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Nightbreed

1990

R CC

A search is on for a serial killer and an ancient tribe of monsters called the night-breed.

Starring:
Craig Sheffer, Anne Bobby
Runtime:
1 hour, 41 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Fantasy, Action, Horror
Director Clive Barker
Starring Craig Sheffer, Anne Bobby
Supporting actors David Cronenberg, Charles Haid, Hugh Quarshie, Hugh Ross, Doug Bradley, Catherine Chevalier, Malcolm Smith, Bob Sessions, Oliver Parker, Debora Weston, Nicholas Vince, Simon Bamford, Kim Robertson, Nina Robertson, Christine McCorkindale, Tony Bluto, Vincent Keene, Bernard Henry
Studio Warner Bros.
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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