Welcome back to the Hellbound Halloween! Today's entry is the fourth film in the Hellraiser franchise, Hellraiser: Bloodline. Man, we're making good time with all this--four down and only six more to go. At this rate I'll be done well before October is over! Hm, if only I had planned for that eventuality and had some tricks up my sleeve... Anyway, let's talk about a film directed by Alan Smithee. Oh, that's never a good sign.
I've seen all ten Hellraiser movies before, but most of them were a long time ago. I remembered the first two adhering to Mr. Clive Barker's vision and being pretty good, the last two were absolute dog shit, and the ones in the middle were hit or miss. So I went into Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth not expecting much. They're brining back Pinhead after his noble sacrifice in Hellbound: Hellraiser II? Already starting on a bad foot. But turns out this was better than I remember, in part because it has something intersting to say about abusive relationships.
The Hellbound Halloween continues! It's a reference to The Hellbound Heart, the story by Mr. Clive Barker that Hellraiser is based on, by the way. This is the last film in the franchise that Barker had a direct hand in, which is a little concerning since it's only the second film. Yup, from here on out the quality steadily decreases--although I remember Hellraiser: Inferno being decent--until we hit the bottom of the barrel with the last two. But that's something we'll touch on later in the month; right now let's end Julia's reign of evil!
Happy Halloween... month! It's October, which basically means it's already Halloween. It also means it's time to whip out my annual "review a horror movie each weekday while also covering a big horror franchise" event! This is a spiritual successor to “Chwineka Watches 31 Netflix Horror Movies for October” (or CW31NHMO for short), so don't expect a concise name for the idea as a whole from me. Anywho, the second annual event is The Hellbound Halloween, where I cover all 10 currently released Hellraiser movies and a few more morsels from Mr. Clive Barker. So let's dive into what's probably the horniest big horror franchise out there!
Look, I don't want to pat myself on the back too much. This blog already is a bit of an ego trip, but I'm just a normal guy. I put my pants on one trite quote at a time. However, after hearing that the twist in Malignant was supposed to be completely surprising, I figured it out in something like 20 minutes. What, like it's hard?
I know I said that last week's episode, “What If the World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?” was my new favorite episode of What If...?, but that's no longer the case. "What If Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?" continues the series' fine tradition of clunky episode titles, but it delivers a compelling tale of love and loss that also actually involves the Watcher! You know, the omniscient narrator of the whole thing? He gets to actually do something! Kind of.
I think this is the first anthology I've reviewed on the blog? The only other time I've used that tag was with The Star Wars Holiday Special, and that was mostly a "for lack of a better word" situation. The Field Guide to Evil is a horror anthology that focuses on multicultural folklore, broadening our horizons by showcasing creatures and demons from around the world. But unfortunately for this film, not every story is told as well as the others. There were some shorts I loved, and others that just left me feeling meh.
Here we finally are, the last arc in the first season of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, AKA When They Cry. Or is it series, since the next series/season has a different subtitle, title song, and end credits song? I'm honestly not sure, just like I'm honestly not sure what's really going on in this series. But not necessarily in a bad way? That's the intent, what with it being a mystery series and all, but damn, it would be nice to get some actual answers. Good thing this is a so-called answer arc! So let's jump into Atonement and finish off the first season. Series. Whatever.
Who doesn't love a good bad disaster movie? You don't go into Sharknado expecting fine cinema, you go in hoping that a guy cuts a shark in half with a chainsaw, and that said shark was delivered to him via tornado. So imagine how excited I was when I first saw a film called Tsunambee. The tagline on the poster is "This is gonna sting a little!" It's a goofy movie about a tsunami of bees, right? Right...?
The first four chapters in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, AKA When They Cry, are referred to as "question arcs." I think it's a great name because I have a whole bunch of questions as to what the fuck is going on. But now we've entered the so-called "answers arcs." I went into the Eye Opening arc completely unprepared for what I was about to see and learn, thinking it was going to follow the pattern I had assumed was there based on the question arcs. Is every question answered? Absolutely not, but I learned enough new things that I realized I've been working on some faulty logic about what's really going on here. This arc is six episodes, so this'll run a little long!