*. Yes, the title of this instalment is Deader. Which is either the best Hellraiser title ever or the worst. It sounds sort of like Dead and Deader.
*. Could it be the series was developing a sense of humour? The much maligned Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth had a jokey quality, what with its CD-playing Cenobites, but Deader? That’s funny stuff. I mean Hellseeker was a stupid title, but Deader is worser.
*. Alas, getting a laugh was not the intention. Deader is a typically gloomy late-Hellraiser movie, full of squalor and angst. The title refers to a suicide cult of punks who are brought back to life by the power of the cube. They call themselves “deaders,” you see.
*. The plot is actually quite confusing. I was never sure what the deaders were up to, or who their leader, a guy named Winter (Paul Rhys) was. I think he was supposed to be a descendant of Lemarchand, but I might have missed something. In any event, he was very irritating and I was looking forward to his being eviscerated.
*. Also confusing was the back story of the reporter, Amy (Kari Wuhrer) sent to investigate the cult. Apparently she was abused as a child, which led her to kill her father. Or maybe that was all a dream. I wasn’t sure.
*. The connection to the Hellraiser mythology is again tenuous. This is another movie, like the two previous films, that began as a spec script unrelated to the Hellraiser franchise which was later rejigged to include the character of Pinhead and the magic box.
*. Filmed on location in a Romania where everyone speaks English with a British accent. It has the same sort of look as the other Hellraiser movies of this period, which is not surprising as Hellseeker, Deader, and Inferno were all directed by Rick Bota. It’s a made-for-TV look that, since these were all direct-to-video releases, is fitting. But there’s no spirit or energy behind it this time out. Even Pinhead seems bored.
*. Also the same as the other late Hellraisers is the way all of the scary scenes are presented as visions. So they show you something that makes you jump, which causes Wuhrer to scream (which, I have to say, she doesn’t do well), and then we cut back to reality. This happens so many times you get sick of it.
*. I’m not going to bother trying to defend Deader. It’s garbage. Instead of being creepy it’s just sort of depressing. Kari Wuhrer looks good. I’ll give it that much. But really she looks too good to be in such an ugly, stupid movie.