Radio Wolinsky

From the Probabilities Archive: Clive Barker, “Weaveworld,” “Hellraiser,” 1987

Clive Barker, noted horror and dark fantasy author, in conversation with the Probabilities crew, Richard A. Lupoff, Lawrence Davidson and Richard Wolinsky, recorded September, 1987 while he was on tour for his fantasy novel, “Weaveworld.” Digitized, remastered and edited in October 2022. Hosted by Richard Wolinsky.

The last quarter of the 20th century was a golden age of horror novels. Leading the pack, of course, was Steven King. But there was also Peter Straub, Anne Rice, Dean Koontz and several others. One of the leading authors of the period was Clive Barker, who burst onto the scene in his early thirties with The Books of Blood, followed by novels and short stories specializing in horror and dark fantasy. He was also the writer and director of what is now a classic in the field, Hellraiser and its villains, Pinhead and the Cenobites.

The Probabilities Crew, Richard Lupoff, Lawrence Davidson and myself, we interviewed Clive Barker three times, first in 1987 then a year later, and finally in 1996.

This interview was recorded a few months after Clive’s 35th birthday,  was also several months before the release of the original Hellraiser film which premiered the following September.

As of 2022, there have been seventeen Clive Barker novels in all, five short story collections, fourteen plays, and a variety of comic books and graphic novels, several screenplays, teleplays and adaptations, and three feature length films he directed. A new version of Hellraiser, based on his original screenplay, now streams on Hulu, along with Books of Blood from 2020. Candyman, from 2021, streams on Amazon Prime, as does the original 1987 Hellraiser.

In 2012, Clive Barker he went into a coma following a disastrous visit with a dentist. Since that time, no new novels have been forthcoming, though he is credited with involvement in a number of published works and film and television adaptations.

Dario Argento’s horror films are all available on the Criterion app, where you can also find films by Jean Cocteau. After Clive began writing fiction, he stopped writing plays, so his final work for theatre was written before the interview was recorded.

A highly edited transcript can be found in a book titled Macabre II: Stephen King and Clive Barker, edited by James Van Hise, and out of print for decades.

(Note: The cassette tape says 1/9/87. However, from internal evidence in the interview, the likely date of recording is sometime in September 1987. – RW)

Front photo: Clive Barker in 2007.