Saturday, 12 July 2014

Hellbound: Hellraiser II

For all its faults Hellraiser at least had a solid dramatic idea underpinning the vivisection. Hellbound: Hellraiser II doesn't even bother. The film begins well enough - Julia is dragged out of the underworld by Dr Channard, a lobotomist who is sexually excited by flayed bodies. Early scenes of the Julia drifting around Channard's house, leaving bloody handprints all over his all-white interiors are at least visually interesting.

Julia and Channard make for an intriguing couple too. Channard's an Aleister Crowley fan who uses his position at a psychiatric hospital to requisition police evidence and stage satanic ceremonies. Julia seems to be working directly for the geometric shape that twists and turns at the centre of hell, claiming black souls for augmentation. Neither get much to do beyond that. Julia is stuck glowering at the dreary heroines, boasting about her new role as a wicked witch. Channard gets a Cenobite makeover, falling apart at a crucial moment for no particular reason. This is Hellbound's problem, characters and actions aren't tracking towards organic conclusions, they're simply grist for risible splatter effects.

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