Interviews 1996 (Part One)

...Through Will, Barker was able to reinvent himself - no longer tarred with the heavy-handed brush applied to all horror writers, now he was the gay writer with gay sensibilities and a fondness for animals - well, why not jump from one stereotype to another...? At least interviewers were asking something other than 'where do you get your horrific ideas from?'. Meanwhile, HarperCollins were hedging their bets as to whether this new direction would work and swiftly published a second collection of plays dusted down from the Barker vaults...

Lord Of Illusions

Audio commentary on (i) unrated laser disc, 1996 (ii) director's cut US DVD, 2001

"Harry d'Amour: a detective character I've been writing about for 10 years almost, in novels and short stories. A character who's in a way almost an alter ego for me; a guy who's drawn over and over again to the dark side, to the supernatural, to the occult. He tries to resist it but somehow or other it's in his karma, he can't do anything about it. He can't help himself. These things come find him, and when they come he has to deal with them. I sometimes feel that's true of the stories that I make and the images I make. They come unbidden, a lot Unrated Lord of Illusions DVD Unrated Lord of Illusions laser disc of them in dreams. I know how Harry feels, in other words."

The Making Of Lord Of Illusions

Sci Fi Channel documentary included on unrated laser disc, 1996

"One of the things you have in your head when you're writing a script, or I have in my head when I'm writing a script, is some very specific pictures, and only a handful of them, which are by no means enough to spread throughout a movie. I had four or five images in my head which were starting places for scenes: the look of the magic show - Swann's spectacular - which we've staged at the Pantages; the look of Nix's lair; the cultists' house; the look of the Bel-Air mansion where Swann and his wife, Dorothea, reside and actually Harry's apartment - that was a late addition, but that would be another one where I had a clear idea."

Masters Of Fantasy

Sci Fi Channel documentary, 1996

"[Sacrament] is about one man's journey out of his own despair because he is watching many of his own friends die of AIDS, which is its own terrible plague of extinctions... I think there's a good chance it will reach people who maybe have always thought Clive Barker was a little too strange, a little too whacked out for them. I'd like to make some converts with this book."

An Interview With Clive Barker

By Laurent Bouzereau, Ultraviolent Movies, 1996

Ultraviolent Movies, 1996 "Horror movies for me have to contain the element of the fantastic. In other words, there are movies that horrify me that are not fantastical and that I would not call horror movies. 'Schindler's List' is a good example. A movie like 'Taxi Driver' is not a horror movie.... For me, horror films have to do with taboo subjects, the problems of the flesh, insanity, obsession, death, the things that horrify us. For a horror film to work, Wes Craven said that you have to feel that you're in the hands of someone who will do anything to you. You have to have that sense that you're giving power to someone who is not quite sane. Horror movies are image driven, not performance driven; in westerns, in social dramas, in comedies, you think of characters and performances."

Video Watchdog, No 34, 1996

Laser Of Illusions

By Douglas E Winter, Video Watchdog, No 34, 1996

"What I was trying for in Lord of Illusions is exactly what I was trying for in Hellraiser, which was to put this very, very, weird thing into these incredibly ordinary circumstances, and see what happens. And I pushed the stuff in the normal circumstances of Los Angeles as far as I could, and then I went to a neutral space. When it got really weird, I said, 'Okay, I'm never going to get away with William Nix in your local apartment. The only way I'm going to get away with this is if I go to a neutral space.'"


By Amber Black and Tim Trautmann, Review (?), 1996 (note : full text online at the New Yzodderex site - see links)

"I think that the simple fact is we're connected in every place, as individuals, as species, and as nations, to the world, the natural world that surrounds us. We are part of it. We might wish to feel that we can live in cyber-spatial-environment separated from the physical facts of the natural world around us. We can't. AOL went down last night. I loved the idea that for nineteen hours nobody knew that they had simply sent-up the instructions to close down and this to be misinterpreted. I loved that! It's a warning. It's a little warning. But it's a warning. You can't plug into an artificial world and live there without there being terrible consequences of who you are as a spirit, as a living spirit. To be alive in the world. It doesn't mean to be watching television. It means to be in the world. And a reproduction of the world, whoever thought that cyber-spatial reproduction is, is not the same. And that's one of the many things that concerns me and interests me. Interests me in the way of slow motion car wreck because there's something fascinating and grotesque about what we are doing as a species."

IRC Online

Transcript of on-line appearance 7 January 1996 (note : full text online at the Lost Souls site - see links)

"I would trace my earliest metaphysical ruminations to childhood thoughts about the stars. When I was very young, long before I had contemplated writing, I was passionately interested in astronomy. What child does not look up at the night sky and wonder: who made this?"

