“Hellraiser: Deader” tasks me. I know I said that the last two movies were slush pile escapees with Cenobite architecture grafted on, but really nothing to do with Hellraiser or even the spirit of Hellraiser. At least “Inferno” had the core of a decent horror movie and “Hellseeker” had fodder for my Kirsty/Pinhead fanfic, but this? “Deader” offers us Kari Wuhrer in pigtails in Romania, a few ooky effects, but not much else. “Hellseeker” director Rick Bota is back, so look for pretty shots signifying nothing.

We meet Kari’s character, Amy Klein, belly baring and passed out in a fairly livable looking crack den. There are lots of passed out addicts all around her, but they aren’t violent and all still have their teeth, so it can’t be that bad. Amy wakes up, apparently not a crack fiend but an amazing simulation, and stealthily begins snapping pictures of the blasé druggies with her giant stealth camera. A short time later, she checks out, refusing drugs from a guy one must assume is a very generous young addict. “I got what I came for,” snarls Amy Klein – everyone always says her whole name whenever they address her, like John Wick or a Pimp Named Slickback — cigarette dangling dangerously from her dangerous lips.

We follow dangerous maverick Amy Klein to the magazine where she works, London Underground. Amy Klein goes to her boss, they exposit a little bit about how maverick she is, and then he tells her he has a video to show her. And he does, an actual VHS, and the shocks don’t stop there. It’s a snuff film, or seems to be, until the person who commits suicide in the video suddenly comes back to life.

Amy Klein’s boss wants her to go to Romania to do a story on this super underground cult called Deaders, who have a way of killing themselves and living to make home movies about it. Amy Klein obliges, following the trail of the mysterious videotape to some despoiled and creepy apartments run by a Romanian version of Carl from Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Bribing her way inside, she finds a Deader-eyed body clutching the Hellraiser box along with an enticing padded envelope. Amy Klein puts both into her inventory.

At her hotel, Amy Klein smokes and thinks and smokes and empties out the envelope and then smokes and opens the box. Her head is seized with some pretty fat chains before she sees Pinhead telling her, “Don’t think for a moment that you are not in danger.” Then she’s back in her hotel, apparently not in any danger.

Amy Klein follows the Deader trail to a party train full of so much nudity. Here we see “Deader” pioneer territory perfected by “Game of Thrones” in having naked people groping each other in the background of long dialogue scenes heavy with exposition. This dialogue scene is between Amy Klein and Joey, Joey himself dressed like someone’s idea of ultraviolence and well acquainted with the Deaders. He warns Amy Klein of her own self-destructive tendencies, although honestly, what’s he even talking about? He hasn’t even seen her so much as chainsmoke.

Up to this point, the movie has been plodding, but it hasn’t been terrible. Let me tell you where the movie really ups the suckage. Amy Klein learns that the guy behind the Deader cult is Winter Lemarchand, the great-great-great-etc relative of the box’s architect, Phillipe Lemarchand, who you may remember from such films as “Hellraiser: Bloodline.” Winter is killing and resurrecting his cultists in order to produce one chosen one that can open the box his ancestor made, so Winter can then go and be Boss of the Cenobites. Winter can’t open the box himself, and he believes it’s going to take killing and resurrecting a truly self-destructive, vulnerable individual to get it done. And this is why this movie kills brain cells. You both have to know about (maybe even care about) “Hellraiser: Bloodline” and simultaneously completely forget “Hellraiser: Bloodline” for that to make any sense. And what’s with the chosen one stuff? Hell, Dr. Channard had an entire ward opening boxes in Hellbound.

I’m not going to take you any further on Amy Klein’s journey. Suffice it to say, she’s dangerous and self-destructive, but also smart and the kind of girl Pinhead prefers to talk to rather than flay outright.

Like “Inferno,” soldering on Hellraiser bits – and in this case installing a major foundational element in Winter’s nonsensical motivation — muddies and weakens the underlying horror movie. And bless her heart, Kari Wuhrer really tries in this film. She screams until I feel hoarse, and her boobs are probably the sole reason to watch any of it. I don’t know if “Deader” on its own could have risen above forgettable, but I know for sure that “Hellraiser: Deader” would be doing well to be forgotten.

roadside attractions

  • None, keep driving
  • OK, fine
  • Kari Wuhrer’s pigtails?
  • Um, really, nothing
  • I guess half naked Amy Klein wrenching a knife out of her back by trapping it in a cabinet door was kind of cool.
  • OK, also half naked Amy Klein
  • Around minute 54, but she screams a lot and it’s annoying, so turn the sound down
  • Butchered idea based on an idea not at all to do with an idea by Clive Barker
totals

3

blood

BLOOD

An effort is made, but nothing you wouldn’t expect at your local haunted house attraction that’s trying to get on a Travel Channel special.

8

blood

BREASTS


Yes, full frontal everything, everything, including boobs. There is also tasteful Kari uncoverage.

2

beast

BEASTS Beasts, what beasts? We got some inert zombies and British guys. The same dull Cenobite retreads from Hellseeker are back for five minutes.

2 OVERALL Deader is deadest. Miss it.
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Watch the trailer to “Hellraiser: Deader”

trailers

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