Combustible Celluloid
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With: Clare Higgins, Kenneth Cranham, Ashley Laurence, Imogen Boorman, Doug Bradley, Nicholas Vince, Simon Bamford, Barbie Wilde, Sean Chapman, Oliver Smith, William Hope
Written by: Peter Atkins, based on a story by Clive Barker
Directed by: Tony Randel
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 97
Date: 09/09/1988

Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Back to 'Hell'

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Clive Barker handed over the reigns to this sequel, taking only a "story by" credit. Peter Atkins wrote the new screenplay and Tony Randel (Ticks) directed. After the events of the first movie, Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) winds up in the hospital, where she meets a fellow patient, Tiffany (crush-worthy Imogen Boorman). An evil doctor resurrects Kirsty's stepmother from the first movie, and the doctor's kindhearted young assistant tries to help the girls. The highlight of this movie is Kirsty and Tiffany's trip to hell, with all kinds of weird mazes and nightmare imagery. When I first caught it around 1989 on VHS video, it was unlike anything I had ever seen before.

The most common version runs 97 minutes, but a 99-minute version earned an "X" rating. The sequels did not stop here. Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth followed, and as of 2013, there are nine entries in the series. Most of the later sequels were released direct-to-video, one has the infamous "Alan Smithee" director credit, and no one seems to like them much.

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