Bloody-Disgusting spoke exclusively with horror icon Clive Barker yesterday for the first part of an extensive and very frank interview on a number of topics, from The Midnight Meat Train release fiasco and the new DVD/Blu-ray (which Barker admits he is pleased with) to the many upcoming projects he has going, from short fiction to novels and film projects. Read on for the skinny and an update on the Hellraiser reboot.
On the highly-anticipated remake of Hellraiser by director Pascal Laugier, Barker says he is in regular contact with the director and will soon be reading Laugier’s treatment. “I’m supposed to get his treatment this week,” Barker tells BD. “After which, I think I’m meeting him here in Los Angeles and then I guess he’s going to go in and write the screenplay. I liked Martyrs a lot. I’m very excited at the idea of him doing it.”
Barker is happy to pass the reigns of the franchise over to the capable hands of Laugier and says he feels confident that the Martyrs director will do the Cenobites proud. “The first version will always be there,” says Barker. “Pascal is a very talented filmmaker, obviously a lot more talented than I was when I stepped onto the sound stage on [the first] Hellraiser and I hadn’t really directed anything before… I am completely open and ready to be blown away. I don’t have any possessiveness about it. I just want people to have fun.”
As to Barker’s involvement in the production, he admits that will depend on the location. “I assume if it’s shot in Los Angeles, I won’t be able to stay away. But if it’s shot in Europe or [elsewhere], I haven’t been told about any of that, so we’ll see what happens.”
The Hellraiser remake recently got some unintentional focus when makeup designer (and Hellraiser franchise vet) Gary J. Tunnicliffe created a new design for Pinhead on spec, hoping to land the job on the remake. The designs weren’t popular with fans, nor with Barker. “I didn’t like them,” Barker admits. “I thought they were provocative in the sense of hopefully making people take notice of what worked and what didn’t work. I feel that the Pinhead design works best because it’s geometric. It’s very severe and schematized. Each of the squares are the same size, all the scars are laid out in a straight line. It isn’t the work of somebody going at somebody else’s face with a chainsaw. That, I think, is what makes the thing scary – ritual scarification. This is not crude, vicious slashing.
“I think the combination of a very organized system of scarring with a nail at every intersection is almost mathematical in its precision. The fact that that’s been done to somebody or worse, that they’ve done to themselves, is what makes that image powerful. Once you take away the squares all being the same size and the nails all being the same length, you are just left with a slasher victim, which I don’t think Pinhead is. I think Pinhead is a priest at the alter of a S & M.”
We’ll have more next week from our series of interviews with Barker including updates on Dread, Tortured Souls, Down Satan and The Midnight Meat Train trilogy plans.