Clive Barker‘s Nightbreed may be considered by some to be a mess of a film but it’s still a fun mess of a film. Written and directed by Clive Barker starring Craig Sheffer and David Cronenberg (Director of Scanners, Videodrome, The Fly) Nightbreed is one of those films that when someone tells me they haven’t seen it I tell them they need to watch it right away. It’s just one of those films everyone should see at least once in their life. Adapted from a novel by Clive Barker titled Cabal, his original vision and screenplay for the film was tied more closely to the book but after shooting the film and presenting it to Morgan Creek, they just didn’t get it.
Like most studios Morgan Creek didn’t understand the film and didn’t really know how to market it so they ordered re-shoots, “enhancements”, story changes including a whole new ending. Nightbreed ended up being a shadow of it’s former self and was horribly marketed as a “Slasher” film released on February 16, 1990. It was a box office failure but quickly picked up a cult following. So what happened to that original cut Clive Barker wanted to show us? The original footage that was filmed had thought to have been lost but apparently they just weren’t looking hard enough. They ended up finding a 145 minute VHS workprint on a dusty shelf in June 2009 but as expected the quality was horrendous. Just one month later another workprint with an additional 14 minutes was found clocking in at a 159 minutes. It was a fanboy’s dream come true!
Morgan Creek still wasn’t impressed and basically said that there was not enough interest in the film to warrant a new release and that it was “not even worth the cost to upgrade to Blu-Ray”. They did however give permission for a once only screening of the workprint in 2010 at the Horrorhound convention here in Indianapolis (I missed it). The screening sold out and fans rejoiced. Once it was known that there was a new extended cut the Internet did it’s job and erupted with excitement about a possible release of this new found footage.
Russell Cherrington and Mark Miller, with help from the original Director of Photography Robin Vidgeon, managed to composite a 155 minute cut known as Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut. There was now a movement, coined by actress Anne Bobby, known as Occupy Midian with a petition to ask Moran Creek to release this new cut. Morgan Creek started to see dollar signs and authorized screenings to sold out venues all around the world.
Clive Barker made the announcement:
My friends, Clive here, writing to share some wonderful news.
Following the two Sold Out screenings of NIGHTBREED: The Cabal Cut on Sunday, Morgan Creek has given us permission to show the cut around the world and to raise money to prepare the cut for a release on Blu Ray. This could not…WOULD not have happened without your voices. We have all been heard. The Morgan Creek team have my thanks and my respect.
Very seldom does anyone in the movie business pay attention as they have, understanding perhaps, that the message of the movie as I shot it is one that dramatizes a different ending to the age-old story of how a war between Humankind and something Other draws to a close.
Here is Russell Cherrington and Mark Miller one month ago at FrightFest 2012 talking a little about how it all started:
The petition is about 2500 signatures away from it’s 10,000 signature goal, I’m signature 7,576! The Occupy Midian movement seems to be heading in the right direction. If you sign the petition, and you should, you will be asked to donate to ipetitions.com NOT to Occupy Midian. If you do not want to donate simply navigate from the page, your signature has been recorded.
I’m really excited to see this new footage and meet some of the new characters. Even before I knew the movie was based off of a much larger story and that it got hacked to pieces I felt there was and should have been more to the story. I’ve always wanted to explore more of the Nightbreed world and the characters that inhabited it. Now it looks like we may all get that chance. What do you think of the possibility of Moran Creek officially releasing this cut? Are you a fan of the original? Let me know in the comments below!
Below are some additional videos including The Cabal Cut trailer and some print work including the official Cabal Cut poster. Don’t forget to check out the Occupy Midian shop and order yourself some of the limited prints!
Actors Simon Bamford & Nicholas Vince talk The Cabal Cut
Official “The Cabal Cut” Poster
Timothy Pittides Print
Original Release Poster