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HELLABRATION DELUXE! Thirty-One Days of SHOCKTOBER: Day Six – 10/06/18

HELLABRATION DELUXE! Thirty-One Days of SHOCKTOBER: Day Six – 10/06/18

10/06 – 1992: CANDYMAN

“It was always you, Helen…”

All you have to do is say that to someone, and then watch as they shudder as if a big spider just moonwalked across the back of their neck. If that’s the reaction they give you, then you know they’re probably a fan of CANDYMAN.  Besides Stephen King, Ira Levin and Dean Koontz, not many writers have had the indelible, undeniable impact on the horror genre that CLIVE BARKER has, and if HELLRAISER had been his only contribution, his legacy would have been set. But the man wrote such compelling, irresistibly addictive stories that begged to be adapted for the screen (though the success of doing so is another thing entirely,) that other filmmakers took the plunge to try and replicate what he did with his touchstone of a film.

 

For my money, the only person who’s been about as successful as Barker has in translating his own tales is British director BERNARD ROSE (PAPERHOUSE), a stunning visual fantasist in his own right, on par with the likes of MARY LAMBERT and GUILLERMO DEL TORO. No one could’ve been a better fit for CANDYMAN than Rose, and it shows in every frame.  Based on Barker’s tale, “The Forbidden”, there hadn’t been a story like this before, that encapsulated the themes of racism, classism, misogyny, poverty, mythology and the supernatural quite like this.

Helen Lyle (the radiant VIRGINIA MADSEN of such cult hits as DUNE and ELECTRIC DREAMS) is a grad student working on her dissertation, about how urban myths affect the landscape and people in impoverished areas, and vice versa. The main target of her research is Chicago’s notorious Cabrini Green projects, where she comes to learn about the ultimate horror story: the gruesome and tragic tale of Daniel Robitaille, a.k.a. “The Candyman.”

An artistically-talented black man who dared to fall in love with a white woman, Daniel payed the ultimate price, losing a hand and having honeycombs filled with live bees shoved into his chest cavity, as a gruesomely fatal form of torture.  And now, he has become legend: say his name three times in front of a mirror, and his vengeance-hungry ghost will appear, to deliver a demise you wouldn’t want to imagine.

Ever the cynical academic, Helen believes less than nothing about the things she actually writes about, so she decides to try and conjure him up. Imagine her shock, terror and dread fascination…when she succeeds.

Now Candyman is laying waste to people in her life (some way more deserving of a brutal death than others), and letting her take the fall for it, trying to break her down physically and psychologically, so that soon she will have no choice but to join him and “be his victim” forever…and become ‘legend’ as he has.

Director Rose’s surrealist sensibilities were the perfect platform with which to elevate Barker’s tale to a whole new level as a film, thanks in no small part to DP ANTHONY B. RICHMOND (DON’T LOOK NOW, RAVENOUS, AUTOPSY).  And the actors were more than happy to tackle and own their roles in this endeavor: Madsen has never been a more beautiful combination of strength and vulnerability – even in DUNE, which hardly gave her as much to do as she has here – and CANDYMAN is the role that finally made genre actor TONY TODD a household name, and with good reason. He slips into the skin and psyche of Daniel Robitaille like it was the role he was born to play, which isn’t far from the truth.

Plus a great supporting cast that includes KASI LEMMONS (THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS) as Helen’s best friend; XANDER BERKELEY (GATTACA, AIR FORCE ONE, TAPEHEADS and way too many other credits to list here) as Helen’s faithless other half; VANESSA WILLIAMS, (a.k.a. VANESSA L. WILLIAMS), TED RAIMI, and STANLEY DESANTIS in an unforgettable cameo as Helen’s condescending headshrinker.

And just when you think it couldn’t get any better, iconoclastic composer PHILIP GLASS contributed what has to be his best and most beloved score after KOYAANISQATSI, a sumptuous, reverent and almost religious musical landscape that intensifies in majesty to match the onscreen horror, (a style of composition that would later be replicated by other composers as diverse as ELIOTT GOLDENTHAL and MICHAEL NYMAN & DAMON ALBARN.)

CANDYMAN isn’t just a piece of horror mastery as worthy and as iconic as A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET or FRIDAY THE 13TH, but a necessary item in every dyed-in-the-wool horror lover’s library.


Posted by Samuel Glass in EDITORIALS, FEATURED CONTENT, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, HALLOWEEN, HORROR HEROES, MYTHS AND LEGENDS, PARANORMAL, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, THRILLER, TRIBUTE, URBAN DECAY/DYSTOPIAN FUTURES, 1 comment
HELLABRATION DELUXE! Thirty-One Days of SHOCKTOBER: Intro And Day One – 10/01/18

HELLABRATION DELUXE! Thirty-One Days of SHOCKTOBER: Intro And Day One – 10/01/18

As long as there have been movies, and as long as there have been Halloweens, Hollywood and the independent denizens who scrape and scrounge outside of the system, have been more than happy to exploit the holiday, by presenting crowd-pleasing, creepy creations of the killing kind. The offerings have been as diverse and diabolical as anything the human mind has been capable of whipping up, and for this particular occasion, HOUSE OF TORTURED SOULS – and Yours Cruelly – have devised a diversion of devilish delights just for you, dear readers!

Starting today, and for the days to come, we dug back into the dusty archives, going back THIRTY-ONE YEARS, and will be presenting to you, reviews of films that served as “fright fulfillment” for the spookiest night of each.

Hopefully, no one’s going to feel insulted or that I’m being condescending, but I’m going to talk about each one of these as if none of you readers have ever seen or heard of these before and at thirty-one years and counting, believe it – there are quite a few of you who have not.

I’ve relied on IMDb.com for the suggestions here, but I made each selection in terms of what film I found meant THE MOST to me for that year. That will make it easier, even though some time periods made it a lot harder to choose than others!

10/01 – 1987: HELLRAISER


In a year that was literally ‘an embarrassment of riches’ for die-hard horror fans, which saw the release of EVIL DEAD 2, THE LOST BOYS, THE HIDDEN, ANGEL HEART, NEAR DARK and PREDATOR, choosing the best film would seem like a daunting and impossible task. Filmmakers were transcending boundaries, going deeper into imaginative scenarios. There seemed to be no limit to what could be done to refresh what audiences recognized as the “tried-and-true” stories that were quickly  becoming established horror tropes, but it was writer/actor/artist/poet CLIVE BARKER, who struck out to give fans something totally new: a vision of horror not seen before in any previous effort. But HELLRAISER would certainly become highly influential for many, many years to come.

