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Description: Horror, suspense. Hannibal Lector, M.D., kills artistically in Florence, Italy, and in the States. Former victim tries for revenge. Agent Clarice Starling investigates.

Ok, so I may not be the best person to review this movie. I'm jaded. I've seen Hellraiser about a billion times (Boyfriend, film class, college essay. Long story, anyway). I thought Dead Again, which is seriously gory, was funny. Well it was meant to be.

Anyway, what that boils down to is, I loved this movie. I'm not sure why everyone says it was extremely violent/gorey. Ridley Scott's previous outing, Gladiator, had a much high violence quotient. Or for that matter Anthony Hopkinís previous film, Titus (otherwise known as Shakespeare's slasher play), was way more violent and pound for pound more people were eaten. But then again I've seen a lot of fairly bloody movies, so it is very hard for me to judge.

Whatever, the cinematography was gorgeous. Long picture postcard shots of Florence and gorgeous mansions on lakes. 

Sir Anthony Hopkins was mesmerizing in the role of Hannibal - evil and poetic by turns. He swam through the movie like a shark. He killed without qualm and quoted the opening poem from the Vita Nuova by Dante Alligheri. He killed with historical significance and, yes, did wrap up the movie with a fairly gross, but not emotionally unsatisfying act of cannibalism.

Julianne Moore did a good job taking on the role of Clarice Starling. The character didn't give up. She didn't give in. She kept her principals. Go girl.

In I believe, Manhunter (the first movie Hannibal appears in), Hannibal tells another character that he kills because he wishes to be like God, because God kills. That's an interesting statement in light of the fact that Hannibal has so clearly become a force of nature. Unstoppable. Unknowable. Other. 

Not sure what the movie was trying to say. Probably, "hello, I am your entertaining movie for the day." And on that count, the movie did well by me.

Hellraiser I and II

After seeing Hannibal, Karen and I decided to review some movies that we considered bloodier, more violent, etc. than Hannibal.

Now, really I ought to be reviewing Dead Alive, (the bloodiest movie that I have ever seen) but that's a little too much of a parody to be useful.

And so I reach back to some classically violent disturbing movies, Hellraiser. 

Now Hellraiser I is a much creepier movie, however some of their effects didn't quite work for me, but the atmosphere is incredibly claustrophobic.

The Plots are kind of hard to explain without a long complex plot summary. The important thing is that the demons aren't actually the villains. Undead Frank, lustful Julia, the good psychotic doctor. They are the villains. The Sadomasochistic  Cenobites, as led by Pinhead, are dangerous. And yet, as Pinhead would say, "They are angels to some, demons to others."

These are great horror movies. From the moment, in Hellraiser II, when Julia returns from the dead through a blood stained mattress to wrap her skinless body around a shrieking
madman, to Pinhead's wonderful statement, "It is not hands which call us (to maim and flay), it is desire," there is a wonderful sense of dread and creepiness. Oh, and a whole lot of blood. Madmen flaying themselves with strait edges, insane clowns, skinless women, various hanging corpses, and well then there's hell. A vast maze ruled over by Leviathan, who is (really you have to see the movie for this to make any sense) a puzzle. And a woman. She, Leviathan.

As to the other horrific female in the plot, Julia is incredible. Controlled. Vicious. In touch, with her own, albeit undead, sexuality. She says one of my favorite lines in any movie, "Oh, but Christie they changed the rules on you. I'm not the evil step mother anymore, I'm the evil queen. So, take your best
shot Snow White." At which point, she completely whales on Christie.

I won't bore anyone with the many, many ways I could analyze this, that, and the other in these movies. There is an incredible amount of material. However, if you want to see a genuinely creepy, violent set of horror movies for people with brains, check out Hellraiser I and II. (Skip III, IV, etc... They aren't worth it.)

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