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  • Colin Durrant

Clive Barker - From Book Cover to Movie Poster

Updated: Mar 18, 2019


I had this poster on my bedroom wall for years as a child

THERE HAVE BEEN MANY of Clive Barker’s books that have been adapted to the screen, either the cinema of straight to DVD or made for the small screen. The first film adaptation of Barker’s story that I saw was Hellraiser, released in 1987 and



was written and directed by Clive Barker himself. The film was based on his novella The Hellbound Heart and was the first film that Clive directed. There have been many sequels – nine in fact but my interested in the Hellraiser film franchise started to wane at the end of the third instalment – Hell On Earth – when Dimension films took over the franchise. But, eh, that’s another story entirely. This was the first poster I ever saw and purchased this as teenager. I had this stuck on my bedroom wall for several years. I think it eventually came down when we moved house and it never found it’s way out of the “bits ‘n bobs” box. I remember colouring Pinhead’s eyes in black with a felt-tip pen, changing them from that cold piercing blue. I also remember regretting that about a week later.






BOOKS OF BLOOD 1-4 was the second book comprising several short horror stories that I read from Barker. I remember being particularly freaked out by The Midnight Meat Train. This featured in volume one of his Books of Blood books. It wasn’t until 2018 that I saw the movie starring Vinnie Jones and Bradley Cooper as a photographer finding himself almost There have been many adaptions from the Books of Blood series including, Rawhead Rex made for the screen in 1986. The story appeared in volume 3 of the Books Of Blood and follows the murderous rampage of through the Irish countryside.

inadvertently tracking the “subway killer” It was just as I imagined it all those years earlier. I’ve chosen to include this cover “Books of Blood volume 1-4” as this the book I bought and read and re-read to the point that the cover became so tatty that it fell off. There’s been several movie posters for this but my favourite has to be the one with Vinnie Jones peering menacingly through the slightly obscured window, holding that meat hammer. Fancy seeing that staring back at you from the other side of the glass.

There have been many adaptions from the Books of Blood series including, Rawhead Rex made for the screen in 1986. The story appeared in volume 3 of the Books Of Blood and follows the murderous rampage of through the Irish countryside. remember being confused when I came upon Clive Barker’s “Books Of Blood” film a few years back, knowing that the books of the same titles spanned six volumes. Turns out the film is based upon one of the postscript form the first volume.

Dread was adapted for the screen in 2009 and again was taken from The Books Of Blood series volume2 published way back in 1984.




I remember being confused when I came upon Clive Barker’s “Books Of Blood” film a few years back, knowing that the books of the same titles spanned six volumes. Turns out the film is based upon one of the postscript form the first volume.




Another Books Of Blood short story I loved was The Yattering and Jack, which was made into a TV programme and aired as an episode of 1996 series Tales from the Darkside.







Watching this as a kid, I was scared to even whisper his name just once.

Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candyman…whoa! Let’s stop there. To say his name five times (let’s pretend I’m looking into a mirror) would summon him to kill the summoner with his hook for a hand. There have been several Candyman movies but the first of which was released in 1992 and was acutally adapted from a short story The Forbidden written the Mr Barker himself, which was written… drum roll please...


yes, you’ve guessed it… as a Books Of Blood short story.






Another adaption from Books of Blood volume 6 was Barker’s The Last Illusion which was retitled Lord of Illusions for the big screen in 1995 starring Scott Bakula and Famke Janssen.






Probably my favourite adaptation in entertainment value not necessarily from a design perspective from cover to poster, was Clive’s Cabal. Made into a 1990 horror movie that was both written and directed by Clive Barker and re-titled as Nightbreed starring Craig Sheffer, Anne Bobby and David Cronenberg. The title was changed as the power’s that be believed that Cabal carried little meaning and impact with the targeted audience and the story needed a more commercial title.


I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post and exploring the differences in deisgn from a book cover to a movie poster from one book to the next. Feel free to comment or drop me a line.

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