Pinhead is back -- and this time, he's out for more blood -- in the fourth and most terrifying chapter of the wildly popular HELLRAISER series! Spanning three generations, this horrifying story chronicles the struggle of o... more »ne family who unknowingly created the puzzle box that opened the doors of Hell -- setting the diabolical Pinhead free to spread evil here on earth! Now, the family must fight to slam those doors shut again ... but not before Pinhead wages one of his fiercest and most frightening battles ever!« less
The fourth film in the "Hellraiser" series starts off in 18th century France with the story of the toymaker who sculpted the original puzzle box which opened the gateway for Pinhead and his Cenobite friends... then jumps to the 20th century New York and follows one of the toymaker's descendants through another battle with Pinhead. Finally we conclude in the 22nd Century, where the last member of the toymaker's family line has laid a special trap for Pinhead inside a specially designed space station orbiting the Earth.
"Bloodline" is slightly cheap looking, but it's an otherwise cool entry in the never-ending "Hellraiser" saga, with plenty o' the usual gory mayhem. I liked the newly added sci-fi element. Considering that the production was marred by tons of behind-the-scenes drama that included the original director quitting in mid-production and being replaced by a guy who supposedly re-shot half the movie and radically re-edited the other half, this was still the last film in the "Hellraiser" saga that was worth a crap.
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Nick H. from ALTON, IL Reviewed on 11/28/2009...
I have a soft spot for this movie although not often impressed by mixing traditional horror and sicence fiction (the final segment is set in a space station). Maybe it works for me because of the strong timeline linking the toymaker and his cursed descendants. I have certainly found this the most interesting of the Hellraiser I and II sequels and have watched it a number of times.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
James B. (wandersoul73) from LINDALE, TX Reviewed on 6/8/2009...
By far the very worst Hellraiser flick. I heard that everyone involved wanted their names removed from the credits. Now that's God awful!
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Puzzle Boxes in Space
Marc Ruby? | Warren, MI USA | 06/01/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For all that I like the Hellraiser series it has never set the bar in horror films. There is a lot of imagination behind tham, but more often than not acting or effects have acted as limitations. 'Bloodline' is a bit different though, and while still laboring a bit under a casting shortage (the evil count is one of the worst characterizations I've ever seen) the story is genuinely interesting, there's just enough gruesome and gothic, and the script is sometimes quite intelligent.
The plot focuses on the l'Merchant family (the makers of the original box/doorway to hell). The story starts on what seems to be a derelict space station, where the latest Merchant (played by Bruce Ramsey) is doing something mysterious with the proverbial little puzzle box. He is interrupted by an team come to investigate the apparent hijacking of the station. His efforts to explain the history of the box and the reason for his actions take us first to 18th Century Paris where the box is first made and Angelique (demon #1) invoked. Then we head for 1996 where a young architect nearly makes a monumental box and Pinhead (demon #2) makes his entry.
Finally, we return to the station in 2127, where the latest Merchant is trying to destroy both the box, and the demons it summons. While the Paris episode is mostly just plain bloody, the remaining stories have real plots, and Pinhead (played by Doug Bradley) does a bang up job of being both horrible and intelligent. Thus you get all your basic urges satisfied, learn some of the background story behind all the films, and get a bit of demonic philosophy as well.
I'm tempted to say that this could very easily be the best of the Hellraisers. This is due primarily to Bradley's job as Pinhead. Grotesque, but with an austere nobility, he fascinates and repels at the same time. He delights in his soulless state ("Do I look like someone who cares about what God thinks?"), wielding pain the same way Angelique tries to seduce, but with considerably more effect. Just for a moment you may find yourself tempted by the emptiness he represents."
