and nightmarish concepts...
that David Cronenberg would come out of left field to steal the show!
Lookin' creepy, Mr. C!
NIGHTBREED is a deeply atmospheric Clive Barker film (based on his novel CABAL) that he imagined would be the "STAR WARS" of horror movies: a multi-part epic with creature effects, a sweeping soundtrack (by Danny Elfman), heroic prophecies, beautiful matte paintings, and explosive action setpieces.
Unfortunately, it failed to recoup its budget and didn't gain much traction with critics, although over the years it has accumulated a devoted cult following. The newly remastered Director's Cut (while not incredibly different from the theatrical cut), is a generally stronger piece and, when it's over, you're left wishing there had been at least a trilogy of these movies.
Anyway––back to my enthusiastic salute to David Cronenberg's acting abilities! (Who knew?)
As psychotic psychotherapist Dr. Philip K. Decker (an homage to sci-fi author and Cronenberg hero Philip K. Dick), Cronenberg plays a near-pastiche of your typical Cronenberg villains––brilliant, perverse, detached, and clinical. Being a "closeted" outsider himself (Barker, as usual, peppers his horror with apt LGBT commentary), Dr. Decker loathes unconventional society and wishes to (literally) carve the "new flesh" off of the world. In short, he's a soft-spoken creeper who moonlights as a terrifying, hooded slasher,
almost a proto-version of Cillian Murphy's "Scarecrow" from BATMAN BEGINS.
He has a wonderful yuppie lair where he lays out all of his knives like a Dario Argento murderer,
and he generally hypnotizes the viewer with his self-loathing and low-key menace. It's an incredibly subtle performance, and I was left wishing that Cronenberg would use his acting abilities more often.
Interested parties may see Mr. Cronenberg ply this underrated talent in JASON X (as a doctor), ALIAS (also as a doctor), THE STUPIDS (as a postal worker), and TO DIE FOR (as a mafioso hitman!).
2015 HALLOWEEN COUNTDOWN OVERFLOW