So here’s the skinny on HELLRAISER in a nutshell…think of it as a more arty, intimate version of THE GATES OF HELL, THE DEVIL’S RAIN or THE BEYOND.  Based on the Barker novella, “The Hellbound Heart,” it’s the heart-freezing story of the Cotton family: stepmonster Julia (CLARE HIGGINS), husband Larry (ANDREW ROBINSON) and daughter Kirsty (ASHLEY LAURENCE) and the house they’ve just moved into.

Nobody knows that Julia was seeing Larry’s brother, Frank (SEAN CHAPMAN) on the side, but that would be the  least of their worries even if they did know. Frank was into some pretty intense, weird occult shit, which included a certain ornate Chinese puzzle box, that once solved, opens the doors to Hell and summons a group of demonic entities known as the Cenobites – devotees of a brand of eternal torture and suffering undreamt of by mortal men…well, most of them.

In any case, Frank didn’t just solve the damn thing, but he did it in this very house.  And now, having suffered a fate worse than death, he’s looking for a way – any way – to escape.
Enter Julia. She loves (well, actually more lusts after) the disappeared Frank as much as she loathes mealy-mouthed Larry, but that’s not the point. The point would be that there’s not a lot that she wouldn’t do to have her lover back, as she discovers when a drop of blood on the floor of the room where Frank was taken, begins to bring him back to earthly life (and the special effects are something you’ve got to see to believe, courtesy of a crack English FX team, lead by legends BOB KEEN and GEOFF PORTASS).

Things begin to get really complicated, when Kirsty stumbles over what they’re up to, and she decides to strike her own deal with the satanic emissaries, to stop Julia and hopefully save her father.  The rest of the movie is devoted to revealing whether or not she’s successful.  Not saying this is a spoiler, people, but there are about a half-dozen HELLRAISER sequels now at the very least, so you can pretty much figure out the answer to that one.

Up to that time, no one had seen anything like HELLRAISER, and it would raise the bar for so many horror films to come, not just in the occult sub-category of horror, but horror in general. Barker really let his art school roots show with this one, as the creature designs, the amazing, atmospheric photography by ROBIN VIDGEON, and CHRISTOPHER YOUNG’S dark, chilling score combined to complete a vision that could only belong to him, and was introduced by the cult favorite “Books Of Blood” (also destined to provide some other film adaptations, none of them as much of a hallmark as this.)

The unforgettable roles portrayed by acting vets Robinson, Higgins and Chapman and the then-‘unknown’ Laurence made a lasting impression upon the young minds of blossoming horror fans and seasoned horrorphiles alike, but it was DOUG BRADLEY, BARBIE WILDE, NICHOLAS BURMAN-VINCE and SIMON BAMFORD, once relative unknowns to mainstream moviegoing audiences, who all became household names as the “angels to some, demons to others”, the S&M-by-way-of-Bosch infused Cenobites – a mouth-watering future challenge to cosplayers everywhere.

Posted by Samuel Glass in EDITORIALS, FEATURED CONTENT, HALLOWEEN, HORROR HEROES, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, MYTHS AND LEGENDS, PARANORMAL, SATANIC/DEMONIC, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, TRIBUTE, 0 comments
Trailer for Extremity (2018) Delivers Extreme Potential

Trailer for Extremity (2018) Delivers Extreme Potential

Extremity (2018) / Image: Dark Elegy FilmsI saw the trailer for Extremity (2018) on my phone while I was out shopping for Halloween stuff. I thought, ‘Oh wow, this is cool, and I’m digging it’. This isn’t so much me saying this just because it’s a horror movie about haunted attractions, either. The trailer really struck a chord with me, so there had to be a way to see this on a bigger screen. Heading home, I rushed to my television and go on YouTube to find the trailer. I lucked out as it was online and ready to be viewed. I sat down with the lights off and saw the trailer in beautiful 1080 HD. The way it was meant to be. The film is called Extremity and was directed by Anthony Diblasi who has done some great horror films such as The Last Shift (2014), Most Likely to Die (2015), and Dread (2009). Extremity is about a young woman who puts herself through an extreme haunt attraction to face her fears and conquer a tragic past that has consumed her.

So, let’s break this down.

Extremity (2018) / Image: Dark Elegy FilmsThe movie looks extremely promising, not hokey or cheesy, but actually a really great horror film with amazing scenery, cinematography, and great acting. In the trailer below, you’ll see some familiar faces, such as Felissa Rose of Sleepaway Camp (1983) and Tiffany Shepis of Tales of Halloween (2015) and Victory Crowley (2017). Extremity shows a lot of promise in that it will rely on great fx and an engaging story without the use of clichés or over the top sets that detract from the gore and terror. What’s especially great is that the “victims” in this movie aren’t trapped or kidnapped; they wholeheartedly sign waivers saying they’re doing this of their own free will and allow the haunters to do whatever they want. Something like this is ten times better because they’re not trying to escape or fight for their lives. They knew the risk and they accepted this place, appropriately named “Perdition”.

It’s interesting to see how long in the film this event will take place or how extreme it will be. From the trailer looks like we’ll see simple acts of drowning, bugs, and body limbs being cut apart along with a difficult task of a “victim” actually killing someone. I say “Victim” because will they survive and if they do how will their mindset be afterward?

Extremity (2018) / Image: Dark Elegy Films

Extremity will be released on VOD services 28 September 2018, followed by a Blu-ray release on 2 October 2018. Watch The Last Shift and Dread to get ready for this release. This will be a movie that House of Tortured Souls will for sure be reviewing.

Posted by Jai Alexis in COMING SOON, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, HALLOWEEN, HORROR NEWS, NEW RELEASES, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
SyFy Announces Clive Barker’s Nightbreed TV Series

SyFy Announces Clive Barker’s Nightbreed TV Series

Nicholas Vince as Kinski in Nightbreed (1990)

Nicholas Burman-Vince as Kinski in Nightbreed (1990)

Cabal, Clive Barker’s 1988 novella about a man’s struggle with self-demons and ultimate attempt to find the mythical(?) sanctuary city of Midian, is being brought to TV by SyFy, Morgan Creek Entertainment (Nightbreed (1990) directed by David Cronenberg), Universal Cable Prods, and writer Josh Stolberg,

SyFy’s Nightbreed will explore race relations in the US using the human-monster dichotomy displayed throughout the novella. The story will follow a group of subterranean monster-humans forced to find another place to live after their home is destroyed.

Doug Bradley as Dirk Lylesberg in Nightbreed (1990)

Doug Bradley as Dirk Lylesbergi in Nightbreed (1990)

Before I continue, I want to talk a bit about the movie Nightbreed, which gets some criticism, but should it? For me, I had a difficult time relating to the protagonist because of the casting choice and likewise his girlfriend. However, every other performance blew me away. I have mixed feelings. It’s nothing against either of the actors; they just didn’t click with me. Watch and decide for yourself.

