By the fourth sequel in a horror series, you've pretty much just descended into "unwitting self parody". What started out as a strong, dark and bloody series has now devolved to something to be laughed at and basically ignored.The first Hellraiser was groovy. Undead and skinless creatures parading alongside Pinhead and his minions, with one nasty BITCH who slaughters horny men for their blood. The second (Hellbound) was basically a retread, although the gore quotient was still respectably high and it was pretty stylish. The third (Hell on Earth) was showing signs of wear, although it offered enough nasty shit to keep you from kicking the TV.
Now. Number Four. Straight to video. Directed by Alan Smithee. It takes place...in...outer space. What the HELL were they thinking?
"Hey, our option is almost up on this Clive Barker thingie. What to do? We have any sets left over from Alien Ripoff 3? Cool. Call that Pinhead actor and here's a napkin for the script. I want to see Hellraiser 4 in video stores in 4 months!"
Every word I report on this movie seems like two more than it deserves. Come to think of it, that previous sentence was infinitely more clever than a review of Hellraiser 4 deserves, but there you have it.
The gore quotient is meager, yet it's easily overweighed by the sheer moronicness of the story. (Yeah, I made up the word 'moronicness'. It's that bad of a movie, OK?) The plot is meant to be a Creepshow-type of thing with several stupid short stories instead of one looooong really stupid story. Suffice to say that either way, this movie is like watching a pile of dog shit on the carpet: It's boring and it will make you angry that it's even there.The series deserved a lot better than this, but I guess it's a lot easier to churn out a sloppy sequel-product than to actually do something of quality. I pray Pinhead gets a better treatment in his next movie, which I think should take place in underwater Atlantis, and it should be a muscial.