The DLB recently spoke to Russell Cherrington, the restoration director of Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut, the extended/re-purposed version of Clive Barker’s notoriously troubled second film as a director, for MSN Canada. You can read that article here.

Cherrington, alongside Mark Miller from Barker’s Seraphim Films and effects animator Paul Jones, will be in Toronto tonight (July 19) to present the new Nightbreed as part of Rue Morgue Magazine‘s Cinemacabre film series. The screening starts at 9pm and takes place at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King St. West).

Behind the mask: David Cronenberg as Dr. Decker


What is it about Barker’s work that interests you?

It’s because it isn’t like anybody else’s. The thing that people don’t understand about Clive is that he’s a polymath. A polymath is someone who doesn’t just work in one area. Clive, he draws, he paints, he takes photographs, he writes poetry, he directs films, he writes the most fantastic novels, and he doesn’t limit himself to one thing. He’s not Stephen King. He does not write within one genre. He writes melodrama, he writes fantastique stories, he writes books for children, he writes for adults, he writes for teenagers. His catchment is huge, and his work reminds me more of Jean Cocteau than it does of Stephen King. That’s important to me that his work does that, and it’s important that Clive isn’t pigeonholed as the man who made Hellraiser because that’s what 90% of people who know who Clive Barker is think that’s all he’s ever done.


In terms of character, how would you describe the Cabal Cut compared to Nightbreed’s theatrical release?

Basically, you have a completely different story, a different arc, different ending, a different development, a different understanding of Cabal himself and Lori. What was missing from the film before was Lori’s relationship with Babette and how they develop this almost telepathic relationship and understanding; that’s from the book and it’s not in the film. You have all the politics of the Nightbreed and what’s going on underneath there. You have Boone and Lori actually falling in love which is really important for the novel which was essentially missing from Nightbreed as it was. You also have much more development of Decker, and you also have him talking to the mask which he doesn’t do in Nightbreed but he actually does in the Cabal Cut. He has his own dialogues with the mask. He has these moments where the mask is telling him to kill: ‘But do I have to?’

You have all that, you have a stronger sense of the character of [the priest] Ashberry, why he’s doing what he’s doing. You also have more of the hick mentality of the people who kill the Nightbreed.

The version screened in LA a few months ago ran 2 hours 40 minutes. This runs 2 hours 24 minutes. Why the editing?

The feedback I got from the first two screenings, the one at Mad Monster and the one at the New Beverly, there were certain things that worked, and when we put it back together we knew the fans wanted to see everything. They wanted to see every monster, every additional creature, and I wanted to see that, too. So all the material we had went in, and the first two screenings basically everybody saw everything; all the stuff with guns and the hicks. And we knew that we wanted and need to trim it to make it play the best, and we know that this film is really a two hour and 15 minute long film. But at the same time we also know that the fans out there – you guys out there – need to see all the Nightbreed, you need to see the animatronic sequence, you need to see the flying creatures, you need to see the music sequence everyone’s dreamed about seeing. And as a filmmaker and a person who loves Clive’s work I wasn’t going to leave it out because I didn’t want to disappoint anybody.


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