Cabal - The brood of the night

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German title Cabal - The brood of the night
Original title Nightbreed
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1990
length Theatrical version: 102 minutes
Director's Cut: 120 minutes
Cabal Cut: 145 minutes
Age rating FSK 18
Director Clive Barker
script Clive Barker
production Gabriella Martinelli
music Danny Elfman
camera Robin Vidgeon
cut Mark Goldblatt
Richard Marden

Cabal - The Brood of the Night is the second directorial work by Clive Barker . The American horror film is based on his novel Cabal .


Aaron Boone is plagued by nightmares in which he sees the murders of a current serial killer as if he were present at the crime. During treatment by the psychiatrist Dr. Philip K. Decker, he is becoming more and more convinced that, without his conscious knowledge, he himself is this serial killer. The pictures in his dreams also show him a town called Midian , where monsters live. His psychologist Decker convinces him that he has developed a parallel personality, under the influence of which he himself becomes a monster who murdered in a series. Boone wants to go in search of Midian in order to spend the rest of his life with the other monsters who call themselves the "brood of the night". But Decker drugs him during the last session. Hallucinating, he falls in front of a truck and is taken to a hospital. There he meets a man who also wants to go to Midian. In fact, Boone Midian, which is located under an old cemetery, is able to locate and enter. One of the bizarre residents sees a meal in the mortal Boone, attacks him and bites him in the neck. When Boone, who is innocently wanted for murder, flees, he is caught by the police and the psychiatrist and shot.

The bite wound brings him back to life in the morgue. He tells his girlfriend Lori everything about the monstrous inhabitants of Midian, who have had to hide from people for generations. Decker, who has been looking for Midian for years and at the same time committed the murders he wants to blame Boone, confronts Lori when she tries to leave the cemetery. Before he can murder her, Boone rescues her. This brings them into the underworld and thereby endangers the community of the different inhabitants of Midian. The two decide to get out of town to save themselves and Midian. Boone is caught by the police while on the run, but Lori manages to free him with the help of two creatures. When they return, the bloody battle between the attacking police and the "brood of the night" has already broken out.

In Midian there is a massacre of the mostly peaceful residents around their leader Lylesberg. Boone organizes the resistance and frees the berserkers who are considered to be uncontrollable and who stand in the way of the attackers and ultimately flee. At the end of the film Boone, who has been appointed Cabal, is given the task of rebuilding the destroyed city. Unnoticed by him, Decker, who previously died in Midian, is resurrected.


Barker decided to film another of his novels after his directorial debut Hellraiser - Das Tor zum Hölle . The legendary director David Cronenberg plays the fanatical psychiatrist Philip K. Decker. Barker shot an original version that runs for 126 minutes. The responsible studio 20th Century Fox had the film shortened drastically. Some splatter sequences and a guest appearance by Suzi Quatro fell victim to the scissors . They also market the film as a slasher film and with the poster of another film called Vision der Dunkelheit from 1988. The film was not released on DVD in Germany, but there are three bootlegs . The film's indexing, which had existed since 1991, was lifted after the 25-year period in May 2016.

Ocean Software released two video game adaptations in 1990 called Clive Barker's Nightbreed: The Interactive Movie for the Amiga 500 , the Atari ST and for MS-DOS and Clive Barker's Nightbreed: The Action Game for the Amiga, Amstrad CPC , Commodore 64 , MS-DOS and the Sinclair ZX Spectrum . A third part in the style of Ultima was stopped shortly before the end.

The 145-minute Director's Cut , known as the Cabal-Cut, celebrated its world premiere on March 24, 2012 as part of the Mad Monster Party Horror Convention in Charlotte , North Carolina and was released a few months later on June 10, 2012 as part of the Days of the Dead Convention at the New Beverly Cinema. Distributed by Morgan Creek Productions , the Cabal-Cut was sent on an international film festival tour with the aim of collecting money for the restoration of the film material. As part of this tour, the Cabal-Cut was also shown during the 10th "Weekend of Horrors" in Bottrop, which took place in November 2012.

In July 2013 the Canadian distributor LionsGate confirmed that a release of the Director`s Cut on Blu-ray Disc & DVD is planned for 2014. This film version was released at the end of October 2014, but is only around 120 minutes long.

In addition, Clive Barker is planning to implement the material in a TV series in the near future.


Saturn Awards
Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival
  • 1990: Silver Scream Award for director Clive Barker
Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival
  • 1991: Audience Award for Clive Barker
Fantasporto - Festival Internacional de Cinema do Porto
  • 1991: Critic Award for Clive Barker
  • 1991: Nomination in the Grand Prize category for the best film in the fantasy competition


Despite its difficult production history, the work was very well received and has achieved some success at film festivals. Cabal - The Brood of the Night is now considered an underrated classic of modern horror films. Similar to freaks , the "monsters" are the real sympathizers of the plot, while the state institutions are the real "bad guys" of the plot.

Horror shocker, which outweighs the excess of visual effects and mythological fuss with a surprising shift in sympathy and rough wit. "

Even if the film doesn't cover all aspects of the novel, Clive Barker managed to make an impressive film. Midian's underworld with its countless characters is a highlight of the fantastic horror films. Even the fantasy world from Hellraiser 2 - Hellbound doesn't come close. "

- Brief review by Carsten Henkelmann

Individual evidence

  1. Information on the Director's Cut ( Memento from May 12, 2005 in the Internet Archive )
  2. Trivia on
  3. One of the games at
  4. Nightbreed Director's Cut to Screen at Charlotte's Mad Monster Party Convention
  5. Director's Cut of Nightbreed Screening in LA
  6. Official website of the "Weekend of Horrors": Archive link ( Memento from August 18, 2012 in the Internet Archive ), as of August 14, 2012.
  7. Article on "", , stand August 14, 2012
  8., comparison Director's Cut (+ theatrical version) and Cabal Cut
  9., comparison of theatrical version and director's cut
  10. ^ Nightbreed TV Series in the Works
  11. Cabal - The brood of the night. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed July 29, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 

Web links