Hellraiser: Judgment is coming to Blu-ray this Monday, and while I’ve only seen the first three films in the series up until now – this one clocks in for double figures as it’s the tenth and latest one. Do they still have such sight to show us?
Doug Bradley refused to return in the role of Pinhead – because he would’ve had to sign a non-disclosure agreement before reading the script, it has a very low budget of $350,000 for a 2018 film, and a score of 4.3/10 on IMDB. So, I’m sure it’ll be great, yes?
Note: At the same time as this, Hellraiser: Revelations (the 9th film) is also released on Blu-ray, and both with a retail price of £12.99. Surely, it’d be best to find a way to get ALL ten out in one boxset? The rights issues for that might be a bit all over the place between studios, but it would be a much better bet, surely? I know Arrow made a phenonenal boxset for the first three so, okay, perhaps even just numbers 4-10, as a companion piece?
But to the plot, and Pinhead (Paul T Taylor) and The Auditor (writer/director Gary J Tunnicliffe) open the film by talking about how mankind are seeking ever-darker experiences… and then you won’t see Pinhead for dust for quite some time. Yep, you come for him, and he’s hardly in it. Big mistake. It’s like the last two Universal Soldier films. In Universal Soldier: Regeneration, JCVD and Dolph never met until the film was an hour over, then had a brief fight, Dolph was offed, and the film ended. In Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, they never even shared a scene! Sometimes, filmmakers just have one job…
Also, hearing Pinhead without Bradley’s voice is just crazy. It’s like when the Thief videogame series was rebooted, but without the original voice of Garrett.
Okay, so… the plot…? Erm…. They strap a man called Watkins (Jeff Fenter) to a wheelchair, who upon seeing one of the Cenobites repeats Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth‘s tertiary character-driven line, “Jesus Christ!”, to which this one replies candidly, “Heavens, no. Same city, completely different ZIP code”. Alas, for this individual, he’s a very bad man because he’s gone the way of Jimmy Savile.
Hellraiser: Judgment brings you buxom women with blood spurting over breasts, bodies being stripped of their flesh, and there’s a serial killer known as The Preceptor, who sometimes buries creatures within bodies, such as where one woman referred to her small dog as her “baby”. This victim, Crystal Lanning (Grace Montie), is No.8 in a series of Ten Commandments-style copycat killings.
Sibling cops Sean Carter (Damon Carney) and David Carter (Randy Wayne) are joined by token hot female cop Christine Egerton (Alexandra Harris) to crack the case, but whenever the Hellraiser name comes into a movie, there’s never an ending to the proceedings, just temporary stop-gaps. Nightmare On Elm Street‘s Heather Langenkamp also has a cameo as Watkins’ landlady, but given how we’re introduced to him at the start, he’s not going to be back home for some time…
And you know that teeth chattering guy? Well, he has teeth, you hear the chattering, but he doesn’t actually move his mouth! May as well just be saying “Gottle of geer!”
None of it makes any sense, but at one point when someone escapes, I’m amazed anyone manages to do that, given that they don’t know how they arrived, yet there’s zero security in there! Add in a plot twist which was completely stupid and made even less sense and, in fact, this film only attempts to feel like a Hellraiser movie at the 67-minute point, and that lasts for about 10 minutes.
Overall, I’ve seen better acting in that Oral B toothpaste advert where the actress, who’s been hired for an Oral B toothpaste advert, says she didn’t know Oral B made a toothpaste! Who knew?
Plus, since they’ll get anyone for Pinhead, it’ll probably be me, next time.
However, I did find the writer/director’s Auditor character, with glasses and a typewriter, rather amusing.
There’s also a post-credits scene where…
The picture looks great, as you’d expect for a modern release, while the audio side of things has a few jump-scare sounds, but nothing to get excited about.
The brief extras are as follows:
- Deleted and Extended Scenes (7:11): Two here – First, an extended cleansing scene for Watkins – with just a small amount added, so they may as well left that in the film. Secondly, Christine goes into a church, and sees a girl who I presume is herself as a child. Then she’s joined by Sean. They have a chat, but it doesn’t really make much sense.
- Gag Reel (4:24): This was the only part of the whole endeavour which was truly great. Perhaps, they should just make No.11 a comedy?
The menu mixes film clips with a piece of the music, there are subtitles in English, and a bog-standard 12 chapters.
Running time: 81 minutes
Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Released: March 1st 2021
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS 5.1 HD Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Gary J Tunnicliffe
Producer: Michael Leahy
Screnplay: Gary J Tunnicliffe
Based on characters by: Clive Barker
Music: Deron Johnson
Sean Carter: Damon Carney
David Carter: Randy Wayne
Christine Egerton: Alexandra Harris
Landlady: Heather Langenkamp
Pinhead: Paul T Taylor
The Auditor: Gary J Tunnicliffe
Watkins: Jeff Fenter
The Assessor: John Gulager
Vagrant: Tony Payne
Alison Carter: Rheagan Wallace
Jophiel: Helena Grace
Crystal Lanning: Grace Montie
Hodges: John Walpole
Jury: Andi Powers, Mary Kathryn Bryant, Valerie Sharp
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.