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3.6 3
Director: Clive Barker

Cast: Craig Sheffer, Anne Bobby, David Cronenberg


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Multimedia horror maven Clive Barker followed the success of his feature directorial debut, Hellraiser, with this equally surreal effort, based on his novella Cabal. The story involves the plight of Aaron Boone (Craig Sheffer), a young man tormented by visions of monstrous, graveyard-dwelling creatures. Seeking the aid of his clinically cold therapist Dr


Multimedia horror maven Clive Barker followed the success of his feature directorial debut, Hellraiser, with this equally surreal effort, based on his novella Cabal. The story involves the plight of Aaron Boone (Craig Sheffer), a young man tormented by visions of monstrous, graveyard-dwelling creatures. Seeking the aid of his clinically cold therapist Dr. Decker (played by Canadian horror auteur David Cronenberg) in deciphering his nightmares, Boone becomes convinced that his frequent blackouts are linked to a recent spate of mutilation murders in the area. His frantic search for the truth leads him to the subterranean city of Midian, the dwelling place of a mythical race of undead nocturnal monsters known as the "Nightbreed." But it is only after he is cornered and shot dead by police that Boone's real journey begins -- he finds himself resurrected as one of the Breed. Though Barker's unique and graphic vision is somewhat blunted by choppy editing (thanks to relentless tampering from the studio), this is nevertheless a fine sophomore project from a talented storyteller; the central conceit of presenting the monsters as the "good guys" -- at least compared to the gun-and-bible-toting lunatics who hunt them -- is handled with verve and originality.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
The lurid imagination of writer-director Clive Barker (Hellraiser) runs wild in Nightbreed, the horror maven's 1990 tale of undead misfits that is based on his novel Cabal. Craig Sheffer portrays Boone, a psychologically disturbed young man who ends up joining an oddball subterranean community of mutant dead known as the Nightbreed, with his persistent girlfriend Lori (Anne Bobby) and evil psychiatrist Philip Decker (David Cronenberg) on his trail. As is typical of Barker's work, Nightbreed has enough plot and back-story for ten movies, all jam-packed into rapid-fire scenes, almost all of which involve violence. Barker employs a smorgasbord of horror legends in Nightbreed, with aspects of vampire and werewolf myths mixed freely with tropes of his own design. The acting is hardly subtle, but it suits Barker's purpose perfectly. Horror auteur Cronenberg is a standout, however, offering a creepy, low-key performance that can stand as the archetype of the Mad Shrink. But Nightbreed's greatest achievements are the extravagantly conceived creatures of the night, as garishly bizarre as any array of characters you're likely to find.
All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
Unfairly maligned upon initial release as the result of a faulty advertising campaign and extensive studio tinkering, Clive Barker's ambitious follow-up to the breakout success of Hellraiser (1987) remains a remarkable fantasy epic that never fails to intrigue despite its undeniably distracting shortcomings. Based on Barker's Cabal, this mythical tale of physical transformation amidst an underground world inhabited by an ancient race of monsters was pitched to audiences as a low-rent slasher film, a campaign which served as a box-office death knell following a series of mind-numbing Friday the 13th and Halloween sequels. Add to that the fact that distributor cut the film by roughly 25 minutes, and it's hard not to see that the film was doomed to failure. Weighing in on such heavy issues as questions of mortality and violent xenophobia that alluded to historically significant events like the Holocaust, this story demanded a much wider canvas than Barker, a master of complex storytelling on the written page, was capable of translating given external desires for a commercially acceptable film. With the tables turned and humans portrayed as villains incapable of living with creatures whom they choose not to understand, Barker used a technique of placing real-world issues in a fantasy context in order to create a marked and safely removed social commentary. In this respect, Nightbreed uses the horror genre as it is most effective, and one can only speculate on the potency of this message if it had reached audiences in its pure form.

Product Details

Release Date:
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Warner Archives
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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Craig Sheffer Aaron Boone
Anne Bobby Lori
David Cronenberg Dr. Philip Decker
Charles Haid Capt. Eigerman
Hugh Quarshie Detective Joyce
Hugh Ross Narcisse
Doug Bradley Lylesberg
Catherine Chevalier Rachel
Malcolm Smith Ashberry
Bob Sessions Pettine
Oliver Parker Peloquin
Debora Weston Sheryl Ann
Norton S. Parker Poloquin
Todd Thaler Actor
Simon Bamford Ohnaka
Tony Bluto Leroy Gomm
David Young Otis and Clay
Mac McDonald Lou Rickman
Daniel Kash Labowitz
Bradley Lavelle Cormack
Stephen Hoye Gibbs
George Roth Kane
Peter Marinker Pathologist
Lindsay Holiday Morgue Assistant
Kenneth Nelson Emergency Doctor
Ted Maynard Bartender
Mitch Webb Jail Cell Doctor
Eric Loren Ambush Cop
Alan Harris Stand-In
John Agar Special Appearance
Nicholas Vince Kinski

Technical Credits
Clive Barker Director,Screenwriter
Image Animation Makeup,Special Effects
David Barron Associate Producer
Danny Elfman Score Composer
Christopher Figg Producer
Marie France Costumes/Costume Designer
Tony Gardner Makeup
Mark Goldblatt Editor
Steve Hardie Production Designer
Ann Hollowood Costumes/Costume Designer
Bob Keen Makeup
Richard Marden Editor
Gabriella Martinelli Producer
Bruce Nyznik Musical Direction/Supervision,Sound/Sound Designer
Geoff Portass Makeup
James G. Robinson Executive Producer
Joe Roth Executive Producer
Robin Vidgeon Cinematographer
Shirley Walker Score Composer


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Nightbreed 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This wasn't a bad little fantasy/horror flick from Hellraiser director Clive Barker. The production values are on par with many other 1990 horror outings and Danny elfman nails the score as usual, bringing the overall quality of the experience up in the process. The story is a little silly, but creative. However, the real star of the film are the creature effects. Barker has created some truly original freaks in Nightbreed. The lore that backs them up is a little muddy, but they are a sight to behold. And the Berserkers are particularly frightening. This was definately a fun way to spend an hour and a half, even if it's not a masterpiece.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago