take him in and make him give his best flashback!

In the flashback world, we see the Victorian era, more specifically France at the time, because that’s a sensible place to set a Hellraiser movie…and we see the world’s most overjoyed toy maker finally finishing up his new invention, a gold puzzle box, which he intends to give to the guy who commissioned it from him. That would be this lovely human being:

If this guy was paid in pennies for every over the top, hammy, scenery-chewing delivery he gave, he probably got rich off this movie. 

He talks in a constant awful Hannibal Lecter impression and seems to be trying to beat his influence in how much he can mimic a snake when he speaks, with that constant slithering inflection he has. Him and his buddy kidnap some chick and tie her to a chair before killing her and then bringing her back to life. All of this is witnessed by the toy maker. I guess he should have gotten specifics on what exactly the old man and his freak show were going to do with the toy he made, huh? Maybe even a little bit of a general idea of the person he was doing work for, even? Nah. That would be logical.

Also I really love how none of these morons has anything even close to resembling a French accent. Was that really so hard?

I just love how the toymaker's wife character couldn't even keep a straight enough face to look interested in her husband's creation - she looks like she's about to burst out laughing. She's like "c'mon, this crap is whack, man!"

The woman then comes back as Angelique, a sultry temptress demon who kills off the toy maker and…somehow gets that doofus working with the old man, whose name is Jacque I guess, to live forever. We then fast-forward to the present time when we find out Angelique is living in France in the modern day, and finds out that the descendant of the toy maker, John Merchant, is living in America and is a famous architect or something, I guess, and apparently his bloodline is a threat to Angelique even though he has absolutely no idea what the hell dimension is or how to activate it…BUT HE’S STILL A THREAT!

Look at that blank expression on his face; can you even get any more innocuous and silly looking? I don't think you can. And yet THIS is the face that will bring down Pinhead forever someday...

We get a really long scene where she scratches up Jacque’s face and kills him for standing in her way, because hey, wouldn’t want to waste even one second of this movie’s 85 minute runtime, right? When we finally get to America, Angelique meets up with Pinhead, who teams up with her, I guess, and they work out a stunningly brilliant plan to…kidnap John Merchant’s son to threaten him. TRULY A PLAN THIS GOOD HAS NEVER BEEN SEEN BEFORE! Using a person’s loved ones against him to get him to do what you want? Damn brilliance right there. Damn. Brilliance.

New, the Pinhead Babysitting Service! He'll take care of your kids! Really!

I dunno, I just feel like Pinhead would be able to get Merchant to do what he wants a lot easier without kidnapping his son or whatever else – I mean, the guy’s pretty much the pinnacle of evil in this movie’s world. You’d think he would have something a little more advanced up his sleeve.

Anyway, Merchant’s wife gets involved and gets kidnapped, too, and they both get held hostage by what looks like a demonic pitbull turned inside out…

That's just silly. And if you're wondering if its existence will be explained at all...well, do I even have to say anymore that you'll be disappointed? I didn't think so.

…threatening, I guess. Even though he does exactly NOTHING in this film and is pretty much useless. But that sums up a lot of things in this rotten moldy cheese of a movie.

So Angelique dies, and that’s pretty much the entirety of her character in the movie. See, movie, there’s a little thing called coherence of story. It’s pretty easy to grasp. You just have to have storylines that ACTUALLY GO SOMEWHERE. IS THAT SO HARD?!? What was the logic behind this? You numbskulls couldn’t fill up 85 minutes of a movie so you just had to pad it out with a useless character that amounted to absolutely jack-shit NOTHING? What kind of hellspawn created this slop? I want his head on a PLATTER!

I mean seriously…this is the kind of writing M. Night Shyamalan and Tommy Wiseau only dream of. This is the omega-pointless. The be-all-end-all of nonsensical plot threads. And hey, how about the fact that we already know that nothing of any consequence is going to happen in this present-day time period, being that we’ve already seen the future? TRY HARDER TO HAVE A GODDAMN POINT, MOVIE. This whole thing is like a wild goose chase in search for meaningful plots.

Then back in the future world, bald man and hot supermodel-looking chick see that Pinhead is loose and go on a hunt for him with the rest of the space idiots. But not before we see some of Pinhead’s speeches in this movie, which I forgot to mention before now.

"I'm a philosopher! Can I have a cookie now?"

That’s right. He has a bunch of awful speeches in this thing that, aside from his cool voice, are the screenwriting equivalent to jerking himself off. Every single one of these things is the same: “I’m going to show you pain you never imagined. I will open up the hell dimension and make you all suffer. Your suffering is going to be beautiful, so beautiful it could win a beauty pageant.” Well, maybe not the last part.

Then we get some seriously interminable, never-ending slew of scenes with nothing but these morons hiding on the spaceship from Pinhead and his cenobites and their stupid dog, too. This goes on for what feels like forever, and it isn’t interesting in the least. God. Everything this movie does – every god-forsaken thing – hurts me in a new way. If the filmmakers were trying to make something that accurately described the feeling of having Pinhead’s hooks digging into every part of your body…well, they succeeded! On a metaphorical level anyway.

Then we get our final big twist as Pinhead tries to kill McBaldGuy but fails as McBaldGuy set up a hologram system to blow up the ship with some vague ties to this super-formula that the Merchant family has been working on for years, or some shit like that, while the real McBaldGuy, as well as supermodel agent, leaves in an escape pod. So Pinhead melts, the ship blows to smithereens and that’s literally the end of Pinhead FOREVER. FOR REALS.

It's seizure-vision!

So yes. That means you know the ending to the Hellraiser franchise. Nothing matters anymore, because the only thing that apparently ever mattered in this story was that deus ex machina formula the bald guy used at the end of this one. The rest of the movies? Nothing really matters! Because you know the ending to it all! There’s no suspense at all anymore! All the previous storylines are thrown out the window! Kaput! Thrown to the wolves! Gone for good!

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!

This movie is stupid! Everything about it is horrible. It makes the other ones I’ve reviewed look like masterpieces in comparison. Hellraiser: Bloodline? More like Hellraiser: Bled Out. There was no coherency here – it was a big mess of epic proportions. I mean, even if I’m supposed to take it that this was intended to be the very last Hellraiser film ever, and no one had plans to do any more, it’s still a giant pile of suck. The meager 85-minute runtime is padded out to ridiculous levels with nonsense like Pinhead’s speeches, the garbage with Angelique doing stuff despite her storyline going nowhere in the end and of course the scenes of the military guys hiding from the cenobites – seriously, it’s worthless. Padding so fluffed up it might as well be thicker than the actual substance of the movie.

Not to mention the acting is the pits, the writing is dated and tired and the directing is all over the place – seriously, why did we even need the three different time periods? It’s not like any of them really added up to much, and what they did add up to was completely random and inconsequential, like two different people directed it.

Oh, wait. Two different people DID direct it. Ain’t that just the best?

This thing is just a big old advertisement for exactly how not to run a movie in the production department, as everything that could have gone wrong went wrong, from director changes to editorial meddling, and what resulted is nothing less than asinine. I have nothing more to say about this movie. In fact, I’ll just sum it up by showing the following images:


Suck it, Hellraiser: Bloodline.