Clive Barker's Book of Blood
Clive Barker’s Books of Blood were originally released in six volumes during 1984 and 1985. Published by Sphere they were an impressive calling card and showed that Barker had an appreciation for the traditional aspects of horror fiction as well as an impulse to create something slightly different. The emphasis on perverse sexuality, sado-masochism (explored in more detail in Barker’s debut horror film Hellraiser (1987)) and graphic bodily violence showed him to be a distinctive voice in an overcrowded marketplace. Initially at least Barker’s translation to cinema was less than auspicious. Both Underworld (1985) and Rawhead Rex (1986) were dire wastes of celluloid, before Barker hit pay dirt with the aforementioned Hellraiser. As a director Barker has proved to be far more adept at handling his own material - both Nightbreed (1990) and Lord of Illusions (1995) were intriguing and complex tales which ultimately never recovered from the massive studio interference that plagued them. As a producer Barker oversaw one of his most successful films in Candyman (1992), a film that spawned a franchise, a new horror icon (something Barker has achieved twice, if you include the Cenobites) and a steadily growing reputation that has seen the film acclaimed as something of a minor masterpiece.