Pumpkinhead and Hell Raiser Sequels   April 24th, 2010

Originally Written 06/12/08

I heard about Stan Winston passing away from cancer. That’s a bummer, the industry has lost another pioneer. He’s done good work making creatures in so many movies I’ve enjoyed.

Coincidentally, Terry and I rented a few horror movies to hang out on Sunday night and relax after a hike. We weren’t expecting much, but Pumpkinhead (3): Ashes to Ashes was actually a surprisingly decent movie. It was a competent sequel that continued to theme of vengeance and being cursed by it, as well as expanding on the storyline of Ed Harley. They gave Lance Hendrickson some nice camera time in the film and it’s always fun to see him show up. As a bonus, Doug Bradley, the man who plays Pinhead, played one of the characters in this film, this time an evil but intelligent villain.

Stan Winston’s studio didn’t do the creature effects for Pumpkinhead that time, but the creature still looked good. There were some quick shots of poorly rendered CGI effects, but most of the monster’s scenes were done with a full suit, and they were good.

We also watched Pumpkinhead 4: Blood Feud which was done by the same studio and looked to be filmed at the same time. It was more of the same, this time centered around a re-telling of the Hatfield-McCoy feud. The story was the lesser of the two, but it was still a fun popcorn flick.

Finally, there was Hellraiser (6): Hellseeker. This one was pretty bad, as expected. Like the other latest movies, the plot was one which didn’t have anything to do with the original story, but the studio glommed on the Hellraiser angle to squeeze more money out of the franchise. They tried to have a tie-in with the Kirsty character from the first two films, which had one interesting scene to it, but otherwise it didn’t make much sense and wasn’t all that interesting.

The plot also tried to be mysterious and non-linear, but instead just came out as a mostly boring and confusing mess. It was similar in some ways to Hellraiser (5): Inferno, just not as good.

Other than poor writing and cliched ideas, the thing that bugs me about these sequels is that they suck a lot of the intrigue out of the original premise of the series. The first two Hellraiser movies were really cool and something different and unique. The third one was kind of campy, but still fun, then the fourth had Hellraiser in space and just sucked rocks, and it was all downhill from there.

The idea for the movies was the dark side of desire, not a biblical Hell. The original concept of the Cenobites was S&M culture turned up to 11, and it made for creepy, visceral and very unsettling horror. Now they’ve turned that into standard avenging demons punishing the wicked. Wrong! Pinhead doesn’t care about your sins, he just wants to play with those foolish enough to want to push boundaries to the extreme.

This entry was posted on Saturday, April 24th, 2010 at 7:23 am and is filed under Movies and TV. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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