Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996)


Directed by: Kevin Yagher, Alan Smithee & Joe Chappelle

Written by: Peter Atkins


Bruce Ramsey .... Phillip / John / Dr. Paul Merchant
Valentina Vargas .... Angelique
Kim Myers .... Bobbi Merchant
Christine Harnos .... Rimmer
Charlotte Chatton .... Genieve L'Merchant
Paul Perri .... Edwards
Mickey Cottrell .... Duc de L'Isle
Louis Mustillo .... Sharpe
Louis Turenne .... Auguste
Adam Scott .... Jacques
Pat Skipper .... Carducci
Wren Brown .... Parker
Doug Bradley .... Pinhead

Release Dates: Theatrical: March 8, 1996; Fantastisk Film Festival Lund: September 14, 1996; Fantasporto Film Festival: February 9, 1997

* Images courtesy at www.outnow.ch







It's the 22nd century and a chained up scientist named Dr. Merchant (Bruce Ramsey) who is in a space station attempts to figure out the Cenobites puzzle box by using his own in order to close the gates of hell and explains to a lady there named Rimmer (Christine Harnos) why he is doing this as a toymaker from the 18th century named Phillip L'Merchant created a puzzle box that opens the gates of hell and an evil greedy magician named L'Isle (Mickey Cottrel) used it to do satanic sacrifice on a woman by having her reborn into a beautiful demon named Angelique (Valentina Vargas) the daughter of Leviathan the lord of Hell's Labyrinth.
All through the generations Angelique followed that family vein and the L'Merchant family kept the puzzle box but tried to create the Elysium Configuration - a box that would destroy the Lament Configuration but in 1996 a man named Phillip L'Merchant almost gave in to Angelique's temptation for the box but the master Cenobite Pinhead (Doug Bradley) however is unhappy that the gateway to hell will be destroyed and threatens his family their lives.
So after the Doctor explains this to Rimmer he must do his duty in order to destroy the Cenobites for good as they are brought to the station by the puzzle box.


The beginning looked very neat taking place in the future in outerspace with good effects on some spaceship as well as intense moments surrounding Dr. Paul Merchant and the puzzle box with brief shots on Pinhead as this grabs your attention nicely. Plus good effective and intense moments when Rimmer tries to talk to him with great dark moments and the story begins.
There's nicely concentrated moments when Phillip is creating the jisaw box as this was well discussed between Auguste on his creation in which this almost looked like a historical moment on something Tom Edison created that it was in that nicely made uplifting style.
Also we have some intense discussions coming from wicked people about the puzzle box as well as having Angelique being tricked by being tied up as well as spotting some chains being lured down to being tortured which is a nice historical moment on how the Cenobites came to be and what devices they used. There's also neat special effects on a ground breaking open as well as what is happening towards Angelique which looked interesting too.
Then we have moments dealing with the present as we get some interesting moments with one of the characters whom is John when he has a family as well as being tormented in his nightmares which looked effective as well as a good shot on a lustful scene with Angelique and then something deadly happens in which you know it's a nightmare and making you wonder if this person was someone immortal from the past life.
Also you may get a kick out of Pinhead holding a dove and letting it fly only to see that his monstrous pet will gulp it up as there's nice dark backgrounds happening here.
Also there's a good moment with Bobbie Merchant talking to John about his nightmares and past life as this was well focused and dramatic to watch all of this unravel and making the moments mysterious as to what his past life was.
Good moment on Angelique tricking someone into hooking up with her and bringing her in a room as this leaves the impression that Pinhead will be coming as well as good camera shots on all of this and an interesting effect with two hooks and chainsa attacking him and then dragging him in which had an okay fast action movement and then we spot Pinhead approaching and having an aggression which is a good introduction that he's come back.
Great moments when Pinhead is kidnapping a child and the mother whom is Bobbi is trying to reason with him and he's negative back towards her as this was a different take compared to most of the films.
Perfect face to face moment with John fronting Pinhead as well as his struggles by trying to save his child as this packs the odd action but not enough like the previous flicks as things were slow paced. Yet there's dry humor with two twin dimwitted officers trying to help with the moments and their campy discussions as this is probably the first time in a Hellraiser flick they added some dark comedy. Also neat special effects on what Pinhead does to them when they talk to him and the powerful words he says to the two of them and the carefully focused camera shots. Also some good struggling moments when Bobbi is running away from a staircase of a building from the ferocious beast.
Then when we're back in the ship from outer space there's nice action moments with Pinhead and his Cennobites which looked different compared to the previous flicks as well as good shots on the beast with it's fangs and leaping out. Plus a nicely near ending moment with what the ship is going to do transforming into a jigsaw puzzle box as this shows nice sci-fi effects and watching what we may think on the end of Pinhead and his Cenobites but there's 3 more sequels after this one as they always end up coming back of course.
Bottom line: This was so cool on how the Cenobite clan first started however, the plot was rushed and it was hard to understand at times. We all know how Pinhead came to be and now it's nice to know how the puzzle box was invented. The film almost looked like a horror anthology showing the generations of the L'Merchant family.

