The history and mythos of Clive Barker’s most popular creation is explored in depth in the upcoming THE HELLRAISER FILMS AND THEIR LEGACY, written by Paul Kane, a best-selling horror author and dark fantasy novelist in his own right. The 255-page hardcover will be available before the end of the year from McFarland and Co., and the writer tells Fango, “Fans of the series can expect a very detailed look at every aspect, from the production histories of the films to the major themes in them.”
THE HELLRAISER FILMS AND THEIR LEGACY examines the creation and production of Barker’s original 1987 horror classic as well as the subsequent seven (!) sequels, comic books and collectibles it has spawned. Kane’s book, which features 75 photographs (including rare behind-the-scenes shots) and concept sketches, also examines the themes underlying Barker’s creation (based on his novella THE HELLBOUND HEART, which wasn’t published until a year after the film’s release), from spiritual and sexual to religious, in addition to providing a lengthy discussion of the characters central to the entire HELLRAISER franchise, quotes from the filmmakers and actors involved and a look at how the movies were received by both critics and audiences. The author says that the questions mused upon within the tome include “What sets the original film apart from the other ‘family horror’ subgenre movies? What were the influences on the creation of the Cenobites? How do zombies and vampires fit in? Where do all the ideas from the movies come from?”
Kane was initially introduced to the world of the Cenobites as a teenager. “Ever since I saw it in a video store, I’ve been in love with the series,” he says. “The iconic image of Pinhead grabbed my attention right away and wouldn’t let go. Over the years, I’ve taken a great interest in the movies and the development of the mythos, so with the 20th anniversary coming up, it just made sense for someone to write a book about it all. It was originally envisioned as a small British Film Institute-type book about Clive’s original movie, like Mark Kermode’s brilliant study of THE EXORCIST. But it grew and grew. And although it has been hard work, I’m really proud of the results.”
Currently working as an Art and Creative Writing lecturer in Derbyshire in the UK, and serving as Special Publications Editor for the British Fantasy Society (where he has collaborated on projects with authors Barker, Neil Gaiman and more), Kane has also penned a number of short stories featured in anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic, extensive horror journalism and more. Doug Bradley, whose portrayal of the sinister and enigmatic Pinhead is the film series’ cornerstone, was impressed enough with Kane’s manuscript to provide an enthusiastic foreword, and says, “[Kane] has chosen to follow in the great man’s [Barker’s] footsteps: to reach down into the reeking heart of this mythology and see what he comes up with. I’ll leave it to you to find out exactly what that might be, but I can assure you that he has left few, if any, stones unturned in his pursuit. It would be, perhaps, facile of me to say that he has such sights to show you, but the simple fact is, he has.”
“I was delighted when Doug agreed to pen the foreword,” says Kane, “and with his and Clive’s seal of approval, I knew I’d done a worthy job. As a fan of HELLRAISER myself, I’d definitely want this reference guide on my shelf.” Retailing for $45, THE HELLRAISER FILMS AND THEIR LEGACY will be available through McFarland’s site linked above and other on-line retailers, as well as in bookstores. For further info, visit Kane’s official site here.