Clive Barker’s Lord of Illusions

Sorry to say this little article’s momentum just ebbed out. But Harry D’Amour’s part of the story interested me less than the cult house, Nix himself and his followers. I wanted to spend a lot of time in that house. Very attentive viewers will notice that, curiously, the room where Quaid encounters most of the cult members has its floor hollowed out and everybody stands on dirt. I am dying to know how and why this came about, I think it’s a really marvelous touch. Unless, that is, it only exists to justify a climax requiring a dirt floor… Oh, let’s hope not (against hope).

When I got around to re-viewing this film I ended up watching it maybe eight times. Over and over. I read the script (best insight: “primeval muck”), the short story it was based on (slight yawn), bought the soundtrack (only good for the oft-repeated main theme), watched the Making-of, listened to Barker’s commentary and even friended and messaged Barker on Facebook. Beat that, epic fucking nerds.


An imperfect film, surely. An indulgently pulpy story, yes.

PROLOGUE: Swann’s betrayal

Title card added after first test screening. Barker likes it.

Nevada, Mojave Desert

Compound of Nix’s apocalyptic cult

Butterfield, Nix’s catamite

Death’s Head

William Nix
“The Puritan”

The Unusual Suspects

Acolytes at play

Acolytes at play.

Acolytes threaten Quaid

Acolytes threaten Quaid

Quaid fires on acolyte

Quaid fires on acolyte

Swann enters Nix's sanctum in perhaps the least conspicuous way possible

Swann enters Nix’s sanctum in perhaps the least conspicuous way possible

Swann hallucinates

Swann hallucinates

1995: Revival and revenge of Nix

“Coincidence city. Population: You and Me.”


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