Pinhead: He's Forever
N. P. Stathoulopoulos | Brooklyn, NY | 08/09/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"You know there's trouble a-brewin' not when Pinhead's on the box, but when you see "Directed by Alan Smithee". This is basically a pseudonym that directors use when they don't want their real name associated with a film due to some creative disagreement, producer changes that offended the director, or if the film is just [not good].In this case director Kevin Yagher (a respected makeup effects artist) disowned the film after Dimension made cuts to it. Hellraiser creator and original Hellraiser director Clive Barker has pretty much been written out of the series by now. You only see Clive Barker Presents (since they're his characters) but
that's it. Apparently Barker is too expensive and he has his own ideas of where the Hellraiser mythos should be going.That said, Hellraiser: Bloodline is a weaker effort than the previous three appearances of The Box. (I actually liked Part III a lot). This is an ambitious story, as far as horror series go, and certainly as far as Part IVs go in any series. While the first three eventually led to more insight into Pinhead and his origin, including the separation of his human and demon side in Part III, Bloodline tries to trace the history of the famous box. The Lament Configuration, as its known, was designed by a toymaker named Merchant in 18th century France. It was commissioned by a particularly crazy Duke (or Duc) who somehow is able to raise hell with the thing. (It's never made clear why the box has these powers, or, for that matter, what the heck is going on with his Latin incantations and skinning at the beginning).The film opens in the year 2127 on a giant spaceship (yes, folks, Pinhead in space). The ship is, in fact, a giant trap designed by Merchant's last descendant in an effort to finally summon Pinhead and destroy him. Then the film flashes back to the 18th century, then forward to 1996 Paris, then to 1996 New York where the Merchant of 2127's father is an architect. Throughout we see a stunning Frenchwoman named Angelique who becomes some kind of demon (I think), though this, like many things in Bloodline, is never made clear.If you're a Hellraiser fan, you'll enjoy more Hellraising action. However, you'll be disappointed by the fact that much of the plot makes very little sense. Who is Angelique? Is she a Cenobite? Can you really kill Pinhead? How many boxes are there?As for the gore, well, we do get some quality bits. However, this is easily the weakest film as far as Cenobites go. Pinhead takes 2 twin brothers and does something involving drills and twisting their faces together and a lot of blood and screaming and they're joined at the head. Then there's a Cenobite dog, or
whatever that thing is, which is resigned to only brief shots of it's front or teeth or in shadows since, frankly, the thing looks downright low-budget. And I think that's Angelique in space at the end with her skull exposed under pinned scalp-flesh, which actually looks great, but she's given precious little time in that bloody form.There's a lot owed to the Alien films here, including a group of Marines who exist for the sole reason to get whacked out by Pinhead. And speaking of Pinhead, I'm not crazy about him either in this installment. For one, we almost get too much of him(!) We see him brightly lit and walking around and spouting some almost overwhelming Pinhead-isms about human acquiesence, blah blah blah and stroking a pigeon(!). In the earlier films he was resigned to dark, shadowy sets and was, of course, a creepier character. But, give a movie maniac too many sequels and soon enough he'll be the hero, cracking jokes and making far too many appearances (see: Freddy Krueger). However, the film is photographed well, and the makeup in general is very good. (I give credit for at least trying something new with the dog). All in all, this isn't terrible. I'm a huge fan of the series, so I welcome new additions. I just wish that with the scope of the story and the playing around with the mythos so much that they would have done a better job. I wish we could get a director's cut--the film runs a scant 86 minutes(!) Wonder how much was cut, given that this movie spans a few centuries. What else do we get on this DVD? Nothing. Not even a trailer. The picture and sound are both good. Nothing incredible, but certainly fine. Wish they could get a decent transfer of Part III out.Recommended for Hellraiser fans simply because it's Hellraiser, and Pinhead, and the Box. But as for others, this is definitely NOT a good starting point for the series and is not indicative of the gothic horror of the original story and 2 films."
Pinhead is so exquisitely empty
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 01/19/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When I first watched this movie, I felt the director was quite justified in choosing the Alan Smithee moniker for himself. After a second viewing, I find myself much more favorably inclined toward this fourth film in the Hellraiser series. It's still somewhat disappointing, but it is not unwatchable; if nothing else, Pinhead gets more great lines than ever before. Long before Jason journeyed into space, Pinhead was there. Bloodlines opens in the year 2127; Dr. Merchant, descendant of the man who created the diabolical puzzle box, has hijacked the space station he designed and has just summoned Pinhead and his diabolical minions into his trap when the station is boarded by the military and the doctor taken prisoner. With demons roaming free on the station and time running out for Merchant to complete his plans, he tells the story of his family to a young female soldier named Rimmer in an effort to convince her to let him finish his work. We are transported back to what I assume to be 18th century France, where a toy maker named L'Merchant has been commissioned to design a puzzle box for famed magician/occultist M. de L'isle. The toy maker watches from outside as de L'isle and an assistant kill and skin a young woman and use her, in conjunction with the powerful box, to summon