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May 23, 2011

Movie Review: Hellraiser: Bloodline and Hellraiser: Inferno (1996, 2000 Blu-ray)

The Echo Bridge Blu-ray train continues to roll here at the Cheese. Today, we take a look at another double-feature pack from the Miramax/Dimension film catalog, Hellraiser: Bloodline and Hellraiser: Inferno. One of my absolute favorite directors, Alan Smithee, made what I think is the second best sequel in the Hellraiser franchise, Hellraiser:Bloodline. I've always dug Smithee's work. Hellraiser: Bloodline is high on the list though, right up there with his film adaption to Frank Herbert's, Dune. All kidding aside, if you watch and study film a little bit you probably already know when a filmmaker thinks their movie is ass they'll use the name Alan Smithee or Uwe Boll.

Buy Hellraiser: Bloodline / Hellraiser: Inferno (Miramax Double Feature) [Blu-ray]

Bloodline may not be exactly where Hellraiser creator Clive Barker envisioned his franchise ending up but it's a surprisingly enjoyable mess of a film. Writer, Peter Atkins, "fleshed out" the story of Bloodline. Atkins obviously felt the best way to get the series going for at least one more installment - involve the story behind the evolution of the puzzle box. We start off in space, then the Victorian era and in present day, 1996. The fact that it's all over the place makes it an interesting enough watch and possibly the biggest reason why it's an Allan Smithee film. The gore that you know and love from the Hellraiser is here in abundance. Hooks don't have any issues finding flesh in this entry. Hellraiser: Inferno puts forth more of a straight narrative with a much more talented cast - that includes one of my favorites, James Remar (Quiet Cool, Cotton Club and 48 hrs). Now, our story surrounds a puzzle obsessed Detective (Craig Sheffer) and his battle with Pinhead (Doug Bradley). Bradley does another fine job in his iconic role as the pain-loving demon, it's just, well, this doesn't feel at all like Hellraiser. As a cop drama with horror elements the movies ok, as a Hellraiser film, meh.

Echo Bridge hasn't included any extras for either of the films. There are separate menus for both. The quality is ok. Hellraiser: Bloodline has some nice color but looks cropped. Hellraiser:Inferno, for a more recent entry looks very soft. Neither look great as blu-rays but are far from horrible. For the right price, these aren't bad; I just wouldn't spend more than 15 dollars.

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