Another epic evening, another entire franchise of horror movies covered. The entire team (myself, Tropical Mary, Stygian Mole and The Occult Specialist) gathered for this one. With 9 movies ahead of us, it lay quite comfortably between the perhaps-overly long Friday the 13th marathon and the rather short Nightmare on Elm Street one. Plus, if I’m honest, the four of us are more than a little depraved and the prospect of spending the next 15 hours watching Pinhead-style torture was more than a little exciting. Couple that with the fact that we’d all taken a 3-day weekend and we were good to go 🙂
The day began as so many Ultimate Movie Marathon days do. We landed at Tropical Mary’s house at 10 hundred hours with a planned commencement time of 11 hundred hours. The fridge was stocked with many a litre of Coke, the snacks were in bowls and several of Tropical Mary’s amazing blankets were at hand to ward off the ravages of a Cape Town winter. With a few libatory coffees in us, we sat down and began the great trek through 24 years of Pinhead madness, blood spillage and what I think is one of the best horror franchises out there.
Year of Release: 1987
Genre: Horror / Thriller
IMDB Rating: 7 / 10
Level of Awful: Surprise!
And so we begin with Pinhead’s first adventure, and from the very get-go the movie was incredibly gooey. In the beginning (or the 80s), there was The Cube, and Frank Cotton wanted it. Not content with mundane regular sex and pleasure, Frank wanted to explore the absolute extremes of pleasure and sensation. Little did Frank know, however, that such delights really only equated to having inter-dimensional chains fly out, bore into his skin and rip him to shreds before being dragged back into the other dimension by a pin-headed man with a serious leather fetish. Perhaps not the auto-erotic evening he had in mind, but it does set the tone for the movie delightfully.
Later on we meet the other Cottons: Frank’s brother Larry, Larry’s wife Julia, and Larry’s daughter Kirsty. Larry and Julia are moving into the old family home where, unbeknownst to them, Frank was torn to shreds and drained into the floor. During the moving process Larry cuts his hand on a razor-sharp nail head and bleeds all over the new / old floors. This somehow revives a somewhat juicy Frank and, when Julia discovers him dripping all over the attic, it brings back memories of their passionate affair and epic chin snogging. The usually ice queenish Julia is now filled with blood rage and brings Frank a never-ending stream of victims that he can use to rebuild himself.
Kirsty, being super intelligent by virtue of the powers vested in her by her epic hair and mom jeans, knows that something really bad is going on but struggles to come to terms with her gooey uncle running around the house. A problem arises when Pinhead and the other Cenobites (affectionately dubbed Lips McCoy, Tracheotomy Girl and Phat Morpheus) realise that Frank has managed to escape them, and they’re prepared to take him back by any means necessary. Butterfingers Kirsty will have to watch herself or be strung up in yet another of the Cenobites’ sadomasochistic experiments.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- In the 80s the phrase ‘the higher the hair, the closer to God’ was taken to scary and ridiculous extremes.
- The circle of life now includes an extra resurrection cycle.
- Clive Barker doesn’t believe in spending money on extra lighting.
- Nothing says class like a set of ninja star earrings.
- Tears are a waste of good suffering.
- If Jesus weeps your house will bleed.
- You know Cenobites are coming when Daft Punk lighting appears in your walls.
HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II
Year of Release: 1988
Genre: Horror / Thriller
IMDB Rating: 6.3 / 10
Level of Awful: Surprise!
After a quick recap of the first movie Butterfingers Kirsty wakes up in a psychiatric hospital. The doctors want to help her and the police want to know what happened that caused her house to destroy itself so Kirsty, like a genius, tells them what actually happened. Shockingly the doctors are more inclined to believe that Kirsty is a nut job rather than that her dead uncle came back as a gooey corpse and was aided in rebuilding himself by her evil stepmother while the two were being hunted by sadomasochistic demons from another realm. She is handed over as a loon to Dr Channard without any ceremony to be kept under watch until she regains her senses.
At least that’s the story she’s been given. Channard actually knows all about the Cenobites and has been dying to find a way to get in touch with them. Before he does that, however, he steals the mattress that Julia died on in the first movie and uses one of his more deranged patients as a blood bank to resurrect her. Like Frank before her, Julia is very gooey, and the good doctor takes her back to his white, white house and puts her in a white, white outfit to take some time and recover. A few choice victims later Julia is decidedly less juicy and ready to help Channard come into contact with the Cenobites.
To do this they will need an expert puzzle solver, and as luck would have it they have Tiffany, a catatonic puzzle solving prodigy just sitting around the hospital. She quickly figures out how the puzzle box works and summons Pinhead, Lips, Phat Morpheus and Tracheotomy Girl. Channard and Julia enter The Labyrinth, home of the Cenobites, while Kirsty and Tiffany go in to try and find Kirsty’s dad and bring him back. When the good doctor does become a Cenobite and attempt to usurp Pinhead’s position, Hell’s in for a big showdown and the Cenobites are forced to remember the only thing that can defeat them: their own humanity. I’d like to say that it’s up to Kirsty to save the day, but since she’s frequently outwitted by rusty pieces of cutlery, it’d be more safe to place your bets on Tiffany.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Music boxes to hell entice people like an ice cream man entices children.
