For horror fans everywhere Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut is without a doubt one of the most highly-anticipated home video releases of not just 2014 but possibly all time. Clive Barker‘s horror-fantasy cult classic has traveled one of the roughest roads imaginable from the writer-director’s initial conceptions of the story, to its troubled production and theatrical release, and lastly to the audience that discovered on video what had been ignored at the box office.
The fan-created “Cabal Cut” of Nightbreed that first began being assembled over five years ago sought to restore Barker’s film to its intended epic form, and toured horror and comic conventions all over the world to great success in the hope that one day it would receive an official release. Check out this article that I wrote back in April 2012 for further background into Nightbreed‘s post-production foibles and the history of the “Cabal Cut.”
Finally Shout! Factory picked up the rights to release the extended Nightbreed on Blu-ray and DVD this year. Despite being pushed back several months from its original projected summer debut in order to allow more time for a proper restoration of the longer director’s cut, Scream Factory revived interest in the long-awaited Blu-ray via an announcement today offering tons of information. Read all the info below.
Here’s the announcement from Scream’s Facebook page:
***NIGHTBREED: THE DIRECTORâ€™S CUT Update!!***
We have big (and extensive) news to report today regarding a film that we announced almost over a year ago in July. In collaboration with Morgan Creek Productions and Clive Barkerâ€™s Seraphim, Inc., the long-awaited NIGHTBREED: THE DIRECTORâ€™S CUT is scheduled for a release of October 28th and will be available in two retail versions: A 5,000 Unit Limited-Edition 3-Disc Blu-rayâ„¢ set and a Special Edition DVD & Blu-rayâ„¢ Combo.
In 1990, the film was released theatrically nationwide. However, the movie studio edited the film extensively and several scenes were excised or rearranged â€“ much to Director Clive Barkerâ€™s disappointment. Since then, a fan-driven movement was created (www.OccupyMidian.com) to see the full version of the film restored and re-released. Now, after 25 years, fans and horror enthusiasts can finally experience NIGHTBREED like never before! Scream Factory, in conjunction with Warner Bros., was able to find the long-thought-missing original film elements and combed through over 600 boxes to locate not only the lost scenes but a treasure trove of never-before-seen footage as well. With nearly an hour of lost footage meticulously restored, the result is not only a more faithful adaptation of Clive Barkerâ€™s book Cabal, but also what he originally intended NIGHTBREED to be.
Official statement from Clive Barker: “This is film history and beyond my wildest dreams of realization. When Scream Factory told me that they found the NIGHTBREED film footage I was gob-smacked! This is the ultimate validation of choices made by myself and Mark Miller [of Seraphim Films] all the way back in 2008. As we embarked down the road of attempting to track down the lost footage, we looked at each other and said, ‘Maybe one day they’ll find it.’ It’s my pleasure to announce that the day has come. Speaking personally, I didn’t allow myself to believe that it would. Even if we did find some footage (which we did in 2009 in the form of heavily degraded VHS tapes) and even if we did find a company willing to release the film (which we did in 2013 with Scream Factory, God bless them) the prospect of finding the actual lost film materials was remoter than I’d wanted to admit out loud. If the footage could not be found by those who had worked closest on it the same year it had been released, then what were the odds we’d be able to find anything 20 years on? But Scream Factory, in their commendable determination, kept up the search and thanks to them total reconstruction has been made a possibility. There’s never been a reconstruction that’s had as little chance of succeeding and yet has succeeded on as many fronts as this film has. It’s unprecedented. To now have a movie that we can put together in the way that I fully intended it to be seen when I first set out to make this film in 1989 is extraordinary. The project has moved inexorably to this conclusion. Fate and the hard work of individuals such as Mark Miller, Russell Cherrington, Phil and Sarah Stokes, Occupy Midian, Morgan Creek, and ultimately, Scream Factory have made this a possibility and I could not be happier.”
Nightbreed will be available on Blu-ray in two separate editions, a three-disc deluxe edition limited to 5,000 copies that will only be sold through the Scream Factory website and a standard edition that you will be able to purchase in stores and through most online retailers. Special features for both editions have not yet been finalized, but Scream has released a few tantalizing details to tide us over until the final supplements are unveiled within the next few months. They are sure to be extensive.
The limited edition breaks down as follows:
– Disc 1: Unrated Directorâ€™s Cut of the film on Blu-ray
– Disc 2: The 1990 R-Rated theatrical version of the film on Blu-ray (through a special licensing agreement through Warner Bros.)
– Disc 3: EXCLUSIVE-TO-THIS-SET Bonus Blu-ray disc packed with extras (details forthcoming)
– Includes Collectorâ€™s Book with an essay and rare photos
– Slipcase includes newly designed artwork by Joel Robinson approved by Clive Barker
You can pre-order the limited edition set here. If you order directly from the Shout! Factory site you will receive an exclusive 18″x24″ poster featuring the new artwork commissioned for this deluxe set. Plus if you act now you’ll also receive one of the first 1,000 numbered copies and free standard U.S. shipping two weeks early! Here’s the cover art:
Here is a breakdown of the standard edition of The Director’s Cut:
– Disc 1: Unrated Directorâ€™s Cut of the film on Blu-ray plus bonus features (details forthcoming)
– Disc 2: Unrated Directorâ€™s Cut of the film on DVD (details forthcoming)
– Slipcase includes artwork designed by Ralph McQuarrie approved by Clive Barker
You can pre-order the special edition here. Take a gander at the McQuarrie cover art:
Both editions of Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut will be released on October 28, 2014. Just in time for Halloween. I’ve already pre-ordered my copy of the limited edition.