After Stephen King’s major works, Clive Barker’s Books of Blood are probably the most famous horror fiction of the last 30 years, which is as it should be. I don’t read a lot of horror fiction anymore, but Books of Blood should provide the backbone to any teenager’s entry into their goth phase. Several of the short stories have already been made into films, including The Midnight Meat Train, Lord of Illusions, Candyman and my favorite, Rawhead Rex. Additionally, I’m still convinced that my personal favorite of the collection, “Dread” — about a vegetarian locked in with a steak and driven by hunger to eat it, but only after it had become maggot infested — was part of the inspiration behind the Saw series. They’re actually working on a movie based on that short story, as well as another of the Books of Blood, “Pig Blood Blues.” (An adaptation of the best Clive Barker novel, The Thief of Always has also been announced — Kelly Asbury (Shrek 2) is attached to adapt and direct. I’m actually pretty stoked about that one).
The latest big screen adaptation, Book of Blood, which was the framing story around the entire collection, is about a fraudulent medium who goes into a haunted house with a psychic researcher. He makes up a few visions, but then discovers the ghosts are real, and they carve the Books of Blood into his skin. I’m not sure how well that’s going to parlay into a movie, and from the looks of the trailer, it’s going to do so tediously.
Damnit, Clive. Why do you have to let Hollywood continue to tarnish your work?