It is certainly a great time for fans of Clive Barker and his classic tale of misfits and monsters, Nightbreed. First appearing in the novella Cabal in 1988 and starring in an underwhelming theatrical release in 1990, Barker’s cast of memorable monsters have taken root as genuine cult classics and mainstays of popular horror culture.
Telling the story of the end of Midian, the place where monsters go, the novel and film tell a tale that nearly any kind of outcast can relate to. Persecuted for their strange appearances and odd customs (admittedly eating the flesh of humans), the members of the Nightbreed have found a sanctuary in their little town, which comes unraveled when a young man wanders in and exposes their secrets. The original story is a classic tragedy full of fascinating characters and dark humor, and is finally getting some recognition for what a true work of art it was and is.
Last year, the “Cabal Cut” of the film toured in select theaters, and is scheduled for release on Blu-Ray later this year from Scream Factory! I was lucky enough to catch the one of the screenings in LA last October, where Mr. Barker was present and spoke about the long journey to get his vision on the screen at last.
That fascinating Q & A was transcribed and can be read here.
Also on the radar for fans of Nightbreed is talk of a television series. With the current trend of classic films being re-imagined and translated to the small screen, this one seems like a no-brainer. I asked the question directly to Nicholas Vince (who played Kinski in the film) last week during his fascinating Google+ hangout and got this answer (around the 52-minute mark) :
So yes, it looks like a Nightbreed television series could be a reality in the near future!
Also coming soon is a unique anthology collection of short stories expanding on the Nightbreed mythology entitled Midian Unmade. The publishers were open for submissions last year, and I even wrote my own short story for hopeful inclusion, but it sadly was rejected. You can read it here, if you are into that sort of thing.
I am honestly very much looking forward to reading this book when it is released later this year from Tor Books.
And last, but definitely not least, this week saw the release of a brand new Nightbreed ongoing comic book series from Boom! studios. Based on an original story from Clive Barker, the new series seems to be an epic expansion of the mythology he set in motion 25 years ago.
Written by Marc Andreyko, and wonderfully illustrated by Piotr Kowalski, the first issue sets the stage quickly in the modern day, as we see Lylesburg safe and sound in another underground cavern. He quickly introduces us to the story before it starts jumping around to different time periods, setting up the wide scope of the universe quickly and efficiently. The storyline picks up in Lacombe, Louisiana in 1857, where we see that our old friend Peloquin has been doing his “Beast mode” thing for a long time.
Then we are in Boston Massachussets in 1945, seeing the world of the lovely Shuna Sassi, and an interesting take on her origins. The issue is fast-paced and an interesting kick-off to what could potentially be some great new stories of our favorite characters of the Nightbreed. While I look forward to seeing more of the story of what became of the remnants of the Breed after their sanctuary home was destroyed at the end of the film, it is definitely a great idea to look at the roots of these now-iconic characters and find out where they came from.
Here’s hoping this creative team can deliver the best of both worlds for us die-hard fans of Nightbreed. They are off to a great start with issue #1 of this ongoing monthly series, and I am very much looking forward to the next few issues!
It is definitely a good time to be a Nightbreed fan!