Post by allthingshorror on Aug 29, 2009 8:12:01 GMT
Pocket Books (September 2009)
Foreword: Clive Barker
Introduction: Raising Hell, Again - Stephen Jones Prisoners of the Inferno - Peter Atkins The Cold - Conrad Williams The Confessor’s Tale - Sarah Pinborough Hellbound Hollywood - Mick Garris Mechanisms - Christopher Golden and Mike Mignola (illustrated by Mike Mignola) Every Wrong Turn- Tim Lebbon The Collector - Kelley Armstrong Bulimia - Richard Christian Matheson Orfeo the Damned - Nancy Holder Our Lord of Quarters - Simon Clark Wordsworth - Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean A Little Piece of Hell - Steve Niles The Dark Materials Project - Sarah Langan Demon’s Design - Nicholas Vince Only The Blind Survive - Yvonne Navarro Mother’s Ruin - Mark Morris Sister Cilice - Barbie Wilde Santos del Infierno - Jeffrey J. Mariotte The Promise - Nancy Kilpatrick However…- Gary A. Braunbeck and Lucy A. Snyder ‘Tis Pity He’s Ashore - Chaz Brenchley Afterword - Doug Bradley Special Bonus Material: Wordsworth Graphic short story Original Script - Neil Gaiman
A very good antho - even though I did have reservations about it when I first heard about it - thinking that Pinhead was in every story etc. Thankfully it's got nothing at all to do with the many nailed one and takes the Hellraiser mythos into a whole new area. Here is my rather luvvey review for the ol' website:
I’ve never been all that immersed in the Hellraiser world – after barely being able to pull myself through the fourth film in the series , I decided to stop taking them at all seriously- sad that what had made the first films so special had been flogged to within an inch of its life. So for me at least, the purest forms of the Hellraiser mythos consists of Clive Barker’s story The Hellbound Heart which first appeared in George R R Martin’s anthology Night Visions 3 and the first film, directed by Barker himself. The rest is all cash-cow, has spawned a massive merchandising monster and as such there have only been a few items that really seem like good value for money and go back to the ethos of what the whole creation is about – the Hellrasier comics, Stephen Jones’ in depth chronicles and the new anthology which has been edited by Paul Kane and Marie O’Regan – Hellbound Hearts.
The line-up is a very impressive one – with Clive Barker giving a foreword, Stephen Jones unleashing a introduction which documents what happened to the main players of the first film and innovative thinking on the publicity and then to the authors - with stalwarts of the genre such as Richard Christian Matheson, Conrad Williams and Mark Morris all popping up, we even have a story from Barbie Wilde, the female cenobite from Hellrasier 2, The Stand’s director Mick Garris, Hellboy’s Mike Mignola and Neil Gaiman.
But to the stories. There are some corkers – and the lead story, Prisoners of the Inferno by Peter Atkins– is an instant hit. It details the downfall of Jack a film buff who finds a still from Prisoners of the Inferno only to be told it is from the lost masterpiece The Cabinet of Doctor Coppelius. A little bit of digging later, finding websites dedicated to the film, he sends off an email saying that he has discovered the image. He falls into the world of some heavily underground cine fanatics who seem to have a print of the lost film. But one man in particular wants to show Jack much more.
Sarah Pinborough’s The Confessor’s Tale is a very dark story that seems to have crawled out of the underbelly of some ancient Eastern European tome. It’s quickly read, but even when I moved onto the story that followed it, Mick Garris’ Hellbound Hollywood – I actually went back to read Confessor’s again, it’s power was such.
Kelley Armstrong’s The Collector is a neat , deftly told tale that concerns a puzzle addict who spends too much time on a particular internet site, only to find that her winning ways could lead to her eternal damnation.
Neil Gaiman’s reprinted Wordsworth is always good value and is great to see here ( an added bonus to the anthology is the short story script to Wordsworth at the back of the book).
Mark Morris is on blistering form with Mother’s Ruin; his last four pages blowing the shit out of any ending of a story I’ve ever read of his before. Barbie Wilde’s Sister Cilice is devastatingly haunting, piercingly erotic and is one of the true stand-out stories of the anthology.
However... by Gary A Braunbeck and Lucy A. Snyder sets a Hostel type scenario with three captives of two deranged sickos finding a puzzle box and summoning a cenobite who becomes bored with them (!) and the brilliant story ‘Tis Pity He’s Ashore by Chaz Brenchley struck a strange, off-kilter feel to everything that had come before. The more you think on the story though, the more it grows on you.
There was only one story that didn’t work for me and that one was Richard Christian Matheson’s Bulimia - which read terribly…staccato… pretentious… ghastly, wordy, drivel - the only blemish in an otherwise great anthology.
My other bugbears are that the foreword by Barker was too short, he should have supplied a story (but is he all written out as far as the world he created is concerned?) – though he did paint a lively and lovely cover with an all new Cenobite, Vestimenti. Another niggle is that there is nothing in the way of notes from the editors . I would have loved to have been able to read how they went about putting the anthology together, how it came to exist, who they touted it to, how many stories they rejected etc, etc . In its stead we get an afterword by Doug Bradley who plays Pinhead – which is all right – but isn’t his appearance in film after film after film (8 in total) part of the problem with the diluting of the franchise? Yes, I know, an actor has to eat.
But kudos MUST go to Paul Kane and Marie O’Regan who have pulled out of the bag a magnificent clutch of tales and have managed to coax from the authors many rich, dark and some truly frightening stories that have added a new and complex light to an already vastly complex universe. It’s a great read and I hope that Pocket Books, the publishers, commission a second volume soon, because this definitely has scope to become a very popular series. But only if the care, evident in this outstanding volume, is shown . Don’t go for the quick bucks and pump out book after book. It’s the pathway to becoming as trite as the truly awful latter films did.
Thanks for the tip. I would have missed it, and I am a big Hellraiser fan.
Yes, the movies are not great any longer. With III they jumped the shark. It is a so frustrating movie, because underneath the flat direction you can sense a good movie. Those laughable disco cenobites were awful, and I have seen better realised WWI scenes in eps of Highlander. A missed opportunity. But director Anthony Hickox couldn´t do atmosphere if his life depended on it.
I recently read the original screenplay for IV, and it is a shame that the studio did such an atrocious hackjob with the half completed movie. They truly strangled it in the crib.
The rest are as good as the budget and the foreign crew is. I liked Inferno (V), it was nicely written, but from the scope it was like one of those short stories, nothing epic. And I liked Deader. (Yes, a lousy movie, but I like Kari Wuhrer, so I am biased. And it had some surprisingly good and tense scenes) The last ones I have not seen.
Looking forward to these stories. R.C. Matheson´s story is pretentious and drivel? I am shocked, sir. Shocked! Did he ever did a story which wasn´t?