Saturday, 18 April 2015

The Scarlet Gospels.

Clive Barker has finally gotten round to putting pen to paper to write about his most infamous and enduring creation the lead cenobite of The Order Of The Gash himself.
             Or Pinhead. More of a description than a name I suppose but hardly even an accurate one. Surely Nail head or even Nail face would be more appropriate. I do not think that Clive Barker ever got around to giving him a name other than the description itself. What a striking appearance though. This demon/hell priest summoned from Hell by the act of adjusting the configuration of an elegant little puzzle box. A veil between worlds becomes sundered and through it step these visions from a fetishist purgatory. The creations of a brilliantly imagination which are at once as horrifying as they are compelling to watch and listen to. This creature is not your usual shambling monosyllabic blood drenched monstrosity it is instead all the more disturbing given its thoughtful and even elegant turn of phrase.Yet to the best of my knowledge Clive barker only ever wrote about him in the Hellbound Heart the novella that formed the basis for the whole Hellraiser mythology launching a thousand lament configurations.
                I managed to read an advance proof of the new novel The Scarlet Gospels in which another Clive Barker creation Harry D'Amour descends into Hell itself to rescue his stolen friend Norma Paine from the clutches of the Hell priest himself who has set in motion a plan to take over that benighted region. In return for her release this high priest of abomination requires something quite specific of Harry D'Armour and harry is not the sort of man to be bound by Faustian deals. Yet it will stretch his considerable wits to their absolute limits if he is to survive this pilgrimage to lands where the living were never meant to walk. It is a book filled with wild magic and horror and is also something of an epic Yep, two of Clive Barkers bastard creations come together in a crimson bouquet of blood and tears in a quest to the territories of torment. These two creations have come a long way down a dark path strewn with the bones of different mediums, films, comic books and novels. From the distant days of The Books Of Blood  and The Last Illusion for D'Amour and The Hellbound Heart For the man of nails himself. Decades have passed since both these characters were introduced and both have proved to have a life beyond their fleeting first appearances. The cenobites in particular proving to be something of a merchandising phenomenon as over the years we have seen action figures and toys of myriadly startling compositions. Frankly, some of the most disturbing "toys" ever produced  have been directly inspired by the feverish imaginings of Clive Barkers darkly fertile thinking.  Plastic creations surely intended to populate some hellish nursery.
                Do you ever imagine mushrooms springing to life through dark soil illuminated by something other than the light of day? I think some ideas are like that. They require no sunlight to germinate, to reach their best, are the buds of flowers grown in goblin soil.
                That is Clive Barker for me. A gardener in The Fluer De Mal.
                A rosemariner in the garden of evil.