...Much of this year must surely have been taken up with working out the intricate connections and familial relationships between the Gearys and the Barbarossas, and not just one but two books' worth. But in true Barker style, there were a myriad of TV and movie deals also in the offing - including Vipex, History of the Devil, Thief of Always and a whole host of projects for Fox...
By Li Gardiner, Artistresource.org, online report of a 1997 seminar at the ANA Hotel, San Francisco sponsored by the Learning Annex (note : full text online at www.artistresource.org)
"Make it easy to begin. Break off in the middle of a sentence. If you are at a difficult place, move on and start work in an easier place before you break off. Leave your space clear and have your favorite music, your tea or whatever, and your tools ready for when you come back. These are the things that get me to my desk.
"My touchstone is, 'You don't leave the desk.' I write 2,600 words a day, no matter what, good or bad. As Stephen King says -'If you write five pages a day for a year, you have a novel.' If my work is not up to standard, can I be undefeated by that? I can survive the feeling that my work today is inferior, because I know I will write again tomorrow. Every day that you make something, that's what you made. It's probably not as good as you think it is at the time. It's probably not as bad as you think. It's from where you were that day. . . like a page from a journal. 'I am able to be, and my being is expressed by making this mark. Not that mark or another mark, but this mark.' "
Panel discussion, Outfest, Los Angeles 1997 (as quoted in Open Secret by David Ehrenstein, 1998)
"About scripts that are 'straight-friendly', I don't know how that works, because it seems to me that I think straight audiences might have the same problems as gay audiences. In New York you might find a very sophisticated response to a gay character or a gay subtext, whereas if you showed an audience in, say, Tucson, Arizona, a picture like 'Dead Ringers' - where I sat with an audience of seven - they were appalled. And this was at the same time audiences on the East or West Coast might be having fun with that picture. So it comes back to the problem of, 'Well, who are you making it for?' If you project the idea of this audience onto the process, one of the things you lose is the need to disturb or shock yourself. I think we should be careful not to be so careful. There's a need sometimes to do things that make even you feel uncomfortable. It's an interesting area - who I want to make this movie for. I want to do something that will affect me. So I certainly can't make it 'straight-safe', 'cause I don't even want to make it 'gay-safe'. You see what I mean?"
By [Stephen Dressler, Cheryl Bentzen and Mike Bundlie], Lost Souls, Issue 6, January 1997 (note : full text online at the Lost Souls site - see links)
"Whatever one's feeling are about individual episodes of X-files or Millennium or whatever, the truth is that they are much more interesting television than the average cop-show or whatever you find on the networks. Certainly the Chris Carter revolution over there has been very good, in the sense they are very open to the fantastic and science fiction oriented or whatever makes up that type of material. It's a good time, but it's very hard work because we are affected in the end."
By Joe Flint, Daily Variety, 24 February 1997
"[Fox] are open to a whole range of offbeat ideas and I think it will be a good marriage."
By Marc Toullec,
Mad Movies, No 106, March 1997 (note: translated from the French)
"I believe that Nix is worse than a Cenobite, than Pinhead. The Cenobites express a certain innocence in appeasing their desires. In the end,
Nix proves more dangerous, more impressive because he remains human, accessible - he suffers and that bitterness fills up his heart. I like
that the Evil is not a super-villain, not endowed with apocalyptic, destructive capabilities. I prefer the aspect of Nix, being older and developing
the love story, it all becomes more complex, more muddled - especially when Nix and Swann clash. Their relationship, made of passion
and of jealousy, complicates the combat...
"There is great melancholy in the Nix character, a great weariness, a panicked fear of loneliness. Nix confesses all his weaknesses in the last few minutes. Generally, in the closing stages, the malicious character makes a display of the whole of his supernatural possibilities to be able to affirm, "I am God'. Nix, even as he shows that capacity, pretends just the opposite."
By [Stephen Dressler and Cheryl Bentzen],
Lost Souls, Issue 7, April 1997
"Mick Garris, the director, [of Sleepwalkers] originally asked if I would do the part, but it was more the idea of being onscreen with Steve [King] that made me want to do it. We had a blast and I gave the money to charity."
