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Hellraiser VII: Deader (2005)

Firstly, whoever is designing these covers has given up trying. Secondly, Pinhead is starting to look like Kryten from Red Dwarf. And thirdly, what kind of name is Deader?


This is by far the most forgettable episode so far, once again, the screenplay not starting out as a Hellraiser story, but being adapted. Directed once again by Rick Bota, Deader begins with London reporter Amy Klein (Kari Wuhrer - General Hospital) being sent to Budapest to investigate a death cult - The Deaders (!).  Winters (Paul Rhys - Being Human) the leader of the cult is supposed to be able to bring the dead back to life, as evidenced with a video. At this point in the franchise, who knows where the plot may take us? Arriving in Budapest, Amy uncovers one of the cult, dead, holding onto the Lament Configuration. Surely...this isn't...going to be...a proper Hell-, Oh wait. Never mind.

Kari Wuhrer and a dead person.

Amy flees the apartment complex leaving the corpse behind, returns to her hotel room and solves the puzzle box. The chains are unleashed from the box! There's a vision of someone... (?). Pinhead is heard. He warns her of danger... then she what, wakes up? Was it a dream? Is she - like the last two movies - in Hell now?

No such luck. Amy follows leads to meet with the Deaders and through convoluted exposition - her father was abusive, and such - she is stabbed, presumably to death, and returned by Winters. Then Pinhead turns up, announcing that Winters is of the bloodline of LeMarchant, is evil, and is, I don't know, stepping on his "hell toes"? What? Pinhead then kills everyone except Amy, who kills herself.

Um. Fin?

Doug Bradley

Okay, so I've given up on Hellraiser being about puzzle boxes and the ferryman to hell by now. This "episode" brings little cenobite. I feel that somewhere in the lost story there was probably a good film in here. Conceptually a cult that can bring back the dead isn't a bad idea. Reporters running them down is perhaps a little convenient, but I'd watch it. But levered in, again, is the Hellraiser mythos.

There is some hope in here. The scene where Amy finds the puzzle box in the hand of the corpse of Marla is pretty effective. It's...disturbing. As Hellraiser should be. One of the leads that Amy follows is to a subway train that is in a state of constant party. The first visitation shows excess. Lust. Sex. Drugs. Perversion. It's over the top. Scenes unnecessarily depicting debauchery, sure, but at least in the same vein of Hellraiser. Just, misguided. The second visitation? Everyone's dead. Everyone. It's probably the most Hellraisery scene.

But then there is everything else.

Paul Rhys (and the Deaders)

Initially, there is promise. But once Amy hits Budapest the story tanks. The acting is uninspiring, and the direction bland. Linking Winters to LeMarchant is cheap. Having Pinhead point out that he's overstepping the line is silly. The leverage of the original four movies is long lost in time, and trying to tie this to them is a desperate effort in fruitlessness.

The cenobites look cool.  Didn't expect that, did you? They do. Awesome. Shame they're completely wasted in a film that has nothing to do with Hellraiser.


Hopefully the next one will be better.

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