Donkey: Of all the genres of movies, the one that I have the most mixed emotions about might be horror films. When I was a kid, we weren’t allowed to watch horror movies and that was simply the end of the discussion. This was due to a combination of my parents’ natural attempts to shield their children from things that they thought would be too graphic until we were old enough to understand them, as well as my mother’s near complete dismissal of their value. If a movie is centered primarily around gore, she has no interest in it whatsoever. My father, on the other hand, didn’t quite feel the same way. He seemed to find the special effects required to create a particularly gruesome image a combination of fascinating and hilarious, and if there’s one thing about my father, it’s that he loves to share things that he thinks are hilarious regardless of whether or not you have the proper context. This is why if he rented a movie while my mother worked a night shift, we would wake us up and bring us down to the living room just to watch a particularly disgusting scene, only to laugh and send us right back to bed when it was over. So while I didn’t actually see A Nightmare On Elm Street III until I was around 26, I saw the scene where Freddy uses a kid’s veins to walk him around like a marionette when I was a kid and had never forgotten that image all through the years since.
Despite that glaringly inconsistent guarded approach, horror movies never really had much of an effect on me once I started watching them as a teenager, and I find that I have a love/hate relationship with them. Although there have been trends over the years in what style have been popular, like the teen slasher in the days of Scream or I Know What You Did Last Summer, or the Japanese horror films like The Ring and The Grudge, most horror movies seem to fall into one or two categories. They are either centered more on plot and psychological scares, where the unseen is more of a threat than what you can see, and then there’s the pornography of blood that comes when a movie is based almost entirely on gore and trying to make you throw up. Personally, I’m far more of a fan of the former than the latter. Few things in life scare me conceptually, but when they do, I usually will love them forever because of it. This week’s movie, Nightbreed, can’t be described by either of those two generalizations. It tries to be different. It tries to be thought provoking. And as you can probably gather from its appearance on this site, it fails miserably.
Donkey: Nightbreed is an odd little film to say the least. It’s the heartwarming tale of Aaron Boone, a serial killer who wishes that he could travel to a secret land of monsters, where all his sins would be forgiven and he could live out his life slashing and maiming to his heart’s content, I guess. It never really says much about that part. He’s tailed closely in his pursuit of this dream by a girlfriend who’s apparently got the lowest standards of any female in recorded human history, and a psychiatrist who has far more nefarious motives than any of them could imagine, unless any of them stopped and took the five required seconds to notice how goddamn creepy he is. But when Aaron actually finds the land of monsters, or the Nightbreed as they refer to themselves, will he find that the society that he’s leaving behind are the real monsters? No, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not spectacular shitheads, which I guess trumps being a monster. But really, everyone in this goddamn movie deserves to be buried up to their necks in dog shit and left to rot under the hot sun, so vilify whomever you want. Like this movie as a whole, it really doesn’t matter.
The Case for Greatness (aka The Lowlights):
Donkey: As we soon discovered, nothing can prepare you for Clive Barker’s Nightbreed. Nothing except perhaps for the clips of the movie that they show while the title scrolls across the screen. With this kind of completely unnecessary recap coming before the movie has even started, I can only hope that Clive takes this bizarre choice even further and has a two minute recap for even twenty minutes of the film. That would actually probably help for those of us that are likely to be beaten into a coma by this blunt instrument of exhaustion of a movie.
Exhibit A: Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go To Hell.
Our nightmare begins, very appropriately, with a nightmare. After dreaming of running through dark grasslands while being chased by snarling creatures in the dead of night, we are introduced to the film’s not-quite-hero, Aaron Boone, played by Craig Scheffer. That’s right, A River Runs Through It’s Craig Sheffer. I could hardly believe it myself. One could argue that Nightbreed actually earned this guy his role opposite of Brad Pitt in that film, but then I would have to insist that the role would have been equally deserved if he had won it out of a box of Count Chocula. Not that I’m inferring that he’s a bad actor, but this role is less of a vehicle to stardom than being the spokesman for NAMBLA. That being said, Boone snaps out of his rather tame dream to find himself in bed wearing tighty whities with his girlfriend, Lori, sitting over him. No wonder he’s having nightmares. If my balls were bundled up that tight, I’d probably spend an entire night dreaming that I was in the sterilizing grasp of The Testicular Cancer Anaconda. Seeing that her man has had another one of his nightmares, Lori suggests that the two of them get out of Calgary for a couple of days. I realize that most of you have probably never been to Calgary so you won’t appreciate the universal truth in that suggestion, be having been there myself, I couldn’t agree more. No matter what state your life is in, leaving Calgary couldn’t do anything up improve it. But why only leave for a couple of days? How about a couple of months? Perhaps I can interest you in a couple of decades? But barring a run from the desolate hellscape they find themselves in, she suggests that he go and see his shrink, a man named Decker.
