16 April 2005

Barker (closing thoughts)

And that's the extent of Clive Barker's directorial endeavors. I'm not sure what the current status of Tortured Souls is, but I'd heard Universal had dumped it. What I'd wish, in general, is that Barker'd forget about major studios for his next film. I'd love to see him approach his next with the amount of wild freedom seen in The Forbidden. A story like Tortured Souls could really use that.

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Barker (1990-1995)

1990 - Nightbreed - Tasty, but lacking flesh. It's too bad Barker hasn't found the missing footage in order to construct the long-awaited director's cut of this film. As it is, themes and plotlines fly by a little too fast. Decker's obsession with destroying breeders of all sorts, the 'breed prophecy, and, especially, the 'breed themselves are all given too little screen time. However, Peloquin's still one of my all-time favorite movie characters.

1995 - Lord of Illusions - Slightly better than average. In the end, Harry vanquishes the evil, as expected, and gets the girl, as expected; there really wasn't much Barker flavor in the film. The closest we got to Cenobites or Tribes of Moon in Lord of Illusions was probably Nix's binding mask. The movie would've been more interesting, I think, if Harry's noir factor had been kicked up several notches.

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03 April 2005

Barker (1973-1987)

1973 - Salomé - I probably should've re-read the play first; that would've made this a lot easier to follow. As such, there were a number a nice moments in the films: Barker's experimentation with light and shadow and Salomé's surreal dance were particularly memorable. Though made be people of the same age, this short's a step above the typical experimental crap one finds at college film fests.

1978 - The Forbidden - The Hellbound Heart's daddy and Hellraiser's grandpappy. I was a bit reminded of Begotten by this film, both by the tortured looks of the prints themselves and by their mythological content. The Forbidden, however, is far more watchable. It would be interesting to see how Hellraiser would've turned out had Barker felt as unrestrained making it as he did making this. Barker was, perhaps, a little too fascinated with his grid-n-nail board, but otherwise made a solid, silent, surreal little film.

1987 - Hellraiser - Once-upon-a-time, I ran a fanpage for this movie. I hadn't seen this in a number of years after ceasing my webmastering work. Watching it again today was like seeing it with new eyes. The flaws were more apparent than ever: the awkward exposition when Larry and Julia first examine the house, the rubbery puppet looks of the Engineer and skeletal dragon, the cheap way in which the Cenobites are dispatched at the end. But, the strengths and details were also clearer: Barker's excellent use of light and sound, Andrew Robinson's eyes changing from blue to brown when he becomes Frank, the unexplained -- and thus, more fun -- mystery of the Cenobites. To this day, still a breath of fresh air in a genre usually populated by unkillable killers, nightmare bogeymen and cannibal families.

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02 April 2005

Barker (opening thoughts)

What the hell's a "chronocinethon"? It's where I watch all of someone's films in chronological order. It allows me to marvel at their growth over the years... or lack thereof. Clive Barker has directed only a handful, but his films will be fun for a couple of weekends.

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