I’ve read that the only reason this movie ever got made was so the Weinsteins could keep their rights to the Hellraiser franchise, and holy shit, I believe that. I absolutely believe that greed and not caring about the people who watch this movie are the culprits to blame for Hellraiser: Revelations existing at all. I just finished it, so I can say, without trepidation, that watching this movie is a futile and boring exercise in stretching my patience beyond reasonable levels.
Look, for fuck’s sake, Pinhead isn’t even played by Doug Bradley. That’s an automatic failing grade right there, but it’s not even the worst part. Bradley’s replacement is some chipmunk-faced bastard who looks like he should be in Hellraiser: The Musical, and it took me all of five seconds to go through a slew of emotions until I finally landed on indifference. I was pissed for a second, but then it dawned on me: This is the ninth Hellraiser movie. After realizing that, I found it hard to get angry at anything. I do, however, consider it bizarrely funny that Bradley drew the line at #9. 1-8 were a-okay in his book, but this one looked like a stinker, and he didn’t want his name anywhere near it. I can’t find fault in that, per se, but I would think the spider-sense would have gone off around #3 or so.
Keep in mind I haven’t seen any other Hellraiser movies after the second one. I think I saw Hellraiser in Spaaaaaaace!, but I don’t really remember much. I’m not very well-versed in the lore, but even so, I find it pretty hard to believe that Pinhead and the Cenobites just sit around, ears pricked up like hunting dogs, listening to people outside of the hell box talk about stuff. A couple of times during this movie, it showed the Chains of Pain room, empty, while Pinhead stood there like a doof with his head cocked as the other characters carried on a conversation in their living room. I guess it gets pretty boring inside the hell box when there’s nobody to flay alive.
Speaking of flaying alive, there were several murders and face-rippings, but I still couldn’t bring myself to care. The two main guys at the beginning are, let’s say, not exactly likable.
Pop quiz: You just murdered a hooker in a bathroom in Mexico. What do you do?
A) Calmly walk to your car and drive until you pass the border
B) Go sit at a dive bar, which is presumably close, and wonder if they’ll find your fingerprints
In case you’re not getting something, the answer is A. Here’s another question. What do you do when a homeless man sits down at your table and wants to show you the heights of pleasure and pain?
A) Unconvincingly brush it off only to act curious a second later, asking, “The fuck is that supposed to mean?”
B) Get up and leave as fast as your power-walking legs can take you
This time, the correct answer is B. You might very well be curious about being propositioned by a homeless person, but somewhere, deep inside your mind, there’s a part of you yelling WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? STAND UP! STAND UP AND WALK OUT! YOU FUCKING IDIOT! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!
I honestly can’t tell if the studio/s involved with this franchise actually care about it. On one hand, you have them realizing their rights to Hellraiser are about to expire, so they make a movie in order to keep the series in-house. On the other hand, they do it in the most piss-poor way possible. It cost less than $500,000 to make Hellraiser: Revelations, and something like 2 weeks of shooting. If that’s what it’s finally come down to, then why do they even want to keep the rights? If they didn’t have any plans to make a decent movie, why not let someone else who might, you know, actually try?
In the end, though, what does it really matter? I’m staring at the 9th Hellraiser movie, it sucks, and a friend staring over my shoulder guessed that would be the case without even hearing the sound. It doesn’t matter, because this thing will be forgotten by the annals of history very, very quickly. Nobody will remember how it turned into a hostage situation between a bunch of unsuspecting morons; nobody will remember that the movie was only 75 minutes long because the studio didn’t even bother setting anything up outside of what was absolutely necessary; nobody will remember the Hellraiser: The Musical Pinhead; and, certainly, nobody will remember the 300 grand and 2 weeks it took to get this thing made and onto DVD. At least if I worked on this project, I’d forget about it as quickly as humanly possible with the aid of several uppers, downers, and a Mexican hooker I didn’t kill.