Leapcon 1996

Transcript of an appearance at Leapcon, the Quantum Leap convention, 18 February 1996 (Note : full interview online in RealAudio at the Lost Souls site - see links)

"I've been writing about Harry as a character now for ten years and he's encountered a lot of strange things in novels and short stories and so part of this [sequel to Lord Of Illusions] is going and taking him on a fresh adventure. One of the fun things about him as a character, I think, is being funny, accessible, sexy, all those things and, I don't know if I've said this before but horror movies and dark supernatural movies are driven by their villains. When you think about a horror movie you think about the villain: you think about Pinhead; you think about the Candyman; you think about Freddy Kreuger; you think about Isuzu possessing poor little Linda Blair. You don't think about good guys. What I've had to do in this movie is make it so that you care about the good guy. So, forget about Nix - he's gone, all those guys are gone, never to be seen again. I don't want to have that thing of, 'Oh-oh, the monster's back...' We've pulled out the stake and all of that stuff - it's time to take the story somewhere fresh and hopefully the series can continue in some way, maybe develop the idea of an emotional arc for Harry - which has certainly occurred in the books - so that as we live with Harry, as it were, from story to story we understand him better.
"One of the things that happens to him in Lord Of Illusions is he walks off into a rather grim-looking future with Dorothea. What's happened to Dorothea might indeed be an element in the next picture; not that Dorothea will be, but you know, just to finish off that arc of the story."


By [Stephen Dressler and Cheryl Bentzen], Lost Souls, Issue 3, [March] 1996 (note : full text online at the Lost Souls site - see links)

Lost Souls, Issue 3, [March] 1996 "An author tries to write out of his or her heart, out of his or her personal truth. While there may be structural similarities in books or concerns in common between authors, what I do and what Stephen King, Anne Rice, or Edgar Alan Poe do are in more ways different than they are the same. I just chose those people, and they are all three extraordinary writers, but they are people that I seem to be put together with. While I'm very happy to keep the company of fellow writers of the fantastic, I also know that I do a series of things that are very different from most of those writers as they do things which are different from me. "

AOL Chat Session

Transcript of on-line appearance 11 January 1996, (note : full text online at the Kazmierczak site - see links)

"Whenever I write what may be loosely characterised as fantasy fiction, I am using it as a format in which to explore issues which are both very private to me 'ambiguities of sexuality', 'personal details of childhood', and much larger, if you will, archetypal elements. Imajica is about - in no particular order - the rise of goddesses, the destructiveness of fundamentalism, the complexity of our sexual selves, Jesus, London and half a thousand other ideas, images and story elements."

Hellraiser: Bloodline

US Press Kit, March 1996

"In Hellraiser: Bloodline, we're upping the stakes in all kinds of ways. With the first Hellraiser we were trying to make something more intense and offbeat than many of the genre pictures that were around at the time. We took that first movie very seriously and were attempting to, on a million dollars, do what we could to give people a serious scare. Our intention is to try and get back to the very dark, perverse, almost surreal quality that the first picture had."

Hellraiser collector's edition laserdisc


Audio commentary on laser disc, March 1996

"We had the greatest problem with this gag: the baby Frank, if you will, the vestigial Frank was a real problem to shoot. We actually had a puppet, an animatronic, first and it didn't work at all. I'm sure Image Animation won't mind my saying that, it just didn't work. We shot it all and it never really had enough life to it, so we got a little kid, maybe a 10 year old, in that little suit to pursue Clare across the floor."

AOL Chat Session

Transcript of on-line appearance 14 March 1996, (note : full text online at the Kazmierczak site - see links)

"Our imaginations are muscles - the more we use them, the stronger they get."

That's Clive!, No 3, October 1996

Amsterdam Festival Of Film Fantastique

Transcript of an appearance at at Amsterdam's Alhambra Cinema, Holland on 19 April 1996, reported as Clive Barker - At The Alhambra in That's Clive!, No 3, October 1996 (note: full text in German at the That's Clive! site at

"I believe that the place where you are born always remains in your heart - Liverpool is a marvellous place, it has a great history. But I am happier, living in LA, than I have been in my whole life. I believe that this happiness finds its way into my stories. There are many things in America which I find very amusing which I try to bring into the books. The Great and Secret Show is not a straight idyllic vision of town life in America. But there are these places, where I live, where whole populated areas have been built outside, in the desert. These are completely artificial places, everything is artificial there. They are designed in such a way that they function but it's as if they have fallen of the sky. There is a certain unreality to them, which I love. They have such a bizarre perfection.."

