Gary John Tunnicliffe (director)
22 February 2021 (released)
22 February 2021
Moving forward to 2018 and in Hellraiser: Judgement we find the Cenobites in a more commercial frame of mind as they try to up their soul taking. Therefore they are far more pro-active now and rather than waiting for the depraved and deranged to open the box, they actively tempt people to their side.
Hence we find a Mr Watkins (Jeff Fenter) paying a visit to 55 Ludovico Place, where he is interviewed by an officious character called The Auditor (Gary J Tunnicliffe) who types up Watkin’s confession using his blood piped through into an old-fashioned typewriter. It’s a novel effect that is built upon by The Assessor (John Gulager) a grotesque corpulent individual who arrives eats the confession then vomits into tube leading to a trough where three semi-naked and skinned women make the final judgement for Watkins to then be pulled into another room
And that’s pre-credits. Once past those we are into a police procedural with detective brothers Sean and David Carter (Damon Carney and Randy Wayne respectively) who are on a serial killer case that is following the Ten Commandments. With little to show for their work they are assigned Christine Egerton (Alexandra Harris) to assist. As you’d expect this doesn’t go down that well as they track the killer known as The Preceptor.
Sean gets a lead to 55 Ludovico Place where he too is interviewed in a room surrounded by boxes where he to is interviewed. We also find out that there are opposing forces at work here and that the Pinhead (Paul T Taylor) and the Cenobites don’t have the last word. That is for Jophiel (Helen Grace Donald) who arrives in a blinding white light.
Like its predecessor Hellraiser: Revelations, Judgement looks back to the very early films with a bias towards the fetish and S&M which is brought explicitly to the fore during Watkin’s trial. The three nude females lick the accused clean before he is attacked by a character in leather and rubber and cut to ribbons with the blood spurting on the naked women. It’s pure exploitation and as unpleasant as it reads.
Revelations also pulls from the likes of Seven, Dexter and to a lesser extent TV’s Supernatural with the tussle for power between above and below as writer/director and actor Tunnicliffe looks to strike a more religious tone with friction between the forces of good and evil.
To his credit he’s tried to move the franchise forward and develop beyond the leather and chains though respecting the core elements that define the series. To that end its suitably grimy and bloody but even though it was only released in 2018 some of the imagery looks badly dated. Taylor is however a passable Pinhead.
Hellraiser: Judgment is available on Digital Download from 22 February and Blu-ray/DVD 1 March