Hellraiser Judgment: Rab. C. Nesbitt the Cenobite and paper pushers from hell
It's perfectly normal to 'pick a side' when watching a film, but with Hellraiser: Judgment, you get to be both the punisher and the punished... until you turn it off.
However, I was more than happy to be the ampersand between 'S' and 'M'. I'm a 'rubbish film' connoisseur, it takes a lot to make me give up on a film. A LOT.
Hellraiser: Judgment is the tenth in the series, and considering its predecessors have all managed to be creepier, gorier and generally unsettling than the last, I wondered how it would get my skin crawling.
Well, film creator and legendary special effects artist Gary J. Tunnicliffe looked to real life when creating a new level of hell.
Was it coronavirus? No, this film was made in 2018.
He summoned an army of JOBSWORTHS.
Like any decent corporation, Hell PLC has different departments. We know about the hooks 'n' chains squad the Cenobites who dwell in the basement ready to tear your soul apart, but in Hellraiser: Judgement, we are introduced to the paper pushers of the Stygian Inquisition.
Their job is to assess just how bad you've been and work out just how much sadistic abuse you've earned. But first you need to be processed by being spat on, forced to drink a cup of festering saliva, and being flayed.
Tunnicliffe himself plays the realm's chief bureaucrat, the (accidentally camp as Christmas) Auditor.
To be honest, he must have run himself ragged making this film. He wrote it, directed it, starred in it, and did all the make-up. Having been involved in the films from the third one onwards, it is obvious that he truly does LOVE the Clive Barker franchise.
His dedication to giving fans a new realm of hell to get lost in is clear from start to end, and this film has the potential to really delight Hellraiser enthusiasts.
One of the new freaks that he presents to fans is The Auditor's disgusting colleague 'the Assessor' who looks just like Scottish comedy layabout Rab C. Nesbitt... without a vest.
His job is to eat the Auditor's typed up confessions then puke it back up in to a funnel. This is then turned in to a black sludge that is sprayed over three naked woman's breasts. These, we learn, are the Jury.
There's another gaggle of gross women who clean the condemned by spitting and licking them (the one part of the film that made me physically gag), ready for the arrival of a knife-wielding she-gimp called the Butcher, who is involved in some of the best gory scenes of the whole film (of which there are many).
But, before we are subjected to this new administrative nightmare and its horrifying employees, we get a bit of office goss.
The Auditor moans to (new) Pinhead that it's harder than ever these days to entice people to their 55 Ludovico Place hell portal because the LeMarchand Boxes simply can't compete with the internet.
It's a real water cooler moment - if you were waiting for a paper cup of congealed blood.
He says: "Irrelevant in an age when desire has become amplified. But where lust can be sated electronically. We need something more than just a wooden box...
"Technology may have advanced, but sin remains unchanged. Pure. Greed. Lust. Lies. Betrayal.
"This new millennium hurtles forward. Faith is lost. Mankind have become a vacuum without morality.
"So many souls seeking new and darker experiences. Degradation upon degradation, sin after sin. So then those are the souls we shall seek out first."
Note to self: Clear my browsing history, ASAP.
As with any recruitment drive, it is arduous and you just want it to be over. The effects are fantastic, but the storyline is not as sharp as Chatterer's teeth, and the two main characters - cop siblings at war - have all the charisma of The Chuckle Brothers.
A random segment features The Auditor having interdepartmental beef with one of God's angels, a sexy blonde no-nonsense babe, who indirectly has the ultimate revenge on Pinhead.
Overall, the film is not so bad that it's good, it's just a straight bad but I enjoyed it.
Hellraiser fans eager to get their mitts on the new movie will be excited to know that it is available now on Digital Download, and released on Blu-ray and DVD on 1 March,