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Nightbreed (1990)

Craig Sheffer , David Cronenberg , Clive Barker  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Craig Sheffer, David Cronenberg, Anne Bobby, Charles Haid, Hugh Quarshie
  • Directors: Clive Barker
  • Writers: Clive Barker
  • Producers: David Barron, Gabriella Martinelli, James G. Robinson, Joe Roth
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 1, 2004
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JIVJ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,857 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Nightbreed" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Troubled twentysomething Craig Sheffer is haunted by violent dreams of serial killings and nocturnal invitations by misshapen creatures who live in a misty, mysterious land called Midia. Adapted and directed by Clive Barker (Hellraiser) from his novel Cabal, this tribute to the magical creatures of the night plays like a Jungian reinterpretation of classic myths with a modern twist. Nightbreed are the dead reborn as monsters of legend, fantasies, and nightmares who form their own outcast society in an underground city beneath an Alberta graveyard. Visionary horror director David Cronenberg steps in front of the camera to play Sheffer's unscrupulous psychiatrist, an eerie, unsettling character whose dark side is hidden under a soft-spoken manner and an eerily calm and controlled voice.

Barker has a rather unsubtle approach to this fantastical Holocaust metaphor: every human is a victim, a hick, or a bloodthirsty monster, and the climactic witch-hunt is all gore and spectacle. By contrast the bestial society of outcasts has a kind of natural, innocent savagery that turns protective when the tribe is threatened. Cool-looking beings of bright colors, latex masks, and outrageous bodysuits, they band together like some extreme mutant superhero team with anger-management issues. Barker could use more attention to details (what happened to the so-called mystic properties of his shape-shifting monster heroes when the guns were drawn?), but there's an undeniable charge to his modern take on myth and magic. --Sean Axmaker

Product Description

Set in the canadian wilderness, a search is on for a serial killer and an ancient tribe of monsters called the night-breed.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...and Midian is where the monsters live." March 29, 2002
Clive Barker's Nightbreed may seem like a story about evil monsters vs. humanity, it is not. This is really a simple story about a man who realizes that he is a little different from most people, so he tries to find a place where he can be accepted. The people he joins are so different from the rest of society that they must remain hidden or face persecution at the hands of the church, the police and the rest of humanity in general.
Usually, the monsters and freaks embody the evil in a film, but Barker likes to make his hideous creatures into sympathetic characters the reader or viewer can identify with. He accomplishes this in Nightbreed by making the humans into the most irrationally frightened, self-righteous, gun-toting rednecks the world has to offer. Despite the amazing physical differences and strange tastes of some of the monsters we are totally on their side.
Craig Sheffer plays Boone, a young man who dreams of a place called Midian along with it's strange inhabitants. He feels drawn to that place by the promise of forgiveness and complete acceptance, but he makes the mistake of telling his shrink, Decker (David Cronenburg). Decker convinces Boone that he is not well. You see, Decker knows about Midian too. His goal is the complete distruction of Midian and all it's inhabitants. His hatred is intense and apparently irrational because no reason is ever stated in this film, other than that they are different than he.
Decker sets Boone up as a patsy for several grisly murders he himself has committed, and Boone is shot down by police just outside the gates of Midian, but not before Boone had a fateful encounter with one of its denizens.
Boones girlfriend Lori learns of his death and travels to Midian, looking for answers.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forgotten fantasy? August 21, 2001
"Nightbreed" is a clear case of a studio barreling into a creative contract with a hot, young talent and bankrolling auteuristic genre piece before they had any idea what they'd bought into. Co-produced by Morgan Creek and 20th Century Fox, "Nightbreed" was touted by auteur, Clive Barker as "the Star Wars" of horror which was just what Fox wanted to hear (especially with their sci-fi horror franchises, "Alien" and "Predator" in creative limbo). I'm guessing that their conservative expectations anticipated the ultimate, effects-filled Us vs. Them tale, with just enough of a faith in "general goodness" to morally justify the film's existance. Things fell apart when they sussed that Barker's overbudget production (it ballooned from $8 million to $11 million) was a gleefully paganistic and psychosexual affair. The story involves young heart throb, Aaron Boone (played by Craig Sheffer of "Some Kind of Wonderful" and "A River Runs Through It") who suffers from maddening dreams of frolicing in a night-time field with a platoon of chuckling, inhuman creatures. An outcast himself (although how Craig Sheffer could be an outcast with that face, hair, body tone and slick leather jacket is beyond me), he dreams of escaping to this dream place where "all [his] sins will be forgiven." Equally obsessed is Sheffer's psychiatrist played by David Cronenberg (yes, THAT David Cronenberg), affecting an ominous, monotone performance, "I find you...intriguing." No prizes for guessing the psycho here. All of this set-up is merely conceptual red herring for the conservative viewer. Read more ›
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most under-rated Baker film... July 10, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Night Breed is surreal and eerie, effectively bringing to life elements from director Clive Barker's short work "Cabal". It's a shame that this movie is out of print, as it is a perfect representation of what good horror films should be. The effects are vivid and edgy -but not campy-and David Cronenberg is fantastic as the deceptively pleasant doctor. Clive Barker has such a wild and somewhat nasty take on what consititutes fear and horror, that all of his films turn out well. Night Breed stands ahead, however, as it combines primal terror with a human touch that makes the movie not only enjoyable but relatable as well. After watching Night Breed, it's is very easy to see that Mideon could be a favorable option to heaven or hell. It would be for me, at any rate.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Underrated. January 14, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Nightbreed (Clive Barker, 1990)

