Kirsty must face Pinhead and the Cenobites once more
when an obsessive doctor gets his hands on the puzzle box.
Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)
Directed by Tony Randel
Written by Peter Atkins
Starring Ashley Laurence, Clare Higgins, Doug Bradley,
Kenneth Cranham, Imogen Boorman, Sean Chapman
Sequel to 1987's Hellraiser
Based on characters created by Clive Barker
For many people, Hellraiser is the ultimate acquired taste. It's a franchise built on a foundation of leather fetishism, pain & pleasure, and the agonizing chains of hell. Still, the first film holds up because of Clive Barker's script and direction, as well as the original visuals. The first of many sequels, Hellbound, doesn't quite live up but it's still a decent flick worth watching at least once. There's just way more lulls this time around, and any film that takes place in an interdimensional hell should never be boring.
Soon after the events of the first film, Kirsty Cotton (Laurence) is committed to a psychiatric hospital. Nobody believes her version of events that destroyed her family, apart from the occult-obsessed head doctor Channard (Cranham). Channard uses dark blood magic to resurrect Julia (Higgins), and once he gets his hands on the box, he travels to Pinhead's world and becomes a cenobite himself. Kirsty and her mute friend Tiffany (Boorman) must escape this new hell and set things right before Channard becomes a god. See, that doesn't sound boring, right? But somehow, a good chunk of the film is just wandering through the corridors of hell waiting for something to happen.
I've heard the rest of the Hellraiser sequels are hot garbage, so maybe the buck should stop here for me. Then again, the new one debuting this week has Barker's blessing once again. Any way you slice it, Hellbound has its fans and that's great. But I much prefer the first film and I don't know if I'll be going back to part two.