Clive Barker, the Master of the Macabre, brings the magical world of Midian to life in NIGHTBREED, adapted from his own fantasy novella Cabal. The conflicted Boone must escape to the mythical city of monsters after being framed for murder, but he is followed by the insidious Doctor Decker, who plans to destroy Midian and its inhabitants: the NIGHTBREED! Barker creates an enormous scale that is too far-reaching to be contained within the short runtime of the film. The director has made no secret of the fact that his work was butchered on the cutting room floor by shortsighted studio execs, with many of its missing pieces lost forever. This might explain why NIGHTBREED's narrative feels somewhat incomplete and disjointed at times, but even in its broken form, it is clear that Barker has unleashed his own unique world of gods and monsters that exists before and long after the events captured in the film.
The Tribes of the Moon come to life in all shapes and sizes; some fierce, some disgusting, and some that are beautiful but terrifying. Like the twisted creations in HELLRAISER, the monsters of Midian spring directly from the mind of Barker, himself, showing off more of his horrifying designs as brought to life by a gifted team of creature effects artists. NIGHTBREED also features a monumental score to match its grand scale. The art direction in both the Gothic graveyard above and the labyrinthine crypts below expand the sets into the incredible subterranean city that houses the action.
The tragic mismarketing of the film should be considered a sin, considering the tremendous success NIGHTBREED has found from supportive fans in the decades since its initial release. Clive Barker's underrated fantasy horror picture might even have surpassed HELLRAISER in becoming the director's most accomplished work if he had only been given the right to complete his epic vision.
If you liked NIGHTBREED, check out:
NEON MANIACS, RAWHEAD REX, THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU.