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Sex and death. Pleasure and pain. We’ve seen all this before, most famously in the dreadfully boring horror series Hellraiser. Damn, is that an awful series of movies! Take for instance: Hellraiser 1. How can a film so obviously about S&M not have any nudity in it? Clive Barker is an arsehole.
If you want to watch a film that covers the whole ‘pain is the only true pleasure’ idea then Return of the Living Dead 3 does that infinitely better than the eight Hellraiser movies combined. Not even one of those movies is worth watching. Sure, some of the later ones (number seven in particular) may have some norkage, but you have to sit through some daft nonsense just to get there.
What exactly does solving a small wooden puzzle box have to do with ultimate pleasure? Especially considering most people who come into contact with this box have no idea what it’s actually about and only ever ‘solve’ the puzzle by accident. (It can’t be that much of a puzzle. Has anyone accidentally solved a Rubiks Cube by accident? That’s highly doubtful). Sure, there are some people who must have figured out the puzzle as we see them occasionally pop up in the weird Hell dimension, but even these dedicated pleasure-seakers are desperate to escape. Well all except that dumbass Pinhead who – despite looking pretty cool – only every seems to arrive just to spout something cryptic and annoying and never displays any aura of enjoyment at being in this Pleasure/Pain/Hell dimension.
Thankfully Pinhead and his idiotic cenobite mates don’t actually have anything to do with Return of the Living Dead 3. This is all about some red-headed chick who is in love with this nerdy dude (probably because he rides a motorbike). He can’t believe his luck, so much so that after they are involved in a midnight bike crash he resuscitates her back from death at his fathers military lab just to stay with her. unfortunately, coming back from the dead isn’t as simple as you’d expect and this lass has to keep causing herself pain (via constant body piercing and various body mutilations) so that she can continue to feel alive. However, no amount of pain is enough and the lust for brains tends to take over.
So there you have it. Hellraiser is daft, Pinhead is just plain annoying and Pleasure / Pain has never been done better than in Return of the Living Dead 3. It has barely anything to do with any of the other films in the series, but has some cracking gore, a top class lead actress who isn’t adverse to some nork scenes (taking after the great Linnea Quigley) and is probably the only film other than the original that is actually worth watching. (Obviously I mean the ROTLD series, not the godawful Hellraiser stinkers).
Gore Score B
Norks Score C
Originality Score C+
Overall Score B-