a ; v a a"
‘Heal horror is about breakingthe rules. about going a little turtherthan anyone else. 'Such isthe manitesto ot Clive Barker. rising starol the horror genre. Since the l984 publication olhistirstshort storieshis work has shocked hard-boiled alicionados withh its torthright and imaginative lusion otthelantastic elements olproloundly perverse sexuality. Six volumes ot The Books Ol Blood. collecting his short liction. have been lollowed bya novel The Damnation Game intothe bestseller lists. Now his singularly bizarre world-view is about to reach an even wider audience withthe release 01 Hellraiser. his debutas screenwriterand movie director.
Apiquant brew otmurder. sado-masochism and necrophilia. it's easilythe most impressive no-nonsense genre piece made in Britain sincethe much-lamented demise ot HammerFilms.
The sick sonotabitch responsibleiorthis eminently watchable parade olghoulishness lounges opposite me in jeans and expensive trainers. In his mid-thirties and sporting a satislied smile with huge cigarto match. his haircutand demeanoursuggesta centre-lorward recently nourished bya lucrative translerdeal. Which ol course does Iitle justiceto the man‘s eloquence: Clive
Barker is living prootthat you need to be a pretty smart cookieto come up with stutt as utterly preposterous as Hellraiser. Quite rightly hetakesa serious stance onthe motivation behind purveying such weirdness
2 The List 21 Aug— 3 Sept
nuns-.46. to an unsuspecting public. ‘My belietabouthorroris thatthe stuttbe outrageously lantastical as opposed to subtly so. I‘ve a desire to push my imagination astaraslcan.
at a horror has grown very complacent at late.‘
This much istrue. Video rental patrons especially will testin to the mountains oi cheapjack rubbish piled high onthe shelves. Barker's move into
I tiIm-making was in part
prompted by having his work poorly adapted by otherunscrupulous hands. ‘In a lot at casesthe producers' attitude is that the audiencelorthistype 01 movie isreally tundamentallydumbso we don’thave totrytoo hard.‘ he berates. ‘which to me is quite pernicious. With Hellraiserltried to get pertormancesthatwouldn‘t shame a mainstream movie. and l thinkClaire Higginsis especiallyline: we had a Directorol Photography who'd just worked on The Mission: we had an Editor who‘d worked with greats like Cukorand Schlesinger: and trom the whole crew there was never any sense at ‘Aw. well it‘s onlya horrorpicture'.
What is relreshing about Hellraiseristhe courage it displays in taking itsell vaguely seriously and its retusal to stoopto sell-parody ordegenerate into mere ettects display. Like Wes Craven's masterly Nightmare On Elm Street this is a movie with an imaginative bite you simply can‘t laugh away. ‘I didn‘t want to make a cheap movie.‘ says Clive. ‘the one-piece-ot-spectacular- gore-and-no-plot routine l've very little timelor. Toa certain extent the cinema has latlen in love with
I l I
' special ettectstothe . detriment ot narrative and
characterisation. I'm trying to putthem all back together. Forinstance. Claire's long romantic scene with the skinned man
is much more interesting than itshe‘d beentalkingto ; shadows. The story always
comeslirst. ol course. butt
don‘t agree with the ‘it's scarier it you don't see it'
; school otthought. lwantto seethosetentacles!lwant
to teel that slime!
Barker is also particularly concerned with overturning the genre‘straditionally
2 misogynistic attitudes.and itisnotablethatin
Hellraiserthetwowomen. i mother and daughter. each
play pivotal roles inthe
narrative requiring a certain
amount of cunning. ‘Horror
: movies have always been
proloundly sexist.‘ Barker
image of the scantily-clad temale injeopardy has
always appealed tothe
male audience. Recently
; we‘ve had a spate ol movies
where the girl takes her
‘ clothes oil and outjumps
the guy in the hockey mask
with the phallic substitute in
his hand. Politically.
