Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)

The first Hellraiser-movie is one of those movies that grow on you. I wasn't really fond of it the first time, but it's been a movie I've watched over and over again during the years and it get's better. But one movie that is actually better is Hellbound, the first sequel. It might not be more original, but it's a unique horror movie with some amazing visuals and a really cool story. It's set directly after the events in the first movie, and starts without any hesitation. The strongest part of the sequel is that the filmmakers directly expands the mythology of the cenobites and that hell/other dimension that they're coming from.

Pinhead has a bigger part here, of course, and hams it up together with his favorite friends Butterball, Female Cenobite and Shatterer. We're also getting a look at where they came from and some clues to their identities, which is a nice touch. But Pinhead is such a masterful character, a combination between a poet, philosopher and a serial killer. And it never becomes cliché (they saved that for part 3). Doug Bradley is probably the only actor I could see as Pinhead now, but if there's a new one I guess they want to reboot it completely... pity in away, but on the other hand, this is one of those series that needs a good reboot to feel fresh again.

I've never been fond of the small ounces of comedy that's in this movie. For example some of the patients at the hospital are more comic relief than scary och strange. It breaks the dark illusion for a while, but as we all know it's not that much. Because most of the time we're witnessing brutal acts of violence and a stunning vision of hell. Though the budget was much bigger here the effects and sets are very uneven. Some is even very bad. But the good stuff steals everything. Hell is a labyrinth with the god Leviathan in the middle. This is my favorite part of the movie, and I just love the idea of god as a huge diamond-shaped object pouring out black light and making strange deep sounds. It's so fucking mighty. 

The script had to be rewritten quickly, but I think that was only a good thing. Sure, we miss one of the most important characters from the first movie, but on the other hand: it gives more mystery to the story and makes the twist even more nasty and surprising. The biggest shame with this franchise is that they never returned to the new Cenobite again, Doctor Channard. The transformation of him and the creation of the new lead demon is really cool and that character deserved to be resurrected for another sequel. Never happen, so I guess I have to walk through life without him. Shitty life.

Hellbound is a masterpiece. It's one of the coolest, most radical and weirdest horror movies from the eighties and I think it will last forever. One of those movies that never will die.

1 comment:

mamoulian said...

Top review! I agree completely - Hellbound was the first Pinhead-film I saw (cut to pieces and all that) and it is clearly better than its predecessor Hellraiser... If I could mention only my 5 top horror films, this would definately qualify! And, by the way, Chris Young has once again produced a marvellous score for this one... And I assume you already know what morse code Leviathan is sending us... ;-)