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DVD of the Day #179 - Hellraiser: Deader

I’m a big fan of the Hellraiser series. Even when the films get bad, Doug Bradley is fucking amazing as Pinhead. I also had a general rule going on with the films. The first two are amazing. The second two are awful. The fifth and sixth are quite good, so I always assumed the 7th and 8th were shite so I never bought them especially as the price has never gone down. It’s still 27 dollars years after it came out. INSANE. Anyway, I put this film on my Swapadvd.com wish list and although it took a year or so, it finally came up on the site. Of course I grabbed it.

Much like Hellraiser: Bloodlines which was hit with an Alan Smithee director (How can you fuck up Pinhead + Yunza? HOW?), Deader was originally a screenplay that wasn’t even remotely attached to the Hellraiser mythos. However someone somewhere thought the idea would fit in perfectly with the Mythos and so the last third of the script was rewritten to feature the cenobites and make the movie fit in the mythos’ continuity. What surprises me is that even though the film is a straight to DVD affair and a script re-write, that the eventual product is actually pretty interesting and enjoyable, even if it’s not as good as the last two psychological thrillers Hellraisers: Inferno and Hellseeker. Still, Hellworld sounds pretty freaking awful. I want to say just stick to 1,2,5,6, and 7, but 3 has some of Pinhead’s best lines and his origin story, while Bloodlines has the hellhound and Lemarchand. So yeah, just watch them all. Or just get the best bits of 3 & 4 off Youtube.

Deader stars Kari Wurher (who does not get naked in this film, for once) is a reporter named Amy who is tracking down a cult known as “The Deaders” who appear to be able to bring the dead back to life. Amy travels to Romania to find the cult and encounters far more than she expected. She finds a the corpse of the woman who sent her paper a videotape of the cult dead in a bathroom, holding a strange ornate box. From there Amy finds herself in a war between Hell and and life-in-death with the winner getting her soul and the loser getting eternal torment.

This is a fun little film that gives Pinhead more screentime than he had in the first Hellraiser and he’s got a lot of great lines. Much like the 1st, 5th and 6th Hellraiser films, Pinhead and the Cenobits are neither evil nor demons, but merely creatures beyond human understanding where they lurk in the further regions of experience.

It’s insane that a low budget horror film still costs $27 (and that’s on the cheap end), but for a freebie, this was a lot of fun and pretty unexpected as to how good it was. Don’t pay full retail price, but certainly check this out.

Is It Worth Keeping? Yes
Rating: 6/10

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