Monster Crap Inductee: Hellraiser: Bloodline
The Death Of The Hellraiser Franchise Being Taken Seriously
Well, thanks to your voting……I will not be able to do the usual January induction of the GINO Award Winner since the winning film The Oogieloves in The Big Balloon Adventure, is not going to be on DVD through Netflix until February so I had to find a film in the meantime (thanks to NegaSeth) and because of your votes, I am finally going to be able to induct a film that I have been wanting to induct for a while now.
You see, I liked the Hellraiser franchise. The first two films are perfect in their execution of being horrifying, creepy, and scary all at the same time. Then there was Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth which while very betraying of the plot from the original trailer and is not even close to as good as the first two, I don’t mind. And while many say that film killed the Hellraiser franchise from being taken seriously, I disagree wholeheartedly. The franchise was still able to be in theaters and if you want to know what did that, Hellraiser: Bloodline would be that film.
But before we get into why this film sucks so bad as to be the death nail in a franchise, let’s look at the acting in this film. To lead this film was Bruce Ramsey, whose only real known role was as one of the rugby players trying to survive in 1993’s Alive. Vallentina Vargas (who plays the female antagonist Angelique) was in this film because she is trilingual in Spanish, French, and English and it didn’t hurt that she was not bad on the eyes to look at. Kim Meyers (who plays the wife for our 1990s incarnation of our lead character) had her first role be her most recognizable as she was the female lead in A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge.
Yes, “The Gay One”
And of course everyone knows who Doug Bradley is because well, he is Pinhead. Yes, through every film in the Hellraiser Franchise (until Hellraiser: Revelations), he played Pinhead, the most recognizable of the bad guys (known as Cenobites). Heck, he even at times does the make-up for himself because he has been the character so long, he has been able to remember what parts to apply and remove to the character, so much so that he is credited on the make-up crew. But looking from his IMDB page, we are eventually going to be seeing a lot from Mr. Bradley because he has done a bunch of induction worthy films.
So let’s dive headfirst straight into Hell’s Gates and find out why Hellraiser was never the same after this entry.
Ah Dimension Films, A Company So Infamous For Their Rushed Out Sequels Just So They Can Keep The Rights To The Franchise. At Least This Film Was Before They Started Doing That…
We start this film with Pinhead in brief shots that looks like he was just turning the lights on and off, like a toddler would do.
Hurray……….It’s Our Title
Ah Yes……………Alan Smithee, Code For The Director Wanted His Name Taken Off This Film.
The actual director was makeup effects great Kevin Yahger in his only directorial film. That’s because while making the film, the studio decided to cut his film behind his back so he told them to take his name off the film and put in Alan Smithee. Why Alan Smithee………because that name that was used in credits when the actual director wants and successfully gets his name taken off the film. It has since gained mainstream attention and when that happens, no one wants to see your film so the Director’s Guild retired that name. But back to the film we are talking about.
Oh Yeah………….Silly Me, I Forgot To Mention That This Was The Film To Send Pinhead, A Creation From Hell, Into Outer Space. And Everyone Wonders Why I Said This Was The Death Of The Series Being Taken Seriously.
Anyway, this space station
Space Station Minos, So We’re Half Expecting A Space Version Of The Minotaur To Pop Up (Sadly, That Does Not Happen)
It has been abandoned by all, but one man.
Dr. Paul Merchant (Played By Bruce Ramsay, In One Of His Three Roles)
He has a nice little contraption where sealed in a vault is a robot (which he controls) with the well-known puzzle box known as the Lament Configuration.
Meanwhile, a ship comes in to arrest Dr. Merchant for pulling the stunt of making a false evacuation when there really wasn’t an emergency.
Paul is able to open the box and thanks to the seal, tap Pinhead and his Cenobite co-horts in the vault before getting arrested.
By The Way, Outdated CGI For The Win
Our Robot Friend Gets Blown Up
We learn that the woman who put the gun in Paul’s face is named Rimmer.
