Clive Barker

Candyman

Speaking as someone who has been on this earth since the early 1970s, I can attest to the fact that some movies often behave like wine. They may be novel when they first come out, but after a few years they become bland. However, if you let them age long enough, they become good again, often times embodying a nostalgia factor that makes their imperfections seem endearing. This process takes about 20 years for the effects to be initially felt, which is why nostalgia often runs in 20 year cycles, which coincide with a person in his or her 20s looking back fondly at what they watched as a child, and major movie studios remaking beloved titles old enough to drink. Because of this, the films of the 90s are starting to look more and more vintage. Yeah, there’s that bump in the middle of the decade with really bad CGI that will always hamper films like Spawn and Species, but the movies from the earlier part of that decade seemed to have escaped that. Such is the case with the 1992 horror film Candyman. Candyman took on the subject of urban legends when they were gaining popularity, and it started its own legends about the now iconic monster. Case in point, I saw it as a college preview back in 1992, and I knew plenty of people who immediately went home and said the name five times in the mirror. (My sister, who was often affected like this from […]

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Scream Factory

Clive Barker‘s second feature film as a director hit theaters in 1990 in a compromised and heavily molested form thanks to the meddling suits at Warner Bros. and Morgan Creek, but while Nightbreed died a quick death on the big screen the desire for Barker’s full vision lived on in the hearts and minds of fans. Rumors swirled about lost footage, and when years later much of those scenes were found the world was treated to a “restored” cut of the film featuring these rediscovered scenes dropped into the existing feature to form the Cabal Cut. The resulting cut had its pros and cons — my full review is here — but it was a kitchen sink version and never meant to be construed as Barker’s preferred vision. Happily, and somewhat miraculously, that vision is now getting its day in the sun as Scream Factory releases the lovingly restored, Barker-supervised director’s cut complete with a beautiful high-def remaster. There’s no arguing that this new cut looks and sounds great and is long overdue, but is it an improvement over the theatrical release? Is it any good at all? The answer to both questions is a pretty resounding yes.

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news hellraiser reboot

When Clive Barker unleashed his directorial debut into the world in 1987 it was unlike most anything else in the horror genre. Based on his own novella, “The Hellbound Heart,” Hellraiser mixed murder, demons, S&M, infidelity, and some incestuous shenanigans for good measure. The film didn’t exactly blow up the box-office, but the character of Pinhead (Doug Bradley) found a success all his own turning him into a franchise star. This was especially impressive as he only had a few minutes of screen time in the first film. There have been eight sequels so far, most of them direct to DVD (and most of them pretty terrible), but talk of a big screen reboot has been in the air for years. Possible writers and directors have come and gone over the years including the various talents behind Inside, Martyrs, The Collector, and My Bloody Valentine 3D, until the idea seemed to die a quiet death. But now there seems to be good news on the horizon. According to Barker’s Facebook page (h/t Fangoria), he recently had a meeting with Bob Weinstein of Dimension Pictures where he pitched a remake of his own, and now he’s been officially hired to write the screenplay.

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ff nightbreed cabal cut

I watched Clive Barker‘s Nightbreed three times in theaters in 1990 and several times more after buying it on VHS. (Shut up.) It was a completely different beast from his film debut, Hellraiser, but its creativity, ambition, and roster of all manner of creatures of the night made it a fun and original horror film in a year dominated by genre sequels. Sure it was cheesy and goofy at times in its attempt to tell a love story against a backdrop of serial killers, monsters, rednecks, and rogue priests, but it was also unlike anything we had seen before. But even then, twenty three years ago, there were rumblings in Fangoria magazine and elsewhere about the troubles Barker had dealing with the studio and the cuts he was forced to make, and Barker repeated the tales again and again in interviews that followed over two decades. He requested access to the original film elements on more than one occasion so he could essentially craft his director’s cut, but he was denied time and again. There was finally a change in that narrative in the past couple years though when the discovery of VHS tapes featuring raw, work print versions of the film was announced. A man named Russell Cherrington set out to mesh footage from both sources into a definitive cut based on the author’s original script, and with Barker’s blessing he’s now sharing it with the world. My excitement for the finished product, Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut (named for the source novella, “Cabal”), […]

