Saturday, October 22, 2016

Only now does it occur to me... HELLRAISER IV: BLOODLINE

Only now does it occur to me... that HELLRAISER IV: BLOODLINE wants to have its cake and eat it, too.  Particularly, it wants to have its "Let them eat cake"-cake, with extended 18th Century flashbacks that kinda feel like the ones in ANGEL, questionable accents and all:

Yes, that is PARKS & RECREATION's Adam Scott on the left.

It wants to have its James Cameron cake, too, with a frame story taking place in 2127 on a space-station shaped like a deconstructed Lament Configuration:

In case we didn't get the Cameron vibe completely, there are Space Marines:

T-800-lookin' robots:

and twin security guards, just like in TERMINATOR 2 (albeit under different circumstances):

HELLRAISER IV versus....


It wants to have its Brian de Palma cake:

Again, that's Adam Scott on the right-hand side of this De Palma shot, only now he's been transformed into a 90s yuppie.

Its "corporate thriller" cake":

Yes, that is a catered dinner in the lobby of a skyscraper that's been decorated to look like an enormous Lament Configuration.

Not to mention its John Carpenter cake:

(I can't believe they profaned Carpenter's favorite (Albertus) font with the Alan Smithee name!)

A lot of this schizophrenia probably has to do with the fact that Clive Barker's concept was gutted by studio budget cuts, and horror maestro Stuart Gordon dropped out. He was replaced by TALES FROM THE CRYPT's Kevin Yagher, who presided over what was supposedly a clusterfuck of a shoot, and then HALLOWEEN 666's Joe Chapelle was brought in to do studio ordered, Pinhead-centric reshoots after Yagher refused. (All of which ended with Yagher choosing to be credited as the infamous "Alan Smithee.")

In all, this is not a great movie––and it doesn't even have a song by Motörhead or a CD Cenobite, like in HELLRAISER III. Though I do appreciate the "in space!" aspect, also seen in JASON X, CRITTERS 4: THEY'RE INVADING YOUR SPACE, or LEPRECHAUN 4: IN SPACE.
 Doug Bradley, who'd rather be doing RICHARD III.

Christine Harnos, who you may remember from DAZED AND CONFUSED and as "Mark Greene's first wife" from ER.

Bruce Ramsay, who kinda looks like Jean-Claude Van Damme. But remember: there can only be one Jean-Claude Faux Damme!

Additionally, this was the last HELLRAISER film to be released theatrically, and I feel as if I've made an accurate assessment of its quality. Note: there are five more after this. And another one supposedly coming out next year. Whew!


Jack Thursby said...

Even though the film's a bit of a mess I've got to admire it's go-for-broke, everything and the kitchen sink approach.

Such a shame that after this film's epic scope the series devolved into quickie DTV flicks.

Sean Gill said...


It's certainly ambitious––and I must say I've not seen any of the HELLRAISERS beyond part 5 (which at least has James Remar going for it?), and don't really have immediate plans to. Er––I take that back––I have a morbid interest in part 7 thanks to Lance Henriksen.

gweeps said...

I'm going to rewatch some of the post-Hellraiser 2 sequels. I remember enjoying their griminess.