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Clive Barker

Clive Barker’s Books of Blood are six volumes of absolute horror. Sure, a few have more of a dark humor to them, but many are absolutely terrifying. We’ve had some good film and TV adaptations of his works (“Midnight Meat Train,” “Dread”), some mediocre ones (“The Yattering and Jack,” “The Skins of the Fathers”) and some really bad ones (“Rawhead Rex”, “Book of Blood”). Barker has a plethora of other short stories, and not just in his Books of Blood collection, that are deserving of film adaptations. Jonathan has made his desire for an adaptation of Barker’s The Thief of Always very clear, so here are some of mine that I would love to see on the big (or small) screen!

Pig Blood Blues

I know this story is about an evil pig, but out of all of Barker’s stories, this one always freaked me out the most. I don’t know how easy it would be to make this legitimately scary on film, but the climax of the story, involving the possessed pig, is absolutely terrifying.

In the Hills, the Cities

Less a horror story and more a fantasy, “In the Hills, the Cities” follows two gay men, Mick and Judd, on their vacation in Yugoslavia. At the same time, the population of two cities (Popolac and Podujevo) strap themselves to each other and form two giants, each representing their respective cities. Things go horribly wrong when one of the giants trips, causing thousands to die and the other city to be driven insane. I’m not sure how this one could be believably put on film, but its one of Barker’s most fascinating and inventive stories, so I’ve always wanted to see it.

Son of Celluloid

I’m a sucker for anything involving an evil entity in a movie theater (see: Demons, that Season 2 episode of Charmed with a demon in the theater screen, the upcoming The Final Girls), so “Son of Celluloid” was practically written for me. It’s about a criminal who dies behind a movie screen, and his tumor gets a mind of its own and begins killing audience members at the theater. It’s a fun little tale, with a good final girl. I’m actually surprised this one hasn’t been adapted yet.

Human Remains

“Human Remains” is the perfect arthouse story if I ever read one. Roman Polanski of David Lynch could probably do wonders with this story. It follows a gay prostitute who finds a statue of a man in one of his client’s bathrooms (coincidentally, they meet outside an arthouse cinema). He then feels like the statue is following him around as the story progresses. “Human Remains” is the perfect tension builder. There’s not a lot of action, but it tells a story of paranoia extremely well, and it all culminates in a truly haunting climax that deals with identity.

The Inhuman Condition

“The Inhuman Condition” reads like something H.P. Lovecraft could have written. A group of friends beat up a vagrant and steal a knotted piece of string from him. Undoing the knots releases demons into the world who then proceed to murder the friends one by one. It’s a clever twist on the slasher film, and one that I’ve always wanted to see put on film. It could provide for some truly terrifying imagery of the demons themselves (and some great kill scenes).

These are just some of my choices! What are some of Clive Barker’s other short stories you would like to see put on film (they can be any of his stories, not just a Book of Blood)? Let me know in the comments below

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Replies to This Discussion

These would make for some interesting films. I wonder if they would each be better served as individual, full-length films, or as part of an anthology, like Creepshow. It's been a long while since I read some of the Books of Blood, so I wouldn't know what else to recommend. I do remember "Pig Blood Blues" being terrifying. Maybe "In the Hills, the Cities"?

hard to say but an anthology seams like it would be had to pull off. i think in the hills, the cities is the one i most want to see made. just imagining two giants made of people walking around. i have no idea how they would do it but god damn if it wouldn't be awesome.


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