By [ ],
The Advocate, Issue 730, 1 April 1997
"I'm... reading Jackie Wullschlager's 'Inventing Wonderland', a study of the great children's fantasists of Victorian England - Edward Lear (about whom I wrote a play), Kenneth Grahame, J.M. Barrie, etc. And I'm researching The Civil War, sex scandals and the history of wealth in this country for my next novel [Galilee]."
By Michael Bunch, 4Front Magazine, Vol 2 Issue 18, 30 April - 13 May 1997
"I went through a period when my life seemed to be spent mostly in
first class of a jumbo jet. I was back and forth and I hate to fly, I
really hated it. I would come over here, and though I don't like LA
particularly, I think it's a kind of soul-less city in some regards
but there are many things I do like about Southern California. I like
the quality of the light. I like the warmth coming off the Santa Anas
and so I would come over and there would be good things and bad things.
I always liked pitching. I always liked going into studios and talking
about ideas. That was always fun.
"I met Malcolm at a party and he was with his then lover and we got to know one another. He struck me as being immensely affable and fun, a wonderful human being. Then I went back to England and stayed in England for a while. My sometime lover, David, who's my best friend, who's also here - we had a house in England. I went back and hooked up with Malcolm again and I said to David, you know, maybe we should just give this California thing a go. I mean, David knew about Malcolm and stuff and I wanted to come over here. I wanted to come to California.
"I have a picture drawn by Doug Bradley, Pinhead himself, in 1976 of me standing there dreaming. I'm dreaming of muscle boys, dollar signs, books and the sun. He knew that was what I wanted. I wanted to escape working class Liverpool very badly. I wanted to escape from the limitations of a working-class upbringing. I wanted to escape England. I wanted to escape the grimy skies."
By Ron Athey, Honcho, [ ] 1997 (note: interview took place at the La Luz gallery in April 1997)
"I want people to come to this exhibition [One Flesh] and feel a carnival atmosphere on the walls. That's what's important and, later on, if they want to analyse it in the conventional artistic terms that is also perfectly cool, but that shouldn't be the first thing they bring in, the first thing is, 'I'm having a good time...'
"This is the first exhibition which is thematically and visually coherent. The shows I've had previously have been sort of ragged in terms of the way they've been gathered. The Hellraiser drawings are a big deal for people; they want to see the drawings and how much the movie's designs are based on them, and I'm cool with that. But at a certain point, I no longer want to be just an extension of my movies. I want people to view these things as objects themselves, not as illustrations for movies."
Transcript of radio appearance on Loveline with Dr Drew & Adam Carolla, 15 May 1997
"I've just started the final draft of my new book [Galilee]. It's seven months from delivery and that means that, for the next seven months, seven days a week, I'm at my desk between 8:30 and 9:00, I finish when I've done around somewhere around 2,000 words, and that will continue for seven months. Part of me considers that a prison sentence... I've got a boyfriend who says, 'Jeez, do you really have to write? It's Sunday,' and I say, 'Yeah, you know what, I do'. He's respectful of that and it's very important for me in my relationships to have somebody who understands that need - and it's a need in me, it's an appetite in me."
By Denise Dumars,
Cinefantastique, Vol. 28 No.12, June 1997.
"I really liked Star Trek: First Contact but was a little surprised to see the Cenobites walking through it... [I'm] flattered as hell.
"People who haven't even seen the Hellraiser films are familiar with the image of Pinhead and the Cenobites. If those images have made it into the vast cultural conciousness we all share, and if those images used in First Contact were a nod in that direction then I think that's great... I thought Alice Krige was wonderful."
By Stephane du Mesnildot,
L'Ecran Fantastique, No.162, June 1997. Note - translated from the French.
"Our intention, with Hellraiser 4, was to try to return to the darker, depraved and semi-surreal nature of the original."
