Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Hellraiser (1987)

In the middish 1980s, several inattentive parents got upset when they learned that the horror movies their kids were watching had horror in them, so there was a huge backlash and Hollywood, to no one's surprise, caved immediately. This is the sole reason a cheap-looking crapfest like Hellraiser managed to be so popular. Sure, it sucked and made zero sense, but it was gory as hell (heh) and featured some light kinky sex, so at least it was firing on SOME cylinders, which is more than you can say for 1987's other big horror movie, Night of the Pussified Horseshit Part 10, in No-D.

The plot, in case you didn't know, concerns a Rubik's Cube knockoff (there were several at the time) that, when solved correctly, impales you with hooks, tears all your skin off, and then drags you to Hell. What happens if you solve it incorrectly? That's never made clear, but based on the evidence it can't possibly be good. The most recent fool to get the business from the cube manages to escape from Hell, but he needs blood to survive/not look like a life-size version of the Visible Man, so he convinces his brother's heinous, manly wife to lure men back to their pad so he can kill them. How a chick this fucking ugly manages to lure any guy anywhere is perplexing, and so is the fact that her husband never notices that an entire room in their smallish house has been wholly dedicated to murder, infidelity, and messy sex with a skinless zombie. Seriously, why doesn't he ever go in there? You'd think, at the very least, he'd be using that extra space for storage, or maybe to hit a jay on the sly. And, coming at it from the other end, what does zombie guy do when he needs to, say, take a shit? Does he have to hold it until his brother is asleep or out running an errand, or does he just go in the corner and leave it for the chick to clean up? Maybe she gets off on it. The whole setup is hardly sustainable, but it doesn't really matter because before too long Hell's cyberpunk S&M demons -- the "Cenobites" -- catch up to our degenerate fecalphiles and settle their hash for good.

Like I said, Hellraiser managed to impress at the time, but anyone watching it now is likely to be totally baffled. It looks surprisingly shoddy for a kinda-major movie, it's inexcusably predictable, and it seems to think it's breaking all these taboos when it's really just flailing around, making a damned fool of itself. It is gory though, so if that's all you're after, have at you. Followed by nine million sequels.
For more no-nonsense reviews, check out my latest book, Shark Weak: The Worst Shark Movies Ever Made, now available on Amazon. That's here.


  1. Love it! This is my first time visiting your site, I've only read your ebooks. You've joined the ranks of Jim Butcher and, well... that's it really. You and Jim Butcher's Dresden Files novels. The only two series I buy the second I realize there's a new one out. Just finished Shark. If you're ever in Florida, we need to have a drink.

    1. Excellent. Glad you're enjoying my brilliance. It's a shame you missed the original Mr. S site; I think I had over 1200 reviews there when I finally shut it down. Hopefully, most of those will be re-posted here on the blog as time permits.

      Oh, and you do know that I LIVE in Florida, right?

    2. Mr. S! What would Adrian say?

    3. Her tears will make excellent lubrication for the condom.