But while Aaron journeys to that undoubtedly forgettable visit, the movie makes a quick detour into Murdertown, which I believe is a suburb of Calgary. A middle-aged couple ends up being slashed to death by a mysterious man in a mask who sneaks into their home and wreaks unholy vengeance, likely for forcing us to watch them make out at the beginning of the scene. But with that random bloodbath behind us, we finally catch up to Boone as he sits in the office of Decker, his psychiatrist played by the overrated director and exceptionally substandard actor, David Cronenberg. They discuss Boone’s recurring fantasy of returning to a place called Midian, a place where monsters go to have all their sins forgiven. Of course, the word ‘monsters’ can conjure up a lot of different imagery for people, ranging anywhere from the Wolfman to Grover, so let me clarify. Think My Pet Monster if he happened to like cutting himself while listening to Marilyn Manson and you start to get the idea. Decker assures Boone that Midian is an imaginary place like Candy Mountain or Kentucky, but murder is quite real. Unless you’re murdering fraggles, that is. Then it’s just hilarious. Decker then pulls out a set of pictures that the police brought to him. Apparently Aaron was describing these murder scenes in exact detail in previous sessions, which Decker thought was just a hallucination, but is now obviously very real. Aaron is understandably alerted – concerned, even – at the news that he’s probably a serial killer, so he asks Decker what to do. Decker hands him some unmarked pills, assuring Boone that he should take them and go confess to the police within twenty four hours.
Things don’t go according to plan, though, as we soon find Aaron wandering through the darkness of night in a haze, eventually ending up in a hospital where it’s discovered that the lithium that he thought he was taking was actually a high powered hallucinogen. Whoops. But if you’re going to sleep off a bad trip, what better place to do it than a hospital, right? Not quite. Aaron wakes up later in a bed to discover his roommate begging out their room’s window to no one in particular to take him to Midian. Well that’s an opportune coincidence, don’t you think? It turns out that this raving scab-eater whom we’ll refer to simply as Captain Hairline will be a rather pivotal character in Aaron’s shit custard of a journey. Aaron interrogates the chap, confirming that Midian is indeed a place where monsters go to take away their sins. When Aaron suggests that they go there together, Captain Hairline ends up under the false impression that Aaron has been sent to bring him there, which Aaron decides to roll with, saying that he would if only he knew where Midian was. Woudn’t you know it, it’s time once again for another amazing coincidence! Captain Hairline just happens to know exactly where it is, rambling out that the location is by Peace River. Armed with all the information that he needs to run headlong into a situation that he doesn’t really understand, Aaron tries to leave. Seeing him go, Captain Hairline comes to the conclusion that he obviously needs to prove his worth to earn his way into Midian by showing his true face. And to do this, he takes out two small blades and cuts off nearly his entire scalp in an attempt to rip his way down to that true face. Yeah, this Midian must be a great place. Sign me up. Recoiling in horror, Aaron backs off as nurses and doctors come running in. Not sure what to make of the psychopath that should, in theory, but a perfect representation of the society that he’s seeking to join, Boone turns to see Decker approaching the room and figures that it’s best to just run like hell.