By Stephen Dressler, transcript of an interview by Douglas E. Winter at DragonCon, Atlanta, 29 June 1997, Lost Souls, Issue 8, July 1997 (note : full text online at the Lost Souls site - see links)
"Pie 'o' Pah is a mystif, which is a creature that is neither male nor female but rather a projection of your erotic desire at any given time in your life. Whatever you desire most when you are with that creature, that is what Pie 'o' Pah will be. I remember thinking that this is going to be a really interesting creature to write because it is going to change sex and change it's form and yet be the emotional center of the book. I remember thinking, 'If I screw this up I will screw up the next year and a half of my life', because Pie was the heart of this book. That excited me incredibly, the idea that I was walking a tight rope and I could screw it up. And I love being in front of the canvas when it curiously seems balanced between disaster and victory. The heart almost quickens at that point. The way that I paint, there's no direction to it. It only moves and moves with no little sketches on it and it just seems to do what it wants. I always know when the canvas reaches that point and I think that this is what it's all about, 'I could fall flat on my face'. I have this sort of trapeze artist instinct in me and I understand that there is no net. Success curiously is a net because there is a certain confidence when my publishers are satisfied with my work and I have a readership and there isn't that sense of risk. That's why some of the things I have on my sleeve for the next five years are some really whacked out stuff in my head. I really want to push and push because that's what get's my heart going. And it may very well be that the more I do the more experience I have. I think there might come a time when I might try to do something so large that it's bound to break my back. I've often thought that it would be nice to know the moment when you would die, I would go back five years and start a novel I would be bound to fail at writing. I would have the last three or four sentences to write, and it would be a 'who done it'. My heart would give out and I would slam down. My publisher would say, 'Oh fuck, was it the butler? It's seven thousand pages long, who did it?!'"
By Bill Maher, broadcast on 9 July 1997
"I want to...please, please...
"I have to know, I have to know, you have to tell me about the ex-homosexuals. I need to know... Is there a place I can go and walk amongst them and... And tell them the error of their ways and tell them 'Get back to doing what you do best!'"
By Robert DiGiacomo, Philadelphia Gay News, Vol 21 No 38, 11 - 17 July 1997
"My two novellas in Revelations are about healing the apocalyptic feeling and getting beyond those feelings... the idea that life will go on, and we have to think about future generations. Even if I, as a gay man, will not produce the future generations, those generations contain my readers. I want them to continue to love the word and to continue to love stories."
By Ryan L. Brookhart, Go Figure!, No 1, July / August 1997 (note: interview took place at the Mad Model Party 4 in May 1997)
"Going around here is like a blast from the past. I'm walking around and seeing things like the Aurora model kits I made when I was a kid: it sparks something... I think I was ten when I first laid my paws on Frankenstein... I was a collector of this stuff when I was a kid. I see this sort of thing, like the toys and the models, as having a circularity. Like working in comics is great because I was a comic reader when I was a kid and now I am making comics and thinking, 'Oh, cool. I'm giving other people the joy I was given when I was eight.' And so I love the idea that people are going to buy Demon Putting Out His Eyes that contains stuff I wouldn't have gotten when I was a kid. I mean, it really is a thrill to actually impart this sort of pleasure to others."
By Karl Taro Greenfeld, (not only) Blue, Issue 10, August 1997
"Making a mess is the metaphor for my painting. It is sort of a Dionysus/Apollo dichotomy. There is something Apollonian about the way I write. It's structured, organised and rhythmic. Then I crack a beer and I go smoke a smelly cigar and I make a mess. And the pictures are much more eruptive, there's a kind of violence to them, and a messiness, and that's not in the books at all... I feel like it's a part of my sanity. It's the playing out of the two parts of my nature. It allows my dark side expression and room to be celebrated, particularly if it's a day which contained some pretty frustrating meetings."
