Friday, March 30, 2012

Project Hellraiser: Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002)

Ha ha, holy crap, I’m finally almost done! I’m finally on the last Hellraiser movie I have to review this month, because it’s the last one on the DVD box set I have, and that’s an excuse if I ever heard one! I’m not even doing one of those silly Project Hellraiser Logs I’ve been half-assing for a while now! And who knows? Maybe this, the sixth sequel, will FINALLY BE THE BIG BREAK OUT THIS SERIES IS WAITING FO---oh, no it won’t be.

Director: Rick Bota
Starring: Dean Winters, Ashley Laurence, Doug Bradley

Yeah, so this movie starts off…well, about as sprightly as the sixth sequel of any horror franchise could. We get this dorky guy named Trevor and his wife driving in a car. They’re laughing and happy, and then suddenly get serious and say they can work out all their problems. Then they start making out passionately WHILE HE’S STILL DRIVING.

And now on Stupidity News at 12...making out while driving DOESN'T usually help your concentration on the road!

And wouldn’t you know it? They’re fine afterwards! Not even a scratch on them! They’re just fi---oh, no they aren’t:

This should be a promo video in every Driver's Ed class.

I can’t even pretend to be sarcastic anymore. That’s how much I really just don’t care about this movie. Trevor wakes up in the hospital and is greeted by a rather seductive nurse…odd, being that his wife just died, but I’ll chalk it up to the director having zero idea what the flying blue hell he was doing. We learn that his wife was actually Kirsty Cotton from the first movie. If you’re wondering what relevance this has to the overall story, the answer is none, as she barely even appears again after this except in short, nonsensical flashback snippets. I’d make an over the top joke about this but…hell, I just don’t give a crap. This movie’s failure is so complete that I don’t even need to make jokes! The writing itself is a joke! That’s a goddamn miracle.

We see some stuff where these doctors are doing brain surgery on him for no reason and insert a pin into his brain…it’s never referenced again, so hey, it fits right into this asinine abomination of the silver screen.

He gets interrogated by the cops, who tell him the doors were open in his car and his wife was never found, so he goes to his incredibly bland office where he fits like a glove. When he gets there, he talks to his co-worker and then gets raped by his female boss while trying to get a candy bar out of the snack machine…hey, it happens!

The actor is clearly enjoying this more than his character is probably supposed to.

The confusing thing about this is the way the office building has cameras set up to catch everything that happens…oddly Orwellian, but okay. Obviously, they catch the rape in the break room, which Trevor is easily able to subvert by going into his computer file and deleting in like a second. For one, how the hell did he do that? These cameras are set up all over the place but any low-level goon can just log in and delete whatever he or she wants? What the hell kind of system is that?

And two, WHY would the boss character even come onto him like that anyway? I get it, this movie is weird and surreal, but it’s like in The Uninvited – you can’t just use ‘weird and surreal’ as an excuse for a lack of BASIC HUMAN LOGIC. That is shit writing, with no redeemable qualities whatsoever.

Ugh, so Trevor goes home and gets jump-scared by a barking dog right in front of his face, which by all logic he should have seen when he was walking up to his building. But I guess that would be too smart for this movie. Inside, he has convulsions and spits out water plus a big eel thing. Charming. This apparently is the mating signal for this girl:

Ooooh, yay, flirty flirt flirt!

…who also flirts with him and tries to get him to have sex with her. Is he just Casanova all the sudden? Why is everyone attracted to him now? Is losing a spouse the equivalent of really good cologne in this movie’s ass-backwards universe?

Later his boss comes over to his house and strips down to her underwear, and then crushes his crotch with her high heel, which is a feeling this movie replicates quite well actually. They have sex but Trevor then has a crisis of conscience, and pushes her off. Somehow, I guess, there’s a video camera in his living room now, and even after she leaves, it’s still recording the two of them doing it. Only then we see this:

Okay, I admit, this was a good, scary scene - even though she left his apartment a minute ago and nobody is sitting in front of the camera anymore, he still sees them making out and then her dying on the screen - spooky! But it's ruined completely by the fact that the next scene just makes it look like another hallucination and completely downplays it. This movie's knack for doing that makes it incredibly frustrating.

So basically the next hour or so of the movie is just this: we get a few random splices of pointless shit with the cops trying to interrogate him, and one or two scenes in the office with him talking to apparently the only other guy who works there, but mostly it’s just sex. Lots and lots of sex, with people who just come into his apartment and start doing him. So basically it’s just Hellraiser: The Porno. And didn’t everyone need THAT in their lives?

