Apr 5, 2008

Nightbreed


Despite Clive Barker’s weaknesses as a director and lack of story cohesion, he always manages to direct a film that is at the very least interesting. Nightbreed (adapted from Barker’s novel Cabal) is one of those films. The film is a jumbled mess of beautiful cinematography, unconventionally engrossing acting, and dark views into the discriminating mind of human nature. Nightbreed is a film that is like no other (just like all of Barker’s other works regardless of what medium he is working in).

The masked family killer found in Nightbreed is played by no other than intellectual horror auteur David Cronenberg. Like Cronenberg’s own films, his performance in Nightbreed is calmly calculated, progressively unexpected, disturbing, and sexually conflicting. Cronenberg’s performance wasn’t wasted as it was on the Friday the 13th franchise sci-fi slasher shitfest Jason X. A film so horrible that it makes me wonder if David Cronenberg was having monetary problems forcing him to join that wasted cause.


Nightbreed features a virtual circus of monsters that have yet to appear in such vast number before it. This array of diverse monsters alone keep the film interesting enough for viewing. Mental case Boone decides it’s time to live amongst the monsters in Midian (located under a graveyard with striking architecture). Many scenes featured in the monster realm of Midian look to derive influence from Federico Fellini’s masterpiece Satyricon. Both films feature a variety of sequences briefly introducing interesting yet sometimes horrific individuals. These scenes are both surreal and in your face (as surrealism often is and should be).


The weak elements found in Nightbreed are the result of poor editing and film construction. Clive Barker fell victim to the lack of faith 20th Century Fox had in the film. Barker was disappointed in final cut of Nightbreed and has recently promised a new cut with 25 more minutes of extra footage. I just hope the extra footage adds to the film unlike the director’s cut of David Lynch’s Dune.

Despite it’s shortcomings, Nightbreed is a very enjoyable film that is very unique. One can only wonder the cinematic accomplishments the film could have made if it had a larger budget and greater support from 20th century fox. Studio systems have a vast and evil history of limiting film directors creative potential in the production of films. I just don’t get what makes some lardo, cigar smoking degenerate think that he knows more about what the audience wants to see than the artist. The masses don’t just enjoy films that cater to the lowest common denominator. They will support and follow great art if actually exposed to it.


-Ty E

2 comments:

jervaise brooke hamster said...

this film has got the same problem as "midnite cowboy" in that the director is british and a faggot and as you well know those are the 2 catorgories of people in the world that i hate and despise the most, the problem is that i also love horror movies and "nightbreed" is quite superb and has been ludicrously under-rated over the years so when i watch it i imagine that it was directed by an american who is rampantly heterosexual then i can enjoy the film much more, BLOODY DIRTY BRITISH FAGGOT SCUM.

Anonymous said...

Speaking as an Englishman (but not a 'faggot'), what a lovely person you are, Jervaise...