Tag Archives: Asian Horror Movies

Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth

And this is where the Hellraiser series begins to fall flat. Bought by Miramax, an American company. Pinhead crosses the ocean and finds his feet on shaky ground in Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth. Claiming that “Hell has come to Earth,” this installment enters the club scene of New York in the early 90’s. (Or some such city…) With Clive Barker becoming a co-producer and a basis for the series, this is where the Jenga tower gets wobbly.

In this part of the series, Kirsty is no longer involved. She did her duty to send back the Cenobites to Hell and gains a well deserved rest. It is now her testimony on a couple of psychiatric tapes that give clues to the new main female protagonist of the film. Pinhead has been rent in twain and his former self as Captian Elliott Spencer and his id as Pinhead (both Doug Bradley as classically usual) are about to throw down. It is up to young reporter Joey Summerskill (Terry Farrell) to reunite the two.

This really was the best scene though. Yay sacrilege!

Basic plot? Here goes. J.P. Monroe (Kevin Bernhardt) is a pimpin’ playa hatin’ psycho club owner of the aptly named Boiler Room. (This club was incidentally the most expensive aspect of the production and was filled with cast, crew, and friends.) In order to exude this strangely masochistic feel, J.P. gets his hands on the pillar of souls from the last movie, containing Pinhead’s veracious killing streak. After sucking in one of J.P.’s sluts, Pinhead emerges, asking for more souls to release him from his prison.

J.P.'s pimpin' Pillar of Souls!

Meanwhile, Joey Summerskill is on the case! Like a modern day Nancy Drew, Joey walks the bad streets of her newly formed beat, somehow stumbling on this supernatural case of torture. With the chance meeting of J.P.’s main squeeze Terri (Paula Marshall). Once they discover the secrets of the Lament Configuration, things get weird. Although, Joey has been having some strange Vietnam flashbacks of her father dying in Vietnam. I don’t know the time frame on this movie, but I really am not seein’ it.

The bastardized Cenobites pull Joey's hair!

With a whole new crew of Cenobites (because all the originals died in the last movie, but come back in the fourth for no reason…), these rip-off cyborgs must be stopped at all costs and Pinhead must be stopped from his sacrilegious ways. I wasn’t so sure about the ending, but hey, this movie was the weak link.

I dunno about this movie, it was just strange overall. After having so much fun watching the first two, the third kind of burnt me out on the series. What makes the next one even better is a little secret about the director (I can’t wait to tell you all!). With Clive Barker as a backseat driver in this series from this point on, it makes it hard knowing he is not the driving force behind what’s going on onscreen. The acting became worse, I cared less about the characters, and the only good thing that came out of this one in the series was a bit more development with Pinhead’s character. Leave it to an American company to make a great horror series lame (insert every Asian horror movie and its destruction when turned into an American remake).

With that in mind, I am not disappointed with the Hellraiser series overall. This one had a bit less gore and animatronics, but just a bit. The kill scenes became comedic, and the Cenobites were bastardized American versions of Chatterbox, Butterball, and The Female. With the amount of over the top gore in this movie, I felt short changed. It gets a bit better in Bloodline, but not a whole lot. Hopefully the stride will be regained in 6… But I gotta give Hell on Earth less than 1 or 2, it’s a saddening 3.8 out of 10.

I will survive.

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Reincarnation (Frightened by a Doll)

So I watched this Asian Horror Movie gem late last night. And I mean late. Talkin’ 3 AM here. Not a good decision at all. From the D rating I would’ve given the DVD previews for movies from Lion’s Gate and After Dark Films, this looked headed straight for the “piss-poor” category. Wow, was I wrong.

Reincarnation, as it’s simple titled, is exactly what is says. This movie deals with reincarnation. Hardcore reincarnation. Like, if you were killed it a previous life and found out you were killed in a previous life, best bet’s that you’re gonna die in the next 90 minutes. The story revolves around the brutal murder-suicide of eleven people, 3 of a family and 8 hotel employees by a professor. Interesting they point out more it’s a professor than just a dad… But it’s not about the original killings. It’s about the movie that reenacts the brutal killings of 35 years ago. And these killings start happening again.

People in this movie die quite quickly. Usually a knife to the chest, low budget, insignificant death. And it’s not the people that you think. You know, the box synopsis suggest those who play the roles of the victims dies. But it’s more than that. Remember. Reincarnation. And as people die, which it seems like nobody notices, the main actor who portrays the young girl victim, Nagisa, is discovering more than she’d like by way of realistic flashbacks. And that’s not even the best part. You have to watch for the best part.

The best part of this movie is the scary-ass doll that is in literally half the movie. You think, “It’s alive. Clearly, it’s alive.” (You may be right.) But the way in which this thing goes down, will not let you sleep soundly, if at all. That thing takes the whole movie to the next level for me. I wasn’t scared at first, but Asians, master horror movie makers that they are were like, “Hmm, how can I make Ross poop his pants all the way over in America?” Here. Perfect. Evil doll. (This fear sparks from seeing Chucky wayyy too early in my life and being subjected to a Howdy Doody doll in my grandmother’s basement. That thing moves. Also, I don’t like midgets. They are living dolls.)

One of the best things about this movie is the way it comments on the horror movie industry. With movies like The Amityville Horror and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, does recreating a murder or otherworldly experience really bring about real experiences for the movie makers? The taboo of “Don’t dirty a dead man’s name” (Just made that up.) in a movie or go dancing on graves (Gravedancers, another quality Lion’s Gate feature.) really going to incur the wrath of those who are dead? Food for thought. And I thought this movie, based on scary effects and overall appeal of the acting and directing, deserves a solid 6 out of 10.

Ridiculously Scary Doll (Intense Opening)