Transcript of on-line appearance, 18 August 1997 (note : full text online at the Lost Souls site - see links)
"I think in some ways being able to express myself cinematically allows me to be more literary when it comes to writing. What do I mean by this? Well, there's a kind of writing style which is very 'cinematic'. You know what I mean - short sentences, short scenes, not very much description - the kind of books you pick up at an airport and leave on the plane. I don't like that kind of writing very much. I like sentences that have music and poetry. I like characters to be rich and contradictory. I like the descriptions detailed. In short, what I like about books is very often the things which make them very different from the cinematic experience. I would have to say, therefore, that the chance to make movies has, I believe, made me write less cinematic books. "
By Cindy Fuchs, (i) Philadelphia City Paper Interactive, 10 July 1997 (note : exclusively online at www.citypaper.net) (ii) edited as 'Hellraiser' Philadelphia City Paper, No 633, 11 - 17 July 1997 (iii) University of Maryland - online Diversity Site, 1997 (note : full text was online at the University of Maryland site but has disappeared)
"I think that the removal via the imagination into a place where the
rules of the dominant culture do not apply, whether that be the world
of the Cenobites in Hellraiser, or Oz, or Narnia, or any of the worlds
that I create in my novels, is absolutely pertinent to a queer need.
And I don't think I would be the kind of artist that I am if I were not
queer and I think I would be a much less interesting artist... I've
written books in which creatures change sex, where gay marriage was the
norm rather than the exception, where all kinds of physical manifestations
of internal states were acceptable.
"[Nightbreed is a] queer boy's movie... But I think there's a paradoxical quality in our response to the monstrous, which is that, this is the reason we're in the movie house - the monster is seductive, transgressive, and exciting, but we also are going to watch a ritual expulsion of the monster, and Nightbreed does not deliver that. I think audiences didn't really forgive me for that. Curiously, the same audience that loves Candyman also wants to see him destroyed...
"Part of it is also the tension between what we're taught and what we really believe, in the sense of, what we're taught is that the bad guy has to be offed, the satanic figure, however nobly he may brood, must be staked or expelled. But actually, I think there might be a queer-straight thing here as well. I know this queer boy always wanted to be in the arms of Dracula, and that meant preserving Dracula. And that meant the last reel of Dracula was always a bummer as far as I was concerned. I felt this even more strongly with werewolves, they've always had an immense romantic appeal. I suppose they're the ultimate rough trade... The idea of being in the arms of something that is part man, part beast, is incredibly attractive, but the drama needed to play out, to the destruction of these men. So part of me was a good boy, speeding the silver bullet on its way, and the other part of me said, 'Please don't do this...'
"I don't think this is just about horror movies, this is also about fantasy and Oz and Wonderland is perhaps the strongest example in children's literature in which there is ecstatic disorder... which appeals to what I would argue is divine and spiritual in us, the desire to express our imaginations in defiance of order, in defiance of the very thing that we cling to, to get through our days. There's a little corner of us that says, I want to be in a world of munchkins."
By Jennifer Selway, The Express On Sunday, 29 September 1997
"If you feed a child solely on images of E.T. and Mickey Mouse they will never be equipped for the real world. Scary stories can be theraputic, as long as the child is in a safe place."
By Mark Dawidziak, Beacon Journal, October 1997
"Horror movies should say something more than just stay out of the shower or avoid Elm Street. It seems to me that one of the things that took me to this kind of story in the first place was the possibility that horror could be at least as imaginative as it is scary."
By [ ], Scottish Daily Record, 4 October 1997
"[Beverly Hills] can be a crazy place, so it's reassuring to have Lola and Ubu around. If nothing else, they stop the paparazzi trying to take pictures of me in my underpants."
By [ ], The Independent, 4 October 1997
"Horror has never not been popular. Look at the darkness in fairytales, Titus Andronicus or the ghosts and witches in the Scottish
play. There is a long and unbroken line of people who have used this kind of imagery in plays, paintings, novels, and now movies.
"Even if you don't like horror, the imagery is part of your cultural baggage. Everyone has stepped into a shower and thought of Psycho. That's in our cultural lives as much as Coca-Cola or Elvis Presley; it's part of who we are. King Kong, Boris Karloff, vampires - these are universal things. All of them partake of the same pool of images. I thought, `Why not pull these things together in a compendium?' The key word here [in A to Z Of Horror] is 'celebration'..."
"You can't intellectualise horror, it's like lewd humour - it's not susceptible to the intellectual dissection that a certain kind of critic feels comfortable with. It's about the gut and the heart, not the head. It's about `boo'. You can't analyse that stuff. For critics, that's frustrating because much of the analytical vocabulary they've honed is irrelevant. Their response is negative because they've been robbed."
