Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)
October 22, 2022 6:00 PM - Subscribe

Confined to a mental hospital, young Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence) insists her supposedly dead father is stuck in hell, controlled by sadomasochistic demons after being betrayed by his evil, occult-obsessed wife, Julia (Clare Higgins). Few believe Kirsty, except the thrill-seeking Dr. Channard (Kenneth Cranham), who is intrigued by S&M and the young woman's lurid stories. So when Kirsty and fellow patient Tiffany (Imogen Boorman) head to hell for a rescue, Channard and Julia are close behind.

Directed by Tony Randel. (One "L," not the one you're thinking about). Written by Peter Atkins.

50% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on Amazon Prime, Shudder, Hoopla, and Tubi. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (6 comments total)
Hell as a warped labyrinth was pretty cool.

I wouldn't want to oversell this, but I went in thinking it was going to be stupid trash and it was more like stupid fun.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:08 PM on October 22, 2022

Yeah it has its moments. The guy playing Kyle sometimes seems like he's in another movie completely, with over the top goofy reactions like he's in a wacky PG-rated Disney ghost movie for the whole family. "She had no skin! No Skin!" OK Jerry Lewis, we get it.

Dr. Channard making out with the bandaged, bloody mouthed Julia is a really disturbing moment.
posted by Saxon Kane at 6:46 PM on October 22, 2022 [2 favorites]

I started watching this about a month ago but didn't finish, so I rewound a bit and am watching now. Noticed another funny detail: when Kyle runs into Julia and goes into the room with all the dead women hanging from the ceiling, there's one extra that's just standing up straight with her arms in the shackles, making no effort to look like she's a hanging corpse. It's pretty hilarious to see her just standing there.

Hey Kyle: never trust a woman who wants to make out with you in a room full of dead bodies.
posted by Saxon Kane at 6:52 PM on October 22, 2022

Only 50% on Rotten Tomatoes? I constantly use this as an example of a sequel that’s as good as the original. This movie builds intelligently upon the premise of the original. Also it’s hilarious when Tiffany, presented as never speaking, finally says something out loud.
posted by ejs at 1:00 AM on October 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

The real horror here is the one-liners. Turns out Leviathan is pumping Channard's brain-tube full of Henny Youngman.

I just rewatched this yesterday for the first time in years, and realized, if you scrape the Cosmic Sex-Horror facade off, you're kind of watching a cousin of Beetlejuice, which came out the same year? Compare Channard's hand-snakes with the stop-motion serpents in Burton's film, and you'll see a certain family resemblance. (Not to mention the whole malleability of human flesh thing. And walls that open up to go someplace else! And the hidden power of troubled teen girls!)

Since there wasn't really any story, I ended up watching the pictures instead. There's this one hallway in the labyrinth they show over and over--it stretches far, far away, and nobody ever walks down it because it's a painting, so they go off to the side. And the puzzle-box-closet that keeps arising off to the side, its door popping open to show whatever new horror, reminds me more of a magician's stage prop than something, y'know, otherworldly.

If you were a young teen watching this now, would you be at all scared or disturbed? So much of the movie relied on special effects that are now completely dated and ineffective. Compare basically any scene where little light-beams crackle on the puzzle-box (yawn!) with the scene with the worms (omg gross yikes, aaaaagh!). Worms are effective for horror! Ugh!

Oh, god, I don't want to be the person that gripes about a cheesy horror movie, sucking all the fun out of it like Julia sucked all the life-force out of Kyle. BUT! BUT! There was a really good story hidden under here somewhere, wasn't there? I mean, the whole exploration of forbidden corridors of the human mind or whatever? You could've gotten a whole movie out of what happens when you try to use the Cenobites as just another surgical instrument. Or a movie that made more suggestions about the past--when you find out the Chatterer was a kid, you should have time to think about that a little, and wonder what it means. It wanted to be that movie, and yet the second half was all, "Look out, run!"
posted by mittens at 5:56 AM on October 23, 2022

This "trailer" has some relevant bits in it: HELL NO.
posted by SPrintF at 6:49 AM on October 23, 2022

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