- The best kind of policeman belongs to the ‘shoot everything to hell’ school of thought.
- The particularly mental wing of an asylum doubles up nicely as a giant maintenance cupboard.
- You’re quite the stud if you can get to 2nd base with a juicy walking corpse.
- Beware the pimp slap of justice.
- Everyone should have an orgasmic tunnel installed in their basement.
- Incest is best – IN HELL!
- In hellbound relationships it’s usually the woman that wears the skin.
HELLRAISER III: HELL ON EARTH
Year of Release: 1992
IMDB Rating: 5.2 / 10
Level of Awful: Surprise!
Things haven’t been going so well for Pinhead lately. When hell imploded on itself at the end of the last movie he and a Lament Configuration (the puzzle box) became trapped in a beautifully crafted, if somewhat disturbing, pillar. Completely drained of power he’s been unable to move. His luck turns around, however, when the pillar is bought by J.P. Monroe, owner of the greatest hole-in-the-wall nightclub, The Boiler Room. As people are prone to doing around Pinhead, J.P. bleeds on the statue, somewhat reviving him and setting us up for another round of gruesome torture.
This movie has no actual continuity with the first two, so we have to meet a whole new range of characters. Joey’s an ambitious young television reporter looking to find that one big story that will define her career. She thinks she may have found it one night when she sees a young man being ripped to shreds by hooked chains apparently acting of their own accord. If she were to have spoken with Butterfingers Kirsty she’d know that this was Pinhead’s general MO, but dear Joey’s gonna have to figure it out herself with the help of Terri, J.P.’s slutty (and seemingly underage) ex-girlfriend.
At this point in the long strand of time that we call eternity Pinhead’s decided that he’s sick of playing by the rules. Lips, Tracheotomy Girl and Phat Morpheus are dead, he’s been a statue for 4 years and Hell’s in need of some serious rebuilding, so screw the rules of the game. Lying and deceiving people to get what he wants, Pinhead plans on taking over the entire world and wreaking pain and havoc as he sees fit. Unfortunately, as is often the case, our worst enemy is often ourselves, and Pinhead’s human form is now alive and well, albeit in limbo. The revelation that he was once human in movie 2 has split Pinhead in half, and the human version is intent on bringing the Cenobite half down.
This movie has a death count that’s virtually off the charts and enough blasphemy to make your dear grandmother cry, which is why I think I liked it so much. Also, Joey’s far more intelligent than Butterfingers Kirsty and does battle beautifully with a DJ Cenobite. I’ll agree that it’s not as great as the first two, but it’s definitely still a great addition to the franchise.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Nothing says hardcore like a guy in a self-bedazzled leather jacket.
- True love means walking into madness for someone.
- Pinhead’s a modern killer and fully embraces the use of new technology.
- Pinhead strongly disapproves of stained glass windows.
- There’s nothing quite as relaxing as a mind trip to the luscious grasslands of Vietnam.
HELLRAISER IV: BLOODLINE
Year of Release: 1996
Genre: Horror / Sci-fi
IMDB Rating: 4.7 / 10
Level of Awful: Low
Sadly, this was the last movie in the Hellraiser franchise that Clive Barker wanted anything to do with. As the other reviews will show, his input is really what made this franchise work. Bloodline was the first dip in the series. It’s not bad by any means, but it’s very clear that by this point they were starting to run out of ideas. The movie’s perfectly watchable, but it never really grabs you in the same way the first 3 do and its ending was more than just a little anticlimactic. As a general rule, if you need to take it into space, consider calling it a day with the franchise.
The year is 2127 and Paul Merchant is trying to rid the world(s) of Pinhead and the Cenobites once and far all. Why ‘don’t open the damn box’ never seemed like a plausible solution is a mystery to me, but anyway. In the process of trying to destroy the Lament Configuration Merchant is taken captive by a group of soldiers who storm the space station he’s on, demanding to know what he’s up to. Held captive by an Hispanic Hilary Swank in space, he is forced to tell us the Cenobites’ story from the very beginning.
Over 400 years ago Paul’s ancestor was a poor toy maker commissioned to make a box for a wealthy French magician. The man has no idea that what he’s built is the very first Lament Configuration. The magician uses the Configuration to summon a Cenobite slave, Angelique. Through a process very similar to how we make chicken McNuggets today Angelique is poured into the skin of a woman the magician and his apprentice, Jacques, killed. Before Jacques and Angelique kill the magician he is warned that a demon must only obey its master until you stand in hell’s way. Not heeding this warning will come back to bite Jacques in the ass later. The two later kill the toy maker as well, discovering that he was trying to build the Elysium Configuration, a device that would keep the Cenobites trapped forever.
200 years after the first Lament Configuration was built John Merchant, another of Paul’s ancestors (the original toy maker’s wife was pregnant when he died), is essentially building an Elysium Configuration without knowing it. Angelique learns of this and comes to America to stop him before her and her kind are banished from the human realm. Pinhead’s none too pleased about any of this either and joins in the fight, bringing with him Cenobite Rottweilers and creating The Siamese Twins, the second coolest Cenobite lackey after Tracheotomy girl. They manage to kill John but are sent back into the Lament Configuration by his wife. All while John’s son is watching.
