Monday, November 28, 2011
Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996) / Hellraiser: Inferno (2000) / Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002) / Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005)
One, Two, Skip a Few; Screw the Seventh Film in the Series!
I've never really subjected myself to the straight to video Hellraiser films because it seemed like there was always a new one coming out in the early 2000's. Sure, Bloodline was a theatrical film and the final nail in the theatrical coffin for Pinhead and the Cenobites. Upon seeing this release by Echo Bridge hitting the stores, I searched out and found this release for $10 and figured; "Eh, why not?"
This Blu-ray release contains the fourth, fifth, sixth, and eighth film in the Hellraiser series. One question that has been on my mind is why they didn't either include the third or seventh film in the Hellraiser series since Echo Bridge has the rights to these films from the Filmyard/Miramax library. Again, another thing that puzzles me is that why didn't Lionsgate take interest in getting the rights to Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth? Surely, if Echo Bridge was going to put together an four-in-one Blu-ray, surely they would take full advantage and the interest of Pinhead fans and putting Hell On Earth on the disc to make this disc really worth the $10. And it also makes no sense that they skipped the seventh film, Hellraiser: Deader, for the eighth entry; Hellraiser: Hellworld.
Hellraiser: Bloodline is an origin story dealing with the creation of Lament Configuration and the span of three generations of the family who created the puzzle. The first generation spans around the time frame of 1600 to 1800's. And we essentially see who Pinhead was and another one of his Cenobites origins. The second generation spans in modern time with descent of the Lament Configuration's creator. We see some neat Cenobites come into play which will finally be in the final act which is the future and Pinhead in space.
Ultimately, the film is probably my least favorite in this collection. Always putting a super-natural/villain into space has always been a downfall; like "Jason X". With the same actor portraying his generations takes it a bit on the cheesy side of the film. If we were going to have an actor to do this portrayal, they should have gotten a much better actor for the role. Film scores a 2.5/5.
Bloodline is presented in an okay 1080p transfer. I want to say that this probably another compressed down transfer that's different from the Single and Double feature release containing this film. There's print damage that pops up here and there and the video feels pretty weak. Considering that this film was shot on film, we couldn't possibly get a remaster with this? Video scores a 2.5/5. The audio presentation on this disc is most likely the same on others since they didn't change the audio on From Dusk Till Dawn's different releases. The audio is fair and I feel it deserves a 3/5.
Hellraiser: Inferno. To sum this film, if this weren't a Hellraiser film, it would be a lot better. I'm sure most fans of Pinhead know that the lead Cenobite is barely in this film. A child has gone missing and a crooked detective puts himself on the case only to get more than he bargained for as a person known as "The Engineer" is the one who has taken the child.
I give this film a 3/5 and if this wasn't a Hellraiser film, I'd give it a higher recommendation. In a Hellraiser film, we want Pinhead, Pinhead, and more Pinhead. With Pinhead barely in the film, it feels like you're being ripped off.
Presented in a rough and inconsistent 1080i transfer and again, probably an HDTV master for the film, which is what all these Echo Bridge releases seem like. Upon comparing screenshots of the Multi-Feature and the Double Feature, this version is a compressed down version of that transfer. Due to the compression, I have to give this a dismal 1.5/5. And again, I am sure the audio presentation is the same from the Double Feature. I give the audio a 2.5/5.
Hellraiser: Hellseeker. The sixth entry of the series stars Ashley Laurence from the original Hellraiser trilogy. In this entry, her husband (Dean Winters, of the "All State" Commercials) is believes that his wife didn't drown in the car crash they were in. When he discovers the Lament Configuration, his world turns upside down as he reaches his way closer to the truth.
I feel this one deserves a 3/5. At times it feels slow, but at the same time, I also feel that this is a somewhat recycled version of Hellraiser: Inferno. It seems to have that same theme going for it with trying to uncover the truth. But Pinhead is in it a lot more than he was in the fifth entry, but at the same time, I wish he was in it more than he was.
Presented in it's OAR of 1.85:1, Hellraiser: Hellseeker debuts with a somewhat all right transfer. It doesn't seem as bad as Inferno, but I think it's probably a tad better than the Hellworld transfer. I feel that Hellseeker deserves a 3/5. Audio again, decent, 2.5/5.
Hellraiser: Hellworld, the final chapter until Harvey Weinstein produced the newest latest Hellraiser that was is Doug Bradley-less. Bradley's final outing as Pinhead is somewhat a satisfying farewell to the actor's departing of the series. In this entry, Hellraiser goes online with a World of Warcraft-esque game where gamers take their love a little far when a player is found dead. Upon going to the funeral, the player's friends are invited to a "Hellworld Party" where players can meet and have their own "Pleasures". One by one, each of them meet their end by Pinhead and his Cenobites.
Sure, what I just wrote above sounds interesting, but once we hit the twist at the end; the film crashes and burns. I came real close to just shutting the film off and just writing it off and leaving the last fifteen minutes alone. However, those final moments, did bring it back up for me and I was pleasantly surprised how they could rebound from that horrible plot twist. Movie scores a 3/5.
This 1080p transfer is inconsistent like the Hellraiser: Inferno transfer and I am sure this is more or less something that the DP had in mind with shooting the film. Shots switch back and forth from bright to freakin' dark. And this is a strong contrast between the shots. Also, the soft bright shots also become to overwhelming. Video scores a 2/5. And again, the audio is average, 2.5/5.
Movies: 2.5 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 2.875 = 3/5.
Video: 2.5 + 1.5 + 3 + 2 = 2.25 = 2.5/5.
Audio: 3 + 2.5 + 2.5 + 2.5 = 2.625 = 2.5/5
Overall: 3 + 2.5 + 2.5 = 8/4 = 2/5
With this release scoring a 2/5, for the price, I can recommend it. The debut of Hellseeker is pretty good; in comparison to the release of Full Tilt Boogie in that Multi-Feature. For $10, pick it up. It probably won't be worth it to track down the other releases with these titles in it.