Adapted and directed by horror / fantasy author Clive Barker from his novel ‘Cabal’, this underrated gem is great fun. Incorporating pre-CGI monsters, cool make-up effects and even a whacky psychiatrist played by director David Cronenberg (who directed everything from ‘Naked Lunch’; ‘History of Violence’; ‘Rabid’; ‘Videodrome’; ‘Eastern Promises’ and ‘The Fly.’) It's not frightening (nothing like Barker's ‘Hellraiser’) but it is wonderous to behold – sort of like a pre-CGI ‘Hellboy.’ If you're a fan of fantasy / horrors with a heart, like ‘Hellboy’, then this dark adult fairy tale is a delight. True ‘cult’ movie making at its best. Adz
Visionary horror director David Cronenberg steps in front of the camera to play Sheffer's unscrupulous psychiatrist, an eerie, unsettling character whose dark side is hidden under a soft-spoken manner and an eerily calm and controlled voice.
Barker has a rather unsubtle approach to this fantastical Holocaust metaphor: every human is a victim, a hick, or a bloodthirsty monster, and the climactic witch-hunt is all gore and spectacle. By contrast the bestial society of outcasts has a kind of natural, innocent savagery that turns protective when the tribe is threatened. Cool-looking beings of bright colors, latex masks, and outrageous bodysuits, they band together like some extreme mutant superhero team with anger-management issues. Barker could use more attention to details (what happened to the so-called mystic properties of his shape-shifting monster heroes when the guns were drawn?), but there's an undeniable charge to his modern take on myth and magic.
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