My Personal Feelings on Hellraiser: Judgment – Part Two
In my first report I talked about the good aspects of Hellraiser: Judgment and how I hope it can deliver beyond your typical run of the mill sequel and create something special like the earlier films in the franchise such as Hellraiser and Hellbound. But like a lot of other fans I do have concerns and things that I just don’t like about the project as well.
Obviously the first being that Doug Bradley isn’t returning in the role as Pinhead. When I first heard that Gary Tunnicliffe was going to direct this I thought it would be a sure bet that Doug would return to the role since he and Gary are good friends. But a day after Judgment was announced the actor posted this on his official Facebook wall.
Gary said he would send me a copy of the script when he had completed a second draft, but before I could be allowed to set eyes on the precious document, I was required to sign a gagging order. This was a three page document preventing me from talking about the script ‘in restrooms’, ‘on elevators’, ‘in restaurants’ or ‘in cellular telephone conversations which may be overheard’. There was also dark reference to ‘people talking out of turn at conventions’. I read this thing in disbelief, and informed Gary I would not be signing it.
(source: Doug Bradley’s Facebook)
Even though I was sad to hear that Doug would not be returning I could understand why. The document that Doug was asked to sign does reek of some disturbing innuendo. The gag order doesn’t directly state it, but obviously he read something in between the lines that he didn’t like and declined to participate. I respect that because I’d probably do the same in his position. As many of you know Doug has been pretty outspoken over the years about how Dimension Films has treated the franchise since they’ve taken it over.
And most fans tend to agree with him. As much as I enjoy Bloodline that film is a mess overall, and ever since the series (at least to me) has taken the direct to video route the movies have never been the same. None of them have felt like they fit into the world that Clive Barker created with the original film. I will say that Hellseeker did have its moments with the return of Ashley Laurence, but overall it still didn’t feel like a true Hellraiser movie to me.
Which brings me to my second concern about the film which is the new actor that’s been recast in the role to play the Hell Priest. Paul T. Taylor certainly has the look down with the recent promo image showing him as the character, but I won’t be fully behind any of this until I see some footage that let’s me see his performance
Gary has said he’s directed Paul to play Pinhead as ‘quiet and reserved’ which is the right approach, but let’s face it we’re all going to be thinking of Doug when we watch this. I’m not saying that Taylor won’t do a good job, but to the majority of the fan base Doug Bradley is Pinhead and that’s the bottom line.
Personally, I plan on giving Paul a chance in the role. I did watch his acting reel as well and he has some acting chops that’s for sure. But there’s no way any other actor make can us forget Doug Bradley as Pinhead. Period.
As I said earlier I think Gary can pull this movie off on the budget he’s working on, but how much can a half a million dollars really let the filmmakers get away with regarding quality effects? Obviously, Gary’s saving a lot of money by having his own effects company doing the practical make-up effects for free, but what about the computer generated effects? This is where I get concerned. Bad CGI can take you out of a scene or an entire movie in some cases like the ending for the movie adaptation of the popular comic book Spawn. So hopefully it will be used sparingly or not at all. For me ninety-five percent of the effects for Judgment should be practical.
Another aspect that has me on the ropes is the actual story line for Judgment. Here’s the film’s synopsis.
Detectives Sean and David Carter are on the case to find a gruesome serial killer terrorizing the city. Joining forces with Detective Christine Egerton, they dig deeper into a spiraling maze of horror that may not be of this world. Could the Judgment awaiting the killer’s victims also be waiting for Sean?
Is it just me or does it sound very familiar to Inferno? I’m sure the final film will have little do with that sequel, but why repeat the cops chasing the serial killer story line? There’s so many other types of Hellraiser stories out there that could’ve been used, but I guess this was something that Dimension Films felt would be more commercial to general audiences. Gary describes the film as “Seven meets The Cell” which does sound interesting, but once again I’m reminded of past sequels going back between the real world and the dream world (ala A Nightmare on Elm Street). I really hope that’s not the case.
What I am hoping for is that he keeps the story line linear as much as possible and lets the fantasy elements slowly creep into the movie instead of going back and forth to play with the main character’s mind like most of the latter sequels in the Hellraiser franchise have done. It’s time to move away from all of that because it has never worked in my opinion.
And that’s my take on the upcoming sequel Hellraiser: Judgment. I sincerely wish Gary Tunnicliffe and everyone involved the best of luck with this project because I feel they all want to make something the fans will like at the end of the day. But I can also see the fans reservations about making this film at all. We already know the movie isn’t being “made” for us since Gary made it abundantly clear in a earlier interview stating that this is a “Rights Issue” film to make sure that Dimension Films can once again secure the film rights to the franchise. That does leave a sour taste in my mouth but I respect Gary for admitting to that.
Only time will tell.