First published back in June of 1991, the Eclipse Graphic Novel’s adaptation of Clive Barker’s short story ‘Son Of Celluloid’ from the author’s ‘Books Of Blood: Volume Three’ (1984) followed in the footsteps of the successful ‘Tapping The Vein’ (1989 - 1992) adaptations. 

DLS Synopsis:
With the luck of his own personal god on his side, Barberio had managed to escape from prison without a scratch on him.  But since the audacious escape he had fallen foul of a sharp-eyed cop.  And now he was bleeding badly from the leg.  Not only that, but unbeknown to him, the cancerous tumour in his stomach was slowly but surely killing him.  And so when he clambered into what he thought would be a safe place to hide, in a creep space behind an old cinema’s projection-wall, Barberio’s life finally expired.  But the tumour inside of him lived on.  Fed by the potent emotions of all those hundreds of eyes staring at the big screen, the cancerous tumour grew.  And now, with Barberio’s corpse left undiscovered, one of the cinema patron’s has gone missing.  His girlfriend who has been waiting for him alerts the last remaining members of staff to his disappearance.  But the night has only just gotten started.  And the manifested Son of Celluloid has only just begun to feed...

DLS Review:
Written as a grotesque homage to cinema, Barker’s ‘Son Of Celluloid’ is structured into three sections – the opening ‘Trailer’, ‘the Main Feature’ and the final ‘Censored Scenes’.  With the ‘Trailer’ section setting down the principal backbone for the tale, Barker is able to hit the ground running with the ‘Main Feature’, pouring on a head-spinning mix of strange cinematic hallucinatory-visions and gore-tastic splatterpunk fury.  Barker crams in the wildly over-the-top horror fun with plenty of blood drenched madness until the twisted monster is revealed in all its grotesque glory.  The early finale is as wonderfully twisted as the second ‘Censored Scenes’ concluding finale.  One of the most spectacular and twisted additions to the ‘Books Of Blood’ series.

Steve Niles’ graphic novel adaptation of Barker’s original short is nothing short of a spectacular recreation of a monstrously fiendish tale.  Niles maintains the cinematic three-section construction, starting off with a dark and atmospheric premise and then jumping hell-for-leather into the ‘Main Feature’ with an attention grabbing speed of pace to the progression of the frames.  The comic adaptation flows very much in the same way as the original short, keeping together the weird jumping to celluloid visions as well as thumping home the delightfully pulpish cancerous-beastie with a similar impact as Barker’s original short.  Les Edwards’ illustrations are perhaps some of the best graphic novel illustrations that I’ve seen to date.  The gore is spectacularly represented.  The Son of Celluloid an unbelievably envisaged representation.  A number of the full-page illustrations are quite frankly breath-taking in their full scale gore.  And to top it all off…what a piece of cover artwork!

The graphic novel runs for a total of 56 pages.

© DLS Reviews

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