By Dan Clarke, Inklings, Vol 3 No 4, Winter 1997-98
"I hope to create a place for whatever thoughts and feelings my work evokes in each reader. I want my books to be sanctuaries for extreme feelings. A place where the widest possible range of thoughts and feelings about matters such as death, insanity, sexuality, gender confusion, etc. - generally taboo topics - can be expressed without worry or guilt. My books, hopefully, are a sane, ordered structure for these extreme feelings to play out. You don't have that opportunity normally in everyday life. I hope my books provide that opportunity."
By [Stephen Dressler and Cheryl Bentzen], Lost Souls, Issue 9, November 1997 (note : full text online at the Lost Souls site - see links)
"I deliver the first book the end of November. It's one of two books that are called Galilee. They are connected in the sense that they have many of the same characters and the narrative. It's not like the paperbacks of Imajica where the novel just sort of stopped and started in the second volume. This is very much two books in which I'm exploring a mythology. It's huge! So I am a social bore. I get up in the morning and I go to my desk and write, I paint in the evenings, I go to sleep. I get up in the morning and I go to my desk. I am completely obsessed with the Galilee books. When you have narrative structures as large as this, you hold inside of you a huge amount of information. And if I don't hold it all, I have a fear that I will not be fully aware of the way that one piece of the narrative affects another piece. When you are dealing with dozens and dozens of character , in this case two family blood lines, I feel that my head is stuffed with all of these facts of Galilee. When I get done, I let it go and it all comes pouring out my ears. It's all there on the page and all I can do is hope that I have done my best. Until that time, the information accrues and it becomes more complex. That's where I am right now. My head is filled!"
By Gregg Killday,
Entertainment Weekly, 1 November 1997
"We took this project [Gods And Monsters] everywhere - you can list the number of things it had against it. When you're trying to go after very different constituencies - a gay constituency, a horror constituency, an old Hollywood constituency - people would say, 'I don't know who it is for.' The truth is it plays for all three and a whole heap more. It has real crossover potential."
By [ ], The X Factor, No 28, December 1997
"There is a strong body of opinion that says you can show too much. I believe this is wrong.
You can never show too much. I'm sitting there with my popcorn and my enthuisiasm and I'm
saying, 'Come on, man, do it for me!'
"There is another school of thought that says suggestion is best. And there are occasions when that is true. But for me, as a viewer, or a reader, I like it there right in front of me. I don't always want to come out of the cinema and say, 'Let's have a pizza'; I don't mind sometimes coming out with a feeling of disgust.
"You see, the genre is often condemned by those who don't truly experience it. They see a narrowness in its vision and intention. People condemn erotic literature for the same reason, that somehow the desire to scare - like the desire to arouse - is a fundamentally shallow one. Such arguments strike me as nonsensical. I prefer to be opposed by people who have a thorough knowledge of the genre...
"I get letters from priests who say, 'I love your work because you investigate spiritual matters in the form of popular entertainment.' And I embrace that, and expand upon that, because I don't think we're finished as a race. I do think we have to undergo some vast changes if we're to survive another thousand years. Evolution keeps pushing forwards. We constantly want to push ourselves forward, and imagination is one of the most positive processes of that ideal."
Clive Barker interviews William Gibson, 13 December 1997 (note : full text online at the Lost Souls site - see links)
"Isn't the danger of transparency that we will also take for granted the fact that our lives have become, in one sense, have become available? Our private lives have become part of a public machine. I certainly am powerfully aware that my private life, as somebody whose private life is perhaps more interesting ... Lord knows why, to a certain section of the populace than others ... because some kind of public existence, my private life is available in all kinds of ways that it wasn't before. And I don't particularly like that. I don't particularly like the fact the Internet will tell the world about my new boyfriend before I tell my mother. I mean, should we not be worried about transparency in that sense if we take for granted the idea that this vast informational system will know about us on all kinds of levels or should we just sort of shrug?"Click here for Interviews 1998...