Scene of the Week: “The Droolies”
If you own a copy of Clive Barker: The Art of Horror, you’re in luck. If you don’t, (it’s a pretty rare VHS documentary) you’re in luck too! The SeraphimInc Channel on YouTube has a lot of content you can watch, featuring Clive Barker in all sorts of documentaries and TV appearances. On this @BarkerCast SCENE OF THE WEEK, I’m focusing on an obscure segment of this documentary featuring some terrible little characters. If you watch the documentary below, at the 19:25 mark you’ll find a narrated segment about the creepy Droolies. [I set it to start at the exact moment – you’re welcome!]
Very few things are as bad as you fear they’ll be. This the Droolies knew. So they were experts at making you believe the worst. Huge eyes that seemed in the dark to belong to a much bigger and more ferocious animal; teeth that were made for gnashing, but were bad at gnawing; fingers that felt when they touched the back of your neck as cold and as deep-sea slimey as an Octopus’ kiss. But it was all in the mind. The Droolies, when seen in daylight, were pale, thin apologetic creatures, whose worst trait was a nervous and insipid giggle. [Tee Hee!]
It appears Clive started drawing these creatures as early as the late 80’s, as you can find a few depictions of them listed in Revelations’ Art gallery here, here and here. The first two are dated as pre-1988 and the third one as 1989. The Droolies appeared in the magazine Taboo (Spider-Baby Graphix) issue #02 (1989) at the frontispiece of the issue—Clive had already written the Introduction for issue #01— and they never materialized into anything other than that small appearance, expect as illustrations here and there, decorating books that showcased Clive Barker’s art and sketches.
“Ah, the Droolies! That was a joke, really. I sent it along to John [Totleben] and Steve [Bissette] to prove I have an extremely ludicrous side. – Clive Barker in an article By Chris Brayshaw for Discorder, 1990.
Phil and Sarah Stokes of Revelations mention the Droolies in their Section “Book Projects – Cooler…”: “A colour illustration and text was published by Steve Bissette in Taboo. Adding to the list of children’s projects that never materialised, this looks to have been a manifestation of the monsters-under-the-bed story…”
Clive Barker: “The Art of Horror” came out in 1992, around the time Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth was coming out; in fact I remember you had to rip a tab from your Hellraiser III VHS and mail it in for a copy. The Internet Movie Database claims it was available only for purchase or rental with Hellraiser III. Paramount has since bundled it with their release of Hell on Earth as a featurette. Directed by Christopher Holland and narrated by Robert Russell, featuring music by Christopher Young, it was a ZigZag Films / Hollywood Canada Production. I recommend you watch it through when you can, as it’s a great trip back in time and Clive’s charm and wit is as sharp as it ever was, dressed in leather, smoking a cigar, with his stylish spiked hair, business at the front, party in the back. Give it a watch.