During interrogation of Paul by Rimmer, Paul explains why he did what he is trying to end the curse that has befallen his family centuries ago by destroying the box that his ancestor created. He then uses flashback to go back to his ancestor Phillip L’Merchant. He reveals that Phillip was a toymaker and was commissioned to build a box by Duc de L’Isle, a man obsessed with black magic.
Why Yes, That Is Bruce Ramsay In One Of Those Fake Wigs Many People Wore Back Then.
Of course, he and his pregnant wife Genevieve have an argument because he has to leave to deliver the box to Duc de L’Isle, and thinks that he will actually appreciate his work. He also believes that with the money from this commission, his soon to be son will be born in a better place like this. And if this is that age, they wouldn’t have any idea if it was a boy or girl because the technology to figure that stuff out was not invented yet. King Henry VIII kind of had that issue because he wanted a male heir and when the time for birth came, it was either stillborn or well, a girl. Anyway, Phillip heads out and takes the box to Duc de L’Isle.
Meanwhile, Duc de L’Isle and his servant Jacques have brought a peasant girl to have dinner with the Duc.
There Duc and Jacques tie her to a table under false pretenses of playing a game and Jacques strangles her.
Phillip delivers the box, but is suspicious of Duc’s intentions. So he peeks out the window and sees them hang her skin by chains
Then via black magic, he resurrects the peasant girl into the demon Angelique.
Of course, there is definitely a rule now that a summoned demon is yours to command “unless you stand in Hell’s way”. Phillip tells his friend Auguste what he saw and Auguste doesn’t believe him, giving this long spiel how things have changed in the 18th Century as the world is ruled by reason. Heck, they even got rid of God so if there is no God or heaven, there can be no Hell. I would call bullshit on that, but I looked it up and sadly atheism began in the 18th Century so yeah. Although I do believe that in 18th Century France…………many believed in God. But if it is true, then the gates must be closed and since Duc & Jacques have no interest in closing them, then it is up to Phillip to steal the box and close those gates.
Phillip breaks into the mansion and finds Duc de L’Isle………….dead at the hands of his servant Jacques, who has betrayed him so he could have sex with Angelique.
Phillip tries to steal the box, but thanks to some last second life given by Duc………..Phillip is discovered and killed. By the way, Angelique does have the voice of Pinhead which was a freaking mistake since Pinhead as shown in Hellraiser III, was not created until the 1920s. Genevieve comes in time to see Phillip to his death, but is able to escape and no one closes the doorway to hell. Major problem….since no one closed the box, Hellraiser I, II, & III cannot be in continuity, which means Pinhead cannot be in continuity. Of course, they do fix that in saying that the box that Phillip made was only able to open the door to hell for one demon (still stupid since the puzzle box in the other films opened the door for several Cenobites). After some words from Paul from the Future, we go to 1996, where John Merchant is having a nightmare involving Angelique.
Once Again Played By Bruce Ramsay
We also meet his wife Bobbi.
Played By Kim Myers of Nightmare On Elm Street 2 Fame
They also have a son named Jack.
This Little Guy Look Familiar, Just Wait Until After Film To Get The Reveal
At the table, Bobbi is worried about John having these dreams. He is not sure how good he is and his wife snaps him out of that by showing that yeah, if you aren’t good, why in the hell would you be on the cover of the magazine called Architectural Époque with the headline John Merchant: Insight In Share Perspective.
In 1996 Paris….
Angelique sees that L’Merchant has been resurrected as John Merchant. Angelique says that she is restless and wants to go to America. Of course, Jacques has also survived for 200 years thanks to her and he says no. Jacques……you may be able to control her, but there is that special clause that says you control the summoned demon “unless you get in Hell’s way”. Well, you got in Hell’s way of getting the Merchant bloodline to open up the gateway to Hell permanently so….
Meanwhile in New York City….
New York City??!!!
Yes, New York City.
At The Building That Was Being Built In Hellraiser III
John Merchant receives an award from the architectural community for his work, which looking at this place….
I Tend To Call Bullshit
While giving a speech, John notices that…
The Woman From His Nightmares Is There.
