When I first read the news, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Let me lay this Prada bag of gory glory down on you so you can raise your hands and your voice in celebration:
Clive Barker is attempting to bring both Hellraiser and Nightbreed to life in the form of two fabulous television series.
Now, how does that feel? In the immortal words of Larry David… “Pretty…pretty…pretty…good!” Let’s examine the possibilities.
First and foremost, both series will hopefully find a home on either HBO or Showtime. Why? Because putting either on network television would be doing both a major disservice. The NIghtbreed and the Hellraiser worlds cannot, in any way, be fully realized on network television. Why? Because ABC, NBC, CBS, FX, AMC, etc would water both shows down and strip them of their visceral, sexual nature. And these two shows need a sense of sexuality and desire — in all its carnal depth — to hold true to the creator’s vision.
Network television and Hollywood have a way of ruining such things.
Had it not been for the producing studio, Nightbreed would have been an amazing film. As is, it was a very good film… but the studio ripped the core from the story and flipped it upside down. Nightbreed is about celebrating the diverse and casting a glowing light on what had for so long been deemed evil. The monsters were the good guys and their sensual, sexual, nature should have been something to celebrate. Back in the ’90s, the average Hollywood audience member wasn’t ready for such shenanigans. We were still in a state of black and white. That is no more. Thanks to the likes of True Blood, Game of Thrones, and (shudder) Twighlight… bad is the new good. We can embrace what was once a darker nature and see that it does have a place on the planet. And, what’s better, is that the average viewer (and mind) can now see good and bad are not always constants.
We live in a world where suits can’t always be trusted and tattoos are no longer a reason to duck and cover. Absolutes are no longer something we can all count on and, to be quite honest, that’s okay. Society has reached a state where they are ready to accept dark as sexy.
What this means for Clive Barker is that he doesn’t have to worry his creations will be twisted into something he hadn’t intended. Cenobites can seduce the human flesh and mind and Midian can be a place where more than just the monsters dwell.
It is rumored that each series will be hour-long episodes and that the Hellraiser production team is looking at a thirteen episode first season.
Both of these shows need to happen. Horror is on the rise and the master of the craft needs to have his voice made visual again. It’s been twenty five years since the original Hellraiser film. The rumors of the reboot keep surfacing and sinking — a series would go a long way to proving the franchise (in spite of some fairly bad late showings) still has plenty of traction. And Nightbreed? What amazing potential this series could offer. Remember Carnivale? If you think that show had power and artistry, Nightbreed could kick that show in the seat of the fancy pants and still have room to frighten.
NOTE: I was a big fan of Carnivale!
NOTE: I’m a bigger fan of Clive Barker’s work. 😉
Thankfully the public at large has finally managed to cut ties with some of the puritanical apron strings that stretched through time and space. Because of this, horror has a new set of teeth — one that’s multi-edged and layered with sympathy, sexuality, depth, and desire. People want to be scared again and they want to want it… in an Erik Northman, Sookie Stackhouse kinda way.
If you happen to be on Twitter or Facebook, make sure you send Clive your support on getting these projects to life!
Just remember to tell him Jack Wallen sent ya. 😉