Back in the future Paul has EVENTUALLY figured out how to make the Elysium Configuration work. Either it was a very tricky design or this family just really isn’t all that great when it comes to higher brain functions. Having made a robot open the Lament Configuration to let Pinhead and the others loose it’s now just a matter of keeping Pinhead busy long enough to activate the Elysium Configuration (wow, never thought I’d use the word ‘configuration’ so often in one paragraph) and trap the Cenobites once and for all.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- The future is astonishingly lacking in its use of technology.
- Despite being a vacuum, it’s really noisy in space.
- French people communicate with one another through slutty moaning.
- It’s not necrophilia if the body’s still warm.
- Many female demons are pillar-sexual.
- Security guards double up as expert door identifiers.
Year of Release: 2000
Genre: Crime / Horror
IMDB Rating: 5.5 / 10
Level of Awful: High
Wow, talk about a terrible downward spiral! After 3 awesome movies and one so-so one, we were suddenly lurched into this piece of crap. In itself this isn’t a bad movie, but it’s not a Hellraiser movie. After suffering through about 30 minutes of it I was pretty convinced in my mind that this was originally a spec. script and Dimension had simply shoved Pinhead in somewhere where he really didn’t belong. Turned out I was spot on. It has a good concept and an absolutely brilliant ending, but it isn’t worth suffering through to find out what it is.
The movie follows Joseph Thorne, a rather shady and incredibly corrupt policeman, as he goes about his days being a general asshole and philanderer. Out on a routine investigation to look into a gruesome shredding of what might have once been a human body, Thorne discovers a Lament Configuration that’s been turned into a candlestick holder. As any other corrupt police official would do, after stealing $300 from the dead man’s wallet, Thorne steals the aesthetically pleasing Configuration and decides to play with it a little after banging a prostitute.
As one might expect tinkering with the Lament Configuration opens up a direct portal to hell. First the hooker’s dead, then Thorne’s ice-cream man / cocaine dealer / paedophile informant is killed, then he’s being chased by the Wire Twins and half a Lips. All of this seems to be tied to a man called The Engineer, and Thorne makes it his personal mission in life to try and stop this man. Not for selfish reasons, of course, but rather to avoid getting his own flesh ripped apart or licked off with an acidic tongue.
At one point Tropical Mary was actually considering killing me and the rest of the gang to try and liven things up while this movie was on. It has every miserable stereotype in the book, the characters are loathefully unlikeable, it takes forever to get anywhere with its storyline and you barely see Pinhead at all. It also wanted to redefine the Cenobites in that, rather than simply being other-worldly beings who took their love of whips and chains to strange and gruesome extremes, they are now actually demons out on some moral crusade. Maybe that works for some people, but it just left me cold.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Spines make really juicy noises when you rip them open.
- Some movies are as exciting as eating tofu on a rice cracker.
- Walker Idaho Rangers are nowhere near as cool as their Texan counterparts.
- It’s possible to make a movie with only internal monologues and sighs.
- Nothing says badass-criminal like a pair of ‘coon chaps.
- There are few people you want to hit more than a coked-up, smarmy, asshole, magician policeman.
Year of Release: 2002
Genre: Horror / Thriller / Mystery
IMDB Rating: 4.9 / 10
Level of Awful: Surprise!
And we’re on the up again, which was a very pleasant surprise after the last one. I don’t know if any of us could have taken two Infernos back-to-back with one another. Pay attention Dimension Films: if you must shove Pinhead into a script that wasn’t meant for him in the first place, this is the way that you should continue to do it.
Kirsty’s back! Having taken some time off to relax and improve her mental capacities so that she can at least match wits with the rusty cutlery, her and her husband Trevor are out for a little drive to rekindle their love. It’s all sweet and lovely until one particularly passionate session of neck nomming distracts Trevor long enough to put their car in the path of an oncoming truck. Trevor’s quick reflexes allow him to manoeuvre the car out of the path of the truck and throw it off a bridge into an icy-looking river instead. Trevor manages to haul himself out the car, but sadly for Kirsty and her recently improved mental capacities, Pinhead never cut her a pair of gills and she drowns when she can’t get her door or window open. Maybe the rusty cutlery would still win after all.
When Trevor wakes up in the hospital he’s pretty much fine except for some minor amnesia and the inability to tell fantasy apart from reality. This will result in some difficult times for him, like when he coughs up a live eel. Meanwhile Kirsty’s body has disappeared from the car and a search has yet to find where she drifted off to. This results in Trevor becoming the prime suspect in Kirsty’s suspected murder, an investigation headed up by the most condescending policeman to ever grace the small screen. With strange things happening all around him, the people he knows turning up gruesomely murdered and Cenobites at every turn, Trevor will quickly need to figure out what’s real and what isn’t before Pinhead gets to him.
This movie was everything that Inferno wanted to be. It has a tremendous ending that will make you rethink everything you’ve just watched, but at the same time the rest of the movie manages to convince you that what you’re watching is really happening.
By this point in the evening this movie spawned one of the best comments of the whole marathon. Wondering why Trevor was such an absolute slut magnet, I voiced this statement: “His amnesia brings all the sluts to the yard.” Stygian Mole, who doesn’t say a lot but is tremendously useful for his quick one-liners, promptly responded: “And he’s like, ‘what the fuck are all of you doing in my yard?'” Perhaps you had to be there to truly appreciate it, but we laughed ourselves silly for about 20 minutes at that.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Only in ridiculous movies does a man wear white shoes.
