Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth is a 1992 American horror film and third installment in the Hellraiser series. It was directed by Anthony Hickox and stars Doug Bradley, Terry Farrell, Paula Marshall, and Kevin Bernhardt. Ashley Laurence, who starred in the previous two films, has a cameo. Following the events of Hellbound: Hellraiser II, in which the demon Pinhead (Bradley) is imprisoned in a statue, he resurrects himself by absorbing the life force of unlucky humans. After converting several power-hungry youths (Marshall and Bernhardt) into new Cenobites, Pinhead goes on a rampage, opposed by a reporter (Farrell) and the spiritual manifestation of his good half (also Bradley).
Series creator Clive Barker reprised his role as executive producer, though he was largely uninvolved until post-production. It was the first Hellraiser film to be filmed outside the United Kingdom and the first Miramax release under its Dimension Films banner. The film's reception on release was better than the previous film, and it grossed $12.5 million in the US. In 1996, it was followed by Hellraiser: Bloodline, which was the last film in the series to be theatrically released.
The revelation of his own former humanity in Hellraiser II causes Pinhead, a demon called a Cenobite, to be split into two entities: his former self, World War I British Army Captain Elliot Spencer, and a manifestation of Spencer's id, which takes on the form of Pinhead. While Spencer ends up in limbo, Pinhead is trapped, along with the puzzle box, among the writhing figures and distorted faces etched into the surface of an intricately carved pillar — the Pillar of Souls.
J. P. Monroe, the womanizing owner of a popular nightclub called The Boiler Room, buys the pillar. An ambitious young television reporter, Joey Summerskill, sees hooked chains embedded in a teenage clubgoer in a hospital emergency room. They come to life and tear the clubgoer to pieces. A young homeless woman, Terri, who came in with the clubgoer, explains that the chains sprang from the puzzle box, which she pried from the pillar. Terri gives the puzzle box to Joey. While investigating the box's background with the help of her cameraman, "Doc", Joey invites Terri to stay with her. Joey uncovers a video tape from one of Pinhead's former victims, Kirsty Cotton, that explains the puzzle box is the only means of returning Pinhead to Hell. Pinhead remains dormant until Monroe has sex with a clubgoer, Sandy. Hooked chains drag Sandy to the pillar, and Pinhead absorbs her body. Pinhead points out that they have both used Sandy for their own purposes. Although initially horrified, Monroe agrees to bring Pinhead more club members so he can feed on them and be freed. In return, Pinhead promises Monroe power and unnatural delights.
Joey has recurring nightmares about how she presumes her father died in Vietnam. During one such dream, Spencer contacts Joey. He explains that his experiences in WWI caused him to lose faith in humanity, and he sought out the forbidden pleasures promised by the puzzle box. Spencer tells her that without his humanity to act as a balancing influence, Pinhead is completely evil and will indiscriminately wreak havoc on Earth for his own pleasure, in violation of the Cenobite's laws. To defeat him, Joey must reunite Spencer's spirit with Pinhead and use the puzzle box to return him to Hell. A misunderstanding leads Terri to believe that Joey has abandoned her, and she returns to the arms of her ex-boyfriend, Monroe. Monroe attempts to feed her to Pinhead, but she overpowers him. Before she can flee, Pinhead talks her into feeding Monroe to him, promising to turn her into a demon in return. Now free, Pinhead massacres the club's patrons. Hearing the news reports, Joey goes to the club to investigate.
Pinhead orders Joey to give him the box, but she escapes him. Pinhead resurrects several of his victims as demonic Cenobites, including Terri, Monroe, the barman, the DJ, and "Doc", who also left to investigate the club. Joey flees through the quiet streets, pursued by the new Cenobites. The Cenobites kill local police as Joey enters a church and begs the priest to help her. Lacking in faith that demons could exist, the priest is appalled by the appearance of Pinhead. Pinhead defiles the church and kills the priest. The Cenobites trap Joey on a construction site and prepare to torture her. She solves the puzzle box, and they are sent to Hell. The box transports Joey into limbo, where she comes face to face with an apparition who appears to be her dead father. The apparition tells Joey to give him the puzzle box, only to be revealed as Pinhead in disguise.
Pinhead ensnares her in machinery and prepares to transform her into a Cenobite. Spencer's limbo-bound spirit confronts Pinhead and forcibly fuses himself into Pinhead. Joey breaks free and uses the puzzle box, which has transformed into a dagger, to stab Pinhead through the heart, sending him back to Hell. With Pinhead's humanity restored, the box returns Joey to Earth. She buries it in a pool of concrete at the construction site. Later, the finished product of the same site is revealed: a building whose interior design is identical to the box.