Clive Barker’s horror fantasy is getting the long-awaited director’s cut release next year from Shout! Factory’s Scream Factory imprint.
The release of “Nightbreed” had to have been a bruising experience for Clive Barker. Barker, adapting his own novel “Cabal” for the big screen directed the 1990 feature, only to see large parts of the film trimmed before it was unceremoniously dumped into theaters. The picture that we’ve all been watching for the last 20 years is an odd hybrid of a creature feature with a serial killer subplot (featuring David Cronenberg!), but if you’ve read the novel, you know that large swaths of material was excised in the adaptation, leaving us with stretches of the meandering adventures of the hero’s girlfriend and an action-heavy finale.
“Nightbreed”/”Cabal” tells the story of Boone (Craig Sheffer), whose nightmares lead him to a subterranean tribe of monsters in their ancient city of Midian. This would be Barker’s second film about underground monsters following his screenplay for 1985’s “Underworld.” Anyway, Boone’s collision course with Midian pits him against his psychiatrist (Cronenberg), a leather mask-wearing serial killer who pins his crimes on our hapless hero.
Barker talks about how his original vision of the film clashed with the final cut released in theaters:
I had a dream about the tribes of the moon. They would live in a city called Midian and, though they were monsters of every shape and size, they would be the heroes of a movie called “Nightbreed.” However, when I made the movie, the studio was not comfortable with this inversion of the classic structure. They wanted the monsters to be simple-minded scare machines, while I wanted them to be the dark side of all of us, mysterious and misunderstood. Finally, with this new version of “Nightbreed,” which contains over forty five minutes of previously unseen material, my original vision has been realized. Come with me to Midian, the city of monsters. The tribes of the moon await us.
A fan-assembled cut of the “intended” version of “Nightbreed” has been screened around the country, but Morgan Creek, who released the film to theaters back in the 90’s along with Twentieth Century Fox, would never commit to an official release of the film.
Shout! Factory hasn’t provided any disc specs or details about what we can expect in this extended version of the film, but we’ll bring you more details as they develop.