- Pinhead doubles up as an apartment-cleaning magician in his spare time, and is well versed in the Dead Hooker Be Gone spell.
- Very few people actually understand what amnesia does to a person.
- No matter how hard the sex against the vending machine is, that thing’s never gonna give up a free pack of Lays.
- Morgues should be stored at the centre of the Earth so that the soul has less distance to travel when it goes to Hell.
- Technological advances mean that Lament Configurations can now be more rounded in shape. This also makes them more child-friendly.
Year of Release: 2005
Genre: Horror / Thriller
IMDB Rating: 4.5 / 10
Level of Awful: Low
And we’re on a dip again, although not too bad a one. Deader isn’t necessarily a bad movie, it’s just one of those films where you could always see what it was trying to do but it never quite got there. Based on yet another spec. script (how many of those damn things does Dimension own?), it again puts Pinhead in a story that he doesn’t really blend in with completely, although it’s still a far better attempt than Inferno was.
By this point in the franchise Hell has become a prime location for the hip and trendy, with everyone wanting a piece of the pie. Enter the Deaders, a little cult in Bucharest led by a man who can hold back death and grant his followers eternal life, albeit with giant chunks of themselves missing. See, in order to become immortal you have to die first, at which point the cult’s leader, Winter, will bring you back. Everyone chooses to kill themselves in the most gruesome manners. Why no one thought a bottle of pills with a nice glass of wine in a bathtub wouldn’t be a better choice the Lord only knows, but this is what’s apparently happening in Eastern Europe when we’re not keeping an eye on them. Investigative journalist Amy Klein is on the job and tracking the story.
Now, Pinhead’s not loving this little cult one bit. He’s the only one that should be allowed to come and go from Hell as he pleases, and it ultimately all boils down to these people choosing Winter as their master over Pinhead. Amy, being the smart girl that she is, manages to find a Lament Configuration in a run down crack house. Literally prying the thing out of some poor, dead crack whore’s hand, she takes the thing home and solves the puzzle. Along with many, many chains, Pinhead appears in the middle of Amy’s lounge, but this time he’s in a far better and more helpful mood than usual. He warns Amy about what’s happening, and tells her to be careful and that he’ll be watching.
In order to push the story forward, as well as force some kind of continuity between this movie and the rest of the franchise, we are told by Winter that he is a descendant of the Toymaker who created the original Lament Configuration. Despite having the skills to bring people back from the dead he has been unable to solve the Configuration’s puzzle (it really doesn’t look that complicated: feel it, run fingers in a circle, click down and voila!), and his back-from-the-dead followers have all been an experiment to try and find someone to open the box so that he can travel to Hell and take command of the Cenobites. Like Pinhead’s gonna let that happen…
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Nobody really needs the other half of their brain.
- In the crack whore version of Bridget Jones’ life, she lives in Romania and only gets eaten by one Alsatian.
- Nothing says class like a plastic bottle of gin.
- Romanian trains are a more hedonistic form of transportation.
- ‘Romania’ is a suitable answer to any confusing moment you may have while watching this movie.
Year of Release: 2005
IMDB Rating: 4.2 / 10
Level of Awful: Surprise!
The end is in sight people! Finally, three movies later, we happen upon an entry in the franchise that isn’t based on a spec. script. Granted, the short story it’s based on wasn’t written by Clive Barker either, but beggars can’t be choosers. Although I’d seen most of the Hellraiser movies over the years this one, for whatever reason, was the one I remembered the most vividly, so it was kinda cool to watch it again. Definitely not an all-time classic, but fairly decent watching nonetheless.
If you’ve watched all the Hellraiser movies back-to-back in one caffeine-fueled evening the one thing that you will probably notice is that Pinhead isn’t afraid to move with the times, and it really shouldn’t be surprising that at some point he’d embrace the use of the Internet in tracking down today’s more tech-savvy victims. Welcome to Hellworld, an online MMORPG based on Pinhead’s adventures that have, over the years, been granted the status of urban legends. Some people who become a little too engrossed in it may land up apparently committing suicide, but you really can’t put a price on a good game.
Let’s meet Chelsea, Derrick, Mike & Allison. These guys are the best of friends and LOVE playing Hellworld. Their friend Adam doused himself in petrol and set himself alight two years ago because of playing it, but that hasn’t stopped them. A true fan is a true fan. For the purposes of this movie, the four plan on attending a special Hellworld party held in a remote mansion by a strange billionaire recluse. Not that this is at all dodgy or possibly dangerous or anything. They’re joined by their estranged friend Jake, who never quite got over Adam’s death.
And the party’s underway! Oh, what an evening of debauchery and hedonism this will be! Anonymous sex with strangers (anonymity ensured because everyone’s wearing a mask and has a special cellphone provided by the man hosting the party), excessive drinking, possible drug abuse, minor orgies breaking out all over the place… Mmm, the air is rife with slut, and these kids like it. Well, Chelsea doesn’t, but that’s because she’s been pegged to be the heroine from the very beginning, but that’s fine, because she and her skin-tight latex pants (even the Cenobites’ leather outfits aren’t that tight) are locked in a bathroom.