Amsterdam Festival Of Film Fantastique

Interview conducted at the Amsterdam Festival of Film Fantastique, April 1996 by Gerhard Hormann, (i) online at the Books of Cyber Blood site (site no longer on-line) (ii) Aktuel, No 2, May 1995 (edited)

"I'm completely dissatisfied with the world in which we live, but that's not really why I write other-world fiction. I do that to reflect on this world. I think if fantasy fiction is of any use as opposed to simply being escapism, it has to be because it makes you look back on our world and see it with new eyes. Science fiction can do that as well. Something in it makes the world in which you live look totally different. Fantasy fiction can liberate our imagination into realising who we are, and who we could be. It doesn't have to be a simple escape. It can be more.
"I think, in all seriousness, the things I fear in the world right now have a political face. They have a face of reason. The politician can sit before you and tell you very calmly that all people with AIDS should be put in camps. That's a terrifying spectacle. We're at a very - this is true for America, I can't obviously say what's it like here - but I think in America we're in a very dangerous place right now, because there's huge sociological dissatisfaction. I use that word, because it's more than just economic dissatisfaction. It's about the fact that people don't believe in anything anymore. The people that stand up and say: here's what I do believe in, will have an audience around them in 5 seconds. Even if what they're saying, what they believe in, is a terrifying and terrible thing. Like, what Buchanan was proposing. Or the Christian Coalition who have their finger on Mister Dole's shoulder, there's no question about that. Those guys, the guys who smile sweetly and talk about profound social repression, those are the people that scare me."

Statesman Journal, 7 May 1996

Clive Barker's Dark Fantasy

By Dan Hays, Statesman Journal, 7 May 1996

"I was sort of pleased [with Hellraiser] but not overly pleased. [My reaction] was, 'that's done; now let's get on with something else'. No portion of me predicted the way the movie created a cult. [More Hellraiser movies?] God help us! Let's hope not!"

Register-Guard, 12 May 1996

Horror Master Barker Lures Fans

By Cami Swanson, The Register-Guard, Eugene, Oregon, 12 May 1996, quoting extracts from a talk at the 1996 World Horror Convention at Eugene, Oregon

"A story is a story is a story, whether you're telling the story of The Little Mermaid or Psycho."

Talking With Clive Barker

By Denise Dumars, interview took place at World Horror Convention, Eugene, Oregon, Horror Magazine, Issue 7, 1996

"Yes, sure [I like Oregon]. And you know, Everville is obviously set within fifty miles of where we're sitting. I ain't telling [if it's Corvallis] but it's a real place, and I'm never telling in case the city fathers sue! You know what? I've certainly thought about [living in Oregon]. I have to think of another state to go and retire to, and Horror Magazine, Issue 7, 1996 I'm certainly not going to go back to England. I think this is a very beautiful state. It seems to be a state where iconoclasts are welcome."

World Horror Convention, 1996

Transcript of a talk with Ed Bryant at the 1996 World Horror Convention at Eugene, Oregon, Horror Magazine, Issue 7, 1996

"There was a place - this is an embarrassed writer's story, but hey, we're all friends. There was a place, now regrettably closed, on 42nd Street where beautiful young men would disport themselves... and I, you know, I only went because you ran into a lot of Pulitzer Prize winners in the audience... you go in there thinking, nobody will ever know who I am... and I came out of there and the guy behind the desk said, 'You're Clive Barker!' And said, 'Oh, fuck, yeah!' He says, 'I've got The Damnation Game here, I love this thing, would you sign it?' So I'm sitting here, signing 'Clive Barker', and he says, 'I have to introduce you to my lady,' whose name was Roxanne, or something, she worked at the club opposite. I said well, hey you know, if she's a friend of yours, she's a friend of mine. So Roxanne comes over, and this gal is a piece of work, I mean, this hair, those breasts, those hips, it just will not quit. And, he leaned over, and as I'm signing for her - she hadn't read it, I don't think she could read - he leaned over, and he vouchsafed this information: "She has a larger dick than I have." And I looked at her and said, 'Oh, really?' And he said, shall we go over and see her show? And I thought, well, you know, I've signed for her... why not?
We walked across the road, and there was this show, and I would want to bring you here, Ed... here's just one of those seminal experiences that, I use the word advisedly, that I don't think you could find even in a sophisticated town like this [Eugene]. There were some creatures here of such proportions and attributes, that truly, there was something there for everyone. It's the forbidden Jerry Springer Show. I love the freakish and I love the strange, and I think there's a strange beauty in them."

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