Horror TV series are popular right now, The Walking Dead is still going in spite of the departure of Andrew Lincoln, Ash vs Evil Dead was doing well but not well enough for Starz, I (okay, borderline horror for the younger set) seems popular, Supernatural still pushing it on Netflix, and scores more. But, people are dropping cable packages to watch online. What does this say for the possibility of a win with this one?

Simon Bamford as Ohnaka with friend in Nightbreed (1990)

Simon Bamford as Ohnaka with friend in Nightbreed (1990)

From to the names attached, we can be cautiously hopeful. David Robinson, President of Morgan Creek Entertainment Group, seems quite optimistic:

There has never been a more relevant time for us to turn to one of the genre’s great cult classics from our movie library to impact the national conversation with bold, compelling and unconventional storytelling. The team at Morgan Creek is very excited to partner with Clive Barker, Syfy and Universal Cable Productions on Nightbreed for a unique, trenchant and no-holds-barred exploration of race relations in today’s society. As a sophisticated twist on the classic graphic novel form, Nightbreed pits ‘Humans’ against persecuted monsters, using metaphor and parable to take on bias and prejudice with real-world consequences.

Maybe we can be a little more than cautiously optimistic. Star Trek managed to address these issues with a great deal of success.

David Cronenberg in Nightbreed (1990)

David Cronenberg as Dr. Philip K. Decker in Nightbreed (1990)

Keep your claws crossed. I am.

Posted by Alan Smithee in HORROR NEWS, REMAKES AND REBOOTS, 0 comments
WiHM Interview: The Inimitable Barbie Wilde

WiHM Interview: The Inimitable Barbie Wilde

Woofer here, Souls, and it’s my great pleasure to introduce this interview. When discussing Women in Horror Month with my assistant editor Spencer, we decided that as fans of Hellraiser – both as the Books of Blood and the film franchise – we would be completely remiss if we didn’t reach out to Barbie Wilde. Being both talented and gracious, she consented to be interviewed and is our final focus for Women in Horror Month.

Barbie Wilde - Female Cenobite Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)

Well, that’s enough of my yammering. You’re all here to find out more about the lovely, talented, and kind Barbie Wilde, so keep on reading.
House of Tortured Souls: Did you ever think you would become a horror icon?
Barbie Wilde: I never did… And it’s a bit ironic that I nearly didn’t go to the audition for Hellbound Hellraiser II, because I found the first Hellraiser film so disturbing. (Although I did love the character of Julia. I’m a sucker for obsession! And the Cenobites were such original and unusual monsters.)
However, I’ve very glad that I did go, obviously. Being in Hellbound was a great experience and, speaking as a short blonde person, I’m truly thrilled that I’ve managed to scare so many people over the years.
HoTS: What is your favorite memory from working on Hellraiser II?
BW: Meeting Ken (Dr. Channard) Cranham for the first time. I walked up to him in full Female Cenobite makeup and costume, when he was in full Channard Cenobite makeup and costume — and on the phone to his wife as well! For some reason known only to the infernal powers below, I said: “Hi Ken, I’m Barbie. Do you want to get married and have babies called Pepper and Skipper?”
Why I thought that this was an appropriate way to introduce myself for the first time to such a venerable actor as Ken, I don’t know. Especially since he was English and had no idea that there were these famous American dolls called Barbie, Ken, Pepper and Skipper. (In Britain, the Barbie Doll equivalent is called Cindy.) In my defense, I do say this line to every “Ken” I meet, because for some strange reason, I think it’s hilarious.
Anyway, Ken was gobsmacked and whispered to his wife, “Darling, an actress is talking to me… I’ve got to go.” I apologized profusely and we’ve been good friends ever since.

The Lovely Barbie Wilde

HoTS: What was it like working with Tik and Tok?
BW: The years with Shock in the early 80s were fantastic. It was the most fun that I’ve ever had as a performer. Working with Tik and Tok was wonderful, as well as performing with Robert Pereno, LA Richards, and Carole Caplin. The high point for us was supporting Gary Numan at Wembley Arena, but we also toured with Depeche Mode and supported Ultravox as well.
HoTS: Who are some of your greatest influences?
BW: As a writer: Rod Serling, Patricia Highsmith, Clive Barker, Hemingway, Raymond Chandler, Colin Wilson.
Directors I admire are: Guillermo Del Toro, Hitchcock, Ridley Scott, the Soska Sisters, Ann Biller, Katherine Bigalow, Mary Harron, Agnieszka Smoczynska, Patty Jenkins.

Barbie Wilde's Blue Eyes - A Film By Chris Alexander

HoTS: How do you prepare for a role? Is it different for each?
BW: I approach each role in a new way. I don’t use any particular “method”. I’m very intuitive and I take a lot from the text…
HoTS: Why horror? What drew you to it?
BW: To be honest, I didn’t choose horror, horror chose me! I had moved from acting into presenting, writing and hosting TV shows when I was cast in Hellbound. It was my first horror movie. (Although I suppose being in Grizzly II: The Concert (1983) was my first appearance in a horror movie, but it was never released.)
It’s interesting, because until Paul Kane asked me to write a story for the Hellbound Hearts anthology, I was more interested in exploring the criminal mind in writing novel like my diary-of-a-serial-killer novel, The Venus Complex (published by Comet Press), than writing horror. But I had so much fun writing my Female Cenobite origin story (“Sister Cilice”) for Hellbound Hearts, that I continued writing horror, contributing short stories to various horror anthologies over the years, culminating in my illustrated, full color, short horror story collection, Voices of the Damned (published by SST Publications).

The Venus Complex (2012) by Barbie Wilde

Saying that though, I’ve always watched horror movies, ever since I was a kid, especially Sci-fi horror. Those films really shaped my twisted imagination! And TV shows like The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits also made a big impression on me.
HoTS: What are your favorite horror films?
BW: I love the old black and white horrors like: The Thing From Another World (1951), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), The Innocents (1961), The Haunting (1963) and Night of the Demon AKA Curse of the Demon (1957). I also like visceral horror such as Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) and Alien (1979). Other favorites are: American Mary (2012), Sinister (2012), Audition (1999), The Lure (2015), Cronos (1993), Mimic (1997), Crimson Peak (2015), etc. (I’m really looking forward to seeing The Shape of Water and the Soska Sisters’ reimagining of Cronenberg’s Rabid.)
HoTS: What drew you to writing? Do you prefer it to acting?
BW: I’ll always love acting, but now I prefer creating my own worlds, my own characters and my own mythologies.
HoTS: When did you realize that you wanted to dive into the arts?
BW: I was a very shy kid, but when I was cast in a school play when I was 12, I was hooked forever. People were laughing with me, rather than at me. I loved it.