Naturally, with all this pleasure going on and so many people having opened digital Lament Configurations, this is the perfect opportunity for Pinhead to reap a soul or two, which he does very effectively. All in all this is a good movie, although the ending may leave you a little cold. For a truly gratifying experience turn it off about 10 minutes before the credits roll and you’ll be left thoroughly satisfied. If you don’t that’s also fine, but you may be left thinking “Well, that was great and all, but why make it a Hellraiser movie?”
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- In this modern age, if Jesus weeps he will be deemed a sissy.
- Never let people into your house – they just want to touch all your stuff.
- Every rich billionaire has a secret Pickled Babies R Us store in his basement.
- There’s nothing quite as scary as seeing a dead man denoming [to denom, verb: the act of wearing an all-denim outfit].
- True friends help no one while getting a blowjob.
- Latex pants will really slow down a decent escape.
- Private Number is an asshole.
Year of Release: 2011
IMDB Rating: 2.9 / 10
Level of Awful: Requires Post-Film Lobotomy
And then there was this crock of shit. Even if me and my team hadn’t been high on caffeine, nicotine, sugar and saturated fats, even if we hadn’t been watching movies for over 13 hours, and even if we had been in the mood to watch a movie that would make us rather have Pinhead do what he felt like to us rather than be forced to watch it, EVEN THEN we would not have been prepared for Revelations. Dimension made this so that they wouldn’t lose the rights to the franchise you say? IF THEY MADE THIS THEY DON’T DESERVE THE FRANCHISE!! Right, that’s my little rant over 🙂 But seriously, don’t watch this, it’s crap.
So Steve and Nico are best friends who, like many other spoiled American teenagers, just feel that mommy and daddy don’t really understand them and that they need to get away from it all for a bit. They decide to road trip down to Mexico for a bit of fun, a few drinks and one or two prostitutes here and there. It’s all harmless fun really, at least until the two go missing one day.
A year passes by and still no one’s heard from the boys. Back home their respective parents are worried sick, and Steven’s sister Emma makes Kirsty seem like a Nobel Prize laureate. You know those mouth breathers who drag out the last syllable of every word? Yeah, she’s one of those. Emma, sadly, looks to be the brains of this little outfit and, whilst rummaging through her brother’s room and finding his video camera, learns that her boyfriend (Nico) casually murdered a hooker while banging her in a bathroom. What ever is a distraught and mournful girl to do? Seduce Nico’s dad in front of his mother, that’s what!
But she’s not gonna do any of that before she plays with the Lament Configuration in her brother’s bag, which shoots a blood-covered Steven back into our dimension. Following this secrets are revealed, the movie will try and shock us with things like incest, shotguns and couches covered in a horrendous floral print, there’s a showdown of some sort, Pinhead (who apparently has really let himself go in recent years) will pace back and forth in someone’s garage while stringing together incomprehensible sentences, families will be drawn into the garage / Hell and, if you’re fortunate enough to make it through all of that, the movie will end. You will never be the same and will be sorely tempted to throw heavy objects at the TV, but it will all be over and you can go on with your life.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Tijuana is now pronounced ‘Teechwaaana’ (with the ‘ch’ making the sound it does in German).
- Tijauna / Teechwaaana is located somewhere in Mexicamerica.
- Pinhead now has a five-head.
- Pinhead does an amazing duck face.
- It’s only ever a bad lie if it’s a filthy, filthy, lice-infested hobo lie.
- It’s rare to see a plot that thickens with whore juice.
We were doing so well up until Revelations, which really just pushed us completely over the edge. 5 more minutes and there would have been a Lord of the Flies situation on our hands. That aside, this marathon rocked. On the whole the franchise is really strong if you consider that (in our collective opinion at least) only 2 out of the 9 movies were actually bad, and only 1 out of those 2 was abysmal. Compared to many other franchises, which tend to start out strong and then slowly go down hill, this really is quite something.
And then there’s Pinhead. I’ve never really been that invested in the Hellraiser movies so I didn’t know that much about the franchise’s main antagonist until this marathon, but he truly is a god amongst movie killers. What I liked so much about him is that he’s intelligent; unlike many other killers from movies that came out around the same time as the original Hellraiser, Pinhead isn’t some brute out on a rampage. He’s an articulate, highly intelligent creature that operates within very well-marked boundaries. If you open the Lament Configuration you’ve made a deal, and that’s all there is to it. At the risk of sounding like a highly deranged individual, the methods of killing his victims are also just plain awesome. Yes, Jason has the machete and yes, Freddy has the knife glove, but the chains and sheer calm brutality that Pinhead uses are what really make him a terrifying figure. And that’s just one (albeit the most important) Cenobite. Looking at his lackies and seeing what has been done to them makes the viewer wonder which is worse: suffering an agonising death at the hands of the Cenobites, or suffering an agonising eternity by becoming one of them.
