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.

(comment in the main post)