Creatures of the Night Unite! Occupy Midian!
by Ben Bussey
Funny how we seem to keep talking about Clive Barker so much lately. Not only have recent months seen a low-rent sequel to Hellraiser and continuing speculation as to the fate of the long-mooted Hellraiser remake, there’s also been talk in the last couple of weeks of possible TV series adaptations of Hellraiser and Nightbreed. There’s a good, simple reason for this. Cliver Barker is a true visionary of horror and fantasy. As a writer, filmmaker and artist, his creations exist on an epic, mythic, mystical level that is as unique to Barker as the Cthulhu mythos was to Lovecraft. He has, of course, been considerably more prolific with his novels and paintings than his films, of which he has directed only three with no apparent plans for more. This surely makes it only more important that viewers worldwide should get the chance to see his full, original vision of Nightbreed.
The last few years have seen a great many calls from fans for a Nightbreed director’s cut – affectionately dubbed The Cabal Cut - to be released. You can follow the history of this over at Clive Barker Revelations, but to put it in a nutshell: the footage is available, composite cuts exist, and work towards a director’s cut is underway, but the powers that be have thus far refused to let it happen, at least in part because they don’t believe there’s any money to be made. In reaction to this we have this latest fan campaign, under the wonderfully evocative title Occupy Midian. The Facebook group (which you can join here) has thus far accrued over 1,200 members, and the mission statement is as follows:
“Occupy Midian” is the movement to get an extended version of the great film “Clive Barker’s Nightbreed” released onto Blu-ray and DVD. We are here, we are MANY, and we want to buy it!
… This group is to show Morgan Creek, the current owners of the film “Nightbreed”, that there is a high demand for this film to be released in an extended cut as the director and creator Clive Barker originally intended.
“Occupy Midian” was a name thought up by Anne Bobby during an interview with the Clive Barker Podcast. This group aims to work in close co-operation with the creative people currently restoring the film.”
I’ve already stated my position on Nightbreed: whilst I love Cabal, the novella on which it is based, I feel it is a deeply flawed film. However, this only makes me more keen to see the film in its entirety as Barker intended. Yes, Nightbreed has its problems, but it’s definitely a film that stands apart, and was in many respects ahead of its time. Barker didn’t direct many films, and it doesn’t look likely he’ll ever direct any more, so it’s only fair that the few films he did make get the respect they deserve.
And come on – surely there’s more interest in an unexpurgated Nightbreed than there was in Hellraiser: Revelations….?
To lend your support, join Occupy Midian at Facebook, and check out the video below to see how work towards the Cabal Cut is coming along. As you may or may not be aware, Doug Bradley appeared in the film as Lylesburg, but at the studio’s request was overdubbed by another actor: this is one thing the Cabal Cut intends to rectify…