Not convinced that the small sample of crazy that he’s already witnessed is quite enough proof that his plan is complete bullshit, Aaron ends up driving through the great Canadian wilderness. And to answer your question: he’s in a car at the time, not riding a yak. I know. Not what I expected either. His voyage comes to an end pretty quickly when he reaches a set of gates that he’s already seen many times in his dreams. He crosses through them to find a cemetery on the other side just as the sun begins to set. As one would naturally do after a long day of driving, Boone decides that now is an ideal time for a nap. Fuck yeah! What could possibly go wrong in the land of monsters…at night…in a cemetery? But even he couldn’t know the horrors that awaited him once the night unfolds. Smoke puffs out of a nearby vent in the ground which looks completely natural and in no way looks like someone just turned on a smoke machine to create ambience. Boone wakes to find himself face to face with the world’s most terrifying…puppy. I think it might be a pug, but I’m not sure. The terror! After making it out of that harrowing ordeal by shoo-ing the beast away, Boone wanders around and ends up finding the monsters that he was looking for. One looks like the result of Jay Leno convincing his banana mistress to get an abortion while the other looks like he could be the biggest star working in Japanese tentacle porn today. The two of them call Boone a regular human, denying his claims that deserves to be here because he’s killed people. They can smell innocence and conclude that whoever told him that he was a killer had lied. But rather than being overjoyed with the prospect of not being a brutal killer, Boone seems to pout at their proclamation. Why do I suddenly feel like I’m watching the beginning of the video for Michael Jackson’s Bad, or even more awesomely, Weird Al’s Fat? You ain’t fat, Boone. You ain’t fat! However, being tempted by what could be considered virgin flesh in more way than one, the squid monster, whom we’ll call Chuck, decides to take a bite out of Aaron’s neck. Somehow surprised at the revelation of finding that monsters are aggressive, Aaron punches them both out and starts to run like hell. As he scrambles in a blind panic through the dark graveyard, Banana Leno decides to help Aaron to reach the gate before Chuck can finish making him an evening snack.
But once he’s outside, things don’t get any better for Boone. As he wanders through the field outside of the graveyard, a bunch of car headlights suddenly blind him. Decker had apparently got the whereabouts of Midian from our good friend, Captain Hairline, and helped the cops to track Aaron down. As Decker comes forward to talk him down so that he can be arrested peacefully, Boone shares the revelation that he didn’t kill anyone. Showing his true colors of being the movie’s obvious douche bag, Decker tells Boone that he believes him just before he shouts back to the cops that Aaron has a gun. Apparently short on their quota of people that they’ve group-fucked with bullets this month, the cops immediately jump on the opportunity to open fire before Aaron makes the slightest move. The scene ends with a shot of the camera rising up into the sky while focusing on Aaron’s body, letting the full weight of his death sink into our hearts, ruined only slightly by the fact that the supposed corpse starts blinking about three seconds into the shot. Other than that, it’s INTENSE.
Exhibit B: Did We Say Monsters Were Scary? We Actually Meant Lovable!
At this point we found ourselves hoping that the movie was going to wrap up and actually turn out to be some shitty episode of Tales From The Crypt that someone released on video as a practical joke rather than a full length feature film, since Boone had found his much sought after land of mutant carnies only to be betrayed and murdered by his serial killer psychiatrist, Decker. But it is at this point that the movie decides to switch gears and turn it into an old fashioned game of ‘cat and mouse and fucking moron’. And our game begins when all the major players are brought into the Calgary police station. Aaron is being examined in the morgue while Lori is interviewed by Decker and a Detective Joyce, played by Hugh Quarshie or Captain Panaka from the Star Wars prequels as I will always know him. I’m not really sure why the hell a psychiatrist would be allowed to participate in a police investigation, but hey, why not?
From this point, the tale of Aaron Boone becomes about as palatable as a tire fire. Once the coroners leave their examination of his body for a moment, the bite wound that he received on his chest from the monster known as Chuck starts to pulse with light as he slowly begins to reanimate. Once he’s not quite alive again and finding himself with a powerful craving for rancid pork sandwiches, Aaron knows that there’s only one place to go. Once he manages to get back to the cemetery known as Midian, we find him entering its underground city with our favorite psychotic more in need of a toupee than Shatner, Captain Hairline. He and Aaron approach the resident monsters while Captain Hairline insists that there’s no other place on Earth that would take them in. I would have to agree. Not so much because of the undead thing mind you, but more from the fact that in this scene Aaron has decided to wear his leather jacket with no shirt underneath. If there’s anything that will earn you the well deserved title of social outcast faster than that, I don’t know what it is.
