Nightbreed title

Tag Line : From Clive Barker comes a new nightmare...

Nightbreed Following the success of Hellraiser, Clive Barker set about adapting his book "Cabal" for the big screen. The finished result, which Barker himself also directed, was this surreal, graphic, and highly enjoyable horror romp featuring a psychopathic doctor and cemetery full of mutant creatures.

The story starts with a young chap named Boone (Craig Sheffner), who has been having strange dreams about a place named Midian. He visits his Psychologist, Dr Decker (played by non-other than fellow director David Cronenberg), only to be told that he is also responsible for a series of brutal knife murders in the city, which he has revealed under hypnosis.

Having been committed to the hospital, Boone escapes and attempts to find Midian. But he soon has the police on his tail after Decker informs them that he's the killer they've been looking for. However, in actuality it is Decker who's the real killer, and has framed Boone for the murders because he wants to destroy Midian, and plans to use Boone to lead him there.

Boone eventually finds Midian, which is located under an old cemetery in the middle of the countryside. However he is not well received by it's inhabitants, who appear to be strange mutant creatures with special powers, and after one of them bites a chunk out of his shoulder he wisely decides not to stick around. Having escaped, he is subsequently shot dead by police who have tracked him down.

However, things get interesting when Boone's body disappears from the morgue. He later appears in Midian, reborn as a new character named Cabal. But the troubles aren't over for the young lad, as now that Dr Decker knows the location of Midian he informs the local police that Boone isn't dead, and that the cemetery is populated by freaks.

This leads to the police and some of the local rednecks mounting an all out attack on the cemetery, lead by the local police chief Captain Eigerman (Charles Haid) and the investigating officer Detective Joyce (Hugh Quarshie). The subsequent battle that follows provides the film with some of the more spectacular scenes, as the mutants fight for their life against a mass onslaught of machine guns and flamethrowers and Decker dons his killer outfit and wades through the thick of the battle wielding his knives.

Overall, this is a highly enjoyable feature. There's blood, horror, gore, and tons of action, although it's worth watching just to see David Cronenberg's excellent performance as the psychopathic Doctor. The film also stars Doug Bradley in the role of Lylesberg, and also features fellow Hellraiser actors Nick Vince and Simon Bamford. Personally I found it highly amusing to see Charles Haid, who played officer Renko in the 80's cop show Hill Street Blues, cast again as a police officer. Definitely worth seeking out.

Overall Marks : 6/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • This was Clive Barkers third major film, after Hellraiser 1 & 2, and his second adaptation of one of his novels.

  • Controversial director David Cronenberg appears in the film as the main bad guy, Dr Decker. Fangoria magazine remarked that it was kind of amusing that Cronenberg should play the role of a knife wielding maniac, considering he has never made a slasher pic.

  • Charles Haid, who plays the police chief, seems to be somewhat typecast in roles as police officers. His most popular role was that of officer Renko in the 80's cop show "Hill Street Blues", other notable appearances were in the films "The Choirboys" and "Cop", the latter starring James Woods.

  • British Actor Hugh Quarshie is a member of the British Royal Shakespeare Company. He has made appearances in numerous British TV drama's, most notably in the 1990 series "Medics" and his feature film credits include "Highlander", Argento's "The Church" and "Star Wars Episode 1 : The Phantom Menace" in which he played Captain Pataka.

  • The music was performed by Danny Elfman, who also worked on Army of Darkness, Batman, Mars Attacks and the 2001 remake of "Planet of the Apes".

  • In the last scene of the film, the priest revives Decker (David Cronenberg), by sticking his hand into his stomach a tribute to Cronenberg's film "Videodrome" (1983).

  • Apparently, the original cut of the film ran for 126 minutes, but Clive Barker was forced to cut it down to 101 minutes as the US distributors (20th Century Fox) thought it was too long winded, as opposed to being too explicit.

  • Several additional scenes were dropped from the final release. These showed us more about Dr Decker's mentality, additional gore during the end battle, some unnecessary character developments, and some additional disturbing images in the monsters lair. There were also some strange sexual themes between the monsters and Boone that wound up on the cutting room floor.

  • Many of the cut scenes have turned up in bootleg screener copies of the film, which have running times varying between 145 and 159mins. An extended cut of the film entitled "The Cabal Cut", which runs at 155mins, has been shown at various festivals. However an official release of this has yet to materialise.

Extra Info.

Cast & Crew.

 
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Buy the Book Cabal.

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