Sunday, May 3

Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)

Directed by Tony Randel
99 Minutes (unrated) / Anchor Bay THX DVD / Anamorphic 1.85:1 Widescreen

I never quite realized how terrible Hellbound truly is. Looking over reviews online, I'm surprised by how many people believe this is a good (or even great) sequel. It's a complete trainwreck that sealed the sour fate of the series from being coherent and possibly being any good ever again. Here's some of the questions I kept pondering while straining to work through it:

After Channard fulfills his usefulness, why didn't Julia just off him?

Why aren't the Cenobites after Julia since she escaped their grasp like Frank in Hellraiser?

Why does Kirsty have such a hard-on to find her father in Hell? Who said he's there anyway?

The inclusion of Frank makes no sense, what's the deal with the enormous fire in his lair that erupts from cloth on a candle?

Why does the film set up Kyle as a potentially important character only to have him bite it so soon after letting Kirsty out of the hospital?

What is up with the mute girl Tiffany? Her past is so vague and what's going on with the nightmarish carnival?

Does the giant cock worm holding Cenobite Channard's head get fed up or something? His head just rips in two without explaination. Oh, my knive worm tentacles are stuck! Time to get my head ripped off!

What's the deal with the hospital later in the film? Is it in Leviathan? Or reality? Why's there so many puzzle boxes?

The film also manages to piss all over the original's draw in grand fashion. I don't care what horseshit justification is given, the Cenobites are treated as an afterthought here. I could see if they bit the dust during an incredibly epic battle with Channard. Yet nope, Hell's anguish elite are a bunch of pussies struck down with a few airborne blades and lightening bolts(?) in under a minute. I'm sorry, but what in the hell was Barker thinking when he wrote that into the story? It's as if ol' Clive wanted to completely sabotage the foundation of his creation to prevent future sequels.

The best compliment I can give is that Hellbound can be likened to an afterbirth. An ugly, misshapen sack of bloody chunks and unneeded nourishment that's ultimately disposable. It's not the baby...not even one of Henenlotter's freak babies.

Film: 3/10 (for the "Get 'em off meeeee!" sequence)
DVD Picture: 5/10 (weak, riddled w/digital artifacts)
DVD Sound: 6/10 (Dolby 5.1)

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