We're about a month away from a one-night-only screening of Clive Barker's Nightbreed, uncut. The film will be shown at HorrorHound Weekend in Indianapolis, which takes place March 26-28. I have never wanted to live closer to Indianapolis before in my life, but jealousy abounds as I write to you from my desk on the East Coast, broke as a mofo.
The story of Nightbreed is a long and sad one but here's the gist. Basically, the studio screwed Barker by forcing him to release an edited version of his original cut. Poor marketing and what seems like a general lack of interest on the studio's part made the film fade away. Fans supported the film, however, and it was elevated to something of a cult flick. Hardcore Barker freaks speculated about the lost film footage since the film's release and recently Barker's friend, Mark Miller, learned that the footage did still exist and was sitting a vault the whole time. When Miller approached studio execs about the find, he was told that the film didn't warrant the money needed to produce an extended cut. Fans signed petitions on Barker's website and continue to build a case for the film's DVD release, which you can help out with here.
For years, people talked about 25 minutes worth of scenes excised from the final version, but it was revealed that a 145 minute version of the film's mid-1989 workprint exists. Barker's website posted this:
"We just finished watching a 145 minute version of the film's mid-1989 workprint! That's 44 minutes longer than the theatrical release!! And it's even more significant than that since there are none of the later re-shoots of Decker's murders, so the actual deleted footage is far more than 44 minutes!
Yes, there's (lots) more violence as the Sons of the Free invade Midian, yes there's some deleted stop motion footage, yes, Narcisse gets decapitated, yes Lori stabs herself on a hilltop and Boone bites her... Yes, yes, yes!
Now, this is just a VHS copy so it's not of releasable quality, so... thank you for your continuing messages of support – let's keep working to get a proper DVD release for an extended Nightbreed... "
Nightbreed is based on Barker's novella, Cabal and tells the story of Aaron aka Boone, who dreams of a city called Midian, populated by hoards of creatures and creeps known as the 'Nightbreed'. Boone is framed for murder by his crazy therapist, Decker (David Cronenberg–huzzah!), killed and then resurrected by the magic of Midian. He takes up arms with Midian's creatures to fight the real evil–humanity.