2014 remastered Director's Cut. After 24 years the infamous 'Cabal' cut is available in all its' glory. Expanded and recut the film certainly makes more sense story wise but perhaps the brevity of the studio cut worked in its favour. Cronenberg and Haid are both dynamite but both roles seemed stronger in the shorter cut and the final shot of the studio version was also more powerful than the conclusion here.
One could always sense the potential for something great in the compromised theatrical version - but that potential is never realized even in the director's cut. In fact, the longer runtime does "Nightbreed" no favors, and only serves to underscore how ludicrous the entire endeavor is. Clive Barker's strange mishmash of dark fantasy, horror, and action never manages to articulate its ideas in a coherent manner.
AKA " Audrey Horne goes to Hell"
I'm convinced on first viewing that this is Barker's true artistic thought made flesh. A fully realized live action comic book without a dull moment and truly deserving of cult status. David Cronenberg was a worthy villian when he has his mask.
Didn't particularly like the book, but the visuals of the film made it more interesting. There's a slightly tired look to the special effects, and apparently I'm not the only one who sees a connection to Jim Henson and especially Labyrinth. It's not an entirely good thing, when the story was originally a lot gorier, and here it's more tame and sluggish. Cronenberg makes me happy, though.
I've rated a half star more than I wanted, but Nightbreed is a formative film for me and it is one I find difficult not to be subjective about. As a teenager the reversal of the other was significant, and the sheer volume of monster types exciting. Magnificent soundtrack. But the narrative is a pie fight and general cheese, thick. Still very connected to this film, however, and I watch it every couple of years.
The creativity and diversity of the effects and creatures outshine the rest of the film, which is perhaps a little too long in the director's cut, and somehow manages to play like a really violent Jim Henson children's fantasy at times.
Quirky and strange creature feature with equal parts of brilliance and crap. The story is not half bad but there is not enough money and talent involved to make it work on the scale it needs. However, Cronenbergs brilliant creepy killer/psychotherapist should have gotten a movie of his own.