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NIGHTBREED 1990 Retro Review: Director’s Cut Blu-Ray

Great home video poster for Nightbreed 1990

NIGHTBREED has been one of my favorite films since it hit the theaters back in 1990. I loved the creatures, the visuals, the flip of the story portraying the creatures as the good guys, and of course David Cronenberg’s performance. It actually spawned one of my favorite characters in any film, Narcisse (“No time for hoochie-coochie”). There was a lot of layers in the film, layers that when peeled back just brought a joy to my horror filled soul.

I have been reading about this ‘Cabal” cut of the film for awhile, which was popping up at selected festivals and showings. 40 minutes of footage certainly will change the aesthetic of a film. This was Clive Barker’s intended cut, and I was pissed I wasn’t able to check out any of the screenings. However, the Blu-Ray Gods over at Scream Factory have released this edition and I was finally able to get my hands on it and watch it. Just for the record, this 40 minutes is not additional footage, they actually cut some of the non-intentional footage and replaced it with the intended footage. I believe the entire film runs about 20 minutes longer, so 20 minutes of the original cut was replaced with this archived footage.

The additional footage mostly contains more of the love story between Lori and Boone, which is fine, and it does strengthen Lori’s motives on why she goes in search of Boone. But most of the footage was very underwhelming. We really didn’t need an entire song, that’s horribly 80’s style, lipsynched by Lori in a club. Though it was interesting to find out that Lori’s profession was that of a lead singer in a pop band. There is also footage strengthening Decker’s motives and actions, however not enough to make a huge difference. There’s a few shots of new monsters, and some additional footage that is similar to those found on any deleted scene features on blu-ray. Scenes that you immediately know there was a reason for cutting them out.

Narcisse – Barker brings one of my favorite characters to life in NIGHTBREED

Over all the movie played differently, but just prolonged the film to get to the good stuff. There wasn’t anything really astonishing in this cut and honestly I prefer the theatrical version better. It’s much more to the point and fast paced. These scenes just slowed down the movie, sometimes it halted it completely (Lori’s signing).

The special features on the disc didn’t impress either. I was expecting some great behind the scenes footage, instead we get someone talking in a chair while we cut to scenes from the film, with very little behind the scenes images or footage, which was disappointing.

Over all, if you are a fan of the film you should see it to see how Barker intended you to see it, but I personally prefer the original cut and will be keeping that one in my collection and let someone else have a chance to enjoy the director’s cut of my Blu as I post it for sale on ebay.


NIGHTBREED 1990 Retro Review: Director’s Cut Blu-Ray

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Chad Armstrong

President/Co-Owner at LC Films
Chad Armstrong is a writer/producer/director who was born and raised in Long Beach CA. In 2009 he relocated to Alabama where he founded LeglessCorpse, a site dedicated to independent horror films, and soon after created the indie horror distribution company LeglessCorpse Films (currently known as LC Films). Not only is he co-owner of and LC Films he is also President of the newly formed Back Aisle Video label. Chad's most recent feature film is Deimosimine, and currently in development on the feature film Blood Dancers 2: Full Moon.