And now, for the part we’ve all been waiting for, the death and breast counts. In total, the 9 movies gave us roughly (Stygian Mole did his best, but sometimes the deaths were just coming too hard and too fast to keep track) 579 kills. Whilst this is truly impressive, they’re spread very unevenly, and around 400 of those took place in the 3rd movie alone. When it comes to breasts we didn’t do so well (much to The Occult Specialist’s disappointment, since I had made him the official Breast Counter for the evening) with a total of 22 across the whole franchise, most of them coming in the later movies. This gives us a final death-to-breast ratio of 26.3:1
I loved this franchise, and I now rank some of these films as my best of all time. We will now return to our regularly scheduled programming, but I must give a huge shout out to my team, without whom these marathons would not be possible, and an equally big shout out to all the people who tweeted us and helped keep us sane throughout the process. Follow us on Twitter to see what madness we’ll take on next! Until next time 🙂
BUY THE HELLRAISER MOVIES AT AMAZON.COM
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Well, um, uh, the thing is you see… Actually, I have no idea. I guess when the movie’s title is Vampire Whores From Space, that’s kind of the whole point. I rounded up the entire Movie Marathon crew for this and for the next 75 minutes we all huddled in Tropical Mary‘s lounge staring at the TV in an alternating state of confusion, disgust, shock and disbelief. Clearly made with a handheld video camera by 4 or 5 friends (and let’s not forget the original music by Pinky Gutterwhore), this film was utterly atrocious. I’m not sure what I was expecting but I’m still a little fragile after watching it. It’s also the first movie I’ve ever reviewed where I don’t have any Life’s Lessons Learned because, to be quite honest, I didn’t have the foggiest clue what was going on at any stage of the movie. Read on and you’ll see why.
This unrelenting pile of crap begins with a news report (filmed with a white sheet as the backdrop) where a field reporter is out investigating the claims of a redneck something or other that the fields are alive with the sound of intergalactic vampire whores. Said redneck something or other and a friend of his may very well in fact have discussed this with the reporter but, since the guy in charge of handling the mic just couldn’t be bothered to move two feet forward, we’re just never going to know. Despite the fact that the redneck has already seen the vampire whores (or maybe this is a flashback, I’m not sure) we suddenly are given a glimpse of Dracula’s mistress’s ship crashing into a forest. My bet is that it took 99.9% of the film’s budget to get someone to animate the ship for the 30 seconds it’s on the screen. Surviving the horrendous crash a posse of the ugliest whores you’ve ever seen emerges from the wreckage and, armed only with their fangs and the word ‘suck’, they’re ready to drain the blood of every single person in town (which you never see).
After the crash landing we are violently thrown into an intense scene where a man with the IQ of a hotdog bun decides to take his dog for a walk to investigate the strange thing that just fell out of the sky. You know something’s not quite right with him since he’s shouting to parents that clearly aren’t there and he’s never able to keep his dog on him for more than 3 seconds but, since he’s apparently the male lead in all of this, we’re gonna follow him anyway. Whilst out walking he bumps into some female whose hair is so greasy she could stock entire oil refineries with what’s coming off it. Immediately there’s some strange kind of bond formed between the two that I’m guessing was meant to be sexual magnetism but is really more like watching two five-year-olds fight over who baked the better mud pie. They’re attacked (and I use this word in its loosest sense) by the vampire whores but make a daring get away back home where they try to figure out how to stop the marauding and sexually promiscuous aliens.
Things weren’t good up until this point, but then the movie took a sudden and horrifying turn for the worse. Ignoring the vampire whores for the greater part of the movie we are introduced to the chief of police (who looks like he’s 12) out in the forest digging up a dead body. Chances are being the chief of police would help you cover up this crime if only you didn’t stop whenever you saw another human being along the road, get out of the car, and tell them what it is you’re doing. Hot Dog Brain at one point gets his Grease Monkey pregnant and performs a back alley abortion and she spews out a very small pig (no really, it’s actually a pig). Grease Monkey develops some kind of oozing rash on her ass (which we’re told tastes funny), but whether or not she ever overcomes this particular obstacle remains a mystery. The FBI become involved in the investigation and then die at the hands (or fangs) of the vampire whores. The vampire whores’ pimp rocks up and challenges everyone to a dance off to see which species will become the all-powerful overlords of the known universe. The dance scene that follows presents us with absolute proof that the human species has no right to be at the top of the food chain. Some more stuff happens, and then it ends.
With all this insanity in mind I’d also like to point out that for the greater part of the movie the film crew is highly visible and I’m fairly sure that some of the scenes were recorded on something similar to a Blackberry’s camera. I have no words.
VAMPIRE WHORES FROM OUTER SPACE TRAILER
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
When myself and Tropical Mary get together for a movie night you know we’re gonna go hard hard h-h-h-hard. Throw in a Stygian Mole and the party’s never gonna stop! Since we were in such a hardcore partying mood Rave to the Grave was just a logical choice for the evening’s first movie 😉 Admittedly I haven’t seen the other Return of the Living Dead movies for about 10 years so, if there was any link to the earlier movies floating around in here, I didn’t know about it. I doubt that this is important since this movie has enough of its own daft silliness to distract you. Prepare yourself for brain-hungry zombies, zombie juice, zombie drugs and Krispy Kreme obsessed Interpol agents!