Getting a little old at this point...

And then we get a cameo appearance from Pinhead! Yeah, remember him? He shoves a nail into Trevor’s neck and asks if he likes pleasure or pain better. Weird, being that I thought the whole point of this series was that the Cenobites treated them like the same thing, but hey, if I had a nickel for every inconsistency in these movies, I’d be rich enough to pay other people to review them for me.

Then Trevor makes out with his acupuncture doctor…surprised?

OH MY GOD. Can't this movie do ANYTHING ELSE but show poorly written sex scenes? The first time or two I wasn't complaining, but this is what, the seventh time this has happened in an hour? I think I get it now. This was meant to be a porn flick, but then some idiot stepped in and said "durr, hey, we need a new Hellraiser sequel!" and thus this was born. Christ.

Afterwards, he’s walking home at night when he gets a gun pointed at his head by his old buddy from the office, who tells him they had a plan to kill Kirsty and take some inheritance money from her to get rich. That’s actually an interesting plot point! It could have made for a good movie on its own. So how much do you want to bet it will be mentioned for only about 3 minutes of the film’s combined run-time, and feature very little in the actual “story”? If you would bet money on that…well, you’d be right. Ugh.

Through some more asinine dream-to-reality transitions and jumpy schizophrenic directing, Trevor gets taken in for the murder of some woman and the cops are even less credible than the ones in Hobo with a Shotgun. That’s incredible. They lock him up in the basement of their torture chamber, because yeah, in the Hellraiser films police stations just always have torture chambers built into them, and then we get…well, probably the strangest thing I’ve ever seen in one of these movies:

Two heads...they're the same person...I just...I'm losing my mind at this, I really am.

So then we get to see Pinhead again; how nice of them to give him two cameos in the same movie! He puts chains in Trevor’s face and body and reveals to him what really happened: apparently Trevor was actually an asshole all along who was cruel to Kirsty and cheated on her with a bunch of women, ALSO aspiring to kill her for her money on the side! I love how shocked she is about all of this stuff; it’s like, if a guy was doing THIS MUCH BAD STUFF behind your back, wouldn’t you be able to catch on just a little bit? I guess the answer was no. So she pointed a gun at him and they drove off the cliff, where he died instantly and she was able to get out and survive.

In answer to your questions, yes. Yes, this movie just pulled the whole ‘he was dead the whole time’ plot twist. One of the oldest clichés in the book, but I guess it was good enough for the sixth installment of the ever-so-good Hellraiser series…ugh, was there anyone in the entire world who could have enjoyed this garbage? I don’t think there was. This is the bottom of the barrel, people. No entertainment value, no plot, no characters, just pure crap from beginning to end. The directing is a mess of awful flashbacks and vague transitions and the acting is forgettable as hell, even from series “veteran” Ashley Laurence, reprising her role as Kirsty.

And what is up with bringing back Kirsty in this one anyway? There’s no connection to the other films; there’s no character development from her early days in the first two. She’s just shoved in there as if to say LOOK, LOOK, THIS IS A HELLRAISER FILM. WE HAVE ONE OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS FROM THE ORIGINAL! Well, it doesn’t work. Not to mention how there really is no story to this thing until the last 20 minutes when we find out Trevor and his friend were trying to kill her to get the money she inherited from Uncle Frank apparently. THAT would have been a cool story. Why didn’t they just make a movie about that? But no, we got pointless dream sequences that even Inception would laugh at, nonsensical sex scenes that didn’t add anything and a bunch of non-sequitur ‘hallucinations’ that are about as scary as your cat’s hairballs.

Yeah, so I didn't like it, but hey, I guess if you REALLY want some softcore porn and can't be bothered to go down the street to the adult video store, this might suffice.

So yeah, that’s the first 6 Hellraiser movies. It’s been a wild, crazy, stupid, ridiculous ride and I am glad it’s over. The thing with all of these movies is, they all had potential. Doug Bradley always seemed to be into what he was doing and the stories were all intriguing on paper, but the execution was just SO POOR that it completely ruined any chance of them being enjoyable. I really like a good occult horror movie, but none of these movies were good! They were all either dull, ridiculous or both. I’ve never seen a franchise with so much potential screw up everything in such a monumental way, and for that I thought these movies were worth reviewing. This has been Project: Hellraiser. Glad you’ve been along for the ride.