Voices of the Damned (2016) by Barbie Wilde

HoTS: What is something outside of art that you’re passionate about?
BW: Wine… Margaritas… Martinis… you see a pattern here? Actually, those are just hobbies! Seriously, I’m fascinated by archeology (it was my Minor at University) and I love what’s happening in the world of science with all the innovations that are happening, medical discoveries, etc. And I’m a tech geek. I never would have guessed that I’d love gadgets so much. I suppose it’s the Star Trek fan in me!

Barbie’s books and other works:

Out now:

Voices of the Damned, an illustrated short horror story collection published by SST Publications. (Publishers Weekly: “…sensual in its brutality.” “…a delight for the darker senses.”) Each story is illustrated in full color by top artists in the horror genre, such as Clive Barker, Nick Percival, Daniele Serra, Vincent Sammy, Tara Bush, Steve McGinnis, Ben Bradford and Eric Gross.

Barbie Wilde - Female Cenobite with knife in Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)

The Venus Complex, Barbie’s debut dark crime, diary-of-a-serial-killer novel, published by Comet Press. (Fangoria: “Wilde is one of the finest purveyors of erotically charged horror fiction around.”)

In pre-production:

A feature length horror film called Blue Eyes, based on a short story by Barbie. It’s co-written with Chris Alexander (Blood for Irina, Queen of Blood, Female Werewolf, Blood Dynasty, Space Vampire) and will be directed by Chris. Starring Nivek Ogre of Skinny Puppy.

Work-in-progress:

Film Script: “Zulu Zombies”.
New real life horror novel, working title: The Anatomy of Ghosts.

Plans for the future:

To find a publisher for graphic novels based on Barbie’s short stories “Sister Cilice” and “Zulu Zombies”.

The Offer (2017) - Barbie Wilde

In 2017, Barbie returned to acting after 17 years in The Offer, the first episode of the horror series, Dark Ditties, produced by Cult Film Screenings.

Barbie Wilde Social Media:

Barbie Wilde - Classic Beauty

Posted by Alan Smithee in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Hellraiser: Judgment (2018) [SPOILERS]

MOVIE REVIEW: Hellraiser: Judgment (2018) [SPOILERS]

Writer/Director: Gary J. Tunnicliffe; Stars: Damon Carney, Randy Wayne, Alexandra Harris, Heather Langenkamp, Paul T. Taylor, Gary J. Tunnicliffe; Rating: N/A; Run Time: 81 min; Genre: Horror; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2018

The Butcher from Hellraiser: Judgment (2018)When I first heard rumors of Hellraiser: Judgment, I was excited. Then I learned that Doug Bradley wouldn’t be in it. Again. My expectations dropped. While better than the ninth installment, it still falls short of what Hellraiser fans want and doesn’t even come close to capturing the feel of the first three. That said, it might have been a decent movie had it not tried to shoehorn itself into the Hellraiser universe.

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

Gary J. Tunnicliffe and Paul T. Taylor in Hellraiser: Judgment (2018)Despite a faux Pinhead, the opening scene is intriguing and hints of a new approach to the Cenobites and how they interact with humans. The box, it seems, is no longer sufficient to lure in pleasure- and pain-seekers and they are attempting to find new ways to attract the immoral to them. The addition of a bureaucracy to Hell (more like the Christian Hell rather than The Labyrinth) is not a new concept, but the execution is interesting if a bit hackneyed at times. However, it quickly goes downhill and begins employing gimmicks and jump scares in place of real horror. Once again we are presented with a detective story, but this time the murderer kills according to the ten commandments. How very Seven of it. Once the tale plays out and the murderer is revealed, no one is surprised. Indeed, it is telegraphed throughout and not the bombshell it should be.

Mike J. Regan in Hellraiser: Judgment (2018)The one aspect that is interesting is the depiction of Hell, God, and the afterlife, but these do not necessarily align with the actual Hellraiser universe. In this movie, we learn that God is “in on it” in that He allows evil to exist for without it, man cannot know true evil. This has long been speculated regarding both the Christian God as well as other “creators”, but the Hell of the Hellraiser universe is widely accepted as being an extra dimension rather than the biblical Hell, making this something outside of the mythology. While it is an admirable attempt to expand the universe, it ultimately doesn’t work because it goes too far astray from Clive Barker’s original universe. I would like to see this in an original, non-Hellraiser film, but such a film would definitely be compared to the Hellraiser series without radical changes.

The Surgeon from Hellraiser: Judgment (2018)The effects in Hellraiser: Judgment are solid, which is to be expected from someone who worked as closely with Hellraiser as Gary Tunnicliffe did, but effects alone do not make a good movie. Moreover, they tried far too hard to cram in the Hellraiser universe, even going so far as to repeat lines and duplicate items from previous Hellraiser movies. This, more than anything, felt forced rather than natural. The acting is competent but not spectacular, and Pinhead has little to do with the movie beyond tying it to the franchise. All in all, Hellraiser: Judgment is not a bad movie, but it’s also not a good movie. To be fair, Barker set the bar pretty high, and I applaud the attempt to bring something new to the mythology, but I wish Tunnicliffe had stayed closer to the source material and brought back the original (and only) Pinhead – Doug Bradley.

Final verdict: 4/10 claw marks, worth a watch but, as Mom used to say, nothing to write home about

Gary J. Tunnicliffe and Damon Carney in Hellraiser: Judgment (2018)

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SATANIC/DEMONIC, 0 comments
History of Horror in October

History of Horror in October

By Woofer McWooferson

Join House of Tortured Souls as we celebrate significant dates in the history of horror in October. Click on thumbnails for full images.

October 1 - 7


10/01/1968 – Night of the Living Dead (1968)
released theatrically

19680110_Night of the Living Dead / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


19741001_The Texas Chain Saw Massacre / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/01/1974 – The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) released
theatrically


10/02/1959 – The Twilight Zone (original series) premieres on television

19591002_The Twilight Zone / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.


19971002_Castlevania: Symphony of the Night / Cover art. Fair use doctrine.

10/02/1997 – Castlevania: Symphony of the Night released on the PlayStation and Sega Saturn in the United States


10/02/2001 – Tremors 3: Back to Perfection released theatrically

20011002_Tremors 3: Back to Perfection / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


20021003_Darkness / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/03/2002 – Darkness released theatrically


10/04/2002 – Red Dragon released theatrically

20021004_Red Dragon / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


20041004_Zombie Honeymoon / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/04/2004 – Zombie Honeymoon released theatrically


10/04/2005 – Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow released on the Nintendo DS in the United States America

20051004_Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow / Cover art. Fair use doctrine.


