Russell restores a horror classic

One of horror master Clive Barker’s most famous films has been re-edited by a University of Derby film lecturer – to the acclaim of critics and fans alike.

Nightbreed, a 1990 film written and directed by the British author, who was also behind the Hellraiser films and a string of successful novels, is about a secretive tribe of mutant outcasts possessing different powers, and their conflicts with human officials and a serial killer. After the film was released by 20th Century Fox, Barker and many fans said its best parts had been edited out, considerably watering down its impact.

Seraphim Films, the author’s production company, recently found tapes containing extra film footage. It was re-edited by Russell Cherrington, University of Derby senior lecturer in Film and Video Production, and co-editor Jimmi Johnson.

They spent nine months on the project, with input from Barker himself, and the restored version of the film – entitled Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut – has now gone on limited cinema release in America, to the applause of horror fans.

Its UK premiere is late this month at the Odeon in Leicester Square, London, will be introduced by TV presenter Jonathon Ross. An article on the film is set to appear in influential British film magazine Empire.

On Friday, September 28, the film will be screened at Quad in Derby, with Russell introducing it and explaining how the new version came about.

Russell – who was supported in his project by the University of Derby – has been in America promoting the restored film.

He said: “I have worked with Clive Barker for more than a decade on many creative projects. When the two work prints of Nightbreed were discovered, I knew that I had to restore the film to the version that Barker had always wanted his fans to see.

“The University of Derby has supported my work through research funding and time to attend screenings across the world. Screening Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut at QUAD will be a great chance to show the work on the big screen in Derby, with some of the cast and crew in attendance.”

Author Clive Barker added: “Until Russell Cherrington came along, I had kind of given up hope that this movie would ever find its true form. I knew the material was there, and I knew we could cut it together correctly if we had the will and the money. And he has made this possible.”

The restored cut of the film currently runs at two hours and 24 minutes, including 45 minutes of new footage. The Cabal Cut has a different ending, fleshes out the relationships between the main characters, and has (Russell promises) more monsters and empathy for the Nightbreed.

The film’s production company, Morgan Creek, has given the film makers a year to exhibit it worldwide. Fans can find a list of which cinemas will be screening The Cabal Cut at website www.occupymidian.com/home/screenings

To watch a trailer of the film online go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=CX0-AlytIXY