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Nightbreed (1990)


No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 2



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Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 14,157

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Movie Info

The uncut version of Clive Barker's Nightbreed was considered a holy grail to horror fanatics for years, yet no one knew where the lost footage was. Fast forward to 2009, when it became apparent that production company Morgan Creek knew where the lost footage was, but weren't about to spend the money to release it. Around this time, two separate VHS work prints were unearthed and subsequently shown to festival audiences. In 2012, the Cabal Cut was edited together from both work prints as well as


Art House & International, Horror

Jun 1, 2004


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All Critics (22) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (11) | DVD (9)

The only really strong aspect of Nightbreed is the 'breed itself-there are some truly bizarre and imaginative monstrosities on display.

February 19, 2014 Full Review Source: Georgia Straight

The Cabal Cut finally captures what Barker was after, warts and all, reinstating depth, emotion, and a human presence to the story, which finds its fantasy footing once again.

September 26, 2013 Full Review Source:

If you loved Nightbreed, The Cabal Cut will give you more of what you loved, but it fixes none of the film's shortcomings. It may even emphasize the film's story problems.

September 22, 2013 Full Review Source: CraveOnline

CABAL CUT: We get a little more Decker, and quite a bit more redneck rampaging, but there is also inevitably a whole lot more Boone. Longer does not equal better, esp. in horror, and all this extra stuffing does not stop a turkey being a turkey.

August 31, 2012 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

The pic remains passable only as a work that is all style and no substance.

May 28, 2012 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Disappointing make-up showcase disguised as a thriller.

April 21, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Starts out with a bang, ends with a whimper.

February 12, 2003
Juicy Cerebellum

Goofily entertaining, with an amusing turn by David Cronenberg.

October 5, 2002
All Movie Guide

Although Barker knows a good, eerie setting when he sees one, he can't seem to do anything with it.

September 21, 2001
Movie Metropolis

Audience Reviews for Nightbreed

Full marks for great monster makeup and a story that is excellently cheesy and pointless.
August 21, 2013
Curtis Lilly

Super Reviewer

Cool film title, much better than the original novel title of 'Cabal', guess 'Morgan Creek' was right on that little change. Unfortunately this film was one of those productions that suffered from heavy interference from the studio and thusly ended up being nothing like it was intended.

I can't even place what 'Nightbreed' is suppose to be really, a kind of horror, thriller, fantasy or translation...'Beetlejuice' with blood. Yes it is! this film is basically a grown up nasty version of 'Beetlejuice' with Danny Elfman doing the score even!.

The plot makes no sense whatsoever frankly, no real point behind it, no real motivations, explanations or reasons. Basically a diverse race of monsters that live below an ancient graveyard called 'Nightbreed'. Some young guy wants to join them and errr ends up helping them fight against the nasty humans that wanna destroy the city of 'Midian', the city of monsters.

Read between the lines there...the plot is saying we the regular folk are the real monsters, not the actual monsters. Not exactly an original concept huh.

This film is really quite odd. Chock full of bizarre creatures of the night, most of which look utterly stupid and not a tall scary. The effects are of course dated but makeup and prosthetic work is in good form with heavy hands on work, plenty of blood and some interesting gore, no CGI here folks. The problem being that most of the creature ideas are pretty daft looking, like a collection of cartoon characters. For example there is a female creature that seems to be a humanoid porcupine? eh?? and a male humanoid with a head shaped like the crescent moon for some reason.

Casting is just as unique to be truthful. Oddball character actor and usual badguy Craig Sheffer is the young hero here, he fits the bill perfectly really with his strange features. In for the ride is Cronenberg as a psycho trying to destroy the 'Nightbreed' race. Again he fits this film perfectly as the guy himself is pretty eerie and odd with his calm pleasant unsuspecting manner. Its his eyes that do it.

The film is known as a huge cult and you can see why. Clearly a lot of work was put in with monster designs, sets, makeup and matte work but the whole thing is just so damn surreal and without real reason that you lose interest. The monsters aren't scary and neither is the attempted creepy location/set work and atmosphere, but you do get the odd moment of nasty gore, so where do you stand?.

The wonderful familiar musical score from Elfman lures you into thinking your watching a fantasy film for teens, something like 'Legend' mixed with 'Batman Returns' with the weird undead creatures from 'Beetlejuice'. Some lovely visuals throughout and some terrific imagination but its all wasted on a poor plot and overall badly edited film.

You get the feeling this really could/should of been a classic epic horror fantasy, the foundations are there but it just hasn't been constructed correctly.
October 13, 2012

Super Reviewer

This is one of those films that I hope the director's cut gets released. The film as it stands now is a great horror/fantasy film but you can see that the film was re-edited and just almost destroyed in post production. Hopefully Barker will get his promised directors cut out one day, Anyway Nightbreed is about Boone, a troubled young man, is having some very realistic nightmares about a place called Midian, where the monsters live. The dreams used to frighten him, but now they're almost welcoming. His doctor, Philip Decker, wants to keep him doped up and under surveillance. Decker wants Boone to believe that he is dangerous, uncontrollable and homicidal, when in fact it is Decker himself who commits gruesome murders and wants Boone to take the fall. When Boone is brought to a hospital, overdosing on the powerful hallucinogenics that Decker supplied him with, he meets another man who speaks of Midian. Midian is real, and Boone knows he must find his way there. But Boone is not welcomed by the monsters who live beneath an ancient cemetery...not immediately anyway. When one of them attempts to take a bite out of him, Boone runs for his life and directly into Decker and a wall of armed policeman. Boone is shot down, but is he really dead? Both Decker and Boone's girlfriend Lori are determined to find out, and there's only one place to look....Midian.

As for the cast and characters, David Cronenberg as the evil Dr. Decker is smooth and hypnotic and downright creepy in his S&M killers mask. The monsters are the good guys for a change, and they're really cool looking! My absolute favorites are the bad tempered Peloquin, the lovely quilled Shunma Sassi and the awesome god Baphomet, all created by Clive Barker's amazing imagination. Look also for Doug Bradley as Lylesburg. The underground city of Midian is an impressive set, as well as the gothically beautiful cemetery above ground. This is a film worth checking out if you can find it. A nice blend of horror and fantasy.
August 31, 2012
David Ladd

Super Reviewer

Clive Barker has a phenomenal imagination when it comes to making a good horror yarn. Nightbreed unfortunately doesn't deliver for me. I found the plot to be quite boring and the acting was wooden. David Cronenberg though a great film director isn't that great an actor. I still have to give him props for him being a sick twisted villain in this film, but something about his acting didn't feel quite right. I had high hopes that this film would live up to the masterwork Hellraiser (which Clive Barker also directed) but it fell flat and by the films conclusion whatever made this film good was ultimately destroyed by the somewhat rediculous ending. Watch with caution you may be disappointed
June 9, 2010
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

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June 2, 2009:
A Nightbreed Director's Cut?
If you're a fan of Clive Barker's "Nightbreed" -- and are one of the diehards that has been holding...
May 18, 2006:
Clive Barker's "Train" Gets Scheduled
Fans of the old-school Clive Barker madness will be pretty psyched to learn that one of his very...

Foreign Titles

  • Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut (DE)
  • Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut (UK)
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