19191005_Donald Pleasence / © Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

10/05/1919 – Donald Pleasence (actor in many horror films) born (d. 1995)


10/05/1952 – Clive Barker (author, director, and artist) born

19521005_Clive Barker / Photo by Jean-Paul Aussenard - © WireImage.com - Image courtesy WireImage.com


19621005_Tod Browning / Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

10/05/1962 – Tod Browning (director of Dracula and Freaks) dies (b. 1880)


10/05/1999 – Angel premieres on television

19991005_Angel / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.


20011005_Joy Ride / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/05/2001 – Joy Ride released theatrically


10/05/2005 – Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis premiers on television

20051005_Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.


20051005_Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.

10/05/2005 – Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave premiers on television


10/06/2006 – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning released theatrically

20061006_The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


18491007_Edgar Allan Poe / Public domain.

10/07/1849 – Edgar Allan Poe dies (b. 1809)


10/07/1994 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation released theatrically

19941007_Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

October 8 - 14


20011008_Castlevania Chronicles / Cover art. Fair use doctrine.

10/08/2001 – Castlevania Chronicles released on the PlayStation in North America


10/11/2002 – Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance released on the Game Boy Advance in the European Union

20021011_Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance / Cover art. Fair use doctrine.


19891013_Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/13/1989 – Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers released theatrically


10/13/1998– Fallen released theatrically

19981013_Fallen / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.


20061013_The Grudge 2 / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/13/2006 – The Grudge 2 released theatrically


10/14/1944 – Udo Kier (actor in many horror films) born

19441014_Udo Kier / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.


19941014_Wes Craven's New Nightmare / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.

10/14/1994 – Wes Craven’s New Nightmare released theatrically


10/14/2005 – The Fog (2005) released theatrically

20051014_The Fog / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

October 15 – 21


19811015_The Evil Dead / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/15/1981– The Evil Dead released theatrically


10/16/1987 – Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II released theatrically

19871016_Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


19921016_Candyman / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/16/1992 – Candyman released theatrically


10/16/1998 – Bride of Chucky released theatrically

19981016_Bride of Chucky / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


20031017_The Texas Chainsaw Massacre / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/17/2003 – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) released theatrically


10/18/1976 – Burnt Offerings released theatrically



19801018_Motel Hell / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/18/1980 – Motel Hell released theatrically


10/18/1985 – Re-Animator released theatrically

19851018_Re-Animator / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


19961018_The Dentist / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.

10/18/1996 – The Dentist released theatrically


10/18/2002 – The Ring released theatrically

20021018_The Ring / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


20051018_Day of the Dead 2: Contagium / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.

10/18/2005 – Day of the Dead 2: Contagium released on DVD


10/19/1990 – Night of the Living Dead (1990) released theatrically

19901019_Night of the Living Dead / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


20041019_Zombie Planet / Box artwork. Fair use doctrine.

10/19/2004 – Zombie Planet (1963) released theatrically


10/20/1889 – Bela Lugosi born (d. 1956)

18891020_Bela Lugosi / Image courtesy mptvimages.com


19421020_Night Monster / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/20/1942 – Night Monster released theatrically


10/21/1988 – Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers released theatrically

19881021_Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


20031021_Castlevania: Lament of Innocence / Cover art. Fair use doctrine.

10/21/2003 – Castlevania: Lament of Innocence released on the PlayStation 2 in North America


10/21/2005 – Doom released theatrically

20051021_Doom / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

October 22 - 28


19821022_Halloween III: Season of the Witch / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/22/1982 – Halloween III: Season of the Witch released theatrically


10/22/1988 – Monsters premieres on television

19881022_Monsters / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.


20041022_The Grudge / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/22/2004 – The Grudge released theatrically


10/23/1942 – The Mummy’s Tomb released theatrically

19421023_The Mummy's Tomb / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


19591023_Sam Raimi / Photo by Steve Granitz - © WireImage.com - Image courtesy WireImage.com

10/23/1959 – Sam Raimi (creator of the Evil Dead series of films) born


10/23/1987 – Prince of Darkness released theatrically

19871023_Prince of Darkness / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


19981023_Brimstone / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.

10/23/1998 – Brimstone premieres on television


10/23/2001 – Thir13en Ghosts released theatrically

20011023_Thir13en Ghosts / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


19621024_Eyes Without a Face / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/24/1962 – Eyes Without a Face released theatrically in the United States


10/25/1978 – Halloween released theatrically

19781025_Halloween / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


19931025_Vincent Price / Photo by Gabi Rona - © MPTV - Image courtesy mptvimages.com

10/25/1993 – Vincent Price (actor in many horror films) dies (b. 1911)


10/25/2000 – Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem released on the Nintendo GameCube in Japan

20001025_Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem / Cover art. Fair use doctrine.


19791026_When a Stranger Calls / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/26/1979 – When a Stranger Calls (1979) released theatrically


10/26/2001 – Bones released theatrically

20011026_Bones / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


19891027_Shocker / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/27/1989 – Shocker released theatrically


10/27/1989 – Castlevania: The Adventure released on the Game Boy in Japan

19891027_Castlevania: The Adventure / By Judgesurreal777. Fair use doctrine.


19951027_Vampire in Brooklyn / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/27/1995 – Vampire in Brooklyn released theatrically


10/27/1998 – Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 released theatrically

19981027_Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


19511028_Joe R. Lansdale / By Materialscientist. Fair use doctrine.

10/28/1951 – Joe R. Lansdale (winner of six Bram Stoker Awards for horror fiction) born


10/28/2005 – Saw II released theatrically
20051028_Saw II / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


20051028_Masters of Horror / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.

10/28/2005 – Masters of Horror premieres on television

October 29 -31


10/29/1920 – The Golem: How He Came Into the World released theatrically in Germany

19201029_The Golem: How He Came Into the World / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


19731029_Return of the Blind Dead / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/29/1973 – Return of the Blind Dead released theatrically


10/29/1993 – Return of the Living Dead III released on VHS

19931029_Return of the Living Dead III / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.


19931029_Demon Castle Dracula X: Rondo of Blood / Cover art. Fair use doctrine.

10/29/1993 – Demon Castle Dracula X: Rondo of Blood released on the PC Engine/TurboGrafx 16 in Japan


10/29/2004 – Versus released theatrically

20041029_Versus / Image: IMDb. Fair use doctrine.


20041029_Saw / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/29/2004 – Saw released theatrically


10/30/1938 – The War of the Worlds radio adaptation airs

19381030_The War of the Worlds / Image: Daily News. Fair use doctrine.


19811030_Halloween II / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/30/1981 – Halloween II released theatrically


10/31/1961 – Peter Jackson (director of Bad Taste and Braindead) born

19611031_Peter Jackson / Photo by Tim Whitby - © 2012 Getty Images - Image courtesy gettyimages.com


19741031_Phantom of the Paradise / Theatrical poster. Fair use doctrine.

