This post here involves a very special older classic but often currently undervalued or even unknown film from the early ninties. Was it horror? Was it fantasy? Too horrific or too much fantasy, some how the movie NIGHTBREED, directed by horror and genre legend CLIVE BARKER and adapted from his own novella only written shortly before CABAL, the movie had a fairly large budget after his worldwide success with HELLRAISER also directed by BARKER and inspired by another of his own novellas.
The movie of NIGHTBREED was considerably epic in scale, a sort of nightmare tale of a young reckless man called BOON seeking help for his troubled dreams and visions. His doctor is not what he seems, and when BOON is driven over the edge and framed for the murders he knows about, he runs and finds refuge in a mysterious place hidden below a cemetary know as Midian. There all manner of outlandish monsters and creatures live, and he finds that there is a unique connected between himself and the ones who help him there…
There are many different tales of how troubled the film was, and ultimately why it really did not success any where like it was hope that it might. As it was created by CLIVE BARKER, he is known to be a writer/artist who though initially begining as a horror writer and theatre director, went on to ignore genre boundaries. NIGHTBREED like the book CABAL, is definately no straight forward horror or fantasy story, and because of this, the film distributors and money people had no real idea of how to sell or market it.
The film apparently was then re-edited against the will of BARKER, as they tried to market it as a plain simple slasher movie, with the trailer really emphasizing this. The film was totally misunderstood, ignored and disappeared tragically. But over the years, as CLIVE BARKER has such a loyal following of his other work including the HELLRAISER movies, CANDYMAN films, his many books and short fiction, many came to see the only avilable version released and still grow fond of that, the strong characters and vision still there in places to tempt us.
As time has passed, over the years since, many tales have spread, often from CLIVE and others involved with the film, about the dissapointment with the resulting movie, but also curiously that there was a much longer original cut of the movie filmed by CLIVE. Some even believed that it was to be found somewhere, somehow.
There have been discussions at various times as to who has this mythical full director’s cut of NIGHTBREED, or if it really still exists at all. CLIVE then himself stated at numerous times that the studios did have at least half an hour of footage which he has been trying to get from the for around half a decade now. At the least, he was trying to persuade the studios to release a director’s cut dvd, but they argued that there was not the demand or audience for it.
What fools they are.
Well, now in 2012, there have been more surprise announcements around NIGHTBREED-there have been much longer versions of the film screened at small festivals around America. There are questions about what versions of the films these are, if they really are cuts of NIGHTBREED, or edited together parts. CLIVE seems to say that some versions might actually involved extra footage filmed around the sets not part of the film, but now included. DOUG BRADLEY, who is known as PINHEAD, also played LYLESBURG in NIGHTBREED and seems to have rerecorded voice parts on a new cut.
The fans who do keep track of the information of this mythical horror/fantasy classic, are now begining to get that bit much more excited with these small reoccuring bites of news. Could we finally, at last actually see a full amazing director’s cut of what already is a highly unique facinating film?
Perhaps in a short while, the beasts will be unleashed, BOON will lead them all once more, and we will all see the NIGHTBREED just how CLIVE BARKER originally intended.
Hey, and maybe all of us fans internationally could build up support and make it known that this movie should get a respectful full cut release.