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Hellbound: Hellraiser II

Film critic Roger Ebert (who is resembling a Cenobite more and more each day (sorry Rog)) summed up the plot of Hellbound: Hellraiser II perfectly by saying, “This movie has no plot in a conventional sense; it is simply a series of ugly and bloody episodes strung together one after another like a demo tape by a perverted special-effects man.” Ebert continues by claiming Hellraiser II, “is like some kind of avant-garde film strip in which there is no beginning, no middle, no end, but simply a series of gruesome images that can be watched in any order.” That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but Ebert’s critique does bring up two integral aspects of the film: its plot is almost non-existent and the violent special effects are very interesting, potentially enjoyable. While Hellbound does continue the story from the first film, including and elaborating on most of Hellraiser’s characters, its trajectory is, for the most part, asinine. The characters motivations are understandable, considering the events in Hellraiser, but these aren’t sufficiently explored, leaving Hellbound: Hellraiser II a mediocre story with mesmerizing visuals. Unfortunately, striking visuals without any coherency aren’t enough.
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Hellraiser

Last Christmas I purchased a Blu-Ray player and have been amassing a modest collection ever since. I’m cheap though; I won’t buy anything over $10, with the exception of Grindhouse and Machete (which was $12.99) since I’m a pretty chintzy bastard. Yesterday I perused Moviestop’s selection (a video flaneur if you like) and found a copy of the original Hellraiser for $6.99 new – how could I pass that up? A shitty horror movie from almost 25 years ago costing a little more than a pack of cigarettes: sure, why not? I haven’t seen Hellraiser in at least a decade and hadn’t revisited it because…well, because I haven’t really thought about it. I remember being obsessed with the first two films, for their bizarre representations of sexuality and their intense violence, in 9th and 10th grade but quickly outgrew them. Last night I revisited Clive Barker’s Hellraiser and was genuinely frightened, but for different reasons than intended.
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