10/31/1974 – Phantom of the Paradise released theatrically


10/31/1991 – Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in Japan

19911031_Castlevania II: Simon's Quest / By DASHBot. Fair use doctrine.

Posted by Alan Smithee in HORROR HISTORY, 0 comments
COMING SOON: Rubik’s Lament Configuration

COMING SOON: Rubik’s Lament Configuration

What's Your Pleasure?

By Woofer McWooferson

Lament Configuration - Opening the door

Since Hellraiser first came out, fans have hoped and dreamed of one day owning a functional puzzle box – minus the soul ripping Cenobites. Now, thanks to Mezco Toyz, they can. It's not the puzzle from the series; instead, it's the product of the unholy yet thoroughly delightful combination of the Hellraiser Lament Configuration puzzle box (featured in Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth) and a Rubik's Cube. Unlike the traditional cube, where one must solve for six sides of solid colors, the Hellraiser cube is solved to the design of the Lament Configuration puzzle box before activation. This is deliciously diabolical and sure to be a hit among fans of the Hellraiser universe.

Rubik's Lament Configuration

For the uninitiated, Hellraiser and, to a lesser extent, its sequels are the product of the twisted imagination of Clive Barker, one of horror's modern masters. The puzzle box is a gateway to Hell and summons the Cenobites, demons whose sole purpose is to torture anyone who solves the puzzle and summons them. The Rubiks Cube, on the other, is the product of Erno Rubik and first came on the scene in 1974. While it summons only geek applause, solving it is still considered an achievement. And the faster one can solve it, the more esteemed one's place in Rubik's Cube geekdom.

Lament Configuration, horizontal movement

According to Mezco:

Within the Hellraiser universe, the Lament Configuration is the key to the gates of Hell itself and the summoner of the Cenobites. Now, for the first time ever, it is recreated as a working puzzle. Featuring artwork based on the designs of Philip Lemarchand, the prop-sized square puzzle rotates on both the X and Y axis with an almost supernatural smoothness. With 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 possible combinations, even Dr. Channard would find himself bedeviled in a quest for the solution.

So what does this mean for fans of either or both? It means get your credit card or Paypal ready because they're already taking pre-orders. At only $13.00, this is a deal that fans won't be able to pass up.

Posted by Alan Smithee in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
New Hellraiser Movie, But No Doug Bradley

New Hellraiser Movie, But No Doug Bradley

By Dixielord 

News has been hitting social media and the internet about a new Hellraiser movie. It appears the film is already in production. It also appears that scream queen Heather Langenkamp, aka Nancy, is attached in a cameo role. The news that Heather will be appearing in the movie obviously got fans a bit excited. But it seems the Hellraiser franchise giveth good news, and the Hellraiser franchise taketh it away.

Doug Bradley as Pinhead in Hellraiser

The one and only Pinhead, Doug Bradley. Accept no substitute

No sooner than the good news about Langenkamp hits the news, than rumors that Doug Bradley, once again,wont be cast as Pinhead. The rumors have been now been confirmed by Bradley himself on his verified Facebook page. Bradley originated the role in the original Hellraiser, and reprises the role in seven sequels before being replaced in the abomination Hellraiser:Revelations.

The new film, which so far as I know doesn't have a working title is being directed by Gary Tunnicliffe. Tunnicliffe is definitely no stranger to the Hellraiser series, having done Doug's make up in three of the previous films. Unfortunately he also wrote the script for Revelations. In the past I have laid most of the blame for the still birth that is Revelations on director Victor Garcia, and the studios, who rushed a shitty film out just to maintain the rights to the name Hellraiser, but the story was crap, and the writer has to take the blame for that.

To paraphrase Doug from his facebook, he turned down Revelations because it was a poor script and it was being rushed into production for the “wrong reasons”. With this new film, according to Bradley, he was not allowed to see the script without signing a gag order before hand. A gag order that would have prevented him from talking about the script anywhere he could be overheard, including fan conventions.

Faux Pinhead from Hellraiser:Revelations

Dis muh scway face, doooh. Hellraiser: Revelations

Maybe it's just me, but if you are that worried about someone knowing about your script, it must be a pretty weal script. Maybe there are other reason, but a good story, talked about at conventions, in my mind would only stoke interest in the film.

Along with word, that everyone's favorite cenobite wont be returning to the role he helped create, Bradley also says Clive Barker will in no way be associated with the new film. So any rumors of a Hellraiser reunion with Barker and Bradley are, for now at least, just that, rumors.

Hellraiser's cenobites

The cenobite family from Hellraiser

My personal two cents. If you are making a Hellraiser with Pinhead, you need Doug Bradley. Sorry but he means to much to fans of the series. Now if you want to make a Hellraiser film and Doug isn't interested, or can't commit to the part, just don’t use the Pinhead character. No offense to Heather Langenkamp, who is an awesome person, but I wont be rushing to see this new movie. Just too many negatives. No Barker, no Bradley, and too much of the creative force behind Revelations. Seriously, I had rather watch Uwe Boll pick his nose while screaming anti Semitic remarks for two hours than watch Revelations again.

You really want to excite Hellraiser fans? Give us The Scarlet Gospels with Doug Bradley as Hellraiser and Scot Bakula as Harry D'Amour! At least this Hellraiser fan gets wet thinking about that.

Clive Barker's The Scarlet Gospels

The Scarlet Gospels, end of Pinhead from Hellraiser

Posted by Allen Alberson in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
COMIC REVIEW: Clive Barker’s Next Testament

COMIC REVIEW: Clive Barker’s Next Testament

next-testament-detail

By Nick Durham

As I had mentioned before in my review for IDW's Clive Barker Omnibus, Barker has dabbled in comic books for quite some time. While there were some original titles for Marvel in the 90s that didn't last long, a majority of Barker's previous works have been adapted into comic book form like Hellraiser, Nightbreed, The Thief of Always, etc. Next Testament is something different entirely. What happens when you find out that God is in fact real? And when I say God, I don't mean the nice and kind and forgiving God that Christians believe in, I mean the nasty, unforgiving, and vengeful God of the Old Testament.

Yes folks, the God in Clive Barker's Next Testament is a bit of a prick to say it lightly.

The story of Next Testament revolves around an entity called Wick, who claims himself to be the one, true God. After being found by a wealthy nutjob named Julian, Wick declares that he is not happy with how humanity has developed in his absence. In fact, he's kind of bored by everything and everyone, and comes to the conclusion that he wants to shake things up a bit...and that is saying it lightly.  What follows are events of cataclysmic proportions, with Julian's son Tristan and his girlfriend Elspeth are caught in the middle as the whole world around them literally plunges into pure hell. That's all I want to spill about the story, just trust me when I say that you really do have to see what unfolds here to really believe it and appreciate it.

