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All The Versions of Nightbreed Explained

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If you’re confused, or thought the Cabal Cut was the same thing as the Director’s Cut, or maybe you saw the Italian version of Nightbreed was called “Cabal” and that confused you, we’ve got you covered!  For a full history of Nightbreed, check out Jose’s feature about Nightbreed that he wrote for the film’s anniversary.

1990: Theatrical Cut:  This is the theatrical release, reshot and edited in a way that skewed it toward a slasher film, which was not Clive Barker’s intention.  This was originally available on  VHS/Laser Disc, and then a bare-bones DVD in North America in 2002.  It was also called “Cabal” in an Italian release, but don’t mistake that for the Cabal Cut, which we’ll talk about a little later.

2009: HorrorHound Workprint Screening:  Having just discovered PAL workprint VHS tapes of Nightbreed at Clive Barker’s Seraphim office, Mark Miller sent the tapes to Phil and Sarah Stokes of www.clivebarker.info, who digitized the footage.  It was put on DVD and screened unedited.  This was only for the most die-hard fans, as there was a lot of lead-in, often no sound and some repeated scenes.  I wasn’t there for this one, and I regretted it, but luckily I got to see something much better…

2012 to 2013: The Cabal Cut.  Friend to Clive and Seraphim, Russel Cherrington borrowed a copy of the footage on the pretense that he missed the Horror Hound screening and wanted to see it for himself.  What he ended up doing was putting together a cut of the movie, drawing together elements from the workprint tapes and the US DVD into one cohesive and long narrative, using the second draft shooting scrip and the novel Cabal as a guide.  Together, Russell and Jimmi Johnson would edit and re-edit the Cabal Cut over the course of nearly two years.  Clive dubbed Russell the “Restoration Director”.

  • VERSION 1 > Was originally screened at Mad Monster Party in Charlotte, North Carolina.  This was the first coherent version of the movie, and was edited right up to the date of the screening to remove some superfluous scenes, including a few minor characters that died twice. Michael Plumides helped convince Morgan Creek to allow the screening, and future screenings at other horror conventions and film festivals.  These screenings had introductions and Q&A panels with Russel, sometimes Mark Miller and often cast and crew.

From here the concept of Occupy Midian, the multi-pronged campaign named by Anne Bobby in an interview with the Clive Barker Podcast, was begun by Ryan Danhauser, Jose Leitao, Roger Boyes and Russell Cherrington.  It was a combination of screenings around the world by Russell, a petition assembled by Jose, social-media push by the members of the Clive Barker Podcast  to keep the momentum going until Morgan Creek saw that it was a viable product.

  • VERSIONS 2-7 > Contained more edits, both as more VHS tapes were discovered, and using notes from Clive Barker and Feedback from audiences at screenings around the world and many of the original film crew watched the film and helped Russell & Jimmi with new insights into the film.

2014: The Director’s Cut.  Now that Morgan Creek had agreed to allow a new cut of the movie, they made a deal with Shout Factory to create what would be known as “The Director’s Cut” which came as a 3-disc set limited to 10,000 copies, and the wider release with 2 discs.  The Director’s cut contains film elements finally recovered from a 20th Century Fox warehouse, was edited using original film elements and some sound from the Cabal Cut.  This was edited by Andrew Furtado and Mark Miller, with direction from Clive Barker.  The Special Edition contained 1 blu-ray of the Director’s Cut, 1 Blu-Ray of the Theatrical Cut (never before released in High Definition) and a bonus disc of extra scenes and featurettes.

2017: The Cabal Cut. This is an extremely limited release, it was edited by Seraphim using the HD footage not previously available to the earlier versions of the Cabal Cut, but maintains the spirit and focus of the original.  It has HD footage, and a little workprint footage too, where the scenes weren’t otherwise available in HD.  This will be a Seraphim release, available on the Realclivebarker.com store. It will have a commentary by Russell Cherrington and Jimmi Johonson,  and another by Jose Leitao and Ryan Danhauser.  We’re so excited for this release. It is a collector’s item, so when it’s out for pre-order, I advise you get it right away.

Special thanks to Russell Cherrington for helping me brush up on my Cabal Cut history.