Of the three adaptations of his own work Clive Barker directed, Nightbreed is the redheaded stepchild. It doesn't have the visionary brilliance of Hellraiser nor the gruesome spectacle of Lord of Illusions, and as a consequence it faded rather quickly into obscurity upon its release. Which is unfortunate because, while Nightbreed isn't the same work of genius Barker's other two adaptations are, it stands above all (with the sole exception of George Rose's original Candyman) non-Barker adaptations of his work.

The opening of Nightbreed should be familiar to Barker fans; a normal, everyday chap, in this case named Boone (veteran character actor Craig Sheffer [Merlin: The Return, Deep Core]) gradually becomes aware that the normal everyday world has parallels to something that is very much not our world. Through a combination of his own inquisitiveness and his association with certain characters who don't seem unsavoriy but in actuality are, in this case his psychiatrist Decker (David Cronenberg), our hero finds himself embroiled in complications involving this world and the parallel he's discovered. Pretty standard stuff, Barkerwise.

Where the film becomes above average is both in Barker's direction (pretty good for someone who, while filming Hellraiser, said in an interview he didn't know a camera lens from a plate of spaghetti) and the characters therein. Cronenberg very rarely steps in front of the screen, and when he does it's usually in very small roles. Pity. Decker is the consummate bad guy: softspoken, cultured, the kind of guy you'd take home to mom not realizing that he'll rip her still-beating heart from her chest and use it for a midnight snack.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
Published 13 days ago by LINDA J. BRANSCUM
3.0 out of 5 stars It could just be due to the fact that I ...
It could just be due to the fact that I never got into this movie when it was in its prime but trying it for the first time now in my late 20's, just couldn't get into it.
Published 14 days ago by taryn rooney
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Perfect & fast shipping!
Published 16 days ago by Jason D. Bader SR
4.0 out of 5 stars creepy
I bought this for my son. It was a movie he had seen years ago and he wanted to see it again.
Published 21 days ago by satisfied
5.0 out of 5 stars yea!
Clive Barker is one of my favorite artists and Nightbreed does not dissappoint. Danny Elfman does a classic score. What more could a girl ask for?
Published 29 days ago by amy avance
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED THIS MOVIE
Saw this movie as a teenager on hbo. Came across that amazon was selling the dvd version and just had to add this great movie to my horror collection.
Published 1 month ago by darkheart
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie Was Cool
The movie was absolutely great not boring and interesting love story. At the second day shipping was easier than running to the store.
Published 2 months ago by Mary D. Gilmore
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this movie
I have always loved the unusual freakish movie. I guess that says something about my character (oh no). Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lilly Bell
4.0 out of 5 stars Always loved this movie!
Clive Barker delivers with this movie adaptation of the book! It makes me want to sit and read the book as well!
Published 2 months ago by Marcia Alvarez
5.0 out of 5 stars Clive Barker
I would recommend this DVD to any fans of Clive Barker. As the director he continues to show his versatility. The story is from the book Cabal which is a Barker classic.
Published 2 months ago by Daniel L. Schamber
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