In case you haven't realized it just yet, Next Testament is fucking crazy. Co-authored by Barker and Mark Alan Miller, there are events and scenarios depicted here that are unlike almost anything else you'll see in a comic book. The artwork by Haemi Jang is brilliant and vibrant and a sight to behold, especially as the series reaches its conclusion. If there's any drawbacks, it's that supporting characters come and go with little impact or reason, and the aftermath from the final showdown is a little underwhelming, but other than that, Next Testament is a treat.

So yeah, it goes without saying that you should give Clive Barker's Next Testament a look. Whether you're a fan of Barker or a fan of horror comics in general, you're bound to get plenty of enjoyment out of this. All twelve issues are collected across three trade paperbacks, so get out there and pick these up.

Rating: 4.5/5

 

Posted by Alan Smithee in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
GRAPHIC NOVEL REVIEW: Clive Barker’s Omnibus

GRAPHIC NOVEL REVIEW: Clive Barker’s Omnibus

clivebarkeromnibus

By Nick Durham

Clive Barker and comics go back an awful long way. Back in the 90s (yes, that dreaded decade of comic book misery), Barker lent his name to Marvel to oversee a few various comic titles that focused on horror and fantasy elements as opposed to Marvel's typical superhero fare. None of those titles lasted too long however, but it wasn't the last Clive would dip his fingers into the comic book world. In the years to follow, many of Barker's works would find themselves adapted into the comic medium. Everything from Hellraiser, to Nightbreed, to some original work like the recent Next Testament series (which is excellent by the way) would have varying degrees of success, as well as be pretty well received by critics. Thanks to the folks at IDW Publishing, we get three of Barker's stories told in comic book form collected in this nice Omnibus. The Thief of Always, The Great and Secret Show, and Seduth make up this book, and they are simply wonderful.

The Thief of Always is based on a novel Barker had written in the early 90s, and is adapted by Kris Oprisko. Unlike just about the rest of his blood-drenched horror stories, this is actually more of a story tailored for younger readers, or a fable as it was marketed as when it was first originally published. That aside, the fact that it's aimed towards a younger audience isn't a bad thing at all, as it is plenty enjoyable for adults as well. The story revolves around a pre-teen boy that has become bored with the tedium of everyday life, and is whisked away to the mystical Holiday House, where everyday life is simply amazing. It soon becomes apparent that things aren't at all what they seem, and Harvey seeks to return home, only to discover that years and years have passed. He struggles to return things back to normal, making for a very entertaining conclusion. The stark artwork by Gabriel Hernandez is very moody, and quite wonderful as well.

The Great and Secret Show is also based on a well-known novel by Barker, is adapted by Chris Ryall, and this takes up the bulk of the Omnibus. At its core, the story revolves around an age-old struggle between two somewhat otherworldly men, and whose conflict has caused varying degrees of misery on mankind. There's also a cameo from my favorite Barker character ever, the paranormal detective Harry D'Amour. The story itself I've never been that big a fan of. While I love Clive Barker with all my heart, The Great and Secret Show has never managed to grab me by the throat like so many of his other works have done. The comic adaptation doesn't do much to change this feeling either. The artwork by Gabriel Rodriguez is pretty good though, so I guess there's that.

The Clive Barker Omnibus closes with Seduth, which is co-written by Barker and Chris Monfette. This is by and far the shortest story in here, as well as the most confusing. A perfect and demonic diamond takes control over a man named Harold, which results in some very grisly murders, retribution, and eventual total overall insanity before everything comes full circle. This story makes little sense in complete honesty, and isn't as engaging as one would hope, but Gabriel Rodriguez returns with art duties, and his work here is very detailed and seems much more polished than his work did with The Great and Secret Show.

So yeah, The Clive Barker Omnibus isn't a total home run, but it is fairly enjoyable regardless. The good definitely outweighs the bad here, and the artwork throughout this book is wonderful, despite the varying qualities of the stories here. All in all, if you love Clive Barker and you love comic books, you should give this a look at the very least.

Rating: 3.5/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: Hellraiser (1987)

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: Hellraiser (1987)

By Machete Von Kill

Hellraiser poster

Director: Clive Barker; Writer: Clive Barker (adapted from The Hellbound Heart) Stars: Doug Bradley, Ashley Laurence, Clare Higgins; Rating: R; Run Time: 94 min; Genre: Horror; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 1987

Sexual deviant Frank (Sean Chapman) inadvertently opens a portal to hell when he tinkers with a box he bought while abroad. The act unleashes gruesome beings called Cenobites, who tear Frank's body apart. When Frank's brother Larry (Andrew Robinson) and his wife, Julia (Clare Higgins), move into Frank's old house, they accidentally bring what is left of Frank back to life. Frank then convinces Julia, his one-time lover, to lure men back to the house so he can use their blood to reconstruct himself. (Summary from IMDb.)

I honestly don't remember how old I was the first time I saw Hellraiser. It was some time in middle school. And I've seen it eleventy billion times since. It is one of my favorite movies of all time, and I don't mean just horror movies either. I can probably recite almost every line from the movie and had Pinhead as a notification alert on my cellphone (I can't lie. After several texts from a close friend, I had to change it. LOL! Pinhead was starting to creep me out!)

Meeting Doug Bradley aka Pinhead

I have to say, seeing Doug Bradley's name on the guest list for Motor City Nightmares last year was one of the biggest reasons I wanted to go. I was heartbroken when it became clear I couldn't afford tickets. Thanks to Dark Legacy Haunted House, I WON A GOLD PASS and was able to meet PINHEAD himself. I will full on admit, I was extremely nervous about meeting Mr. Bradley. I was a complete mess. Nervous stutter when I could speak, dry mouth and shaking like a leaf. Mr. Bradley put up with me (LOL) and was nice enough to take photos with me, autograph my DVD, and accepted my gift to him, a hand painted Pinhead Christmas ornament. I could go on and on about Doug Bradley, but that's not why we're here. Let's get back to the movie.

The scene when Frank begins to regenerate after absorbing his brother's blood through the floor boards is both totally gross and totally captivating. You can't turn away, even though you want to. And the subsequent scenes of Frank consuming the blood of the men Julia brings to the house are just as gross and captivating. The sounds effects alone are gag worthy.

I can't say I have any sympathy for Frank or Julia. Frank was a sick, mean, creepy bastard when he was alive and Julia, a cheating tramp. Who sleeps with their newly wedded husband's brother!? Ick! Dirty ho! They totally deserved each other and all of the tortures dished out by the Cenobites. It seems so fitting that Frank ended up consuming Julia.