After being admitted into their city, Boone gets taken into a room where a bunch of monsters are gathered under the watchful eye of their leader, a monster that we’ll call Old Man Jenkins, mostly because I can’t be bothered to remember any of these useless shitheads’ names. There is a small amount of pomp and circumstance that takes place, or at least as much as there can be when you’re a city of genetic abortions living underground, before Aaron begins the process of joining them. He’s told that everything about his old life must be left behind, which at this point seems to serve no other purpose than to remind me that we don’t know a goddamn thing about his old life other than the fact that he had shitty taste in psychiatrists. But before he’s officially allowed into the club, Aaron must be judged by their god. Or in the more literal sense, he must stand still while Old Man Jenkins puts his hand in a bowl of boiling tapioca pudding until it glows golden. Then he places his glowing mitt on Aaron’s chest, leaving a palm mark. Aaron is scalded by it for a minute until it’s proclaimed that he’s officially allowed in the clubhouse. Elated at the news, all the monsters applaud his acceptance. Wait…clapping? Really? These bad ass monsters turned into a shitty glee club awfully fast.
And while Aaron is busy trying to work his way into the Loyal Fraternity of Sideshow Floor-sweepings, his girlfriend Lori is busy trying to locate his body every since it walked out of the morgue. Apparently a man that’s only two notches above a fourth grade drop out is so hard to find in Calgary that even if he’s an undead suspected serial killer, he’s still worth holding onto the herpes. As Lori takes to the road in an attempt to find Midian herself, she stops in a small town along the way. She ends up crying in the bathroom of a hotel bar where she meets a local skank named Cheryl, whom she bonds with instantly. The two of them end up doing the only thing that you can possibly do in some small godforsaken dump in the southern Alberta other than commit suicide: they get wasted. The next morning they meet up again in the same bar to fight off their hangovers when Cheryl reveals that she met a banker from Edmonton the night before, but since she won’t be meeting him again until that evening, she would be happy to drive Lori out to the fabled land of Midian. And moments later, that’s exactly where they arrive. Lori approaches the cemetery gates alone and crosses through them while the Cheryl cranks up some country music on the radio back at the car while smoking by a tree. But as she does her best to develop the lung cancer that will end this cursed existence, her new banker boyfriend rolls up in his vehicle to greet her, only to reveal that it’s the nefarious Decker.
While her skank friend is most likely coming to a brutal end outside, Lori investigates the cemetery and comes across a bizarre cat monster lying in the sun. As it seems to be writhing in pain, Lori is beckoned by a strange woman who asks her to bring the monster over to her in a tomb. You know, for a secret goddamn society, these people are pretty fucking easy to find. Lori obliges and brings the monster into the tomb where it quickly turns into a young girl. After expressing gratitude, the mystery woman assures Lori that she knows why she’s come. But just as Lori asks if Aaron’s animated corpse had managed to make its way there, Old Man Jenkins wanders up into the tomb and puts an end to the conversation, declaring that the woman has already said too much. As Lori begs for answers, the monsters all wander down a staircase at the back of the tomb. But certainly not giving up now that she’s found this group of monsters so goddamn easily, Lori follows them down the staircase only to end up the darkness. There she runs into our old monster pal, Chuck. He gives her a proper scare with his bad manners, so she flees back to the surface and races back to the car. Apparently she was prepared to face monsters, but not prepared for them to be even the slightest bit scary. Well done. As she approaches the car, she finds Cheryl the Skank has been killed. And of course, she then runs into the now infamous masked killer who is waiting for her. Rather than maintaining any kind of mystery, the figure removes his mask to reveal his true identity to her. But then Decker let’s her go for some reason, so she hauls ass right back to the cemetery that she just came running out of. Realizing that maybe that wasn’t the brightest thing he’s ever done, Decker gives chase.