The acting is well performed but not as good as the previous films. However, Lead actor Bruce Ramsey (Phillip / John / Dr. Paul Merchant) pulls his work off well with his 3 different roles he plays in the film as the ancestral family members. Seems to conentrate well during the beginning of his performance when trying to figure out the jisaw puzzle box as well as having some dark creepy seriousness to all that he did in his role. Does well by seeming intimidating and dark. When he plays someone in the very past adds to a perfect versatality into his part as someone whom is joyful and happy with his creation and really knew on how to make this character come to life just as well. Also does a good job portraying a family man on the present day disturbed by his past as he shows nice anxieties after waking from a nightmare or having discussions. Plus was good getting into his aggressions and frusterations too when the terror starts.
Valentina Vargas (Angelique) is terrific as an evil seductress demon as she shows a nice smooth voice but sounds great when she cackles and terrific expressions too. Offers a good versatality into her part as someone whom is innocent and seems to like to have fun times as this shines off. When she becomes evil does a great job with her cold speaking and vicious behavior as well. Does a good job acting like someone untrustworthy as well as coming across as arrogant too.
Kim Myers (Bobbi Merchant) does her stuff well portraying the sympathetic housewife in which she draws in a nice focus with her niceness and caring behavior. Also does a good job getting anxious and upset as well as drawing in true aggressions when she is struggling away from the terror. She was a true character actress and found that she stood out the most plus had the perfect looks and appeal for this role.

Christine Harnos (Rimmer) drew in her role greatly by having a perfectly sharp type of behavior into her part of the film as she shows a strong seriousness into what informantion she is getting out of anotrher person and meaning business. Also shows good serious expressions as she studied this part quite strongly by all that she did here.
Mickey Cottrell
(Duc de L'Isle) certainly had a great strong personality as someone whom is greedy, wicked and evil. Does well in his aggressive tone as well as showing no mercy by all that he did into the flick. He had the most effective supporting role by everything that he did here as he seemed to have quite a devil inside of him by his actions. Two thumbs up.
Louis Turenne (Auguste) had a perfect innocence to her part in the film having a really happiness to what she did in the film and adding some great spunk into whatever she did. She shows a believeable interest on a creation which shows off some great energy into all of this. She also had the nice girl next door type of looks which was a nice impression while watching her perform.
Doug Bradley (Pinhead) seemed to show off a different personality this time but still drawing in a no nonsense seriousness too. Offers good sarcasm without losing his persona as wellas offering a good outrageous and ruthless speaking when he is vengeful. He was a piece of dynamite by all he did here.

There is a dream sex sequence performed by lusty actress Valentina Vargas as her breasts are revealed

A womans flesh is torn off
A corpse's insides are revealed
A woman has gruseome stitches
Hearts are torn out
A man's face is sliced.
Two dipstick twin officers have their flesh mended together
Phillips's head is sliced off (Spoiler warning)
A face by a soldier in a space station is torn off
Another soldier has his head torn off
Flesh is stripped apart a mans face
A cenobite dog explodes

Daniel Licht shows classical composing but it's not as strong as the first three films. Yet there's nice light playing and the odd strong orchestral music for the still moments of certain events as this seemed to work in well. Good trombone playing near the end of the film during explosions and such which were also powerful sounding. Plus we have effective rumbling here and there as well as strong drum playing too.

Pinhead: Young... unformed... oh, what appetites I could teach him.
Bobbi Merchant: Just give him to me, please!
Pinhead: Aha ha, oh, you suffer beautifully. But I am here for business, not pleasure.
Bobbi Merchant: Just tell me what you want!
Pinhead: Oh, I want bait... live bait...

John Merchant: For God's sake!
Pinhead: Do I look like someone who cares about what God thinks?

Bobbi Merchant: [to Pinhead] You go play with your dog, you bastard!