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190 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.

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

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Craig Sheffer, David Cronenberg, Anne Bobby, Charles Haid, Hugh Quarshie
  • Directors: Clive Barker
  • Writers: Clive Barker
  • Producers: David Barron, David C. Robinson, 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.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 1, 2004
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JIVJ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,508 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Nightbreed" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 50 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 29, 2002
Format: DVD
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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Juliette Miranda on 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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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Tom Kessler on August 21, 2001
Format: DVD
"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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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Vincent Maloy on June 2, 2004
Format: DVD
Nightbreed remains a fantastic movie, even if the studio cut Clive Barker's epic tale of the hidden society of monsters down. But more than frustrating is the fact that DVD market is confronted with yet another newly mastered widescreen presentation in which the black bars at the bottom and at tht top are just glued on the regular full frame version of the movie.
Sure, picture and sound have been reworked to look and sound good. But this faked widescreen format restores not a bit of the original movie. It even steals parts of the picture and betrayes the fan of great motion pictures in favour of giving those who have been seduced to by letterbox formated TV sets something to strech across their screen.
The movie itself would get 5 stars from me, even if the extras on this DVD - some textual info and a trailer - are rather few. But since the clever DVD marketing geniuses have provided another jigsaw version of a movie, I have to settle to one star. Not only have they ruined the movie experience. They've also destroyed the chance that someone else might ever release a real widescreen or a real full screen DVD of that impressive movie. My tip is, by the video. You get more picture for less money.
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