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PHOTOGRAPHY
NIGHTBREED Collector's Edition
4K Blu-ray review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 120 minutes (Director's Cut)/ 102 minutes (Theatrical Cut), 4 disc set, documentary, featurettes, interviews, deleted scenes, matt painting tests, still galleries, theatrical trailer,
VIDEO: 1.85:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)- Theatrical Cut (2160p UHD/ 1080 p HD), 1.78:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition- Director's Cut
AUDIO: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (Directors Cut), English 2.0 DTS-HD MA
Subtitles (movie only): English

STUDIO: Morgan Creek Productions/ Shout! Factory/ Scream Factory/ Seraphim Films
RELEASE DATE: 8-1-2023
NIGHTBREED is a film with a troubled production history. 20th Century Fox were trying to market it as a slasher film where it severely compromised this cult classic. It has taken about almost 5 years for the Director's Cut to see the light of day after the VHS tapes of the rough cuts were discovered in 2009 (almost 20 years after NIGHTBREED was released) and then finally the original cut film elements last year which lead to the creation of a new cut with forty minutes of new and altered footage (including a new ending). The director's cut show the type of epic that NIGHTBREED was meant to be and it shares a lot in common with the 1930s horror movies like FRAKENSTEIN and BRIDE OF FRAKENSTEIN. The Danny Elfman music score and the tale of love that knows no bounds (mixed in the narrative) will appeal to fans of Tim Burton. NIGHTBREED has finally been redeemed with a movie closest to what Clive Barker envisioned for the film version of his novel CABAL.

NIGHTBREED revolves around the troubled character of Aaron Boone (Craig Sheffer) who is having dreams of monsters in a place called Midian and he ends up being manipulated by the evil Dr. Decker (David Cronenberg). Boone's journey takes him to Midian where he is killed (so Decker can cover up the fact he is the actual serial killer) and goes beyond death to be resurrected. He is accepted into the subterranean world of Boone where the law is set by Baphomet (a powerful figure that judges all Nightbreed) and Lylesburg (Doug Bradley). Soon his girlfriend Lori (Anne Bobby) goes searching for Boone and it could lead to a conflict between the Nightbreed and the humans (aka Naturals).

I liked Nightbreed since I first rented on VHS and I have seen the theatrical cut several times. I was aware of the lost footage and a longer version. I find myself blown away by the Director's Cut and it makes me realize how compromised the theatrical cut was (which now doesn't make much sense in places after I see the expanded relationship between Lori and Boone and other extensions to scenes in addition to new scenes

The big disappointment with this 4K upgrade like other Scream Factory 4K upgrades is that they don't try to offer the Director's Cut version (like they also failed to do with LIFEFORCE). They didn't want to do with the differences in quality where other boutique labels like Vinegar Syndrome would go ahead and do it (like they did with their BEASTMASTER 4K release). Then also they could have tried to license out the longer Cabal Cut and offer it up on an additional bonus disc.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
DISC 2 is the theatrical cut of NIGHTBREED in HD from a new 4K scan of the best surviving film elements with the theatrical trailer as an extra. However, the DC is the better version and you can see how choppy the editing is in the theatrical cut.

DISC 3-
5 minute intro to the Director's Cut by Clive Barker and restoration producer Mark Miller

Audio commentary with Writer/ Director Clive Barker and Restoration Producer Mark Alan Miller

TRIBES OF THE MOON: THE MAKING OF NIGHTBREED (72 minutes)- the cast talks about how the movie came about, the production and the things restored for the director's cut
MAKING MONSTERS: INTERVIEW WITH MAKEUP EFFECTS ARTISTS (42 minutes)- interviews with Bob Keen and other makeup effects artists of Image Animation
FIRE! FIGHTS! STUNTS!: 2ND UNIT SHOOTING (20:20)-

Theatrical trailer

DISC 4-
23 minutes of deleted and alternate scenes (including the theatrical ending)- the scenes are a combo of recovered film elements and some scenes are mix of regular footage and VHS footage from the Cabal Cut (or just footage from VHS elements)

CUTTING COMPROMISE (13:55)- interview with editor Mark Goldblatt who came in to re-edit the film into more of a slasher film for 20th Century Fox (who didn't get the movie) as he described the process of editing the film when the original editor Richard Marden walked away from the new editing requests and talks about the scenes that are in the director's cut

MONSTER PROSTHETICS MASTERCLASS (11:11)- makeup effects artist Bob Keen goes through the process of making and putting on prosthetics in addition to taking it off
THE PAINT LANDSCAPE- a look at the concept art and the necropolis wall painting that legendary concept artist Ralph McQuarrie created for the movie in addition to poster art he decided to do (for the hell of it and it seems the Scream Factory cover art of the DC shares some elements with the McQuarrie poster)
MATTE PAINTING TESTS

MAKE-UP TESTS (4:52)- a look at the make-up tests for Narcisse, Peloquin, and Boone in addition to silent footage showing the death of a character (which looks like part of a deleted scene in neither version of NIGHTBREED)

EXTENDED TORTURE SCENE (3:29) of what Lori sees in flashback

Still Galleries: EARLY SKETCHES, DELETED SCENE stills (of a love scene partially shown in the making-of documentary), POSTER AND PRE-PRODUCTION ART, ON THE SET OF NIGHTBREED, and THE CAST AND CREW

FINAL ANALYSIS: The theatrical cut got the 4K upgrade which is nice, but I wish they also did it with the Director's Cut of NIGHTBREED. The Director's Cut of NIGHTBREED is a classic horror movie that you will love and you will hate the theatrical cut after seeing it. I wish they had some input from Clive Barker and the crew during the making-of featurette (besides the audio commentary and intro to the DC). Some of these separate interviews could have been integrated (in part) to make TRIBES OF THE MOON a better and more complete look at the making and rediscovery of NIGHTBREED. However, I do like some of the extras like the deleted scenes and some of the interviews on the editing and make-up effects I do hope people check out the film that NIGHTBREED was meant to be by watching the Director's Cut.

I am disappointed that Scream Factory didn't try to offer the Director's Cut as a 4K disc as part of this set and even go further to present the Cabal Cut of NIGHTBREED as an extra on a fifth or sixth disc (if there was the Director's Cut in 4K).

This review is 10-21-2014 and 9-10-2023 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

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