Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes
Frank (Sean Chapman) is on a quest for pleasure at any price. But he gets more than he bargained for when he purchases a puzzle box from a mysterious shop owner. In solving the mystery of the puzzle, he opens himself to the Cenobites, whose idea of pleasure might be considered pain to some. They tear him apart.
Larry (Andrew Robinson) and his second wife Julia (Clare Higgins) move into Larry’s childhood home, while his daughter Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) takes a room nearby. Little does Larry knows that disembodies Frank is in the house. Or that his wife has carnal knowledge of his brother. Due to a freak accident, Larry’s blood feeds the hidden Frank, who begins to regenerate. He calls upon Julia to help him regain his full being. She is still enthralled by the memory of their time spent together and, although repulsed by his current looks, agrees to provide him with fresh blood.
Kirsty is protective of her father, and doesn’t have the best of relationships with his wife. She is
appalled to discover that Julia is taking men to their home when her father is away. But it’s worse than that, as she learns when she encounters the hideous form of her Uncle Frank, who tells her “Come to Daddy”. Kirsty isn’t sure what it means but she takes the puzzle box. Now she and her boyfriend have to figure out what’s going on, before it’s too late.
The original Hellraiser stands the rest of time, thanks to the imagination of Clive Barker. I like Andrew Robinson as the hapless Larry, who doesn’t realize what a viper he has married, and I liked him as the tailor Garak in Star Trek Deep Space Nine. Frank and Julia make quite the evil couple, while poor Kristy is at her wit’s end trying to save her dad. Creepy, definitely, and the Cenobites are unique, especially Pinhead. I’ll give this 4 Stars.
Hellbound: Hellraiser II
Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) finds herself in an institution after the events of the first film, with no idea of why she is there and her boyfriend nowhere in sight. A young doctor named Kyle (William Hope) tries to keep Kirsty calm, but she wants to leave. But she doesn’t seem to have much choice. The institute is run by Dr. Channard (Kenneth Cranham), and he seems very interested in what Kirsty has to say, although he dismissed her story out of hand. Afterward, he has the mattress from Kirsty’s father’s home brought to his office and “persuades” one of his patients to bleed on it, thereby reviving Julia (Clare Higgins). When Kyle, who believes Kirsty, takes her to Channard’s home, tragedy ensues.
Kirsty meets another patient, a young girl named Tiffany (Imogen Boorman) who doesn’t speak. She is very good at puzzles though. Channard and Julia kidnap her and force her to open the box. The Cenobites comes, but Pinhead persuades them not to kill Tiffany, as she did not summon them, Desire did.
The Cenobites allow Kirsty to explore the Labyrinth, and she runs into Frank (Sean Chapman) again, up to no good as always. But Julia gets her revenge on him, and Dr Channard doesn’t fare very well either.
Much as I like the first Hellraiser, I think I like the second one a little bit more, especially Pinhead. We see his origins in this one, although we are far from knowing what the Cenobites are all about. Kirsty is plucky as ever, and now she has an ally in the silent Tiffany. And of course we have our old friends Frank and Julia, with their new friend Dr. Channard. Look for more good times with this sequel! I’ll say right now the third movie isn’t very good, and I’ve been advised to avoid numbers four through ten, so I will. I’ll give this one 4.5 Stars
The Collector (1965)
Freddie (Terence Stamp) is a quiet young man, a loner who collects butterflies. When he sees art student Miranda (Samantha Eggar), he decides he must have her, so he kidnaps her and holds her hostage. He doesn’t mistreat her in any way, makes no demands, physical or otherwise. He only wants to have her near, so she can fall in love with him and they can be together as man and wife. But Miranda only sees that she has to escape at all costs.
This movie is a little known underrated gem. Director William Wyler gives us a very subtle but powerful story in the interplay between hostage and captor. Terence Stamp is especially brilliant as Freddie, the naive sociopath who believes that if she gets to know him, Miranda will love him and all will be right with the world. Even so, he will do whatever it takes to keep her with him forever.
Sometimes you can’t help but hope that Freddie wins her heart, but at the same time you root for
Miranda to make her escape and reclaim her life. The tension is subtle but palpable, and the wonderful score only serves to emphasize what is going on. Nothing explicit, nothing overt, but powerful all the time. I’ll give this film 4.5 Stars.