AKA, I tried to replace Doug Bradley in an iconic film role and all I got was this...Hey, where' my T-shirt?
So against even my own misgivings, last week I watched Hellraiser:Revelations. Now I start almost every review with reminding my readers how much I hate remakes. Call it remake, reboot, or re imagining, an Irish rose by any other name still smells like shit.
Hellraiser:Revelations was originally pitched as a reboot, but was later changed to a continuation of the series or so we were lead to believe. However the film comes off just as remakey as remakes can be, so remake it is in my mind.
Beyond being a remake, what inspired the most ire in horror and Hellraiser fans was the decision to recast the lead cenobite. Pinhead as he was affectionately dubbed by his legion of fans (he goes unnamed in the films), has been played in the past by Doug Bradley. Indeed Bradley so personifies Pinhead that fans near revolted when he was replaced. Pinhead was no silent masked serial killer, he was a distinguished, erudite, disciple of the void. And his face and voice was that of Doug Bradley.
The luckless guy to take the job, well I don't remember his name and don't feel like looking it up. While I can't blame him for taking the job, I'm sure plenty of Bradley fans can, but I hope he at least knew what he was getting into to. It would take a near Oscar performance to make fans accept him, and well he didn't make it.
Still the faux pinhead wasn't the worst thing about the film. Hiss actual delivery of his lines was pretty good. That's about all I can say good about him, or the film. First off he was completely physically wrong for the part. At times he looked like a chubby kid dressing as Pinhead at Comicon, other times he looked he was headed to a rave complete with silver face paint.
His body language was laughable, serious he looked like a mime school dropout. With the horrible direction elsewhere I'll blame that on the director. As mentioned above the make up was silly. Add to that the stupidity of the dialogue and it was a loosing battle. Sorry bro, you sucked and the best thing you can hope for is that no one remembers your name from this.
The writing was even throughout, evenly bad. The plot was horrible, and just made no sense. It was like someone read the crib notes from Hellraiser as a guide, but never understood what he was reading. A lot of the elements of the original movie was there, but there was no real connection, no reason for them to be there. Not to mention the ludicrous elements like the cennobites stealing cars, and no one in the film having a cell phone.
Acting was non existent. there is much better acting in small films that never get a studio release, and that's a shame. Seriously there was not a believable line delivered by any character the entire movie. And I'm being charitable in saying that. My advice to the cast, blame the director and don't put this on your resume.
Probably the best thing about Hellraiser:Revelations was the special effects. The bad thing is that there were very few effects in the movie. The standard chain ripping effect was OK, the skinless man effect was OK. The Pinhead(s) makeup (did I mention there were actually two Pinheads?) was shitty as I mentioned before, but otherwise the effects were passable. Passable just isn't nearly enough to save this stinker. Hellraiser fan or not, Doug Bradley fan or not avoid this piece of shit at all costs. It's not even worth a slot on your Netflix Que.