Hearing these events transpire from the secret city beneath the graveyard, Aaron vows that he will not just sit back and let Lori die. Despite the protests of his new monstrous brethren, Aaron refuses to relent and eventually goes as far as to begin kicking their asses until they let him go. He races up to the tombs with his faithful companion Captain Hairline nipping at his heels, and confronts his old shrink, Decker. They subdue him rather quickly, but then Aaron and he scalpless companion begin to argue about whether or not to take Decker’s balls, giving him a great opportunity to slip away. Naturally Aaron pursues him and does so while showing off his new undead monster form. In other words, as he’s running he becomes a slightly uglier version of himself. But as Aaron runs, Captain Hairline is left behind with the unconscious form of Lori. Apparently the Captain was a goddamn rapist in his natural life, as he straddles her right before she wakes up to see him hovering over her. Like anyone with any brain function above an overcooked carrot would do, Lori screams. And even though he’s closing in on his prey, when Aaron hears Lori cry out, he is forced to let Decker get away to come back and see if she’s okay. Once he arrives she has fainted again, leaving nothing more than Captain Hairline to stand and try to convince him that he wasn’t going to hurt her. What, this erection here? That’s nothing. I was going to offer that for her to use as leverage to help her off the ground then maybe for her to hang her purse on. Once Aaron is sure that Lori is safe, he returns to face the people that he disobeyed. Old Man Jenkins proclaims that he must take the girl and go, banishing Aaron back to the world of the “naturals”.
Meanwhile, having managed to get away from a situation that I’m not quite sure how he’d planned on walking away alive from in the first place, Decker wanders into a run down shack that couldn’t possibly pass for a gas station, even in southern Alberta. He borrows the phone and calls back to his secretary, whom arranges for Decker to meet with the cops at the closest station. Once he hangs up the phone, he has a quick conversation with the attendant who owns this hovel, asking about Midian. The man is apparently familiar with it, but has little interest in discussing it. When Decker leaves moments later, the dude seems frustrated to hear that Decker knows about Midian as he locks the front door. But of course just then he notices his back door is still open. As he goes to close it, Decker appears in his mask and cuts the dude’s hand off, before interrogating the dude about Midian and all its monsters, asking if they can die and how. It turns out that you can get the job done with bullets, fire, or various other things, depending on what type of monster it is. Before likely killing this random dude, possibly molesting his shoes, and leaving the scene, Decker declares that he’s here to destroy Aaron and the Nightbreed. It’s his destiny. If my life plan involved anything that astoundingly shitacular, I’d probably jump off the closest bridge.
Back at the aforementioned Midian, Lori wakes up in a casket in a room of bones. Wow. We couldn’t have picked a more dramatic place to leave her sleeping, could we? The strange woman and her daughter are there, and once Lori comes to, they reveal that she’s below the cemetery with the Nightbreed, a group of shapeshifters. The woman then complains that the world calls them monsters, but they do things like fly and turn into wolves and fog, all of which are things that all normal people would envy. To make more of a point than this random whining, the little girl then touches Lori and transfers a series of images into her mind, showing her a holocaust of freaks that is as gruesome as it is retarded. Lori snaps back out of the vision in tears, wanting to go see Aaron down in the Tabernacle, wherever the hell that is. The woman assures her that Lori can’t do that, saying that her entry is forbidden. Undaunted, Lori says, “we’ll see about that”. No sweetheart, I’m pretty sure it is. You can stomp your way down there, but I’m pretty sure that’s not going to stop them from making you face the consequences. That’s as stupid as saying, “A table saw will sever my penis if I try to have sex with it? We’ll just see about that…”. But despite her stubbornness being matched only by her glaring stupidity, Lori eventually begins to make her way down to see Aaron. On her journey through the underground city, she comes across a veritable freak show of monsters, the greatest of which is a thing that looks like a roasted chicken with a dude’s head in it’s stomach. What the fuck is that exactly, other than an image that will ruin many Christmas dinners for years to come? If these things are shapeshifters, does that mean that thing actually chose that shape? Eventually Lori comes across our good friend, the monster known as Chuck and his squid head of glory. He offers to make her one of the family, which I think he’s about to suggest can be accomplished through a series of elaborate blowjobs, before she runs away in horror. While this is going on, we see that Aaron has wandered into a room with some massive, fucking weird statue. What it is or what that means I have no idea, and the scene ends there.
