San Diego Comic-Con 2013 saw the Tribes of the Moon rejoice as the Scream Factory arm of Shout! Factory announced that a deal has been struck to restore and release the Cabal cut of cult classic Nightbreed, slated for 2014.
Clive Barker’s own adaptation of his novel Cabal is a fine example of a movie butchered by studio interference. Pretty much dismissed as a mess on its release in 1990, Barker has spoken out numerous times about the swingeing cuts made to the original print. Coming in at barely over an hour and a half, it is estimated that only around a third of the monster designs made for the film actually made it into the theatrical release.
The film has gained a cult following since then, largely due to said outstanding monster and general production design, excellent music and a brilliant performance from none other than David Cronenberg as a serial killing psychiatrist who wears perhaps the most terrifying mask in cinema history (suck it Jason, Myers and Leatherface). Seriously, put Dr Dekker Nightbreed into Google image search.
It was around 2010 that rumours started to circulate that an original workprint of the full 2 hours extra version had been found literally sitting in a cupboard somewhere, or so the story goes. The group Occupy Midian, supported by Barker, used the extremely rough VHS cut amalgamated with the cinema release to tour the new Cabal (after the original novel) cut around at various film festivals and special one off screenings with the explicit aim of generating enough interest and support to get a release. Their hopes have now been realised.
There aren’t any solid details yet beyond the 2014 release. Scream Factory have set expectations by confirming that it will take some time to properly restore the Cabal cut, which remember is basically a VHS that sat in a cupboard since the late 80s. Additionally, it is likely to be a US only release at first, although the team behind Occupy Midian have stated that a distributor wants to release it in the UK.