Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cabal, by Clive Barker

(hb; 1985, 1988: horror anthology)

From the inside flap:

"Cabal. . . is the story of a young woman willing to cross the borders of the human to be with the man she loves.

"That man is [Aaron] Boone, a beautiful, tortured soul who believes himself responsible for atrocious crimes.  He has taken refuge in a necropolis situated in the wilds of Canada, beneath which all the last great monsters of the world - the nightbreed - are in hiding.  They are possessed of extraordinary powers; so is Boone.  And in the hunt for Boone, they, too, will be hunted.  Can they survive when the colder, deadlier monsters of the twentieth century are on their heels?  And can Lori's love withstand the extraordinary truth of Boone's soul?"



Overall review:

Above-average novella/story anthology that showcases Barker's trademark, sometimes eloquent, sometimes gory meld of the beauty and darkness.

Worth owning, this.



Novella/stories:

1.)  "Cabal": See "inside flap" description.  Good, entertaining read.

The resulting film, retitled Nightbreed, was released stateside on February 16, 1990.

Clive Barker directed the film from his screenplay.

Craig Sheffer played Aaron Boone/Cabal.  Anne Bobby played Lori.  David Cronenberg played Dr. Phillip K. Decker.  Debora Weston played Sheryl.  Charles Haid played Captain Eigerman. 

Hugh Ross played Narcisse.  Doug Bradley played Dirk Lylesberg.  Catherine Chevalier played Rachel.    Kim Robertson played Babette.  Malcolm Smith played Ashberry.  Bob Sessions played Pettine.  Oliver Parker played Peloquin. 

John Agar played "Decker's Victim".


2.)  "The Life of Death":  A woman's brush with mortality during surgery portends her further, more complex association with that irrevocable element. 

Excellent, gripping story, with a stunning and darkly hilarious finish.


3.)   "How Spoilers Bleed":  Three European imperalist men, in contentious negotiations with an Indian tribe over land rights, find themselves on the business end of a terrifying and relentless curse.

Good, moralistic tale.


4.)  "Twilight at the Towers":   The possible defection of a high-ranking KGB agent (Mironenko) sparks a cycle of deceit, bloodshed and revelations.

Good, twist-pretzeled story that melds the milieus of John le Carré's spy world and grisly violence.


5.)  "The Last Illusion":  A private detective (Harry D'Amour) discovers that his gig babysitting a famous magician's corpse is more difficult and hellish than he thought it would be.

Entertaining, distinctive mix of noir, humor and the supernatural.

The film version, retitled Lord of Illusions, was released stateside on August 25, 1995.

Clive Barker directed the film from his screenplay.

Scott Bakula played Harry D'Amour.  Kevin J. O'Connor played Philip Swann.  Famke Janssen played Dorothea Swann.  Barry Del Sherman played Butterfield. 

Daniel von Bargen played Nix.  Vincent Shiavelli played Vinovich.  Wayne Grace played Loomis. 

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