As we come back to the situation a short while later, Lori’s journey continues as she stumbles into a room where Captain Hairline is dancing with a corpse. He tells her how Boone has now gone down to see the Beserkers, whatever the hell those are, warning her not to follow. Seeing as how good she is at listening, however, Lori continues on anyways. Eventually she comes to a point where a monster grabs her through a wall and pins her, where she would have likely met her end had another monster not come to her aid. She is eventually led down to see Aaron, who is still standing in the shadow of the massive statue. With that proper reunion, Aaron eventually leads her back up closer to the surface under the watchful eyes of the rest of the city. Once they finally make it back above ground, Lori begs Aaron to come with her back to the real world. Don’t even worry about that whole undead thing. I’m pretty sure that most of the night shift at Wal-Mart is comprised of zombies to save on overtime costs. Eventually, despite having finally made it to the city that he’s wanted to be in for so long and managing to be accepted into their ranks, Aaron agrees and the two of them leave the graveyard together.
Exhibit C: Sweet and Sour Jesus, Just Let It End.
Once he’s finished making love to the gas station attendant’s entire shoe collection, Decker finally arrives at the nearest police station where he meets up with Detective Joyce from the Calgary police and a local cop named Captain Eigerman. Decker announces to them both that Boone is still alive, hanging out in the cemetery that comprises Midian. Captain Eigerman, seeming rather unimpressed, says that he doesn’t need any of their help and can bring Boone in alone.
The movie now switches over to a hotel where things get fairly bizarre. A random woman working the front desk yells for some dude named Arnie, before dropping something on the floor. She bends down to get it and when she comes back up to her feet, she finds what we can assume is Arnie’s head sitting on the counter. As she screams, Decker rises up behind her and stabs her. That seemed rather elaborate just to take out to random people working at a hotel, and there’s not a single thing about their death that seems to enable the rest of the scene. Elsewhere in that hotel, Aaron and his girlfriend go step into their room to make some amature pornography while Decker calls the cops from a phone outside. As Lori and Aaron look around their room to make sure that only their cameras will be capturing their freaky Steaming Cleveland session, she notices a strange hole in the wall that she peeks through to the next room. Something seems amiss, so Aaron goes into the next room to investigate, finding a group of brutally murdered hunters strewn about. He starts to transform into his monster form just as a SWAT team that Decker called for arrives. But then Aaron then suddenly takes a long lick at some blood before converting back to normal form just as the SWAT team breaks in. I guess steamingclevelands.com will have to wait a while longer for that new video.
Now that he’s been taken into custody, Aaron is hauled off to the local jail where Captain Eigerman gives him an exceptionally unimpressive beating that would likely do little more than inconvenience anyone other than an eight year old girl. It’s an exceptionally poor beating, and this is coming from someone who has seen A LOT of shitty fight scenes. Once Boone is left in his cell, Decker meets with the others back in the office where he declares that he’s going back out to Midian to rid it of the rest of the monsters. No one seems even remotely curious as to why a fucking psychiatrist is this involved with the entire thing, but instead Detective Joyce agrees, suggesting to Captain Eigerman that they go back out there. The Captain doesn’t argue, assigning a small group of men to head back out with Joyce. Meanwhile a doctor examines Boone and discovers that his pulse is as non-existent as his character development. And while I’m sure that’s a common ailment among the undead, I’m not really sure how he manages to have a rosy complexion without blood flow. Upon receiving the news, Captain Eigerman goes back into his office and starts screaming at Decker, asking him what the hell is going on. And just to add to the random quagmire that we find ourselves bogged in, a priest in the next cell tells Boone tells him that they’ll find a way to kill him, that he’s an abomination, and that he must die.While I don’t necessarily disagree with you, WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU?
