Tuesday, June 01, 2004

smitten by smithee

Hellraiser: Bloodline is the fourth edition in the series based on Clive Barker's gory graphic work about an evil Rubik's Cube that opens a gateway into a version of hell dominated by human pincushions that inflict and feed on pain. What makes this mostly by-the-numbers flick memorable is that it's my first "directed by Alan Smithee" movie. Alan Smithee in this case would be SFX specialist Kevin Yagher, who disowned the film after changes were made without his approval. The premise itself offers a modicum of interest: In the year 2127, a scientist steals a space station in order to close the gates to hell forever. He is the last in a line that began with an 18th century toymaker, who was commissioned by an occultist to design the evil Rubik's cube. Horrified at the true purpose of the cube, the toymaker designs a solution to reverse the process, but is unable to implement it. Several generations down the line (we are treated to just one) are driven to build something from this design, but fail for various reasons, until the scientist manages to get it working. This entry thus functions as a prequel and a sequel, but offers no thrills beyond the usual gory sequences of pain, a modicum of skin content and generally bad acting across the board. Even Doug Bradley's dedication fails to elevate the proceedings from the general TV-movie feeling that pervades the goings on.

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