For being as prolific a writer as he is, and with a catalog that has been turned into around 30 films, Clive Barker has actually only directed a small number of films himself, only three theatrical outings. His first is obviously his most famous, that being 1987’s Hellraiser, a film so indelible with its depiction of sadomasochistic hell beasts from another dimension. His last was 1995’s Lord of Illusions, another examination of weird demonic cults. However, the middle film in this trilogy, 1990’s Nightbreed is perhaps his most notorious, simply because it’s been so out of circulation for such a long time, and in many different versions.
The film concerns a mental patient who has been led to believe he is a serial killer by his sinister doctor (played by David Cronenberg no less) and so he escapes and goes into hiding in a cemetery called Midian which is home to a group, or “tribe,” of monsters and demonic humanoids, called the Nightbreed, who use Midian as a hiding place. The film when released was 102 minutes and was a commercial and critical failure. Barker claimed the studio execs didn’t understand the story or the themes of the film and it went into relative obscurity. In 2009, a longer version of the film was discovered, running 144 minutes, and by 2012, a 159 minute version was screened, called The Cabal Cut, a reference to the title of Barker’s original story, however Barker was never particularly thrilled with it and longed for a better, cleaned up version.
And that’s exactly what’s happening, because Scream Factory, on the 28th of October, a final director’s cut of Nightbreed, using cleaned up and restored footage from the original film negatives overseen by Barker himself. That film will run 142 minutes, roughly, and represents the definitive version. And in anticipation of that release, which will be in a one disc version as well as a super awesome 3 disc set, we have an exclusive clip of a newly restored scene for you, featuring Aaron Boone’s initial escape from the mental hospital/dying. Notice Dave “Deprave” Cronenberg as the doctor.
The Blu-rays can be pre-ordered on Scream Factory‘s website, and will be released on October 28th, just in time for All Hallows Ween.