Clive Barker’s “Books of Blood Volume Three” offers five more stories of sex, violence and murder. The author pushes the envelope on dark horror and takes readers to a realm where pain and bloody death prevail. Prepare to be terrified.
“Son of Celluloid” has an unusual premise that fascinated me. It is a story about an escaped convict who dies in a crawlspace in a movie theater but his cancerous tumor lives on and feeds off of the energy from the audience. Barker’s representation of the “silent killer” is intriguing.
“Rawhead Rex” is a brutal story about a forgotten evil that wreaks havoc on an unsuspecting town after a man unknowingly unseals the monster’s prison. It’s not for the squeamish as the monster has a taste for “child-meat,” and devours a little girl in front of her mother. It was made into a movie in 1987. No longer in print, used copies are selling for astronomical amounts on the internet.
“Confession of a (Pornographer’s) Shroud” is a gory ghost tale. An honest but greedy man is set up to look like a pornographer and after his death he comes back for revenge. “Scape-goats,” the story of two young couples shipwrecked on an island, is told in first person narrative by one of the females. The island is actually a burial ground for those who died at sea, except they aren’t really dead. “Human Remains” is Barker’s slant on the doppelganger theme. A statue grows more human as the man becomes less so.
Clive Barker’s twisted visions are still shocking and sometimes repellent. They’re not for the faint of heart but those who enjoy being horrified are in for a treat. The book is available used online or as part of a collection.
Clive Barker’s Books of Blood Volumes One to Three
Publisher: Berkley (October 1998)