Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996)

It’s Pinhead. In space! With his cenobites. In space! Someone opens the puzzle box. In space! And people are tortured and turned in to cenobites against their wills. In space! The aspect about “Bloodlines” is that even though it closes the original continuity, there’s still a host of questions never answered for the fans. One of them being, if it’s indicated in the original film that becoming a cenobite is based primarily on the subjects own sado-sexual desires that transforms them in to beings of unbridled sexual pain and pleasure, why is Pinhead still just a stock slasher who turns people in to cenobites against their wills? In space? It’s a surefire sign you’re in for a thrill ride when you see director Alan Smithee at it again.

Truth be told, I had no idea this film was so bad Alan Smithee was attached to it, and seeing that infamous moniker caused me to slump down in my seat and groan in dread. For some reason or another, the infamous puzzle box has been brought on board a humongous space carrier where scientist Paul Merchant is attempting to unlock its mystery. With the help of robotic gloves and his personal cyborg, so you know this is the future! If solving the box brings forth the cenobites, and not solving the box in various forms brings you in to different dimensions… why does exploding the box bring Pinhead aboard? In space? And what ever happened to Julia Cotton? This “Hellraiser,” so most times it’s best not to ask for logic.

“Bloodline” pretends to be a sequel when in reality it’s just a dirty prequel and nothing more than backtracking all to make room for thirty minutes of actual sequel story that involves the son of the son of the original engineer looking for a way to defeat the cenobites with science! In space! Writer Peter Atkins literally goes all the way back in time to explore the life story of characters we just met whom we’re told we have to care about since they engineered the box. Sadly, they’re all fairly bland characters. Then we meet Angelique, the obvious replacement for Julia Cotton whose intentions are made unclear throughout the entirety of the film. Is she trying to dodge Pinhead or bring him back from his dimension?

If it’s the former why does she fight being sucked in to the box? “Bloodline” is filled with so many inconsistencies and flat pieces of horror and suspense that by the time the director has provided a ridiculous unnecessary ode to Star Wars (this time it’s a cube exploding in space, not a globe, get it?), I’ve already forgotten most of the film and still haven’t decided on what the purpose of this new film was. I know… In space! I’m still not sure why we needed an origin of the puzzle box anyway. Isn’t it just a plot device? And more importantly, isn’t the point of the puzzle box it’s wondrous mysteries? Doesn’t saying “This is how it all happened down to the very grain of the wood” contradict the very essence of the very form of enticement that is involved with opening the puzzle box and being granted eternal pain and pleasure in the dimension? Well, at least Angelique is hot.