Nightbreed

Scream Factory

Clive Barker‘s second feature film as a director hit theaters in 1990 in a compromised and heavily molested form thanks to the meddling suits at Warner Bros. and Morgan Creek, but while Nightbreed died a quick death on the big screen the desire for Barker’s full vision lived on in the hearts and minds of fans. Rumors swirled about lost footage, and when years later much of those scenes were found the world was treated to a “restored” cut of the film featuring these rediscovered scenes dropped into the existing feature to form the Cabal Cut. The resulting cut had its pros and cons — my full review is here — but it was a kitchen sink version and never meant to be construed as Barker’s preferred vision. Happily, and somewhat miraculously, that vision is now getting its day in the sun as Scream Factory releases the lovingly restored, Barker-supervised director’s cut complete with a beautiful high-def remaster. There’s no arguing that this new cut looks and sounds great and is long overdue, but is it an improvement over the theatrical release? Is it any good at all? The answer to both questions is a pretty resounding yes.

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ff nightbreed cabal cut

I watched Clive Barker‘s Nightbreed three times in theaters in 1990 and several times more after buying it on VHS. (Shut up.) It was a completely different beast from his film debut, Hellraiser, but its creativity, ambition, and roster of all manner of creatures of the night made it a fun and original horror film in a year dominated by genre sequels. Sure it was cheesy and goofy at times in its attempt to tell a love story against a backdrop of serial killers, monsters, rednecks, and rogue priests, but it was also unlike anything we had seen before. But even then, twenty three years ago, there were rumblings in Fangoria magazine and elsewhere about the troubles Barker had dealing with the studio and the cuts he was forced to make, and Barker repeated the tales again and again in interviews that followed over two decades. He requested access to the original film elements on more than one occasion so he could essentially craft his director’s cut, but he was denied time and again. There was finally a change in that narrative in the past couple years though when the discovery of VHS tapes featuring raw, work print versions of the film was announced. A man named Russell Cherrington set out to mesh footage from both sources into a definitive cut based on the author’s original script, and with Barker’s blessing he’s now sharing it with the world. My excitement for the finished product, Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut (named for the source novella, “Cabal”), […]

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You read the headline correctly. The number of horror classics that could be remade outnumbers the number that shouldn’t be. I’ve bought into it. I’ve seen enough good examples of remakes done well to no longer balk at the announcement of a new one outright (and I’m sure 5 more will be green-lit by the time I’ve finished typ…okay 5 more just got green-lit…); and if early word on the new Evil Dead picture is to be believed then it’s just one more punctured notch into the human-skinned belt of worthwhile horror remakes. No horror picture is safe from being resuscitated and put back through a brand new shiny meat grinder. Sometimes we get unexpectedly tasty ground sirloin; and sometimes we get mildewy grotesqueness reminiscent of “The Stuff” (which could use a remake). Talented filmmakers will make a good picture while talented accountants will make money. Sometimes both can be satisfied, and that readily occurs in the production of a horror remake because they’re cheap to make, easy to sell, and fun to play around with. They’re the pancakes of the film industry. Almost any horror picture is capable of being remade well given the right kind of people with the right kind of attitude. While it feels like everything’s already been remade, there are still a few stragglers that haven’t. Here are 5 that shouldn’t and 10 where an update might not be so bad.

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Junkfood Cinema - Large

Welcome back to Junfood Cinema. We break laws for meat. Column-owner Brian Salisbury is currently further North than the Northest of the Dakotas covering the Fantasia Film Fest in Montreal. If he knew what Canadians really did he might have rethought his trip. The most I know is that he was alive and well two days ago. Or do I? Canadians are weird and they harbor weird things. I know that because I’ve seen today’s movie that’s set in Calgary, directed by a famous author who writes famously weird stories and starring a famous director who directs famously weird movies in Canada and that makes me a certifiable expert on 1990 Canada. Everything else I learned about Canada I got from Dear Zachary and dammit things just got real and now I’m crying. But back to Canada being South of normal and North of Dakota, if today’s film is any indication as to the happenings of what goes on with the dead in that region of the world then, well, free healthcare is making a ton of sense. I know I’m supposed to plug something clever about how we integrate food in with the movie that we write about, but I just finished re-watching this movie and there is a big pile of man-poo-blob-cyst-slobber creature thing that resembles a Pod fusion between the Brundle Fly and a bowl of clam chowder. So, thank you Clive Barker and David Cronenberg, because appetite destructed. Now about this movie Nightbreed…

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nightbreed1

Clive Barker has teased a Nightbreed director’s cut for years now, but always ended by saying the footage is lost… well it seems someone has finally found it. Now they just need a reason to release it…

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Aaron Boone is a troubled young man who may or may not be responsible for a series of brutal murders…

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