a demon. Realizing that he is responsible for creating a means of opening the gates of hell, L'Merchant sets about designing a machine to destroy demons such as the beguilingly beautiful enchantress Angelique. He does not live long enough to succeed, but the curse and the memories of what he has done are imbedded in his bloodline. The story then jumps to 1996, where architect John Merchant has designed a huge room intriguingly similar to the puzzle box. Angelique soon arrives and summons Pinhead. The Merchant bloodline is doubly important to the Cenobites-while it holds the danger of building a machine to defeat the demons, it also holds the secret for opening a permanent doorway to hell. Now things start to get interesting, as Pinhead soon tires of Angelique's reliance on temptation; to him human acquiescence is much more easily obtained by terror. The culmination of this part of the history is quite satisfying; declaring that "I am pain," Pinhead goes about proving the deep truth of his assertion. Finally, we return back to the future space station and watch the ultimate culmination of events set in motion hundreds of years earlier, the final showdown between the L'Merchant bloodline and the demons the family unwittingly invoked. Although the story has multiple weak spots, some delectable gore somewhat offsets it. One of the two decapitations here is particularly impressive, as is the blood that flows freely in the home of the mad M. de L'isle. The demon princess Angelique is a captivating counterpart to the familiar Pinhead, although I agree with Pinhead that terror is much more effective (not to mention entertaining) than temptation. Bruce Ramsey plays three members of the Merchant family, but I think the roles would have been better played by three actors. Doug Bradley is, of course, wonderful as Pinhead, and I was quite glad to see him get so many lines this time around. His musings on suffering and pain are music to my horror-attuned ears, none more so than his impassioned reaction to the pitiful pleas for divine mercy of ridiculously cast and incredibly annoying identical twin security guards: "Do I look like someone who cares what God thinks?" One almost feels compelled to applaud when Pinhead states the obvious fact that "I am so exquisitely empty." This movie is much less carnally gripping than the first two Hellraiser films, but do not dismiss it out of hand. I actually find it more enjoyable than Hellraiser 3. What initially seemed to me to be quite awful has now become a film I appreciate and take delight in. Just don't take this movie too seriously; after all, it is just a game, and it is most definitely time to play."
Pinhead in space.
Puzzle box | Kuwait | 06/24/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"What I don't understand is why horror fans have complained about this sequal when the ones that were released after this were even worse I mean this film is a masterpiece compared to those crappy straight to video sequals Inferno and Hellworld. The film is about the horrifying struggles of a family bloodline who created the puzzle box (thats how I got my nickname hehe) that opens the doors of hell and let the diabolical Pinhead free to wreak havok on earth and then in the 22nd century a scientist in a space station is trying to solve the puzzle and finaly wants to defeat Pinhead and the other cenobites and break the curse that his family has been suffering through. The film shows us the history and background behind the puzzle box that was created by the La Marchant family line beginning in France in the 18th century, the film also introduces a new villian the demonic Angelique which was very nice and interesting it also had a nice amount of gore including a very nasty looking decapatation and the twin cenobites that get there heads screwed on together which was also hilarious so overall the film was not that bad even though it did have some very cheesy and corny moments and some special fx looked bad and outdated I still enjoyed this film alot and I highly recommend this to hellraiser fans."
Mega Watch: Good fun through time
Santeria | Tallahassee | 03/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoyed this film immensely. Sometimes the reviews by so called fans of a franchise just make me wonder if I saw the same film. Anyways, the wrap around sequence occurs in a space outpost, where a descendent of the creator of the Puzzle box ( the "Gateway") is determined to implement a solution to the gateway box, which was also designed by the creator of the box. However, the solution cannot be implemented since the technology does not allow it. It is only when computers come about, that the advent of the solution occurs. I am at a loss to understand why people have called this film plotless, since the film has probably the second most complicated film plot in the series next to the second film HELLBOUND. This film opens up enough mythos to have a large pool of resources for future stories in many forms. In fact, Clive Barker has said that the franchise is largely in the hands of other people, since it basically has assumed a life of its own. Clive Barker was not unavailable due to costs, but ( as I understand it) for creative reasons. The story, I would suggest, maintains a high standard, and maybe it could be improved on some points, but since I find the film very enjoyable, it seems the wrong attitude. The "Evil" which is now separate from the original spirit ( as depicted in the third film) ranges through time, and provides a view of hell as it was, and hell as it is. For example, it is shown that Hell was much less ordered in the time of "Angelique"... the demon created in the original time frame of the "birth" of the box. And it is fascinating that the young disciple who assumes command of "Angelique" lives for many centuries up unto the time of the Architect. And the Architect creates what Pinhead calls an Apocalypse waiting to happen. And in the final space sequence, we see Pinheads "essence" exposed in a "death" statement... where Pinhead says " I am so exquisitely empty". The structure and demonology of this film is first rate. Enjoy. "