To take a break from this insanity and instead plunge into complete madness, we catch up to the group of cops that arrive at the Midian graveyard with Detective Joyce. They bust into a tomb and find one of the monsters, whom again is not particularly well hidden. They pull him out into the light, which causes him to turn to ash as the cops begin to beat him for no reason. His skin begins to bubble and then, just to kick the awesomeness up a few notches for no reason whatsoever, he FUCKING EXPLODES, much like the Dr Pepper that erupts from my mouth when that bullshit happens. Detective Joyce somehow figures it was the sun who did managed to kill this random monster. Passing out high fives over the job well done, moments later the cops reemerge from the cemetery to discover that their car has been torched. This was apparently the work of Captain Hairline and the old monster woman, who hastily speed into town in a car of their own. I’m not really sure what use a car is to a secret, subterranean society of monsters, but we’ll just go with it. Back at the police station, Captain Eigerman gets a call from his men about the torched car and grabs the priest out of the jail cell next to Boone, telling him that he’s needed.
Exhibit D: No, Seriously…End This. Please.
As the movie transitions to the town outside of the police station, suddenly we see that the whole town is forming a pose, arming themselves with a massive artillery. Apparently Clive Barker has never actually been to Canada. There aren’t that many guns in the entire country, let alone that town. As the ramble heads off to lynch them so freaks, Captain Hairline, the old woman, and Lori break into the jail to spring Aaron. They dispose of the guards rather quickly, just before Lori gets into Aaron’s cell and they start making out. Not just sharing a tender kiss, but seriously making out. As much as I appreciate that attempt at making me throw up, there’s more important shit going on right now, people. Might want to save that for later when she can actually find out that a lack of a heartbeat and zero blood flow should mean that Aaron is incapable of rising to the occasion, if you know what I mean.
Once the pose makes its way out to Midian, they begin to spread gasoline and lay fuses. While all this is going on, Detective Joyce happens to peek into Decker’s bag and find the mask of the serial killer. But before he can alert anyone with his discovery, Decker quietly kills him in all the commotion. The pose finally sets off their grand explosion, which in turn begins to wreak havoc on the city below, which turns out to be more distasterous than anyone could imagine. Suddenly the ground begins to open, exposing the city to the surface. As monsters scramble everywhere to avoid a flaming death, Old Man Jenkins implores his panicked horde to stay, arguing that this is their home. Just then Aaron rushes in and says no, it’s time for them all to fight. And as if to queue some kind of bloody Benny Hill sketch, at this point things go completely nuts. While all kinds of shit is exploding and collapsing around them, the pose of cops and anal raping rednecks begins to shoot and kill monsters with wild abandon as all kinds of random fights errupt. There’s even a cop with a goddamn flame thrower running around. A flamethrower? Are you kidding me? What fucking police force has a goddamn flamethrower? Overcome by the wholesale slaughter, the priest tries to beg Captain Eigerman to stop the madness. Instead Eigerman almost kills the priest.
As his people are being killed in mass numbers, Boone makes his way downstairs to find Old Man Jenkins again. Boone pleads for him to release the beserkers, which OMJ finally agrees to after conceding that his people aren’t warriors. What? Saying that they aren’t evil creatures who are out to terrorize the world is one thing, but don’t tell me these assholes can’t fight. This isn’t a goddamn preschool their running. And just to throw in another branch on this tree of bullshit, we see the priest make his way downstairs as well. where he gets the same bowl of boiling tapioca that Boone faced earlier in the film splashed onto his face, mutating him as he screams in agony. But as we turn away from the random character that we’ve only known for ten minutes and know nothing about, we turn back to Old Man Jenkins as he gets shot just before he can release the beserkers. But all is not lost as Aaron arrives to finish the job. As was suggested would be the case. The beserkers rush out and the tide of the battle begins to change. Now that they’re faced with real monsters, the humans begin to flee, much to the chagrin of Captain Eigerman, who starts to call them all cowards before trying to shoot his own men with an empty gun. As his tirade continues with him swearing that he’ll kill them all while demanding someone hand him a gun, the scene ends with one last punch to the balls as some random dude shoots a fucking rocket launcher at the attacking beserkers. Wow.
