I have a feeling there’s going to be a lot of Clive Barker happening in my life this week. I’m okay with this.
I kind of love Clive Barker and his movies. If you’ve never seen a Clive Barker movie, well, first of all, what are you waiting for? Go to it!
Have you watched Hellraiser yet?
Okay, fine, we’ll talk about that later.
Lord of Illusions – USA, 1995. Dir. Clive Barker. Starring Scott Bakula, Kevin J. O’Connor, Famke Janssen.
For those of you unfamiliar with Barker, when you watch one of his films, you’re entering a surreal world of horror. There are demons, magic, other dimensions… They’re often fantastical, weird, surreal (yeah, I know I used that twice). His imagination is so rich, the worlds he creates so bizarre, I just love it.
Lord of Illusions has something of all of that. It’s the story of Harry D’Amour, a PI sent to LA to investigate a case of insurance fraud. While on the case, he stumbles across a murder tied to a mysterious cult. Insurance fraud forgotten, he soon finds himself deep in the world of magic where the line between illusions and divinity begins to blur.
Lord of Illusions is a horror movie with a healthy dose of film noir. It has all the elements of a good mystery – the red herrings, the faked death, the femme fatale. It’s not until the end that the real horror begins, when the god-like magician Nix is finally brought back from the grave.
The effects in this movie are just okay and while violent, it’s not nearly the gore fest that the Hellraiser movies can be. I wouldn’t really call it Barker’s best. But the story is so much fun, the film noir aspect so delightful, that I still really enjoy it.
I have to admit I also got a kick out of mid-90’s Los Angeles. I know some of those neighborhoods! I hang out in them! And then there’s part when they go to the Magic Castle! I’ve always wanted to go there. I really should some time. That place sounds awesome.
Kind of random, but I really like Nix’s minion Butterfield. He’s kind of badass. He also wears amazing gold pants.
Scott Bakula is also awesome in this movie. D’Amour is like a cross between Philip Marlowe and John Constantine. I’m kind of sad there aren’t more movies about him actually, he’s a great character. I would totally watch a series of Scott Bakula/Harry D’Amour movies! He could like, travel the world finding demons and sending bad guys to hell pits and stuff.
Wait, dude, what if. Just WHAT IF. Harry D’Amour had to chase down a bad guy who was also being chased by Pinhead. And maybe it turns out that this guy really isn’t a bad guy after all, he just doesn’t want to be tortured in hell for all of eternity. So like, D’Amour has to decide whether to catch him like he’s supposed to or help him fight Pinhead. Or maybe he has to team up with Pinhead!
Whoa guys. Whoa. I’m copyrigting that shit right now. Don’t steal it.
Fun fact about Clive Barker that I just found out this month! I didn’t realize that he was an Executive Producer on the excellent film Gods and Monsters. The 1998 film based on Christopher Bram’s also excellent novel <a href="The Father of Frankenstein “>Father of Frankenstein and starring Ian McKellan as James Whale. Yes, James Whale who directed Frankenstein (hence the title) and Bride of Frankenstein. James Whale who, like Clive Barker, was openly gay. Connections! These things make me super happy guys, they really do.
Alright, I know this post is really short. Sorry about that. Blame it on the Sunday?
But I need to go, I have a date with another scary movie.
Don’t worry though, there are lots of exciting things coming up this week! Stick around and you might just end up learning a lot about Italian giallo horror. It’s gonna be awesome.