The Big Picture: Schlocktober 2014: Clive Barker's Nightbreed

Sylocat

Sci-Fi & Shakespeare
Nov 13, 2007
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Huh. I'd rent this for my Halloween party, except I always show the year's Schlocktober episodes at my Halloween party, and this would be spoiling it. Maybe next year I can score the director's cut.
 

Phuctifyno

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Jul 6, 2010
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There's a bar I used to go to quite regularly that plays all kinds of fun cult and horror flicks in the background (I discovered Ricky O, Machine Girl, Feast, Black Dynamite, and even Robot Chicken there), and I've seen this one playing there a few times. It piqued my interest, but I never found out the name until now. Thank you, Bob.
 

luvd1

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Jan 25, 2010
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Awww. Nightbreed. I enjoyed that back in the day, dated now (like hellriser... That budget) but still enjoyable. Though there was a sequel of kinds in comic form. Now I'm in the mood for some Clive barker reading. Take me back to my teens.
 

carnex

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Jan 9, 2008
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Let's be honest, NightBreed is a bad movie. Seriously bad. I don't even remember the plot from when I watched it first, what I remember are scenes so bad that I laughed at the movie. But it's an entertaining romp to say for sure. Then again Showdown in Little Tokyo is one of my favorite movies ever and that movie is bad in so many great ways...
 

Therumancer

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Nov 28, 2007
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For those that might be interested I'd point out that Clive Barker is one of those writers who uses a shared universe. The stories used for a lot of his movies are connected by a lot of the same mythology. For example in the books Harry D'amore the guy Scott Bakula is supposed to be in "Lord Of Illusions" exists in the same world as "Hellraiser" which is based on the story "The Hellbound Heart", and both of those also exist in the same world as Nightbreed. Of course you need to read a lot of his short stories and such to really get the big picture, and it gets deeper than most movies are able to handle, as it is I think a lot of his stuff sort of went over the heads of the audiences at the time. Steven King has a shared universe between his stories which is very deep as well, held together by "The Dark Tower" series however he's had a better track record with movies and such because at the end of the day his stuff is actually pretty shallow and the stories he tells can be conveyed without the hundreds of pages of character analysis he pads them out with. The odd thing is when something unexplained happens in one of their stories, there is probably an explanation for it in another story.

That said Bob's politics are of course intruding in his analysis of Night Breed because Clive Barker is gay and he wants to see something that likely isn't there when you look at the full concept as it was supposed to exist. Clive's Metaphor would be "us homosexuals are monsters and arguably do need to be exterminated but it's going to be tragic to see something so weird and wonderful die out, making reality a more bland place". Basically the creatures of Midian prey on humanity, eat children, and all kinds of sick stuff. Just because you can say see where Rumplestiltskin lives, have a conversation with him, and realize there is a person behind the malevolence, doesn't mean he's any less of a monster or a threat to everyone else. Sort of like how you can talk to Charles Manson or the BTK killer like regular human beings, especially when they are caged or at ease. One of Clive Barker's stories as I remember involved a bunch of monsters travelling the land searching for a new home, demolishing an entire towns to feed and support themselves as they searched, leaving behind ghost towns in the badlands and such... and telling the story of one town that reacted and sort of fought back against them when they saw it coming. Of course in that story (it's been a while) all the Rednecks and such were arseholes too, but then again in horror stories everyone is deeply flawed by way of making it gritty and realistic. I suspect that story is what they based part of "Night Breed" off of as much as his other writings.

Done correctly this would be a story about suck with no real good or fully sympathetic side, just an interesting series of events. The humans are flawed buttheads, but despite how they act they are more or less right about what they are facing. It could be argued that Boone/Cabal and Buttonface might actually be analogies of each other in the story told correctly because after all when Boone becomes a monster he's arguably an even bigger threat than what he originally feared he was, and after the death of the killer he arguably is fully a monster. Of course a lot of that goes beyond the purview of any stories I read. At the end of the day I sort of suspect half the problem was the guys producing the movie felt audiences needed a group to attach themselves to, as opposed to just watching an interesting situation unfold.

See, with the X-men the whole schtick is that humanity is evolving, and that time will solve the entire problem because as time goes on everyone will have super abilities, evening things out, it's just that the slow nature of this evolution means there is a period of time when the evolved humans are greatly outnumbered. The conflict between Magneto and Xavier basically comes down to the fact that humanity's days are numbered, Magneto wants to pretty much oppress humanity in the meantime, while Charles basically believes in making the transition as peaceful as possible, since all you need to do is wait. It's a different kind of situation because mutants and humans are the same species, as opposed to genuinely different ones and there is no predator/prey relationship.

