5 Essentials For Clive Barker Newbs

Spread the love

Clive’s Five: The Clive Barker Conversion Kit

Have you ever had that disappointing conversation with someone, where you’re so excited to talk about Clive Barker, only to find out they don’t know who he is? You try to go back to a common denominator, “You know the movie Hellraiser? The guy with pins in his head?”

Then I swear to Uma Ummagamagi that my neighbor starts talking about Hellboy. Well no more!  Send them this handy Clive Barker conversion kit now!  Buy it for them, or if you’re cheap like me, send them this link, but get it done!


Have you got that one friend that keeps going on about Clive Barker, and you want to understand what they’re talking about?  With this handy starter kit, you’ll be up and running, and having a great time doing it.

  1. The Books of Blood Vol 1-3, Vol 4-6, or if budget is not an issue, get this amazing combined Hardcover.  Not only do they still hold up, but these stories are amazing, scary, transformative and thought-provoking. And as a Clive Barker neophyte, you know with confidence you’re getting in on the ground floor, and you’ll understand the Clive Barker craze of the ’80’s and ’90’s.
  2. The Hellbound Heart Paperback.  This is a pretty easy transition from the Books of Blood to the Hellbound Heart, because it reads like a slightly larger Books of Blood story and it leads into Clive’s most famous movie ever…
  3. Hellraiser Blu-Ray,  DVD, or you can go all out with this Blu-Ray Set. Of course you should see Hellraiser after reading the book.  Many of us saw the movie first, but why shouldn’t you get the chance to experience then in order?  Plus the movie’s not so scary if you’ve read the book first.
  4. The Thief of Always Paperback or this luxurious Hardcover.  Now you’ve seen the grittiest, scariest he has to offer, relax and read the amazing prose of this Children’s’ fable. You will be proud of your choice to stick to it this far, and you’ll be almost ready to make some converts of your own, but not yet.  There’s…
  5. Weaveworld Paperback.  Now that you’ve seen what Clive can do with an amazing, poetic children’s fable, let’s move to one for adults.  Learn the word Fantastique and make it your own, as we all did, read this magical, scary and epic book,

And you’ve arrived. If you’ve made it this far, you will want more, and the thrill is in the discovery.  You’re a convert, you’re a fan and an enthusiast.  You want to know more of his book (there are lots more) more movie adaptations, and what about his paintings!  Maybe you want to get hardcovers, or more Hellraiser movies, or the other two movies Clive Barker directed. Go out into the cosm, the fifth dominion and the reef with new eyes, and with your ears, don’t forget to listen to the Clive Barker Podcast.


Okay, we’re back.  Have you sent them the kit yet, or are you planning an argument about what would be better?  I’ll run through some of my thinking on this.  Anything that you have to explain context is a big no.  Don’t have them watch Rawhead Rex, Transmutations or even Nightbreed.  They aren’t ready for those things yet. We’re winning them over with glorious books and a movie. People are more skeptical then ever before.

What about Imajica?  I think it might be too big, too intimidating and too good. Let’s work our way up to that one.  Imagine (Imajine?) Their delight when they find that one on their own?

But I like Hellraiser II better?  Okay, Hellraiser II has some cool stuff in it, but it’s a bit of a mess, and we’ve all had time for our hearts to heal after seeing Pinhead get his throat cut. That wasn’t cool!  The plot can be convoluted, so let them find this one on their own.

Now you’ve got the kit, please try it out and let us know how it goes. Because of Clive’s Health, it’s been longer between big releases both in books and movies, so as a result we’ve had more limited books targeting us, the die-hard fans. The Scarlet Gospel was three years ago, and The Midnight Meat Train was nine years ago. Let’s do this for Clive, and for us so we have people to talk to again who aren’t on the internet.

There are 2 comments

Add yours
  1. Rob Ridenour

    Good list Ryan. I’ll use this for anyone who doesn’t know much about Clive beyond Hellraiser and Candyman.

Comments are closed.