Director – Anthony Hickox
Cast – Terry Farrell, Doug Bradley, Kevin Bernhardt, Paula Marshall, Sharon Percival, Ken Carpenter, Peter Atkins, Clayton Hill, Ashley Laurence
Release Year – 1992
Reviewed by John of the Dead
To this day Hellraiser remains one of the genre’s most recognizable films, and because of that you can assume it comes along with a slew of sequels. One year after Hellraiser came Hellbound: Hellraiser II, and the sequels continued in 1992 with Hellraiser II: Hell on Earth. While this is inferior to both of its predecessors it still makes for a pretty cool watch for devout fans of Pinhead and the hell he brings.
In this film we follow Terri Ferrell as Joey Summerskill, an investigative reporter who witnesses a heinous crime involving dungeon-esque chains and an obvious supernatural element. Her investigation leads her to a night club where a young hotshot inadvertently unleashes Pinhead from an old archaic tomb he purchased. As Pinhead gains strength and begins to bring hell on Earth it is up to Joey to put a stop to his reign of terror.
Fans of the series should find some joy in this one. This was by far the cheesiest entry to date(at the time of its release), but gave viewers plenty of hell-raising action, something I always take as a positive.
The storyline is an odd one, and one that I really found some faults in. There were some elements of the plot, namely the flashback scenes, that I found to be a bit silly, and to make matters worse the execution of those scenes was pretty bad as well. Thankfully, the usage of Pinhead was pretty darn cool, and like always he stole the show in the end, and we get more usage of him as well in this flick compared to the previous entries(an unfair advantage sequels have). It is obvious that writer Peter Atkins(Hellbound: Hellraiser II, Wishmaster) focused heavily on Pinhead selling this film, and for the most part it worked. Sadly, the dialogue in this film continues the negatives involving the storyline, and also comes coupled with horrible acting as well.
So if the story is on the negative why does this get a borderline-positive 6-rating? Well, despite the direction coming off a bit shotty at times director Anthony Hickox(Waxwork) sure made this flick a fun film to watch. His cheesy direction came off fun and genre-esque during the action oriented scenes, and his usage of Pinhead was downright AWESOME, a big bravo to you Mr. Hickox. His execution during such scenes came with awesome visuals, sweet gore, and a soundtrack that mixed in a bit of classic metal with the usual stringed-instrument songs as well. As I mentioned earlier, his execution suffers a bit with the acting performances, but in the end if all you have is a bad slew of actors then all you have is a bad slew of actors.
Overall, this is a fun watch that will most likely only please fans of the Hellraiser series who love watching Pinhead do his thing. The storyline comes a bit “off”, but Hickox’s direction is fun enough to warrant a good time to those who know what to expect.