This really causes John to be off his game at the acceptance speech so he leaves. Angelique sees the toymaker leaving and then decides she needs to do some things so she hits on a fat guy who she takes to the basement. She has him close her eyes and if you have not guessed it from Hellraiser III, the fucking Lament Configuration is in the fucking building although technically the lead female from that film buried it so how the hell it is in a column is anyone’s guess. She then has this fat guy play with it and steals Pinhead’s line by saying “She has such sights to show him”. He finishes the box and is of course killed.
Out from a hole in the wall that the fat guy was dragged into comes Pinhead.
Hi Pinhead, I See You Are Your Jolly Old Self Today
Oh and somehow despite being alive through the 18th Century and Pinhead only being born until the 1920s, these two somehow know each other very well. Well, Pinhead knows her so I guess that makes sense and of course…..Angelique is a princess according to Pinhead and that Hell has been more ordered since her time. Oh yeah and apparently it is much less amusing. While Angelique says that Merchant intends to end them all, Pinhead disagrees and says that this is not a room, it is a holocaust waiting to be awakened.
This Is Why Kids Pinhead Is Made The Lead Cenobite & For Most Of The Films, Doug Bradley Gets Paid To Return As Him. He Is Awesome In His Lines.
During a tour Angelique takes with John (she meets him and John feels like he knows her, you know the usual shit that would get you a tour based on this film), he reveals the device he was planning on making in this building.
Of Course We Know It As The Device That Would Close The Gates Of Hell Permanently But He Doesn’t. He Is Only Compelled To Build It Because That Design Was In His Family For Hundreds Of Years.
He of course shows her his design which is a set of mirrors that could permanently open or permanently close hell (he doesn’t know that of course, but she sure as hell does). Angelique of course tries to hit on him, but John (knowing now who she is and knowing his past) puts the halt on that.
That night, John has a dream about fucking Angelique and gets awakened by the phone ringing. The phone call is from Angelique who wants to see him. Meanwhile Pinhead talks to his beast dog (yes he has one, why don’t you?) about being impatient with Angelique. Two twin security guards hear this and decide to go into a room that is not on their charts.
They’re Male Twins…………Get Your Head Out Of The Gutter, Unless You Are Female Which In That Case……..By All Means.
Of course, Pinhead tells Angelique her true beauty cannot be shown by the mirrors and in her human form, but Pinhead can smell it. Of course while they are talking the two security guards come in and the two quickly captures them. What follows next is the stuff that the Saw series would blush at.
Basically the two are bound and gagged by chains, having their faces each covered by half a skull and the other half being contorted by a machine that acts like what a curling iron would do to your hair. They also get sharp claws stabbing their backs and replacing the red blood liquid with some kind of blue blood.
Pinhead then forms a plan of making sure that Merchant does what they want him to do with the threat of pain towards his child. Then they kidnap the kid while the mother does laundry. The mother finds him, but also finds Pinhead as well who wants live bait. So……he kidnaps them both and leaves a message in the form of the magazine with his face on the cover stuck to the wall with a butcher knife.
John comes back to the building after getting the message at the house to finally meet Pinhead.
And His “Dog”
Pinhead then tells him that what he wants is for him to finish what his ancestors started with the box and would like for him to permanently open the path to hell so Pinhead can in and out of our world as he so pleases. Bobbi and Jack are able to escape and Bobbi is able to grab the box, forcing the dog to go back to his world.
But Jack gets captured by Angelique and is forced to try and create the permanent gateway. John tries with his design, but it is a failure so Pinhead decides to kill him.
You Would Think People Would Learn By Now Not To Fuck With Pinhead
Bobbi comes in and uses the Lament Configuration to send both Pinhead and Angelique back to hell.
After that story, we got back to the space station as Paul is finishing his story. He then says that his blood through his dreams is telling him to undo the damage his ancestor L’Merchant had done. Paul then shows how he summoned the demons which we all already saw, but was unable to complete the process of eliminating them thanks to his arrest. We also now learn that Paul also needed a solar alignment to eliminate these demons and he only has 23 minutes until the alignment is finished.