It’s good to see that the black market is still alive and thriving, and now’s as good a time as any to invest in barrels of Trioxin 5. The particularly powerful toxic agent turns people into zombies hungry for brains and there are a number of (presumably) Russians who want to get their hands on it to make sure that no one else is accidentally turned into a member of the walking dead. Thankfully an Eric Roberts look-alike just happens to have a few in his possession and is happy to sell them off if the price is right. The Russians, of course, are a practical people and have acquired the use of a morgue to do a little test run to see if the Trioxin is the genuine product. Four corpses later it turns out that the Trioxin really does work and one of the Russians, the Eric Roberts look-alike and a doctor of questionable morals lands up being broken open for brain snacks.
But too many Russians can make a movie a bit too serious, so we need to take this in a different direction. Off at college Jenny, Julian, Cody and Becky are planning a little rave for Halloween. Julian’s the nephew of the Eric Roberts look-alike and suffers from 3 and a half minutes of intense grief when he finds out about his dear uncle’s untimely death. While raiding the attic at the uncle’s house he discovers a very poorly concealed room behind a very poorly constructed false wall. In the room he comes across the barrels of Trioxin and takes it to Cody to be tested. When our DJ of the Asian persuasion samples a little of the strange contents and goes on a little trip Cody decides to drain the barrel and turn it into a drug to make a little extra cash. This, despite the fact that they have no idea what’s in the barrel, the barrel is military issue, it has a biohazard sign on it and a digital lock. These can’t possibly be warning signs after all…
Admittedly the Trioxin tablets, known as ‘Z’ to the hip druggie kids on the street, do send people on quite a trip when taken in small doses. Unfortunately, in the long run, it has the unpleasant side effect of turning the user into a walking corpse with a taste for brains. The transformation happens faster when the dosage is increased. Since raves are not the drug-free and safe-sex haven that some of us believe them to be a rather sizeable portion of the assembled party goers begins to turn and start looking for their next batch of brain noms. Human skulls seem to be reasonably simple to open so the zombies just go nuts and, since its Halloween, everyone else just thinks it’s awesome makeup until it’s too late. It’ll take everything Julian, Jenny and two Interpol agents dressed as lady vikings have in them to bring this terrible outbreak to an end.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Women are prone to driving their cars into their swimming pools.
- Drunk college kids are not overly different to lemmings running off a cliff.
- Fivety-five is now considered a legitimate number.
- If you can’t trust you’re drug dealer you can’t trust anyone.
- Dragons are getting tighter.
- Brains are now located in the penis.
- Pieces of skull and a clump of hair counts as zombie roughage.
- The brain and the ear have major arteries running through them.
- The human skull has a little trapdoor at the back for easy brain access.
RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD: RAVE TO THE GRAVE TRAILER
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Wasn’t sure that the Breast-O-Meter was actually going to be able to handle this movie. The many rats and hamsters that keep the machine going were just about to give up on life but thankfully the movie ended just before their little hearts could give out. It really was just 85 minutes of boobs and breasts and jugs, oh my! In amongst this breast-induced haze I do seem to recall that there was some form of a plot tying all these breasts together, although to be honest you really can’t expect an awful lot from a movie with Comic Sans credits.
Alright, let me see if I can remember how to put the pieces of this movie back together. The movie begins with two fools looking for a party that some random female invited them to in a neon house on the top of a suburban hill. Despite the fact that they are the only guests, the neon house is creepy as hell and it has a butler that can’t speak, walks funny and is wearing a leather mask, the two go against their better judgement in the hopes of having sexual relations with a woman that evening. The one guy seems to have some semblance of a brain and insists that they don’t eat or drink anything they’re offered, but when a foursome of buxom women offer to take them into a dungeon all common sense goes out the window. These women are witches and for the life of me I can’t remember the names of the three lesser ones. I do remember that they are led by a woman named Auriana, the breastiest witch of all. As they say, one thing lead to another that night and before the men knew it their heads had been ripped off their bodies and burned as an offering to some malevolent being.
Now of course there’s a very clever reason for all the beheadings going on. This particular coven of witches is dedicated to the worship of a very unspecific and vague anti-God and they need to sacrifice 666 souls to him. The deadline for the sacrifices? Halloween (aka All Hallow’s Eve, aka The Devil’s Night). See? I told you the people behind this movie were clever. So now the witches need an extra clever and subtle way to lure people into their dungeon to sacrifice to this Grey Lord. They decide to go for the most obvious solution and open a very loud strip club called Sin n Skin with a very angry bitch at the door and a very classy clientele of Hell’s Angels rejects. Now in this club there are many, many breasts of varying sizes and silicone content, but the very best incident comes when a policeman goes undercover and tries to arrest one of the witches for prostitution. Not one to go down lightly (pun intended) she rips the man’s arm off and beats him to death with it. Auriana is less than impressed because now the man can’t be sacrificed (something about quality standards) but young witches do tend to get carried away, so you can’t stay mad forever.
Now the plotline that’s desperately trying to hold this movie together like a pair of elastic pants involves Damian (I think) and Eliza and their two friends whose names also escape me. Whatever their names are Damian (?) and Eliza have been together for a while and Eliza’s pissed that Damian’s been going to Sin n Skin. The only obvious solution to this is for Damian to drag Eliza to Sin n Skin and show her just how classy a place it is. Damian’s buddy (possibly one of the biggest douchebags horror has yet to produce) and Eliza’s friend tag along for the ride. Once they get there one of the witch strippers is on the pole and her and Eliza connect in an otherworldly way involving flashbacks that make no sense and are never explained. After the show the four are invited back to the neon house for a party and the beginning of the movie basically runs through itself again, just with different people. Will the four survive? Well, I can’t tell you that. But know this: THERE WILL BE BREASTS!
