During a routine case in L.A., NY private investigator Harry D'Amour stumbles over members of a fanatic cult, who are waiting for the resurrection of their leader Nix. 13 years ago, Nix was... See full summary »
Kevin J. O'Connor,
J. Trevor Edmond
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A community of mutant outcasts of varying types and abilities attempts to escape the attention of a psychotic serial killer and redneck vigilantes with the help of a brooding young man who discovers them. Based on the novel "Cabal" by Clive Barker.Written by
Keith Loh <email@example.com>
Ohnaka's dog belonged to one of the assistant directors. See more »
When the Pathologist is removing the rifle bullets from Aaron Boone's corpse in the morgue, they are clearly brand new and have not been fired into anything. The bullets would show striation marks from being shot down the rifle's barrel. Many people believe the bullets should have "mushroomed" or flattened out when hitting Boone, but full metal jacket bullets do not mushroom like hollow points or soft point bullets. See more »
Director's Cut: The missing Nightbreed footage, long thought lost, was discovered by Scream Factory and Mark Miller in 2014. Using original film elements and audio sourced from the VHS tapes found in Barker's home, Barker, Miller, editor Andrew Furtado restored the film to its original vision. See more »
Nightbreed, boiled down to its essence is a horror-fantasy about a group of monsters and mutants who take refuge under an isolated cemetery. There they are threatened by a mass murderer (David Cronenberg) who wants to see them all destroyed. There's a love story of course but its promptly overshadowed by the garish monster effects.
Now by no means is Nightbreed a conventionally good film. While the makeup, set-designs and effects are very good, the mood and the overall story pushes a lot of boundaries and makes for some intriguing social commentary. We are meant to feel sympathy for the nightbreed despite their outward appearance and seemingly satanic customs. Indeed the quasi-religious imagery and constant gross-out horror makes the finished product indigestible to mainstream audiences.
The subtext itself is even more subversive when you consider the homosexual undercurrents. Homosexuality as a theme is cloaked under the auspice of uncontrollable bloodlust. Therefore the monsters themselves are metaphors seen as perverse and evil when in reality they are only trying to chisel out a living on the out-skits of society.
Now its not quite clear but it seems the nightbreed have a psychic link to those with violent fantasies like the lead Boone (Craig Sheffer) and later Ashberry (Malcolm Smith). Those who cannot be nightbreed such as Boone's lover (Ann Bobby) and the old man at the service station have no violent tendencies whatsoever, despite their desire to join the nightbreed i.e. to not be sexually repressed.
The relationship shared by Cronenberg's character Decker and Boone is the most intriguing contextually speaking. They are meant to show unrealized sexual tension and self-loathing on the part of Decker who is also Boone's psychiatrist. While Boone becomes aware of his bloodlust by fighting on behalf of the nightbreed i.e. constructive political violence, Decker cloaks his under a mask lying to himself and the world. Only when his mask is on can he indulge in his most unsavory fantasies.
I could be grasping at straws here. After all such themes could be a guise for xenophobia, racism or any social fear of the "other". And while those are arguments to be made its worthwhile to note that Clive Barker came out during the early nineties and his novels and short stories almost always have strong sexual themes. Nightbreed could then be considered almost as a coming out party.
Ultimately I'd recommend this film, not only for its challenging social commentary and audacious set and makeup design but also because so many horror films nowadays lack such ambitions. And even if those ambitions aren't cranked up to eleven as they should be you have to admit Nightbreed is a gay ol' time.
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