I don’t know what to call March except fantastic. This month’s features brought to you by Pinhead and Ewan McGregor. My personal hope is that Christa and I throwing these ideas together and sending them out into the universe, we will bring about the next major entertainment announcement of Ewan McGregor as Pinhead. You have no idea how thoroughly that would complete my life.
But you do. If you’ve made it to this point with this blog, you most decidedly do.
BTW, if you come up with an appropriate name for this month’s theme, I will be forever in your debt. Just be aware that I am already in a lot of debt.
Hellraiser IV: Bloodline
Where to Watch:
Pinhead returns (again) in past, present, and future timelines to end the bloodline that created the original demon Rubik’s cube.
The Uncondensed Version:
I Googled this one a little (a lot) and realized that (a) this film is 20 years old, and (b) this is the last of the Hellraiser franchise to get a theatrical release. Bodes well, right?
The premise is somewhat complex(?) for the 3rd sequel in a horror franchise. Our story follows the Merchant family in 18th-century France, the present (ahem, 1996), and the future.
As the film opens on a spaceship that looks like a deconstructed Rubik’s cube (believe it or not, this is a critical detail that will become vitally important later), we meet the first Merchant. He appears to be using a robot to solve a Rubik’s cube/summon Pinhead. Just as he is about to accomplish this task, he’s rudely interrupted by the military space police.
Future Merchant has pulled a big no-no in taking over the ship, hijacking it, and pursuing his personal demon-fighting agenda. But since this film is practically an extended episode of Star Trek: TOS, don’t worry—Merchant is about to explain everything.
…Beginning with the first Merchant (chronologically), a French toymaker (not a euphemism, actually). This Merchant, aka LeMarchand, has created a masterfully crafted box (Rubik’s cube) on commission for a rather odd French aristocrat. When LeMarchand’s wife fails to appreciate the genius of his work, he storms off in a huff to deliver the box to the French aristocrat (also a magician because of course he fucking is).
Unfortunately, LeMarchand gets a bit more than anticipated when he witnesses the magician and his assistant (Adam Scott [sporting ‘80s rocker hair]???) performing a satanic ritual to summon a demon, Angelique. If you were wondering, the ritual involves a lot of organ removal and blood draining.
LeMarchand is, understandably, quite disturbed, and vows to steal the box back. However, things don’t go quite as planned, and Adam Scott tells LeMarchand that his bloodline will be cursed as he helped unleash demons upon the world.
Flashforward to 1990s Merchant, aka John. John is an architect prone to recurring nightmares. Matters don’t improve when he receives an award for his work, drawing the attention of Angelique.
Angelique has a lot of potential as a character, but I inevitably kept comparing her to Julia off Hellraiser I and II. No one in this franchise is as cool as Julia. No one.
Angelique tricks this sleazy business dude into summoning Pinhead. She and Pinhead have a very odd, somewhat antagonistic relationship that also borders on being sadomasochistic. Very confusing, and leads to cryptic lines like “Temptation is illusion” and “I am pain.”
Anyway, the moral of the story is that Pinhead and Angelique decide to kill John’s baby. As soon as someone threatens to kill a baby, I am out because all suspense is lost. You know that 98% of time in a Hollywood film, no one is actually going to kill a fucking baby.
Is that awful?
So there’s a showdown between Pinhead and John, which ends the way you might expect, mostly.
And finally, we return to the future.
The officer who arrested Merchant, Rimmer (one of the writers had to be a huge sci-fi fan), releases future Merchant to stop Pinhead.
How will he ever manage that?
Let’s just say it’s no accident the ship looks like a deconstructed Rubik’s cube.
3/5 Pink Panther Heads
Okay, I’m never going to hate a Hellraiser film, but I feel sorta bad that 1996 people paid money to see this.
I wanted the part in 18th century France to go on longer, but I will always want the historical period part to go on longer. The plot is very loosely tied together, and all 3 Merchants are so bland that it’s rather difficult to care about them. Even when their children are threatened by demons.
Missed the presence of other Cenobites, as well as Julia (of course).
Did this film make Christa want to summon a demon or was she ready to send it straight to hell? Find out in her review here!