I also think Avatar was a bad enough movie message wise that it shouldn't be compared to anything. In it's efforts to be heavy handed it seemed to forget common sense along the way and the universe it was building and defining on the way to tell that message. Basically in that universe the reason why there is so much effort made to obtain "Unobtainium" is because it's a power source humanity needs to power it's stuff as it travels through the stars. Without that material everything runs out of juice and people die in great numbers as habitats cease to function and everything else. Your dealing with billions or trillions of people spread out across at least multiple solar systems that are dependent on this mineral, whether the corporation is a group of profiteering jerks or not. At the end of the day the entire conflict revolves around a community of a couple hundred aliens living on their equivalent of a burial mount that doubles as a habitat and their convenience. Before the movie has started, the corporation has at least made numerous efforts to negotiate, so it's not like they were just walking in callously and kicking things over despite the implication some people wanted to do just that. Simply put, cooler heads were prevailing. That said at the end of the day your dealing with the temporary discomfort of a couple hundred dudes compared to the fates of untold millions. There is a point where even if the corporate-military complex is run by arseholes that you have to say they are actually doing the right thing. Of course Avatar never bothers to balance the equasion, for example the climax of the movie doesn't end with a scene after the corporate and military dudes running off where they play televised apologies for their failure in the background of families crying as their space stations and such run out of power and they all mournfully suffocate. Yet it could be argued that things like this probably did happen, or were going to happen due to that loss. This makes our hero in that movie a traitor who went native (literally) to become an eco-terrorist responsible for more deaths than Hitler. Had he not gotten involved we wouldn't have a had a movie of course, but the scenario presented would have ended with a bunch of giant cat people getting pissed off but ultimately being alive and re-building somewhere else when the military acted (they only needed that level of force due to the uprising) while humanity continued to obtain and use it's power sources.... basically it's nothing like "Avatar" which is even more mindless than your typical episode of "Captain Planet" despite it's technical accomplishments.
 

Chuppi

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Mar 6, 2013
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What a lovely movie.
I have seen a raw screening of the Cabal Cut at a Horror-Convention in germany, three years ago, where people who participated in making the movie and actors, like Doug Bradley showed it.Wonder why it took so long, to have it finaly released.It really is the better, deeper Version of Nightbreed and it fixes the unfitting end.
 

Mr. Q

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Apr 30, 2013
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I remember seeing the heavily edited version of Nightbreed on VHS many years ago. The horror genre having issues with film studios is nothing new. Perhaps its worst enemy, especially during the 80s, was the Motion Picture Association of America.

It's nice to know that a version closer to Clive Barker's original vision is coming that's to Shout Factory, which have released a lot of modern horror movies in cleaned up Blu-ray formats like The Howling, The Burning, Sleepaway Camp, Motel Hell, and many more.

https://www.shoutfactory.com/tentpoles/scream-factory

Not only is the director's cut of Nightbreed set to drop on October 28, comic publisher Boom! Studios has a Nightbreed comic series out now.

http://www.boom-studios.com/catalogsearch/advanced/result/?name=&series=1288&writer=&artist=&category=

I'm not sure how good the comic is but I definitely want to track down the Blu-ray once it hits.
 

plugav

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Mar 2, 2011
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Surprised but glad to see this on Schlocktober - Nightbreed deserves some love.

Mr. Q said:
Not only is the director's cut of Nightbreed set to drop on October 28, comic publisher Boom! Studios has a Nightbreed comic series out now.

http://www.boom-studios.com/catalogsearch/advanced/result/?name=&series=1288&writer=&artist=&category=
Has anyone read this? How is it?
 

jnericsonx

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Jan 11, 2011
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daxterx2005 said:
blown away there was no pinhead cameo.
The old guy and leader of the Nightbreed is Doug Bradley, aka Pinhead. Close enough. Also, I had heard Barker was actively trying to get this remade. I say, if FX can do American Horror Story.....F it, just give Nightbreed to HBO or Cinemax. We need old school horror and makeup FX.
 

Lono Shrugged

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May 7, 2009
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Dandres said:
Glad to have a face to the Danny Elfman music.
If you want a voice, he sang all of the Jack Skellington parts in The Nightmare before Christmas and also the main theme for Wanted https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgFAHVJKjkk Guy's got range
 

Tim Chuma

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Jul 9, 2010
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Having October reserved just for watching horror movies is getting to be popular on some of the movie discussion forums I hang out on these days also. People post lists of films.

The bluray releases of older films are a boon to fans who saw them originally but they have not been available until now.
 

SirCannonFodder

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Nov 23, 2007
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Hunter Grant said:
I get that its simplified for the running time of a big picture, but man am I sick of the Magneto was right thing. My understanding is, Magneto sees no peaceful resolution for Mutants and Humans. Thus if I lived in the Marvel U and I like mutants despite being normal, support their rights etc, Magneto still kills me or imprisons me if victorious. I don't see how Charles alternative which supports having a full on trained militia to fight the subset of humanity who is ignorant and oppressive is not better. I mean that's the point of Magneto right is to say hey, you've become the thing you hate a genocidal bully. Which when you take it to the we need to be better Big picture done a while ago, a person could draw some parallels.
The impression I got wasn't that he thinks Magneto was right, but rather that he's a lot more fun to watch.
 

Zer0Saber

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Aug 20, 2008
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Thank you so much for this. I've been trying to figure out what this movie was called for a long time. I've only been able to vaguely describe it to people and friends from what I could remember and no one had a clue. Now I can find it and by it, I've been looking for years.
 

lockist

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Dec 17, 2011
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Always love this film and it is reasonably true to the original novella 'Cabal' that also has a hell of a 'tbc' ending that never went anywhere. A comic series took it up for a while but kinda faded. I'm so excited to see a director's cut blu-ray, definitely getting that one!
I can thoroughly recommend Weaveworld to anyone that wants to check out what Clive Barker can do with a full length novel, you want unfilmable, look right there!

Great video for old time fans but maybe a spoiler warning for those that don't remember it from way back when?
 

KiramidHead

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Jan 26, 2012
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Just gave the Director's Cut a watch last night, and it was pretty awesome. I'm not sure of all the differences, but the "to be continued" ending mentioned here wasn't included.