Clive on The Hellbound Heart

...the smell of burning was only the beginning. No sooner had he registered it than half a dozen other scents filled his head. Perfumes he had scarcely noticed until now were suddenly overpoweringly strong. The lingering scent of filched blossoms; the smell of paint on the ceiling and the sap in the wood beneath his feet: all filled his head.
He could even smell the darkness outside the door; and in it, the ordure of a hundred thousand birds.
He put his hand to his mouth and nose, to stop the onslaught from overcoming him, but the stench of perspiration on his fingers made him giddy. He might have been driven to nausea had there not been fresh sensations flooding his system from each nerve-ending and taste-bud. It seemed he could suddenly feel the collision of the dust-motes with his skin. Every drawn breath chafed his lips; every blink, his eyes. Bile burned in the back of his throat, and a morsel of yesterday's beef that had lodged between his teeth sent spasms through his system as it exuded a droplet of gravy upon his tongue.
His ears were no less sensitive. His head was filled with a thousand dins, some of which he was father to. The air that broke against his ear-drums was a hurricane; the flatulence in his bowels was thunder. But there were other sounds - innumerable sounds - which assailed him from somewhere beyond himself. Voices raised in anger, whispered professions of love; roars and rattlings; snatches of songs; tears...

"One of those pages [in Clive Barker - Illustrator] contained the original drawing of Pinhead. And God knows where that drawing came from. It wasn't in a dream. But it came from somewhere in my psyche. I probably drew it around the time that I wrote the story because The Hellbound Heart, upon which Hellraiser is based, contains quite a specific description of Pinhead. The whole geometry of him, the scarification of his face, the pins driven in at each intersection of the lines, and the kind of priestly garb which the Cenobites wore in Hellraiser were also described. So really there was quite a solid jumping-off place for Pinhead. But I don't know where those images came from. Maybe it's great that I don't know. It's one of the secrets of the psyche."


By John Russo, Scare Tactics, Dell Publishing, 1992

"For me [Hellraiser] was a chance to see if I could put what I felt I was putting onto the page onto the screen; to form a narrative that would allow me imaginative latitude with the visuals but which wouldn't be too large in terms of set pieces. The only way to do this was to write the novella with the specific intention of filming it. This was the first and only time that I have done that, but it was useful in that I worked through a lot of the visual problems in the novella and the final screenplay didn't take that long to draft."


By David J Howe, Starburst, No 110, October 1987

"What delights me, finally, is to have a choice of versions [of the Faust stories]. I've even added a few variations to the canon of Faust tales myself. The Damnation Game, The Hellbound Heart and The Last Illusion are all conscious strivings to make sense of the story for a late twentieth century readership. Hell, I point out in The Damnation Game, is reimagined by each generation. So are the pacts and the pactmakers. But the story will survive any and all reworkings, however radical, because its roots are so strong."

The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus

By Clive Barker, Horror: 100 Best Books, 1988

"12 years ago, having survived two horrendous experiences as a screenwriter, I decided to take the jump into directing something myself. Never having been given the chance to stand behind the 35mm camera in my life, I knew nobody was going to trust me with a significant sum of money. I reckoned that something under $1 million might be a plausible amount for somebody to give me to make a movie. I had just published a short novel called the "Hellbound Heart" (which is in print from HarperCollins). I decided to adapt the piece to the screen. I cast one of my best pals from my theatre days, Doug Bradley, as the villain. We jokingly referred to him as Pinhead. The name stuck. The rest you probably know. In fact, I remain delighted and surprised that our $900,000 movie still has an audience ten years later. I've been told - and you out there may know better than I whether this is true - that the new movie "Event Horizon," which opened this weekend, looks suspiciously like "Hellraiser" in space!"

AOL Appearance

Transcript of on-line appearance, 18 August 1997

"I liked the fact that in the novella, the heroine was a total loser, but you can live with someone like that for the length of a novella. You can't for a movie."

Slime Time

By Kim Newman, Shadows in Eden, 1991

...other comments

Stanley Wiater : "In a sense, Night Visions 3 is the 'British invasion' volume in the series. Both [Ramsey] Campbell and Barker are natives of England, while [Lisa] Tuttle - although Texan by birth - has been residing in London for several years...All three writers are at the top of their form. And since the book is issued by a small speciality publisher rather than a general-audience trade outfit, we can assume that everyone was given carte blanche to let their imaginations go as wild as they dared. Each writer was allotted 30,000 words worth of space...Clive Barker contributes a single novella titled The Hellbound Heart. A woman falls in love with a man whose spirit exists in the house she recently moved into, and she must feed it human blood to bring its flesh back to this earthly plane. It's typical Barker - sex and violence all rolled up into one disgustingly delightful mixture."

Night Visions 3 - Review

By Stanley Wiater, Fangoria, No 65, July 1987

Carl T. Ford : "The combination of a torrid circle of desire, love and sexual perversion is dealt with quite impressively as Barker twists the plot to and fro in a work which, typical of its author, speeds along like an express train in its quest upon an unrelenting path of passion and violence. While the Cenobites have a much smaller role here than in the film, the tale works just as well and is worth reading just for Barker's treatment of the complicated relationships."

Night Visions

By Carl T. Ford, Dagon, No 20, November - January 1987

Hellbound Heart bibliography...

home search contact Books