"Nightbreed" Emerges From The Grave Review

Clive Barker ranted and raved; then he hoped and prayed. Finally, some enterprising horror devotees hunted and found, giving him the chance to deliver on a promise 25-years in the making. In 1990, Morgan Creek slashed Clive Barker’s adaptation of his own novella, Cabal, into a flimsy pseudo-slasher, in that there was almost no violence in the actual movie but they wanted to cut a trailer catering to the least common denominator schlock fan. The marketing completely avoided the monster elements and more nuanced dark romantic fairy tale. The result was a box office misfire and one really unhappy Mr. Barker. For over two decades, he spoke at conventions and in interviews about the real Nightbreed, a monster mash love story, lost on the cutting room floor. Finally, it has arrived, but its story to final release is as surreal as the fantastical creature world of Midian.

Boone (Craig Sheffer) is led to believe by his manipulative therapist, Dr. Decker (David Cronenberg, taking a turn in front of the camera) that he is a serial killer responsible for murdering multiple families. The audience knows Decker is the real villain, but Boone goes off the deep end with the help of some hallucinogenic drugs slipped him by the Doc. Fleeing the police, he heads to the cemetery that hides the misfit outcast monsters of Midian, who see his innocence immediately. Danny Elfman pushes the score with his trademark quirk. Some years back, horror fans found old VHS tapes of the early Barker cuts of Nightbreed and spliced the shoddy footage together into a haphazard edit they entitled The Cabal Cut. That version made the festival rounds, reinvigorating a disgruntled but loyal audience that had long hoped to see Barker’s work unmolested. Most likely motivated by this resurgence in interest, Shout! Factory brought Barker on board to oversee a complete reedit from 600 rediscovered reels of original footage.


Introduction by Barker and restoration maestro Mark Alan Miller, commentary, making-of, and a rare featurette on the mavens of 2nd Unit, who handle the stunt shooting in Hollywood. Remember that great truck sequence in The Last Crusade? 2nd Unit.

"Nightbreed: The Director's Cut" is on sale October 28, 2014 and is rated R. Fantasy, Horror. Written and directed by Clive Barker. Starring David Cronenberg.

Kyle North • Staff Writer


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