Nightbreed the Cabal Cut * Clive Barker (2013)

“Nightbreed” is a troubled, yet famous horror classic. Clive Barker published his novel “Cabal” in 1988 and turned it into a film himself. “Nightbreed”, which he directed himself, went to the cinemas in 1990. There was a problem with the film though. The filmcompany producing the film wanted it to be more like the popular film “Hellraiser” (1987) so they took Barker’s film and turned it into something else. Something which had little incommon with the book, let alone the original script. Barker told everybody who wanted to hear about this hijack and the negative publicity resulting in the fact that the film only found a small cult-audience.
Many years later, a friend of Barker’s, Russell Cherrington, finds two VHS tapes with the original cuts from the film and decides to turn them into the film that was originally intended. Using the first version of the film, the original script, the soundtrack cd and a little help from an actor who had to re-dub his own voice, Cherrington created “the Cabal Cut”. Asking help from the filmcompany who owns all the rights, Cherrington only got the permission to show his version on filmfestivals and so it comes that there is now an actual film-tour of this completely ‘new’ version of “Nightbreed”.
The story is completely different from the previous version. 70% Of the material was not used in that version, so it is save to say that the “Cabal cut” is a totally different film. The film quality is extraordinary poor in that 70%, really like a copy of a copy of a VHS tape. Other parts have been taken from a DVD of the other version and these, of course, look good. Now that over 20.000 people have been “the Cabal cut”, Cherrington received the funds to clean up the images and give this new version a proper release which is due for June 2014.
However I thought otherwise, nothing of this film looked familiar, so maybe I never saw “Nightbreed” after all. The “Cabal cut” is a fantasy love story with a few horror elements and it certainly needs more work to make it look the way it deserves, but I will certainly watch the cleaned-up version when it is available.

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