Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996) - Alan Smithee

Hellraiser: Bloodline (55)

Directed by

Kevin Yagher (credited as Alan Smithee)

Joe Chappelle (uncredited)

Produced by  

Nancy Rae Stone

Written by  

Peter Atkins


Bruce Ramsay
Valentina Vargas
Doug Bradley


Dimension Films
Trans Atlantic Entertainment
and Miramax Films

Release date

March 8, 1996

Budget - $4 million

Box office - $9.3 million

Hellraiser: Bloodline is the fourth entry to the Hellraiser series. It was brought to us from directors, Kevin Yager and Joe Chappelle but neither allowed their name to be credited. Yager had changed his name to Alan Smithee to avoid being identified with this picture. Chappelle just went uncredited. Surprisingly, this is the first feature length film for Adam Scott (Parks & Rec and Ghosted), and It was very weird seeing him in a production that is so far outside of his usual fare.

Philip LeMarchand is a toy maker in victorian era France that was commissioned to create a puzzle box for Duc de L'Isle. This grotesque libertine uses the puzzle box and summons a demon named Angelique. But he is betrayed. Angelique, with the help of Pinhead, now seeks to destroy the descendants of LeMarchand. However, the LeMarchand descendants are ready and have been training to kill the Cenobites for centuries.

I was in Middle School at the time of its release. A lot of friends and myself, had hypothesised what this film could be about. The consensus is that this would be Pinhead in space and in a way we were right. But that was only about ten collective minutes of the film. The coolest ten minutes. This film wanted to be Event Horizon without actually going full science fiction.

So far this is the weakest entry to the series. Hellraiser 3 was streets ahead. I loved the scenes with Doug Bradley as Pinhead. The quintessential Pinhead. Bradley loved playing that character but that love had faded fairly quickly. He is painted as less and less of a threat with every new release. In this movie he has a pet! It's so humanizing. He even takes a kid HOSTAGE! Who the fuck is he? Soon Pinhead just spouts out these macabre one-liners and that’s his entire role. These movies lack involvement from series creator, Clive Barker.

There are gaps in the storyline. Those gaps make it frustrating to try and understand the story. This film had such a troubled production. The drama with the directors was one thing. But Dimension Pictures had cut out over twenty-five minutes of story. That’s where the confusion comes from. That’s why some scenes seem pointless or useless. This isn’t a good movie. It’s bad. The best part of the movie was seeing Pinhead in space. When I was in Junior High School we hypothesised that the entire thing would take place in space. We were wrong. It felt as if the filmmakers had wanted to make Event Horizon with less science fiction.