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PHOTOGRAPHY

NIGHTBREED The Director’s Cut Limited Edition

Blu-ray review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS:  120 minutes (Directors Cut)/ 102 minutes (theatrical cut), documentary, featurettes, interviews, deleted scenes, matt painting tests, still galleries, theatrical trailer, booklet

VIDEO: 1.78:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition

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: 10-28-2014

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 Nightbreen 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).   I know purists will want the Limited Edition for the theatrical cut and additional extras (which I wish Scream Factory made available as a 2 disc set separate from the three disc LE that is limited to 10,000 copies).

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

DISC 1-

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 2-

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

 

DISC 3 is the theatrical cut of NIGHTBREED with the theatrical trailer as an extra.

 

Also included in this three disc limited edition box set is a 36 page booklet of stills, poster art, and the story of the troubled production history of NIGHTBREED, the CABAL CUT, and the DIRECTOR’S CUT.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:    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 hope Scream Factory does release this Limited Edition as a two disc set later minus the theatrical cut which I wonder if they split some extras so they can cover whatever costs they need to cover for the licensing agreement they did with Warner Bros to secure the theatrical cut for the release.   I do hope people check out the film that NIGHTBREED was meant to be by watching the Director’s Cut.

 

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

 

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