I watched these two films back to back, as I continue working my way through all of them. That isn’t the reason I’m reviewing them together, though. I could get two articles instead of one out of this, but honestly talking about both at the same time is appropriate, since they both have the exact same strengths and the exact same weaknesses.
Overall, I’ve been pleasantly surprised watching the HELLRAISER series. Only HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II has been an actual disappointment. I already knew that HELLRAISER III: HELL ON EARTH rocked, but the others have been quite good, too, to differing degrees. In HELLRAISER: DEADER (not the greatest title, to be honest) we see Pinhead in pursuit of a guy who’s managed to evade the Cenobites and who has the ability to reanimate the dead. Most notable as proof that Kari Wuhrer actually can act—who woulda thunk it?—this one was filmed in Romania. Its primary weakness is that it never adequately explains how it is that the reanimator dude manages to work his magic.
HELLRAISER: HELLWORLD has Lance Henriksen, which is always a plus for any movie. (Henriksen was supposed to star in the very first HELLRAISER flick but it conflicted with the filming of NEAR DARK.) It’s also the last HELLRAISER movie to star Doug Bradley as Pinhead (unless he can be coaxed back for the future reboot!). And it features a neat little twist at the end that, unfortunately, is never fully explained. (Rather the way in which the twist was accomplished is not fully explained.) In some ways it isn’t really a HELLRAISER movie at all, save at the very end. You’ll see what I mean.