On Sunday, June 10, 2012 in Los Angeles, CA., Days of the Dead in association with Fangoria magazine presented:
NIGHTBREED: THE CABAL CUT
1990, USA, 155 minutes, DVD projection
Written and directed by Clive Barker
Starring Craig Sheffer, Anne Bobby, David Cronenberg
Prior to the commencement of the sold-out screening, Craig Sheffer took questions from moderator Brian Collins (Horror Movie A Day) and the audience. Though he donned eye-obscuring shades, the actor looked relatively unchanged from his heydays of 20-some years ago and seemed in very good spirits. He joked around a bit, pretending to take a phone call from his drug-addled daughter (don't even know if he has a daughter), and helped bridge the gap as a late-coming Clive Barker made his way to the theater.
Dressed in messiah-white linen from head to toe, an ailing Barker made his way down the steep sloping walk to the front of the big screen. Though physically stooped, he stood mentally head and shoulders above everyone else. The packed house was rapt and amused as he told political anecdotes, mused on the corporate side of filmmaking, and made some off-color remarks regarding the apparently phallic microphone. Then he got down to biz explaining just why this new cut of the film means so much to him as an artist and a director who wishes to leave the proper legacy.
Film historians and restoration evangelists Mark Miller and Russell Cherrington were on hand to discuss their work on this beleaguered but worthwhile project. Cherrington pretty much said the same things as in his previously published statement:
"For the last few years, Mark Miller has been working at getting Morgan Creek interested in a re-release of Nightbreed. He wanted them to allow a director's cut to be put together from the original footage. Nothing happened, and Morgan Creek told Mark that they could not locate any materials. Phil and Sarah from www.clivebarker.info then got involved with Mark, and between them, an original work print was found on VHS. This was transferred to DVD and shown in 2010 at a HorrorHound event.
"I asked to see the work print in June 2011, and decided at that point to work with the original script to create a composite cut of Nightbreed. It became clear to me that what I was working on was The Cabal Cut of the film. In late 2011, another work print was found, again on VHS. I got a DVD copy of this from Mark, and with Seraphim Films' blessing, I worked the material from all three sources into the Cabal Cut."
He also talked about having actor Doug Bradley to redub his voice into the new version so that Lylesberg would no longer be German, and outlined his re-working of the original Danny Elfman score to stretch into the extra hour needed.
Then the film was shown (read my review here), and after the dust settled in the following several hours, the mission was accomplished (Morgan Creek has agreed to see that a beautifully restored and re-edited version of Nightbreed be released on Blu-ray and DVD).
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Staci Layne Wilson reporting