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Podcast Episode 93: Celebrating Clive Barker’s ‘Nightbreed’

FilmOut to screen Director’s Cut on Oct. 12

Craig Sheffer (center) stars as Boone, a young man who has dreams about a str...

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Above: Craig Sheffer (center) stars as Boone, a young man who has dreams about a strange place called Midian where monsters live in Clive Barker's film "Nightbreed."

Episode 93: Celebrating Clive Barker's 'Nightbreed'

Mark Alan Miller discusses Clive Barker and assembling the Director's Cut of 'Nightbreed.' Plus David Cronenberg on working with Barker.

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It’s October — my favorite month of the year because I can unabashedly focus on my passion of horror.

Last podcast I looked to Italian horror and I highly recommend you check that out because it includes interviews with Lucio Fulci’s daughter and actress, Catriona MacColl, as well as with Fulci’s frequent composer, Fabio Frizzi.

For this podcast I turn to one of my horror obsessions, Clive Barker. This time last year I posted an archive interview with Barker for Podcast 35. Barker is a marvelous interview — he’s articulate, witty, charming and the last person you’d ever suspect could imagine such horrific worlds as "Hellraiser."

Barker is a renaissance man. He’s an artist, novelist and filmmaker. I came to his work through his films, specifically “Hellraiser.” I saw that film in 1987 and fell in love with his take on the genre, which combined beauty with terrifying body horror.

Barker never judges his characters, but rather, tries to capture the essence of what it is that fascinates us about horror. He is also able to evoke sympathy for unlikely protagonists. In his book “Cabal” (the source material for his film “Nightbreed”), he takes us into the mind of a serial killer and unflinchingly details that psyche.

He also introduces us to Midian, a nether world of monsters that he makes human and sympathetic. James Whale was the first film director to genuinely make us feel sympathy for the monster with his 1931 “Frankenstein,” but Barker took it to new levels with “Cabal” and then “Nightbreed.”

“Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut” screens Oct. 12 as part of FilmOut’s monthly screening series. I speak with Mark Alan Miller about finding all the elements to assemble the Director’s Cut. When released in 1990, studio meddling caused the film to not be what Clive Barker had envisioned.

It wasn’t until 2012, after Miller found work-print footage that had been thought lost, that a “Cabal Cut” was screened at film festivals to generate interest in restoring the film to Barker’s original vision. Then in 2014 the Director’s Cut was completed, much to Barker’s joy.

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Beth Accomando
Arts & Culture Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover arts and culture, from Comic-Con to opera, from pop entertainment to fine art, from zombies to Shakespeare. I am interested in going behind the scenes to explore the creative process; seeing how pop culture reflects social issues; and providing a context for art and entertainment.

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