This month’s mixture of films is so exciting – and avant garde – that we don’t even have a name for it yet. It’s basically a hybrid: Hellraiser movies vs Ewan McGregor movies. Obvious bedfellows, I think you’ll agree.
We’re excited for it, and those who aren’t will, I’m sure, get on board in due course.
Both Jill and I are big Hellraiser fans and have already reviewed Hellbound, which was a visceral treat for all the senses.
How does Bloodline stack up? Well, I’ll tell you – but first, a little background. It’s the 4th in the series (we’ll no doubt come back to the 3rd, Hell on Earth at some point) and it sees the return of the original (and rather sweet) Pinhead but no other returning cast member. So no Kirsty and her big bouncing hair (Ashley Laurence).
As with number 3, there is also no deliciously horrible Julia (Clare Higgins) and that’s what worried me most. She was my favourite part of the first 2 films, would this suffer for it, or is that the least of its worries?
This week was my choice and I picked this mainly because we’ve been talking about it on and off for weeks and it seemed to be the perfect antidote to last week’s total heart-wrencher. Will it tear our hearts apart but in a very different way?
Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996)
IMDB Synopsis: In the 22nd century, a scientist attempts to right the wrong his ancestor created: the puzzle box that opens the gates of Hell and unleashes Pinhead and his Cenobite legions.
We’re kicking back 111 years in the future, where Dr. Paul Merchant has gone rogue. He’s isolated himself on board his self-designed space station and shit’s about to get real.
Just as the doc’s specially designed robot (built from scraps of the Series 800 terminator (Model 101) from Judgement Day (1991)) is about to solve the Devil’s Rubik’s cube, armed guards break in and it’s destroyed. Merchant is then forced to explain just what the fuck he thinks he’s up to.
Going back in time via the medium of the flashback, Merchant tells Rimmer (Christine Harnos) all about the origin of the puzzle box and why it’s so ingrained in the Merchant bloodline.
France, 1796 and we meet Dr Merchant’s ancestor, toymaker Philip LeMarchand. He makes the intricate Lament Configuration for aristocrat Duc de L’Isle (Mickey Cottrell) on request, not understanding or questioning what it does (but why would you, I guess?). Little does he know this pretty piece of kit is designed to summon demons from the bowels of Hell, which he soon discovers first hand when he delivers it to his Client.
L’Isle and his protégé/assistant, Jacques (hottie Adam Scott) sacrifice a sex worker to summon a demon called Angelique through the box (as one does) and Philip sticks around to witness it all. He’s understandably shaken and runs home immediately to work on a second box, this one to stop the first one working. Honestly, Philip, wouldn’t it be easier just to move to a new city and take your preggo wife with you?
Predictably perhaps, Angelique is something of a thrill seeker and she shacks up with Jacques, killing L’Isle horribly. They then kill poor Philip who’s popped in to steal the puzzle box for his next project. FYI at this point, Angelique has agreed to be Adam Scott’s servant so has to do what he says (unless is goes against the laws of Hell or something). What could possibly go wrong, Adam Scott?
Oh yeah and just before Philip is murdered, Jacques kicks him while he’s down and tells him he has cursed his entire bloodline. Guess that’s what you get when you help open up the gates of Hell, eh?
Next up, we’re in 1996 with John Merchant (you guessed it, descendant of poor cursed LeMarchand). He’s a successful achitect working on a skyscraper in Manhattan that just so happens to resemble the puzzle box, ooh wonder where this is going? Angelique and Jacques are still knocking about 200 year later and although Adam Scott has horrible greasy hair, he hasn’t aged a bit.
Ang asks Jacques if she can pop to the States so she can have it out with John but he says “non”. This prompts the demon babe to kill him (because he’s going against the best interests of Hell) and I’m left to ask the question here (I can’t wait for the appropriate section, sorry):
1) Why hasn’t Adam Scott aged? Is doing it with a demon the same as being a Vampire? No explanation is given about this and it bugs me (or I missed it).
Phew. Anywhoo, Ang goes to the States and tries to seduce John. It doesn’t work but she does find the puzzle box which she tricks some poor schmuck into opening, thus summoning everyone’s favourite metal face, Monsieur Pinhead. Pinhead and Ang aren’t the best of friends TBF as they share different opinions on how shit should be done: Ang is all about temptation, while Pinhead totally loves pain and as much suffering as possible, the old perv. They have no choice but to join forces against John though.
I really don’t want to give too much more away but along the way Pinhead kidnaps John’s annoying shit of a child, anybody who’s anybody is chased around by a demon dog and there are lots of hooks flying around. You’ll have somebody’s eye out if you’re not careful, Pinhead.
Oh and somebody loses their HEAD. Literally.
We end the tale back where we began in 2127, aboard The Minos with future Merchant and Rimmer, who’s getting into the story and agrees to help him. Pinhead is free meanwhile with his buddies, and Angelique who by now is rocking a drastic new look. They’re tearing up the space station as only demons know how and it’s a rollicking good time for all, except the innocent victims, obvi.
Will Dr Merchant end this nonsense once and for all? Will he get out with his skin intact?
Will Pinhead ever get what he wants this time? What of Angelique?
How on earth have they filled 8 films with this flimsy content? And finally, why do I love them so very much?
Hellraiser IV is still disgusting which pleases me. Several times I had to view through my fingers.
I think the film does miss out by not having strong female leads, and although Angelique is supposed to be the Princess of Darkness and kick ass, she’s a bit wishy-washy for my tastes. After she teams up with Pinhead she becomes a pretty sidekick and I expected more #girlpower, to be honest.
The only other females we really get are John’s wife Bobbi (Kim Myers), who’s given little material and Rimmer, who’s hard but not in it enough. But that’s being picky. It was fun, I would like to have stayed in 1796 for longer and I miss the original Cenobytes but it was a good way to spend Sunday evening.
My Rating: 3/5. Bit naff, but I still have a soft spot for Pinhead.