I conducted the following interview with Clive Barker twenty-six years ago, when I was fresh out of college. With The Scarlet Gospels almost here and the recent release of the Director ‘s Cut of Nightbreed, I thought you might enjoy it.
FOR LOVE OF MONSTERS:
AN INTERVIEW WITH CLIVE BARKER
by Christopher Golden
Handsome, soft-spoken, and amusing, dressed in jeans and sneakers with red socks, Clive Barker does not cut the figure of the Crown Prince of Horror. Perhaps because the nightmare worlds so effectively created by the man exist within him, and he is at peace with them, enjoys them in fact. But make no mistake: Barker’ s films and books could never be simply categorized as horror. Harper & Row, Barker ‘s publishers, now refer to him as the “Master Fabulist” of our generation. His work is unique, and with his recent novel, The Great and Secret Show, and the August 8 video release of Nightbreed, his latest film, he may finally be able to please both his legions of horror fans, and the many mainstream readers and filmgoers who are at last discovering his work.
The film did little boxoffice business, largely due to the poor marketing campaign and substandard distribution it received from Fox. Had they simply capitalized on its monsters, it would probably have fared much better. Regardless, its makers, Morgan Creek, expect it to do very well on video, and therefore plan at least one sequel.
Born in 1952, in Liverpool, England, Barker is an award-winning short story writer, novelist, playwright, illustrator, screenwriter, and film director. His books include Cabal, Weaveworld, and The Books of Blood, collections of his short fiction. His directorial debut was the horror smash Hellraiser.
In Nightbreed, Barker is attempting to create a new mythology. Based on his novel, Cabal, the film is written and directed by Barker, and stars David Cronenberg (acclaimed director of The Fly and Dead Ringers), with a score by Danny Elfman (Batman), and special effects by the same team that worked on Hellraiser. The film revolves around Midian, a legendary city, a place of refuge for the monsters that are the root of our myths. But they are not myths, they exist. And they hide, underground, waiting for a savior who will lead them when they can hide no longer.
Thematically, Barker says, “the movie flips over the conventional structure of horror, because the monsters are the good guys.”
It bothers Clive Barker that so many people don’ t want to see