Pinhead is stuck in a block after the big confrontation in "Hellbound," The block containing Pinhead and the puzzle cube is bought by a young playboy as sculpture. Pinhead busies himself escaping by getting the playboy to lure victims to his presence so he can use their blood. Once free, he seeks to destroy the puzzle cube so he need never return to Hell, but a female reporter is investigating the grisly murders and stands in his way.
Ashley Laurence has been mercifully removed from the cast, except for a brief cameo in which her character is referred to in order to learn about the history of the box and to prove its capabilities. Hellraiser III gives the series a much needed jump-start, following a great and classic original, but then a weak first sequel. Unfortunately, the `Female Cenobite' (mysteriously left unnamed), `Chatterer,' and `Butterball' are gone, but a series of about half a dozen new Cenobites keeps the hellish imagery alive. I think that one of the better elements of this installment in the series is that they show all of the new Cenobites being created. However, when Doc becomes a Cenobite (`Camerahead'), some of his dialogue refers to his life as a human, contradicting the previously established characteristic of the Cenobites that they don't remember their human selves.
In the anti-religious tradition of the Hellraiser series, some of Pinhead's antics in the church near the end of the film are great. When the priest holds up the cross to him, Pinhead melts it in the fuckers hand, and at the same time he utters an absolutely brilliant bit of dialogue, `Thou shalt not bow down to any graven image.' (Words to live by people.) After that, Pinhead's self-crucifixion scene was wonderfully sickening, yet his intentions in doing that were both clearly presented and morbidly farcical. Jesus was crucified, paying for man's sins, thereby saving mankind from damnation and becoming the subject of countless masses of people's unquestioning adoration, inspiring Pinhead to crucify himself and state that `I am the way.' Therefor the underlining meaning is that Pinhead will sacrifice himself, paying for man to 'live' in sin. Utterly brilliant!
Besides all that, I think that this installment had some of the best death scenes of the series so far, particularly in the nightclub. Some of that was almost physically painful to watch, a sure sign of success for a horror film. Not only was that Boiler Room massacre convincingly portrayed, but writer Peter Atkins also had the excellent idea to have poor Terri walk through the masses of mutilated bodies after the massacre had ended. Pretty uplifting stuff, huh? A little too gory and bloody? Don't moan about that, it's not supposed to be good, clean, fun. This is a horror film, and by definition, horror films are supposed to be horrible. Hellraiser III achieves this horror better than either of the two that preceded it, finally leaving the viewer satisfied. Even when you think you are watching what will be a cheesy ending, a plot twist makes it good again, saving us from a stupid and patronizing ‘happily-ever-after.'
-Peter Atkins makes a cameo as the barman.
-Anthony Hickox also makes a cameo as a soldier in Vietnam, as well as brief segment on a TV chat show.
-The scene in the construction yard takes place on the campus of Wake Forest University, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The building under construction would later become the Worrell Professional Center.