Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth
Hellraiser III Hell on Earth.png

Directed by

Anthony Hickox

Produced by

Christopher Figg

Lawrence Mortorff

Written by

Peter Atkins

Tony Randel

Distributed by

Dimension Films

Paramount Pictures

Release date

September 11, 1992

Running time

93 minutes

(97 min. extended cable version)

Preceded by

Hellbound: Hellraiser II

Succeeded by

Hellraiser: Bloodline

Hellraiser III Hell on Earth.png

Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth is a 1992 American horror film and third installment sequel in the Hellraiser series, directed by Anthony Hickox and starring Terry Farrell, Doug Bradley, Paula Marshall and Kevin Bernhardt. It was the first Hellraiser film to be made outside of the United Kingdom.

Plot[edit | edit source]

After the confrontation in Hellraiser II, the Cenobite named Pinhead is trapped, along with the puzzle box, amongst the writhing figures and distorted faces etched into the surface of an intricately carved pillar - the Pillar of Souls. The pillar is bought by the rich and spoiled J.P. Monroe (Kevin Bernhardt), owner of a popular nightclub called The Boiler Room. An ambitious young television reporter, Joey Summerskill (Terry Farrell), slowly begins to learn about Pinhead and the mysterious puzzle box. She is introduced to the pain the box can bring when she views a teenage club-goer being ripped apart by the box's chains in a hospital emergency room. She tracks the box and a young woman named Terri (Paula Marshall) to The Boiler Room, from which Terri had stolen the puzzle box.

Through video tape interviews with Kirsty Cotton recovered from the Channard Institute, Joey and Terri learn about the demonic Cenobites and the power of the Lament Configuration, the only means of sending Pinhead back to Hell. Pinhead remains dormant until one night several hooked chains shoot out of the pillar and rip into one of the club goers, Brittany Virtue (Sharon Percival), Monroe had recently slept with. After killing her she is absorbed and her face appears on the pillar. Pinhead convinces Monroe to bring him club members so he can feed on their blood and be freed from the pillar.

Now more dangerous than ever before, since he has been separated from his human self - a World War I British Army officer named Elliot Spencer who takes Joey on a walk round a trench filled with the corpses of what are presumably his men, explaining the nature of himself and Pinhead - and is simply the manifestation of Elliot's dark side and no longer under the control of Hell and purely out to cause chaos and destruction (in the previous movies the Cenobites were creatures of order, not chaos). Pinhead slaughters everybody in The Boiler Room, creating several new Cenobites in the process. Pinhead sets out to destroy the puzzle box so he need never return to Hell again. As time runs short, Joey must think of a plan to bring Pinhead and his newly-created Cenobites back to the realm of Pinhead's human self or else doom both herself and the mortal world to an eternity of pain and suffering.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Production[edit | edit source]

This became the first Hellraiser movie produced and directed in the US. Originally, Clive had proposed the plot to involve the Lament Configuration having its roots with the Egyptian Pyramids or Pinhead to be trapped in a relic in a church. Pete Atkins adapted the latter idea as Clive took a backseat role as Executive Producer. Peter Atkins was originally meant to direct the film but when Miramax bought the series, they felt he didn't have enough experience, instead hiring Anthony Hickox. Much of the budget was used for the building of the JP's club The Boiler Room. Much of the extras were members of the crew or friends. Atkins himself starred as a bartender and his incarnation as the pyrotechnic Cenobite. The church in which Pinhead enters and mimics Jesus Christ pose caused the crew two problems. One was no church would give the crew permission to film on location and Anthony Hickox claimed, due to Pinhead's subsequent lines in the script, it would be a direct admonition by Pinhead that the notion of God exists, a first in a Hellraiser movie. A matte painting instead was used to create the illusion of a church, with only the walkway between seats and the altar existing as realtime props. Director Hickox also talked about the difficulties they faced filming Pinhead in sunlight for the first time in a short sequence, feeling the makeup was designed to better reflect in a dark atmosphere rather than lush sunlight. The movie featured a heavy metal-rock soundtrack and Barker directed the Motorhead video for "Hellraiser", featuring Lemmy and Pinhead playing a game of cards and varied clips on the movie.

Soundtrack[edit | edit source]

  • Motörhead - "Hellraiser"
  • Ten Inch Men - "Go With Me"
  • Material Issue - "What Girls Want"
  • Electric Love Hogs - "I Feel Like Steve"
  • Triumph - "Troublemaker"
  • KMFDM - "Ooh La La"
  • Tin Machine - "Baby Universal"
  • Armored Saint - "Hanging Judge"
  • Soup Dragons - "Divine Thing"
  • House of Lords - "Down, Down, Down"
  • Motörhead - "Hell on Earth"
  • Chainsaw Kittens - "Waltzing With a Jaguar"

Reception[edit | edit source]

The movie grossed $12,525,537 in the US on a small budget estimated at anywhere between $2,000,000 when production began to $3,000,000 at its conclusion. While a minor financial success that paved the way for the bigger budget and scope Hellraiser: Bloodline, the film received mixed to negative reviews. Most of the criticism was directed towards the design of the Cenobites, many fans remarking they appeared like "knock-off Borg extras". The movie currently scores a 29% Rotten on Rotten Tomatoes.

Doug Bradley defended the movie, claiming he much preferred working with any American crew as opposed to his native English cohorts as the US production team were much more motivated in creating the best possible picture they could on a low budget. In contrast, he also criticised his character's design and makeup in the picture as his least favourite of the initial three.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

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