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Director's Cut Of Clive Barker's 'Nightbreed' Officially Coming To Home Video In 2014 Via Shout! Factory

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by Drew Taylor
August 19, 2013 11:00 AM
5 Comments
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"Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut."

One of the more nagging "lost" movies in horror cinema has been the longer director's cut of Clive Barker's seminal monster mash "Nightbreed." The tale of an underground city of mutant creatures, sort of like a punk rock version of "X-Men," the film was heavily truncated before its theatrical release by Fox and Morgan Creek, with the original version thought to be lost forever. While a fan revival has kept the possibility of a director's cut of "Nightbreed" alive, nothing has solidified until now, with Morgan Creek and Shout! Factory announcing plans for a multi-platform home video release for the restored director's cut in 2014.

The original film was released in 1990 and featured director David Cronenberg as its main protagonist, a doctor intent on killing all of the monsters that live in an underground city called Median. A fan driven movement, entitled Occupy Median, is what originally ignited interest in the commercial prospects of an expanded version of "Nightbreed," and finally Morgan Creek and Shout! Factory (through its Scream Factory imprint) will make that a reality.

In a statement, Clive Barker said, with all the floweriness of a Clive Barker novel, “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.”

Tribes of the moon, right. It'll be interesting to see how the new footage is reintegrated into the body of the original film, especially considering how well the frequently overlooked Danny Elfman score is utilized. Barker's work, even the story "Nightbreed" is based on, is so impressionistic that it lets your mind fill in the blanks where straight description would rather be. It would be nice to see a similarly dreamy aesthetic applied to this new variant.

Shout! Factory is like the Criterion collection for genre films, and this year, especially through their Scream Factory imprint, has released an embarrassment of riches, including but not limited to, new deluxe reissues of "Prince of Darkness," "They Live," "Lifeforce," and "The Town That Dreaded Sundown." They are all beautifully re-mastered and drowning in extras; just wonderful stuff.

As excited as we are to see the longer cut of "Nightbreed," we're just as interested in seeing what the Shout team has dug up for inclusion in the disc. Rarely are special features special anymore, but on Shout! Factory discs they really are.

Look for the "Cabal cut" of "NIghtbreed" sometime next year.

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5 Comments

  • shaddoe | September 2, 2013 10:41 AMReply

    The fact that Shout Factory is getting behind this has to mean something. perhaps Morgan Creek has to original negatives after all, who knows. I just know that I am very excited to see this release.

  • Northern Star | August 19, 2013 9:28 PMReply

    Whilst this is nice for horror fans, how about a PROPER new extended cut (and not the current hack-job) for David Lynch's 'Dune'... all the footage is there in a vault, it wouldn't take much to remaster it and finish off the effects work needed, and reinstate it into the theatrical cut in a careful and methodical way according to the script.

    It would surely be a nice little earner for Universal...

  • Alboone | August 19, 2013 4:12 PMReply

    Having seen the directors cut the improvement is so vast over the theatrical cut that Nightbreed will have a second life without a doubt. Film students and horror fans are gonna go nuts. Craig Sheffer and Ann Bobby will probably benefit the most since the new cut focuses more on the love story. If anyoas seen the work print version of alien3 on the DVD or Blu Ray then you'll get an idea of the quality level.

  • tristan eldritch | August 19, 2013 12:52 PMReply

    I'm very fond of the original, despite its very overblown last act. The director's cut adds absolutely nothing of value to the original cut.

  • Arch | August 19, 2013 12:42 PMReply

    A bit "old news" honestly but nice to see it here.
    Anyway as a fan of the first cut I share the same interrogations. Beside since the only source for missing material thus far was a VHS tape I wonder if they will just use this (which would be ugly on a DVD and just terrible on a Blu-ray) of if they will, as once expected, try to find the original negative(s).

    PS: Although Elfman did many amazing OSTs in his long career I'll definitely put this one in my top 3. Also Tribe of the moon is how the creatures refer to themselves in the movie.

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