Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996)

hellraiser bloodline poster 1996 movie
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 5/10

Interesting concept for the story

Cheap looking sets, effects

Movie Info

Movie Name: Hellraiser:  Bloodline

Studio: Dimension Films

Genre(s): Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/B-Movies

Release Date(s): March 8, 1996

MPAA Rating: R


Seriously, before you tear my soul apart, could I just pick out 1 or 2 of those nails?

A space station in the year 2127 has been taken over by its creator Paul Merchant (Bruce Ramsay), and a team of soldiers have been sent to arrest him.  When Merchant meets with Rimmer (Christine Harnos), he tells the story of his bloodline and how his ancestor Phillip “Toymaker” L’Merchant (also played by Bruce Ramsay) accidentally created a box which opened the doors to Hell by creating the Lament Configuration in France.  When the box was used to summon a Cenobite named Angelique (Valentina Vargas), Angelique and the Cenobites sought to stop the Toymaker before he could create the Elysium Configuration to send them back to Hell.  As the Toymaker’s line was tracked through the centuries, John Merchant (also played by Bruce Ramsay) found himself haunted by dreams of the Lament Configuration.  Another attempt was made on the Toymaker’s line in John’s time, but the Cenobites failed to destroy the line.  Now it is up to Paul end the horror his ancestors started, and this will put him face-to-face with Pinhead (Doug Bradley) and the Cenobites.

Hellraiser:  Bloodline (also called Hellraiser 4:  Bloodline was disowned by its director Kevin Yagher and credited to Alan Smithee.  The movie was the last Hellraiser released to the theater and the last Hellraiser made in association with the creator Clive Barker.


So this is space, the final frontier…kind of generic looking.

Yagher allegedly had a much longer more concise story created for Hellraiser:  Bloodline, but demands from the studio forced him to introduce Pinhead into the story much sooner than planned.  This caused Yagher to leave the film and Joe Chappelle was brought in as director to finish what hadn’t been shot.  Copies of the other scripts are floating around on the internet and can be found.

The concept behind Hellraiser:  Bloodline is kind of intriguing with a thought-out plot which is rather uncommon to horror films (especially by the 4th one).  The building in the second flashback was seen at the end of Hellraiser III:  Hell on Earth, so the film ties in to the original movies in that sense.  Though the concept is interesting, I’ve never been a fan of sci-fi future-horror (as in Jason X and Event Horizon).  Most of the stuff on the ship I find kind of boring and the most compelling part of the story is the present day (aka 1996) portion of the movie.


It is so much happier in Pawnee

Despite being a theater release, the movie has a bit of a cheap look to it.  What could have been a dark and brooding space station (like in Alien) turns into a cheap set with only a few halls.  The period piece portion of the movie has a similar feel, and the 1996 portion is the most textured of the realities even though it too is a pretty bland set.

It was a smart move to have Ramsay play himself in all three time periods.  He did an ok job, but the role wasn’t anything spectacular so it is hard to gauge it.  The script didn’t lend itself to much acting by the cast, though it is fun to see one of the current comedy stars of TV and film in one of his earliest roles.  Adam Scott (of Parks & Recreation, Step Brothers, Piranha 3D, etc.) plays the lover of Angelique who meets with a bad fate.

Hellraiser:  Bloodline isn’t the worse movie you can find…it is still worlds above most Full Moon movies, but you can tell that the series is heading in that direction.  The movie has been released on Blu-Ray and can be purchased in a 4 pack with Hellraiser:  Inferno, Hellraiser:  Hellseeker, and Hellraiser:  HellworldHellraiser:  Bloodline was followed by Hellraiser:  Inferno in 2000.

Related Links:

Hellraiser (1987)

Hellbound:  Hellraiser II (1988)

Hellraiser III:  Hell on Earth (1992)

Hellraiser:  Inferno (2000)

Hellraiser:  Hellseeker (2002)

Hellraiser:  Deader (2005)

Hellraiser:  Hellworld (2005)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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