Your suffering will be legendary... even for Hollywood.

Spoiled, dissatisfied rich California boys run down to Tijuana for some action but instead find a) they're just unhappy punks in Mexico too and b) a rather tidy-looking vagrant who gives them a puzzle box guaranteed to thrill. Things go downhill from there, for all of us.

Hellraiser: Revelations (2010)
directed by Victor Garcia
written by Gary J. Tunnicliffe
starring Nick Eversman, Jay Gillespie, Tracey Fairaway, Stephan Smith Collins

How is it?
Well, considering this is the ninth movie and the fifth consecutive direct-to-video release of the franchise, had a budget of about $300,000, was publicly and fiercely disavowed/disowned by Clive Barker, and did not feature Doug Bradley as Pinhead... you would be safe in assuming the answer is "Not too good."

The Players
As I often say, I'm sure they did the best they could with the script they had to work with. As an actor myself, I always try to give that when I can instead of disparaging the efforts of others. The acting was mostly decent... ish, mostly... kindasorta. It's just that the actors really didn't matter, not for this movie. You will find out way in a moment.

Behind the Camera
The company that owns the rights to Hellraiser had to make a movie because the rights were about to expire, and they wanted to do just enough to extend them. (That's what I read anyway.) So they scraped together some petty cash, had the former make-up effects guy of the previous DVD releases write up a script, and got a director, and viola! A movie is born. Yes, this movie was born simply to ensure they could make another Hellraiser movie later. So that's the background. Now on to the dissection.

The script's just a mess. It was overlong, had stilted dialogue in most scenes, featured genuinely unsympathetic characters that did some of the dumbest things, and it just didn't have a sense of pace. The Hellraiser universe is full of possibilities, but it gets hung up on the inability of most of Hollywood to be brave and try something different. Instead they just keep going back to the trough, the same old twists and turns and other known quantities, and calling it "new". There was nothing new done with what could have been an interesting story.

The directing was confusing. The framing and lighting of whatever action was going on on-screen was sometimes quite competent, even interesting here and there. Other times it was flat, bland, noticeably different. It made me ponder the hazards of second unit shooting on a shoestring budget and a short shooting schedule. (That's just a guess.) I have plenty of questions as to why Garcia made or allowed the actors to make certain performance decisions, though I suspect that again the script is the primary culprit there. Or time maybe constraints. Or maybe nobody in it really cared enough, given the miniscule budget and all.

I might ought not be, but I'll be generous and say everyone did the best they could with what they had to work with, which was a production company that wanted to spend as little money as humanly possible on a direct-to-video release so they could legally keep the rights to a franchise. I'll leave it at that.

The Verdict
It's genuinely saddening to see a legendary franchise actually hit the bottom the way Hellraiser has. This movie was made without a care in the world about whether or not it was any good or even decent. It was just business, the worst reason of all to make it, in my opinion.

And... Doug Bradley is Pinhead. Accept no substitutes.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely agreed about Doug Bradley being the ONLY Pinhead.

    I heard the same story about production rights, and it's frustrating to see the corpse of something I'm quite fond of dragged around for profit.