As a final thought, one of the best parts of this movie involves a cameo by Ron Jeremy as a bible salesman called Craven Moorehead. Craven Moorhead. See? Really clever and witty people were involved in the making of this movie.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Following a beheading witches will often make out with the head.
- A real man is always prepared to knock on a door.
- Real men enjoy beer, chicken and porn before noon.
- ‘Hgrrrrrrrrr’ has a wide variety of meanings.
- Witches have kaleidoscope vision.
- A good Satanic chant requires excessive breast fondling.
- Strip clubs are notorious for doubling up as witches’ covens.
- Satanic sacrifices come with a lot of rules and regulations.
- Some people just aren’t paid enough to be torn apart in a Satanic ritual.
- Witches have an amazing false prophet radar.
WITCH’S SABBATH TRAILER
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Welcome to the second instalment of You Broke It: 3 Trilogies That Went Awry. Today we’ll be looking at the third movie in the Urban Legends franchise, Bloody Mary. I chose this movie because it fit many of the same criteria as I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer in that, while the first two Urban Legends movies were not directly linked, this movie takes the story down a completely different track and completely abandons its predecessors’ slasher elements in favour of being a ghost story. I would also like to state from the get-go that, despite the title, the Bloody Mary myth is used very loosely and only as a means of justifying adding this movie to the franchise.
To begin our story we need to go back in time to the summer of ’69, albeit a far more tragic version than the one Bryan Adams has been describing for all these years. It’s the local high school’s homecoming celebration (admittedly, living in South Africa, I have no clue how homecoming works or what it’s for) and Mary Banner just feels like the most important girl in the whole school. The alpha jock has decided to dump his bitch of a girlfriend Dawn and asks Mary to the dance, proving that every now and then the plain girl can get the guy. He even manages to hook Mary’s 2 best friends Gina and Grace up with two of his buddies so that they can all be a matching set. If only good things like this did happen to the plain girl. Seems like the boys and Dawn aren’t happy about the fact that Mary and Co. don’t worship the ground the walk on so they decide to drug the three girls and play a little prank on them. Mary, not having any of it, runs away and tries to find help. Unfortunately for her she lands up cornered in the basement and, while trying to escape, she trips and knocks her head on the table, killing her. Not wanting to go to jail the alpha jock takes her body and hides it in a trunk, where it has stayed ever since.
Flash forward to 2005 and history’s busy repeating itself, just this time it has the use of modern technology. Samantha works for the school newspaper and recently published an article debating whether footballers should be given good grades simply because they know how to run around a field and throw a ball to one another. The article is accompanied by a very unflattering photograph of three jocks in particular. When homecoming rolls round Sam and her two friends decide that they don’t want to go and instead stage a slumber party. The boys, upset at how their vast levels of intelligence have been insulted by Sam’s article, rock up in the middle of the night, give the girls some chloroform and stick them in a room in the old abandoned paper mill. Unlike the events of the summer of ’69, however, all of the girls make it out alive and, the scare aside, seem none the worse for wear and continue on with their lives. This is when things start to get a little bit strange.
Having shouted out the words ‘Bloody Mary’ three times during the slumber party (although not into a mirror or anything even mildly reflective) Sam and her friends have somehow managed to invoke the spirit of Mary Banner, and she’s pissed. Seeing this turn of events and Sam’s similar situation Mary decides that now is the time to take her revenge and kill those people involved in Sam’s kidnapping. It starts off with a simple homage to Aerobicide where one of the jocks is fried to a crisp in a sun tanning bed but gradually the attacks become more sinister and Mary’s ghost becomes angrier and angrier. What Sam and her twin brother David need to find out is why Mary has come back and why she has chosen this as her method of seeking revenge. With the help of Grace they will seek to uncover the truth about what happened all those years ago, but they will not seek to find out how Grace, a heavy stoner who hasn’t been outside her house in years, manages to get groceries and daily copies of the newspaper.
Some final thoughts on the matter. Like I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer this isn’t a terrible movie and, had it been released as a stand-alone film, would probably have been reasonably entertaining. It suffers from the fact that it tries to force the urban legend angle where it really doesn’t fit into the plot. The reference to Bloody Mary herself is only used so that the movie can in some way try to fit in with its predecessors and the murders using urban legends is in no way justified or explained. The use of newspaper clippings referring to the second Urban Legends movie, as well as a few recycled scenes, also fail to make this in any way a part of a continuous narrative. Whoever’s idea this was should hang their head in shame (just a little bit) for trying to sell a ghost story by piggy backing on two slasher films and hoping that nobody would notice. Because we did.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- To spike a hippie chick’s drink you need A LOT of rohypnol.
- Girls who assert their independence and opinions are doomed to a lonely, single life.
- Pillow fights are a great way for friends to sort out their issues.
- Some people just don’t see the funny side of being drugged and locked in a room.
- Alpha jocks can convince lesser jocks to do anything.
- Anyone who uses dial-up internet is high on crack.
- Ghosts always start out with a plan but God help you they devise a new one later on.
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