One of the men Parker opens the vault because he hears a boy crying (even though we all know it’s Pinhead since he can mask his voice (one of the things foreshadowed in the 1996 part of the film)). Then the Cenobites kill him by ripping off his face and then stabbing him in the crown of his head.
This Is A Horror Movie. Of Course The Black Guy Died
We then meet the three Cenobites as they look over Paul’s collection of family heirlooms.
Then the guy named Carducci comes out as it is his turn to die. He gets tricked by a mirror and loses his head.
Then it is Chamberlain’s turn to die.
After hearing Chamberlain’s screams, Rimmer agrees to help Paul complete his mission to defeat the Cenobites. Then the leader gets his thanks to the Cenobites who were once the twin security guards as they split and join back together with the leader in the middle.
Pinhead then confronts Paul as he is making the final preparations. Pinhead admits that Paul’s bloodline has proven quite worthy opponents. Then Pinhead boasts about his plans for Earth as Paul runs. He tells Rimmer to go…..
Like A Rapper??
Rimmer doesn’t want to leave Paul by himself, but Paul says that he has one more thing to do and to trust him that he isn’t willing to sacrifice himself if he can help it. Rimmer gets chased by the beast dog, but is able to escape and is able to force the dog to explode thanks to exposing it to loads of space pressure.
Once again we see Paul confronting Pinhead and sadly for Pinhead……..he finds out that this Paul was actually a hologram because the real Paul is on the shuttle with Rimmer getting the hell out of there. The space station blows up and all of the Cenobites are dead.
Yes The Space Station Minos Was Just A Contraption To Make A Larger Lament Configuration
And Boom Goes The Dynamite
Paul Merchant & Rimmer head towards Earth in their spaceship as our movie ends.
Well since this was in theaters, I should say how this did. Well, I did say that this was the last time an entry in the Hellraiser franchise was in theaters so you should know that the movie did terribly in theaters. Although some people say it was better than Hellraiser III (I would disagree with them), it still was met with a litany of terrible reviews. The Hellraiser franchise was never taken seriously anymore and when a new film in the series was made, it was either straight to video when videos still mattered or straight to DVD in the current situation. Dimension keeps the franchise around because they want to make a remake (you know, because remakes are all the rage these days), but it will probably be a long time before that actually happens.
Now onto the cast. Kevin Yagher, as you know, disowned the film (using the Alan Smithee moniker instead) and basically went back to make up work and at this moment, hasn’t directed another film. Valentina Vargas (who played the Peasant Girl/Angelique has gone on to do TV roles. Adam Scott (who played Jacques) is playing Ben Wyatt in the NBC show Parks & Recreation. Courtland Mead (who played the kid) played Danny Torrence in the horrible TV mini-series remake of The Shining (although I personally am not a fan of the original Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining). Doug Bradley still makes money for the Hellraiser franchise until he told the people who rushed the movie Hellraiser Revelations to go fuck themselves and then he went on to be in the Wrong Turn franchise.
My opinion of this film is this film sucks. Say what you all want about Hellraiser III, but Bloodline was a bigger mess and a bigger piece of crap than III. The three different eras with the Merchant character have made many continuity flaws and did something no one needed, a reason for that damn box’s creation. The Lament Configuration’s origin was never fucking needed. It was a cursed box that could lead to a gateway to hell. Just keep it at that. The only bright spots were the effects were still good for the most part (baring the very bad CGI) and Doug Bradley proves why he should have been the only Pinhead ever.
Okay so with that done, NegaSeth…..what is our next induction?
Ah fuck you, you bastard. I know what the next induction is.
NegaSeth: Grrrrrrrrrr…….you’re going to regret doing that one.
Yeah, you blew your damn load with the Clash of the Titans remake so I don’t care.
NegaSeth: I’ll find something……..just you wait.
Anyway, the next induction will be the 2012 GINO Award Winner
An Acid Trip.