And the Cenobites themselves, HOLY WAH! As if Pinhead wasn't terrifying enough, throw in Chatterer (Nicholas Vince), Butterball (Simon Bamford), and the female Cenobite (Grace Kirby)... Nightmare material for days! Deliciously evil and brilliant. Bravo to Clive Barker for bringing these henchmen of Hell to life.

The movie is dark, beautiful, gory and everything a good horror movie should be. Even with the 1987 special effects, it still stands up today as one of the greatest ever made. And I'm really unhappy to hear that it will be rebooted. It is a classic that needs to be left alone. Sure, make another sequel (just please, please, please do a better job than the last few), but there's no reason to reboot.

If you haven't yet seen this masterpiece, I'd really like to know what the hell you are waiting for.

10 out of 10 Cenobites Tortures

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments

COMING SOON: Weaveworld Series

By Amy Lynes

weaveworld

For years it was said that Clive Barker's novel, Weaveworld would be too problematic to ever adapt to the screen because of the settings, locations and intense special effects that it would call for in order to make it happen successfully. In the last couple of decades there have been several attempts to take it to the screen as a miniseries, but sadly they never came to fruition.

Much to the delight of fans of the novel everywhere, it was recently announced that The CW is in fact currently developing a series adaptation of Clive Barker's 1987 horror/fantasy novel. It is said that the show will be a drama and will be a more modern version of novel, in which an app designer will team up with a pastry chef in Georgia, who has recently discovered that she is destined to be the guardian of a mythical world that can be accessed by a portal in an old Savannah mansion. Together, they will have to fight the evil forces that are trying to gain control of the magical world, and keep it safe.

It is also rumored that Barker himself is set to executive produce the the series that is being adapted for the screen by Jack Kenney (Warehouse 13 writer and producer), who will also be executive producer.

There's no word yet on how long it might be before we can expect to see this actually premiere, and at this time there is no cast information to share, but you can be assured that HoTS staff will get the information to you as soon as it becomes available to us.

Posted by Alan Smithee in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
BOOK REVIEW: The Scarlet Gospels (2015)

BOOK REVIEW: The Scarlet Gospels (2015)

By Nick Durham

scarlet
Clive, what the fuck?

I want to start by saying that I am a Clive Barker fanatic. In my youth when I first started reading horror, aside from Stephen King, Clive Barker was one of the names I'd heard get thrown around the most. I had seen Hellraiser long before I ever read The Hellbound Heart, but once I did it didn't take long before I had read all through his published works. Barker has been and forever will be beloved by me, so much so that I'd even put him above King on my list of favorite horror authors. The man is a true master of horror literature.

Or at least he was.

I've been looking forward to The Scarlet Gospels for what seems like years. In fact, it doesn't just seem like years, it has literally been years (actually well over a decade) since Barker himself teased this unholy face-off between paranormal detective Harry D'Amour and Pinhead. An unholy face-off between the two that would spell the end for one, or possibly both, characters that we've all come to love over the years. Good fucking lord, such an epic showdown would truly be something special that will as revered in the years to come as much as The Hellbound Heart and most of what's contained in the Books of Blood volumes.

I am very sad to say that it doesn't work out that way, if at all.

First of all, I'm going to try and not delve into too many spoilers, because I'm not a dick (I'm lying, I totally am). With that in mind, be warned, because things may get a little spoiler-y regardless. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Anyway, the novel gets off to a flat-out fantastic start where we learn that various magicians all over the world have been reaching incredibly grisly demises at the hands of Pinhead, who mostly gets referred to as the "Hell Priest" here (truth be told, Barker himself always kind of hated the name "Pinhead", so this is kind of a nice little in-joke here). The opening chapter of The Scarlet Gospels is simply brilliant. It's vintage Barker, with an imaginative set-up, and some disgusting pay-offs. I don't want to give too much away, I really don't...you just have to read it to believe it. Trust me, it's awesome.

After that though, things are mostly downhill. We catch up with Harry and his blind medium friend Norma, as Harry takes on a job that turns out to be a fairly predictable trap that puts him in Pinhead's sights. Before we know it, both Harry and Norma, along with a small crew of their compatriots (or "Harrowers" as they end up getting referred to) are headed straight to Hell...figuratively and literally. This is where I have some of the biggest problems with The Scarlet Gospels. I had really looked forward to reading Barker's take on Hell, because I figured that at the least it'd be unique. Sadly, it just isn't. It's not awful or anything mind you, it all just comes off as meh. His vision of Hell and the denizens therein are just plain boring. Seriously, it feels like more of a chore reading through his descriptions of the inner-workings of Hell, and that flat out kills any momentum that has been garnered by the time we get to this point.

Another problem with the novel, at least for me anyway, are many of the characterizations and dialogue. Harry and Norma come off as well-written as they always have been, but the rest of Harry's Harrowers are two-dimensional, cookie-cutter caricatures. The cookie-cutter caricatures mostly refer to Harry's pal Caz as well as the precognitive Dale, who, once they meet, just totally become gay caricatures. Considering Barker himself is gay, and has usually written gay characters wonderfully in the past, this is a massive disappointment. In fact, whenever Caz and Dale converse with each other or about each other at all, it's kind of mind-numbing.

While I'm on the subject of characterizations, what the fuck is up with Pinhead? We never really get a clear motivation as to why he's doing what he's doing, or why he really needs Harry to be his "witness" to his deeds. We also are never really given a clear reason as to why he wants to usurp Lucifer or much else either. This is one of the story elements that you can just tell had so much left on the cutting room floor. It has been said before that so much had been excised from the original product that I would love to read a sort of "director's cut" of this if it would ever see the light of day. I truly hope that one day such a thing happens, but I'm not really counting on it to be totally honest. I kind of think that we should all be glad that The Scarlet Gospels has finally seen the light of day at all.

Now I know it sounds like I'm shitting all over it, and I kind of am because I've been looking forward to The Scarlet Gospels for so fucking long now, but the end result isn't the abortion I may be painting it to be. A majority of the novel is entertaining, and a showdown between Pinhead and Lucifer and the fallout that follows, is entertaining enough. It's just that the finished product is so disappointing considering the years of hype. Maybe that shouldn't be such a surprise, because when something gets hyped up like this for this many years, it'll never meet anyone's expectations.

So yeah, The Scarlet Gospels isn't what I'd hoped it would be. Like I said before, it isn't bad, not one bit...but it is still pretty disappointing considering what we've seen from Clive Barker in the past. I'd say still check it out though regardless. It's worth reading, just don't expect it to be as wonderful as you might hope it to be.

Rating: 2.5/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments