"Hellraiser" Starring Pinhead and the Cenobites!

(Editor's Note: I just realized I'm reviewing a movie called "Hellraiser" on Easter Sunday.  Sorry Jesus, my bad.)

03/31/2013

Clive Barker's "Hellraiser" is a 80s horror classic with gore effects that still hold up today.  It also introduces us to a new horror icons Pinhead and the Cenobites (sound like a band I use to know).  I actually saw this movie when I was about 10 years old and can't believe how well the film has held up after all these years.  Some of the movie hasn't aged as well though as in the ending. 

Julia is business woman who had a torrid affair with her husband Larry's brother Frank, a dark and mysterious world traveler.  When Frank dies under suspicious and supernatural circumstances Julia and Larry move into his house (naturally).  Larry also has a daughter, Kirsty, from his first marriage who now lives on her own.  While helping the movers Larry accidentally cuts open is hand on a nail and goes looking for Julia.  He finds her in the attic where Frank died.   Larry's wound bleeds on the floor, which intern starts in motion the resurrection of Frank.
 

A while back Frank had bough a puzzle box from a street vendor.  Its like a Rubik's Cube, but if you solve it opens up a doorway to hell.  The box summons the sadomasochistic demons known as the Cenobites, whose only pleasure is your pain.  With Larry's blood Frank is able to escape the Cenobites and tries to reclaim human form.  The effects used in Frank's slow regeneration are pretty awesome.  He is completely skinless and looks like he'd make a good Body Worlds Exhibit.  He needs human victims to able to continue the regeneration process and with Julia wanting her dead lover back helps him.  She lures a handful of unsuspecting business men to their death.  So where is Larry in all this?  Completely oblivious and unaware that anything is wrong, so basically a typical 80s movie husband.  Kirsty does get suspicious when she sees her step mom with another man.  While at the house looking for her dad, she discovers the new frank and is able to steal the puzzle box.  Frank ups his search for some skin and sort of reunites with his brother Larry.  That's right Franks is now wearing Larry's skin and is out to kill Kirsty and reclaim the puzzle box.

While investigating the box Kirsty accidentally summons the Cenobites and to save her own life she offers to give them Frank.  The Cenobites "Will tear your soul apart" says Pinhead the leader of the group along with a female with her throat opened up.  There is also "Butterball" and the "Teeth Chatterer".  As I said in the beginning the ending is pretty dated and done on the cheap, but the movie as a whole is a true horror classic.  To date there are eight sequels out there all starring Pinhead.  Anything after number three and you watch at your risk.

 

"The Midnight Meat Train" is Better than its Lame Title

 
 3/30/2013
 
This 2008 horror movie never quite got off the ground thanks to one of the most ridiculous sounding titles in recent memory.  It is however the exact title of Clive Barker's short story that inspired it.  The Clive Barker of "Hellraiser" fame.  This is far from a cheesy B-movie, but an intense, gore filled subway trip to hell.

 
"The Midnight Meat Train" stars Bradley Cooper, who just recently won the Best Actor Oscar for "Silver Linings Playbook".  Needless to say this is a much different movie.  He plays Leon a struggling New York City street photographer, who lives with his girlfriend Maya in small apartment.  In this digital age Leon still shoots with black and white film and develops his prints in his own darkroom.  Because watching someone sitting in front of a computer for hours using Photoshop just isn't cinematic enough I guess.  Film is becoming a lost art, but hopefully it will never completely die.  After failing to get into a gallery show, he turns his focus to the subway system.  He catches a group of guys attacking a woman and shoots it, the thugs do let her go but then he reads in the newspaper that the girl is now missing.  The museum curator loves Leon's new work and encourages him to go deeper.

 
This is where we meet the mysterious Mahogany, played by brutish Vinnie Jones.  Mahogany works as a butcher by day and rides the subway by night where he brutally murders late night commuters.  His weapon of choice is a steel mallet to smash in peoples skulls, which we see frequently and in slow motion.  Once Leon discovers him and what he does it becomes his obsession to follow and photograph him.  Curiosity drives the photographer, and the camera acts as a sort of barrier between you and the subject.  Leon does however go to the police with these disturbing finds but they brush him off like dust on a negative.  When Mahogany becomes aware of Leon, a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues. 

 
The gore and effects are pretty effective and are done with part practical  effects and part CG.  The acting is top notch and not what you would expect from such a gory movie.  Mahogany only says about two words in the whole film, but he is quite the screen presence.  Almost like a Jason or Michael Myers type character.  The ending is just as intense as the rest of the film and does explain a lot.  Its almost like a mythological conspiracy. "The Midnight Meat Train" is available on DVD, so if you want to see Bradley Cooper in something other than those "Hangover" Movies check this one out.