1 morally.artisticallythat is
quite repugnant. twill put
all sorts ol imagery in my
work. the most outré sexuality. but I won‘t dothat kind otscene.‘
Indeed. Barker's psycho-sexual concerns mark out his worklrom almost everyone else apart trom. say. David Cronenberg. Hellraiser presents us with a woman‘s passion tor herhusband‘s dead brotherand the latter‘s desire in turn tor his young niece. and along with the rampant sado-masochistic elements olthe story. you getthe impression there's a lotol weird psychological shit
going down inthere.
‘There's a very passionate relationship between Julia and Frank. so much so that she‘s prepared to tellate his lingerwhen he‘s this rotting corpse to reprise theirearlier love-making when he was still alive. Originally inthat scene I wanted Claire Higgins to give him a deep French kiss but she retused to do it. Not because he was covered in ultraslime. interestingly enough. but because she telt. and Ithink she was right. thatthe audiences would lose sympathy with the character ilshe did it.
'The pointthere isthat she's gonna do stutt with him that she's notgonna do
with herhusband‘ Clive. baby. do you ever
stop and think to yourselt
‘Nooo. this is getting too sick!‘?
He considers carelully. “In my viewthe only unhealthy thing is to lorbid the imagination. ltthere's stuff in yourimagination you're unwilling to concede isthere then that is unhealthy. ll my mind can come up with itthen it‘s cool.
‘However. there are basically political constraints I impose upon mysell. For instance Iwon‘t make entertainment out at concentration camps. nor will I do anythingthat exploits women‘s sexuality.
‘Setting theses conscious constraints aside. ldo
is a liberating Iorce and that once you extend it you Iind yourseltcoming up against society‘s artilicial barriers. The tactthat you mustn‘t show erections on screen. torexampte. Imean 48 per cent at the world hasthem. and possibly even at any given moment. but they are a complete no-no. Now is this mystique to do with Christian values concerning the organs ot regeneration? ...ldon't know. butit's intriguingto ask.’
Hellraiseropens in Central Scotland on Fri 11 Sept. Clive Barker‘s new novel Weaveworld will be published by Collins in October.
SCOTTISH INDEPENDENT DESIGNERS
The Scottish Independent Designers take their newly tormed group one stage Iurtherthis month when they hold theirtirst exhibition in the 8.0.1). Business Promotion Centre in Glasgow is specitically aimed at the design trade— a deliberate policy by the group who wish to impress upon manutacturers and design practices theirwish to operate primarily as a commercial enterprise.
Examples 01 work on display will includetextile designs and handmade rag paper panels (above) by Alison Scott. and Iurniture by Glasgow-based designer. Jackie Park (inlaid cocktail cabinet. right).
Anyone interested in visiting the exhibition. (21 Bothwell Street. Glasgow. 15—18 Sept. Tue noon-7pm. Wed & Thurs 10am—5pm. Fri 10am—2pm). orjoining the group which welcomes new members. should contact Fiona Lambert. Secretary. 5 Montpelier Park. Edinburgh EH104LV. 031 228 4107.
JAMES DILLON— MUSICA NOVA
ltseems Iongerthanthree years sunce Glasgow last hosted Musica Nova. the triennial blowout oi contemporary music presented by the SND and Glasgow University. A lot
can happen (and has happened) in three years. but itwould perhaps be wishtul thinking to seethis splendid arena otnew music being put in such a showcase more olten. Which is a pity. especially as Musica Nova can only concentrate on three orlour composers each yearand there is a lot oI newtalent around. It is also a pity as new works are notbeing pertormed in Scotland as often astheymightand. as this year's Musica Nova exposes. we are not always even getting the opportunity to hearworks by composers born inthis country.James Dillon. one otthisyear's three living composers
leatured in Musica Nova. is
a prime example. Born in Glasgow'sGorbals in 1950. he will have two orchestral works(one aspecial commission tor the SND and the other receiving its UK premiere) and two solo instrumental works pertormed. For Dillon. who will be in residence torthe whole week otthelestival. his visit to Glasgow is. ‘in some sense just part 01 my work. But itmeans moreto me because it‘s in Glasgow. lt'sthelirsttime any otmy work has been pertormed in