So, I’ve always been a bit conflicted about Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth. On the one hand, I adore the cast. Doug Bradley really goes to town with the over-the-top Pinhead (The above scene being a personal favorite) and the broken Elliot Spenser. Terry Farrell is always a treat as is Paula Marshall. But I always thought the movie paled in comparison to the first two. Pinhead becoming a take over the world bad guy seemed so out of place even with the in-movie explanation. And Terry Farrell seems to be slumming it a bit or at the very least not acting as tough as I’d have liked her to be.
But, I’m watching it now and I went into it with no preconceptions for a change and I’m digging the hell out of it. The first half of the film really plays like a Clive Barker story. We have Joey leading a completely normal life until she sees something that she probably shouldn’t have and now she needs to learn a forbidden truth about the world. We have Pinhead tempting JP and Terry with freedom and knowledge and pleasure. There’s the fluidity of reality, especially through shared dreaming. All of these are recurring Barker themes and they’re presented with the sort of realism that’s a trademark of Barker’s writing.
I love it when I can see a movie in a new light and enjoy the hell out of it.