Back underneath all the fighting, Chuck takes Lori into a room with a bunch of shitty paintings on a wall, saying the the prophecy is true. Apparently Boone was supposed to be their savior, but instead Chuck insists that he’s their destroyer. It’s a little later for pathetic attempts at character development now, don’t you think? But while that’s happening, Decker and Boone find one another and begin their ultimate showdown on a rickety rope bridge, naturally. This might seem dramatic until you take even two seconds to remember that Boone is already dead, so by all means of logic this should be shortest fight on record. It’s not like Decker can kill him, which is proven at the end of the fight when Boone takes a machete through the chest without being so much as dropped to his knees. Seeing his opportunity to kill his opponent and share an awkward moment, Aaron grabs Decker and hugs him close, impaling Decker on the knife in his chest. Once the battle is over, Lori runs up and pulls the knife out for Boone, just as something calls his name. Lori asks him not to go, but Aaron says that he must as he’s responsible for all of this. He goes back down to the big fucking statue that he found earlier in the movie to find people waiting there. As he walks up to it, it comes alive and holds him, telling him that he’s destroyed their refuge, but that was inevitable. Boone must now build the monsters a new home to make up for the one he destroyed. The voice then says the Boone must find him, heal him, save him from his enemies before declaring that he’s no longer Boone, but is now called Cabal. Boone, Cabal, or Fuckwad – whichever you prefer to call him – is then dropped with the phrase echoing in his head, telling him to save the statue from his enemies. With that finished, the remaining monsters all leave as the place continues to explode and collapse. I understand the initial explosions, but what’s causing all these goddamn fires? Did they have a goddamn oil refinery under that cemetery? But finally, once the monsters have gotten a safe distance away, the whole thing goes up in one massive explosion.
The movie ends with all the surviving Nightbreed in a barn somewhere in the night. Before leaving for destinations unknown, Cabal asks Captain Hairline how he’ll find him again. The Captain assures him that Cabal will find him, and that he’ll need him. I’m not really sure what for, other than as a grim reminder to shampoo and condition his hair on a regular basis, but I’m beyond asking questions at this point. But before the final curtain drops, the movie takes us back to the burning rubble of Midian where we find the deformed priest talking to the body of Decker. He says that he saw the monster god and that it burned him. Now he wants to burn it back. The priest reaches in and puts some of that same boiling tapioca into Decker’s body which, after a breif moment, causes him to reanimate. And with his scream, the movie ends. WHAT?
Donkey: This movie is complete ass. I’ve had fever induced nightmares of being caught stealing a horde of pirate’s gold away from my high school gym teacher while he does push ups in a tub of coleslaw that make more goddamn sense than this movie. I’ve read different sites and message boards on the net, so I realize that there’s a large subsection of people out there that really like this film, but for the life of me, I can’t understand why. I have to assume that the book is much better than the movie, which I’ll grant is usually the case. But the movie misses the mark completely. I understand the whole “the monsters are actually good and it’s people that are really the douche bags” idea, but it’s just done so poorly here. If you’re going to try to make the monsters the sympathetic characters, then step one is to actually make them sympathetic. Not a single ‘monster’ in this movie does anything more heart warming than not killing someone, and if that’s the bar that you set for decency, then I’m goddamn Mother Theresa. No one shows this better than our good friend Captain Hairline. He’s a man so psychotic that he cuts off his own scalp at the beginning of the movie in an attempt to rip his entire face off, and once he’s established as a ‘good guy’, he instead does shit like dancing with a corpse to show that he’s not actually any different than we had thought. Yeah, he’s a regular Edward Scissorhands. Granted the humans in this movie are bigger fucksticks than the monsters, but that doesn’t exactly make anyone on either side endearing. It just means that a bunch of assholes that I don’t care about are killing each other. And as much as I could say that this movie might have been a good concept that was simply executed poorly, that wouldn’t be a problem if it just held to most basic quality of any movie and was actually entertaining. But goddamn it, this movie is boring. Watching it again just to write this review was goddamn painful. Not TMNT III painful, but painful nonetheless. Therefore I’ve got no choice but to give this movie half a scalpless wonder out of five complete wastes of my time.
What We Learned:
Donkey: If you think something is under your bed when you hear that bump in the night, fear not. Chances are that even though it’s likely some asshole who was willing to face the pain of cutting his own face off to gain access to a secret society of monsters, he’ll cry and run if there’s a hillbilly nearby.