Doctor Channard is sent a new patient, a girl warning of the terrible creatures that have destroyed her family, Cenobites who offer the most intense sensations of pleasure and pain. But Channard has been searching for the doorway to Hell for years, and Kirsty must follow him to save her father and witness the power struggles among the newly damned.
Definitely not one for the weak of stomach, Hellbound takes up where the first Hellraiser left off, piling on the gore to near camp levels. Luckily, the 1988 sequel retains enough of British horror-meister Clive Barker's macabre wit--like the original, it's based on a Barker story--to save it from the schlock-heap. Hospitalized following her last misadventure, Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) implores authorities to destroy a bloody bed at the carnage scene, but the enigmatic Dr. Channard (Kenneth Cranham) brings an addled patient there and unleashes a dread Cenobite instead. As if that's not bad enough, Kirsty's getting distress calls from her father, who begs her to rescue him from hell. When she journey through hell's dark labyrinths with a mute puzzle solver, however, Kirsty only finds the evil Pinhead (Doug Bradley) and other bizarro creatures, plus her nasty former stepmother and lascivious Uncle Frank. Much maniacal laughter and skin shedding later, the newfound compadres unlock the puzzle box again to safety. Hellbound isn't genius, but it does have flair, which goes a long way toward offsetting Laurence's leaden acting and occasionally over the top gore.
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