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Nicholas Vince On NIGHTBREED, PARASITE Makes History And MORE!
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The Bite #96
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Nicholas Vince On NIGHTBREED, PARASITE Makes History And MORE!

February 12, 2020

In this Issue:


HORROR HISTORY: THE TRIBES OF THE MOON EMBRACE YOU

By Nicholas Vince*

In Nightbreed, Boone (Craig Sheffer) has fearful hallucinations that his psychiatrist, Decker (David Cronenberg), persuades him are evidence of his guilt in four recent family slayings. Horrified, Boone leaves Calgary and his girlfriend, Lori (Anne Bobby), to protect her from the monster he believes himself to be.

On his travels, he hears of a place called Midian where the monsters go and where all sins are forgiven. It’s home to the Nightbreed — outlandish, fantastical, and beautiful monsters who call themselves the Tribes of the Moon. In the wilds of Alberta, he finds it. But he’s been followed by the real serial killer, and the Breed are put at risk.

For me, the film is about the order of the world, and that monsters, the “other”, are destroyed by the fascist Naturals (humans). As Rachel (Catherine Chevalier) says, humans envy the Nightbreed who can fly and change into smoke or a wolf. And what humans envy, they destroy.

During filming, I was an out gay man and being gay wasn’t good. I’d been told by my agent to stay in the closet. The year before filming, Margaret Thatcher’s government had passed Clause 28, a law which stated that local authorities “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”.

At face value, there’s very little to inspire LGBTIQ+ people to feel accepted in Nightbreed, as the love of Boone and Lori is purely heterosexual.

A couple of years ago I spoke to someone who explained why Nightbreed was so important to them as a gay teenager. They said the film gave them hope because someone else understood what it felt like to be an outsider. It was different from other horror movies where the monster is pure evil and is trying to stalk and slash you, or where they’re simply a misunderstood victim. In Nightbreed, a community of monsters are the “good guys”.

Nightbreed gave them hope.

In my mind, Kinski is gay. When I read the script, I thought he had a crush on Peloquin. To me, Kinski’s a wannabe bad guy who hangs out with the more dangerous Peloquin because he’s just very sexy.

In a scene that didn’t make it into any version of the film, there’s a moment during the destruction of Midian when Lylesburg is urging the Nightbreed to stay below ground while Boone argues they should fight. There were dozens of us in makeup on the three-story set, standing on the rope bridges, listening. I stood next to a male actor put my arm around him protectively, thinking “this is Kinski’s real love. Surely, there are gay Nightbreed?”

The truth is, we all want to belong to a Tribe of the Moon; be that tribe family, friends, online, in dungeons, in clubs, or in the woods. We want and need to belong; to be accepted and celebrated for who we are.

When we’re told our love is unnatural and a sin, that we’ll burn, that we’ll never be happy or find love, and when laws are passed against us, the instinct is to hide, to conform, and to live in the shadows of half-truths and repressed desires fearfully hidden. We need a community of freaks to call our own.

As Peloquin says, “everything’s true: God’s an astronaut, Oz is over the rainbow”. Or perhaps that merry old land with such accepting citizens is closer; East of Peace River, near a town called Shereneck, north of Dwyer, in a place called Midian.

This piece has been abridged to fit the format of The Bite. Visit our blog for the full version.


*Nicholas Vince is an actor, author, playwright, and filmmaker known for playing Chatterer in Clive Barker’s Hellraiser and Kinski in Nightbreed. He recently wrote and performed his autobiographical play, I Am Monsters!, to great acclaim in London and Las Vegas, and is currently working on his third collection of short stories, Prayers of Desire.


IMAGE OF THE WEEK

Image Of The Week #96 - Francis Bacon Painting - The Bite

Deeply Ordered Chaos

If you’re a fan of Clive Barker’s art, you may want to explore the work of figurative painter Francis Bacon. This piece, Study After Velázquez’s Portrait Of Pope Innocent X from 1953, beautifully illustrates Bacon’s influence on Barker’s painting.


TINY BITES

PARASITE MAKES HISTORY, THE MONSTER MASH AND MORE

Bong Hive rejoice! Hearty congratulations are in order for Bong Joon Ho and the entire Parasite team for making history at the 92nd Academy Awards. Celebrate the 4-time Oscar winner (IN ONE NIGHT!) by checking out some of the maestro’s favorite films of all time, from classics like The Wages Of Fear to contemporary gem Midsommar.

And if you haven’t yet checked out Parasitehere’s your guide to the Oscar-winning thriller everyone’s been talking about.

Joe Hill spoke about Locke & KeyHill House Comics, his new horror imprint under DC, and the boom of horror comics.

Men’s Health Magazine gives a crash course in Tom Savini’s career by way of Locke And Key’s Kingsian “Savini Squad”.

Explore Mexican horror in this deeply personal essay from Kate Sánchez.

Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s iconic song “Monster Mash” is being made into a feature-length musical. Get excited by reliving this Horror Noire outtake.

The Chris Rock-produced Saw entry, Spiral: From The Book Of Sawgot its first trailer and franchise fans are stoked.

A Mount Royal University sociologist is setting his skepticism aside to gather information for a book about belief in ghosts.

These 20 iconic movie moments were completely ad-libbed, including gems from JAWSAliens, and The Shining.

Sam Raimi is reportedly in talks to direct the upcoming Doctor Strange And The Multiverse Of Madness, and The Hollywood Reporter is here to weigh in on what he can bring to the project.

Rotten Tomatoes sings the praises of these 10 horror films out of Sundance you should definitely keep on your radar.

The Campus Magazine shared two outstanding articles on queer representation in horror

… and horror literature throughout history.

Watch Art The Clown do mental math to figure out the death toll in Terrifier 2 in this interview from Astronomicon.

A young boy in the UK was granted his ultimate birthday wish … to be picked up from school by Jason Voorhees.

The Tribune’s Dear Diary Didi columnist can’t quite stomach horror movies, so they came up with an easy guide to help others sift through their ghostly tropes.

Outbreak thriller Contagion has seen a surge of popularity in recent weeks, and you can probably guess why.


THINGS WE LOVE

Things We Love #96 - Homicidal Homemaker Hellraiser Cinna-Bite Brownies - The Bite

Tear These Brownies Apart

There’s no better way to enjoy your Barker than with the Homicidal Homemaker’s Hellraiser “Cinna-Bite” Brownies. Dare we say they’re … Cinn-fully delicious?


HEY, THAT’S US! – SHUDDER IN THE NEWS

The Alamo Drafthouse Sundance 2020 Roundup (La LloronaScare Me)

Quite a “Scunny” Film: Aya Cash and Josh Ruben Talk Scare Me

Now Streaming: DOGS DON’T WEAR PANTS, Darkly Comic Grief

5 Great Horror Comedies Streaming on Shudder in February 2020

‘Scare Me’: Film Review