Direct-to-Video queen Kari Wuhrer headlines as hard-edged reporter willing to risk life and limb for a story. Her editor sends her to Bucharest (your first hint of the pic’s minimal budget) to investigate a strange cult of people who call themselves “Deaders.” The members of this group appear to have died and been resurrected by the charismatic leader. Wuhrer descends into the underground, and reality goes all rubbery after she finds and opens a Lament Configuration, summoning Pinhead into h…r life.
The last half of the film is one series of “is it real or is it a hallucination” sequences after another. This pads out the running time, but doesn’t really move the story forward. The making-of featurette reveals that the script was originally not a Hellraiser story, and this is abundantly clear. Quoth one indignant viewer as I watched last night: “What does this have to do with Pinhead?” The gore is more funny than scary, the scenes of sexual debauchery are laughable, and the CGI chains are very obviously just that. That said, the film isn’t awful, just terminally mediocre.
The 5.1 sound is effective enough, with perfect clarity and solid surround elements. It is not, however, quite as big and spooky as one might hope. There aren’t enough creepy noises coming at you over your shoulder, or at least they aren’t quite loud enough. Still, the overall effect isn’t one to take much issue with.
The picture is more troublesome. Though the colours are good, and the blacks (usually) solid, but the image is soft, and the grain very noticeable. So let’s put it this way: the sound is better than the movie, but the video is a pretty near match – professional, but very blah.
This is not a movie that warranted TWO commentary tracks, but here they are. Director Rick Bota is joined on the first by Doug (Pinhead) Bradley, and on the other by make-up FX man Gary J. Tunnicliffe. The latter is more technical than the former, and the Bradley does get into the origins of the character. There are 11 deleted scenes with optional commentary by Bota, a much-better-than-average making-of featurette, three storyboard-to-screen comparisons, location scouting for six scenes, a gag reel (brief and not that funny), two informative FX featurettes, and a still gallery. Lots of stuff for an iffy film. The menu is basic.
The franchise is in desperate need of a transfusion (or euthenasia). There are worse horror movies out there, but there are far, far more these days that are so much better. Rent something Asian instead.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentaries
- Deleted Scenes with Optional Director’s Commentary
- Gag Reel
- Making-of Featurette
- FX and Practical FX Featurettes
- Storyboard-to-Screen Comparisons
- Location Scouting
- Still Gallery