Monday, May 19, 2014

Delayed Reviews: Nightbreed

I honestly don't know how I managed to this one.  I watched this Film originally quite awhile ago (in 2007), but never reviewed it.  Why?  Well, I didn't have a Blog, so let's go with that excuse.  Yeah, that's the ticket!  Anyhow, I finally got a chance to watch the Film again recently and said 'might as well Review it this time.'  So today's Film is Nightbreed, one of four full Films Directed by Clive Barker, who's mostly known for his Writing (in Film and Literature).  The short version of why this came about is that infamous Director George Pavlou Directed the earliest works of Barker's Film Adaptations like Rawhead Rex and Transmutations.  The results were, well, less than great, so Barker just took over for himself and Directed Hellraiser.  He followed it up with this Film, which he Wrote (as both a Book- Cabal- and a Screenplay) and Directed.  The Production was rife with problems and Studio oversight, leading to the Cut I have.  There is a Director's (or Cabal) Cut out there which started to get shown at Festivals and the like a couple of years back.  I don't have that.  If and when I do see it, I'll cover it too.  Let's just hope it doesn't take another 7 years!  The Film tells that tale of a young man who dreams of a land called Midian.  Is he crazy?  Well, it would be a lame Film if he was, wouldn't it?  To find out what happens next, read on...
A troubled young man ('That Guy' Actor Craig Sheffer) is having crazy dreams, which upset him and his girlfriend.
He seeks help from his Therapist (David Cronenberg), but he's not exactly helpful.  He is, after, the prototype for Slender Man (more on that later).
Framed for the many Murders committed by Cronenberg, our hero flees in search of the land of his dreams.  Fortunately or unfortunately for him, he succeeds.
He is found nearby and shot to death by the Police after Cronenberg pulls his final move.  Movie over?
No, of course not.

Thanks to being bitten by a Nightbreed, Sheffer is reborn as one of them.  I bet that is explained better in the Book.  He goes back and wants to become one of them.
Sheffer tries to go get Cronenberg and falls into yet another trap, all the while fighting his now-rising dark side.  The fact that he is legally-dead draws the Police's attention and they now seek out Midian.
The leader of Midian tells the people to stay in hiding, while Sheffer insists that they fight.

Since they are being shot/stabbed/burned by the gun-crazy Cops, it might be wise.  Right, Black Satan?
Desperate times call for desperate measures, so the citizen of Midian unleash their REALLY freaky residents.  Shit is about to go down!
I won't SPOIL the Climax of the Film for you too much, since this Film is pretty obscure still.  I will say that Sheffer meets his 'Maker' and the news is not good.  The End.
I don't know if the other Version is great, but this one is still quite good.  The Story could certainly be more fleshed out, the Characters explained better and minor tweaks could be made throughout.  I'm sure that a longer Cut could certainly help in those matters.  As far as this Film goes, it has an interesting Story, great Visuals and a compelling bit of Pacing.  You would obviously have to trade the latter for those improvements.  I could also point out that the Film is about as subtle as shooting paint at a canvas.  It is nothing if not direct.  That is fine.  It is one of those things where if you like the Story and what the message it is, you can excuse it.  If you don't like the Story or the message, it just feels like they are driving a tack hammer into your skull.  As cheesy as the Creature Design in Rawhead Rex was, the ones in here are freaky with a capital F!  I'm sort of glad that my copy was not the Restored Blu-Ray Disc as I'm pretty sure that I'd be having nightmares for weeks otherwise.  Regardless of which Version you see, you should see Nightbreed if you still haven't.  If nothing else, you will see the early version of what would become the Internet Meme known as Slender Man...
Next up, another Film that I have been meaning to cover for a long time.  Will I actually like a Vincent Gallo Film?  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. Hope you get to see the Cabal Cut soon. Far, far better than the original.