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Junkfood Cinema - Large

Welcome back to Junfood Cinema. We break laws for meat. Column-owner Brian Salisbury is currently further North than the Northest of the Dakotas covering the Fantasia Film Fest in Montreal. If he knew what Canadians really did he might have rethought his trip. The most I know is that he was alive and well two days ago. Or do I? Canadians are weird and they harbor weird things. I know that because I’ve seen today’s movie that’s set in Calgary, directed by a famous author who writes famously weird stories and starring a famous director who directs famously weird movies in Canada and that makes me a certifiable expert on 1990 Canada. Everything else I learned about Canada I got from Dear Zachary and dammit things just got real and now I’m crying. But back to Canada being South of normal and North of Dakota, if today’s film is any indication as to the happenings of what goes on with the dead in that region of the world then, well, free healthcare is making a ton of sense. I know I’m supposed to plug something clever about how we integrate food in with the movie that we write about, but I just finished re-watching this movie and there is a big pile of man-poo-blob-cyst-slobber creature thing that resembles a Pod fusion between the Brundle Fly and a bowl of clam chowder. So, thank you Clive Barker and David Cronenberg, because appetite destructed. Now about this movie Nightbreed…

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Despite the fact that none of these movies that pit two famous movie creatures against each other and none of these B-movie tributes that present material that’s self-aware in its schlockiness have managed to become runaway hits, Hollywood has deemed them to be a trend. And like any other trend, it’s not going to go away until it’s run so far into the ground that it’s almost time to dig it back up for a revival. The next big entry into the purposefully cheesy something vs. something genre is coming from Amazon.com’s Amazon Studios, and it’s going to be called Zombies vs. Gladiators. You see, zombie movies have been a thing for a long time, and gladiator movies have been a thing for a long time…so why not mash them together? It worked so well for Cowboys vs. Aliens after all. All snarkiness and genre exploitation burnout aside, Zombies vs. Aliens does have one thing going for it that none of its predecessors did: pedigree. Amazon Studios may have a set-up where pitches and screenplays are submitted and then voted on, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t hire big Hollywood names to make the projects they decide to green light; and that’s exactly what they’ve decided to do here. Despite the fact that he hasn’t done much writing lately, and he hasn’t directed a film since 1995’s Lord of Illusions, somehow Clive Barker has been convinced to both re-write the Zombies vs. Gladiators script and serve as its director.

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Every day, come rain or shine or internet tubes breaking, Film School Rejects showcases a trailer from the past. If you love horror, you love this movie. Or you hate it. Tastes are so fickle these days. Still, if you know it, you remember the deft dialogue from Clive Barker as well as the creature design that looked like a shrunken mummy head got covered in raspberry jam. Watch out, Ireland! It’s…that…it’s that thing! Think you know what it is? Check the trailer out for yourself:

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Coroner

It’s Halloween time (close enough, jerk bags!) so I’m turning the Coroner’s Report into a horror column! Wait what? Exactly. This is always a horror column, because that kind of thing is my bag, baby. But now it’s also part of the 31 Days of Horror and in honor of that, I’m jumping into the way back machine and traveling to 1987 to bring you an in-depth look at Clive Barker’s Hellraiser. This dark, gothic horror film follows Larry, his daughter Kirsty, and his second wife Julia as they move into a house previously occupied by the bad boy brother Frank. Written for the page and the screen by Clive Barker, who also directed, Hellraiser gave birth to one of the iconic characters of the genre: Pinhead. He’s what’s known as a Cenobite, an interdimensional traveler who bills himself as an angel to some, a demon to others. If your religion is all about hooks tearing your body apart, he’s an angel. If that’s your idea of hell, well… The crux of the story is Frank, who has escaped from the Cenobite Hell and seeks Julia’s help in returning to form. To do this, there will have to be murders and sacrifices. Duh.

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Our resident horror guru dismisses your anti-remake rhetoric and finds 10 titles that should be remade – and we guarantee you haven’t heard of all of them.

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ff-clivebarkersdread

This adaptation of a short story by Clive Barker contains a compelling concept that deserved better treatment.

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BookofBlood

In the market for a haunted house? Check out this clip from Book of Blood to sneak a peek at some sweet property that comes complete with a girl in her underwear on the ceiling and a ton of skin-slicing spirits.

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nightbreed1

Clive Barker has teased a Nightbreed director’s cut for years now, but always ended by saying the footage is lost… well it seems someone has finally found it. Now they just need a reason to release it…

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Win Clive Barker

As if you’ve already gotten your fill of horror this month – by getting dumped on Valentine’s Day alone – we’ve got an awesome chance for you to win a copy of the fantastic Midnight Meat Train on DVD that happens to be signed by Clive Barker.

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Aaron Boone is a troubled young man who may or may not be responsible for a series of brutal murders…

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Vinnie Jones in Midnight Meat Train

Rage-aholic Robert Fure demands answers as to why seemingly awesome flicks are sentenced to “limited release” hell.

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Vinnie Jones in Midnight Meat Train

That’s the first and last railroad related pun you’ll find in this report. Unfortunately, we offer no such promises regarding puns involving gay porn.

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Hellraiser

Just when you thought countless piss-poor sequels had diluted the Hellraiser franchise to a horchata-like potency, Clive Barker himself has wicked-good news.

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