Thursday, October 09, 2014

Clive Barker's Nightbreed Director's cut

I was one of the first thousand to preorder it. I saw the movie back in 1990 and wasn't entirely pleased with it. Warners billed it as something like a slasher at the time, which is not. What Nightbreed was and now is again is the Citizen Kane of monster movies where the tables are turned--or that's what it was supposed to be, an epic tale, a metaphor for discrimination against LGBT people, and much more, a lost classic now found and restored to its former glory before the suits got their hands on it. 

A comparison is in order here: This is like the achievement of a full restoration of the first gay-positive movie ever made, Different from the Others (Anders als die Andern, 1919, starring Conrad Veidt, the somnambulist from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) or The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), it is historic.

I should receive the set by this weekend or early next week. A sprawling review and reflection on the new cut is coming. I'll also be doing a similar essay on Breaking Bad as a cultural and historical phenomenon in time now that the series has concluded and the dust has settled a bit. Expect the unexpected.
Postscript, 10.10.14: It's arrived! This is going to take some time to digest, but I should have my first observations up in about a week. The set is pretty amazing and the new artwork for the 3-BD set is better than the promotional art at the time. David Cronenberg should be pleased, he gets more screen time.

10.11.14: After watching the director's cut last night, I can say that we have a new classic.  What's most surprising is how what Barker intended most is a great, epic love story, a tale of universal love. Nightbreed has finally arrived to the audience it was intended for all along. There are so many things to say about it, and I will shortly. 

Audio and video quality are superb--it looks & sounds vastly better than its theatrical debut which is saying something. Yes, David Cronenberg has more screen time. I won't be printing any spoilers.