Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth

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Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth
Hellraiser III.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Anthony Hickox
Produced by Christopher Figg
Lawrence Mortorff
Written by Peter Atkins
Tony Randel
Based on characters 
by Clive Barker
Starring Doug Bradley
Terry Farrell
Paula Marshall
Kevin Bernhardt
Music by Randy Miller
Cinematography Gerry Lively
Edited by Christopher Cibelli
James D.R. Hickox
Production
  company
Fifth Avenue Entertainment
Trans Atlantic Entertainment
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Dimension Films
Miramax Films
Release date(s)
  • September 11, 1992 (1992-09-11)
Running time 93 minutes[1]
Country United States
Canada
Language English
Box office $12,525,537[2]

Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth is a 1992 American-Canadian horror film and third installment in the Hellraiser series, directed by Anthony Hickox and starring Doug Bradley, Terry Farrell, Paula Marshall, and Kevin Bernhardt. It was the first Hellraiser film to be made outside the United Kingdom.

Plot[edit]

The revelation of his own former humanity in Hellraiser II has resulted in the Cenobite named Pinhead being split into two distinct entities: His former self, World War I British Army Captain Elliot Spencer, and a manifestation of Spencer's id, which takes on the form of Pinhead. While Spencer ends up in limbo, Pinhead is trapped, along with the puzzle box, amongst the writhing figures and distorted faces etched into the surface of an intricately carved pillar — the Pillar of Souls.

The pillar is bought by the rich and spoiled J.P. Monroe, owner of a popular nightclub called The Boiler Room. During her investigation, an ambitious young television reporter, Joey Summerskill, slowly begins to learn about Pinhead and the mysterious puzzle box. Joey is introduced to the pain the box can bring when she views a teenage clubgoer being ripped apart by the box's chains in a hospital emergency room. Joey tracks the box and a young woman named Terri to The Boiler Room nightclub. Terri had previously stolen the box from the nightclub.

Video tape interviews are recovered from the Channard Institute of one of Pinhead's former victims Kirsty Cotton. Joey and Terri learn through the videos about the demonic Cenobites and the power of the Lament Configuration puzzle box and that it is the only means of sending Pinhead back to Hell. Pinhead remains dormant until one night several hooked chains shoot out of the pillar and rip into one of the club goers, Sandy, whom Monroe had just recently slept with. After killing Sandy, Pinhead consumes her flesh and her distorted face appears on the pillar. Pinhead convinces Monroe to bring him more club members so he can feed on them and be freed from the pillar.

Meanwhile, Joey is contacted by the spirit of Elliot Spencer, who tells her that this "Pinhead" is a separate entity than the one encountered by Kirsty previously. Without Spencer's humanity to act as a balancing influence, this Pinhead is completely evil and has no sense of order. Rather than abide by the laws of the Cenobite realm, he will indiscriminately wreak havoc on Earth for his own pleasure unless he is stopped. In order to defeat him, Joey must reunite Spencer's spirit with Pinhead, fusing them back into a single entity.

At the climax of the film, Pinhead and Joey confront each other in a boiler room. The "Pinhead" demon tells Joey to give him the box, she then breaks away and begins to flee. Pinhead resurrects the corpses of his victims into Cenobites, but they are then quickly sent to hell. Joey finds herself in a heaven like realm and comes face to face with an apparition who appears to be her dead father. The apparition tells Joey to give him the Lament Configuration, aka the puzzle box, and is revealed to be Pinhead in disguise. Pinhead catches her in machinery and prepares to turn her into a cenobite, but is confronted by Spencer's spirit who forcibly fuses himself into Pinhead. Joey breaks free and stabs Pinhead, sending him back to hell. With Pinhead's humanity restored, Joey buries the Puzzle Box in cement.

The final scene of the film shows a new building built where Joey buried the box, with the interior design of the building being the same as the Lament Configuration (foreshadowing the events of the following film, Hellraiser: Bloodline).

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Hell on Earth was the first Hellraiser film produced and directed outside the United Kingdom. Originally, Clive Barker had proposed the plot to involve the Lament Configuration having its roots with the Egyptian Pyramids or Pinhead to be trapped in a relic in a church. Peter Atkins adapted the latter idea as Barker took a backseat role as executive producer. Atkins was originally meant to direct the film, but when Miramax bought the series, they felt he didn't have enough experience, instead hiring Anthony Hickox.

Much of the budget was used for building J.P.'s club The Boiler Room, which already existed as an actual club in down town High Point, North Carolina. Many of the extras were members of the crew or friends and locals. Writer Atkins starred as a bartender and his incarnation as the Barbie Cenobite. The church in which Pinhead enters and mimics a Jesus Christ pose caused the crew two problems: No church would give the crew permission to film on location and, Hickox claimed, due to Pinhead's subsequent lines in the script, it would be an explicit admission by Pinhead of the existence of God, a first in a Hellraiser film. A matte painting was used instead to create the illusion of a church, with only the aisle between pews and the altar existing as physical props.

Director Hickox also talked about the difficulties they faced filming Pinhead in sunlight for the first time in a short sequence, feeling the makeup was designed to better reflect in a dark atmosphere rather than bright light. The film featured a heavy metal-rock soundtrack and Barker directed the Motörhead video for "Hellraiser", featuring Lemmy and Pinhead playing a game of cards and varied clips on the movie.

Soundtrack[edit]

Reception[edit]

The film debuted poorly.[4] The film grossed $12,525,537 in the United States and Canada[2] and received mixed reviews. Most of the criticism was directed towards the design of the Cenobites, many fans remarking they appeared like "knock-off Borg extras".[5][6] As of March 2014, the film has a 17% Rotten status on Rotten Tomatoes.[7]

References[edit]

External links[edit]