Scream Factory turned a lot of heads in the hor­ror home video scene ear­lier this year when they unleashed their two spe­cial edi­tions for Clive Barker’s Nightbreed, includ­ing a full director’s cut recon­struc­tion of the film. As it turns, they still had a Barker-ian ace up their sleeve to play and just played it by releas­ing a 2 blu-ray set of the author’s final direc­to­ri­al work to date, Lord Of Illusions. The results are like­ly to be con­sid­ered a nice com­pan­ion piece to the Nightbreed sets by Barker’s fans.

LordOI-bluThings begin with two ver­sions of the film, each on its own disc: the the­atri­cal cut and the director’s cut ini­tial­ly issued on DVD back in the ‘90s. The source used for both trans­fers has a cer­tain amount of age-relat­ed debris but the over­all image qual­i­ty ben­e­fits from the hi-def bump, giv­ing a rich­ness to the earthy col­or scheme and enhanc­ing the detail of the often soft­ly-lit cin­e­matog­ra­phy. Both 5.1 and 2.0 loss­less stereo options are pro­vid­ed for audio. The 5.1 is rec­om­mend­ed as it adds a lit­tle mul­ti-speak­er oom­ph to the set­pieces and gives a nice pres­ence to Simon Boswell’s oft-intense musi­cal score.

Scream Factory has also includ­ed a pack­age of extras old and new, most of which appear on the unrat­ed disc. First up is a solo com­men­tary track by Barker, which was cre­at­ed for the film’s laserdisc incar­na­tion. This track takes a method­i­cal scene-by-scene approach that gets a lit­tle dry at times but deliv­ers plen­ti­ful infor­ma­tion on the director’s mind­set regard­ing his work. Barker focus­es on why sce­nes were cut for the the­atri­cal ver­sion, what effects the MPAA forced him to short­en and talks frankly about deal­ing with the stu­dio.

LordOI-03There is also “A Gathering Of Magic,” a vin­tage 18-min­ute mak­ing-of piece that includes inter­view input from Barker as well as pro­duc­er Joanne Sellar and cast mem­bers Scott Bakula, Famke Janssen and Daniel Von Bargen. It’s a solid fea­turet­te with an EPK kind of style. It weaves in some inter­est­ing behind-the-sce­nes snip­pets, includ­ing a look at the shoot­ing of the film’s the­atri­cal mag­ic show sequence, and plen­ty of sound­bits from the film­mak­ers and cast: Barker gush­es about Bakula, Janssen dis­cuss­es the dif­fi­cul­ty of react­ing to effects that will be done in post-pro­duc­tion and Von Bargen admits that he had to be talked into play­ing his vil­lain­ous role.

LordOI-04A nice sur­prise in a behind-the-sce­nes footage fea­turet­te that runs a whop­ping 61 min­utes. This isn’t just raw footage: pro­duc­er Greg Carson has art­ful­ly edit­ed togeth­er vin­tage inter­view clips with the behind-the-sce­nes footage and clips from the film, often using dou­ble screen to com­pare two dif­fer­ent angles of BTS footage or to com­pare the shoot­ing of a scene with the fin­ished scene. This piece also allows for more cast and crew to speak their piece, like Howard Berger demon­strat­ing how the cultist make­up was done and actor/consultant Lorin Stewart talk­ing about the phi­los­o­phy of the magi­cian. It’s a treat for fans of the film and like­ly to be their favorite of the extras.

Just over three min­utes of delet­ed sce­nes fol­low, pre­sent­ed sans sound­track and with Barker com­men­tary over them. Most of the­se are snips removed from exist­ing sce­nes in the film but fans will be inter­est­ed by the extra bits of cultist weird­ness that didn’t make it into the film’s pro­logue. Another new fea­ture is an inter­view with Martin Mercer, who did the sto­ry­boards for the film. He reveals that he worked close­ly with Barker, liv­ing at his house and even vis­it­ing LordOI-05loca­tions with him to get the imagery right for his work. As you might expect, he speaks very kind­ly of his old boss. There are also sto­ry­board-to-film com­par­isons for a few sce­nes in this piece.

The final extra on the unrat­ed disc is an ani­mat­ed pho­to gallery. It runs just under six­teen min­utes and offers a wealth of pub­lic­i­ty pho­tos and stills plus a few poster designs. The one extra on the the­atri­cal cut disc is a trail­er: it’s a red-band spot that plays up the film’s freaky style and spe­cial effects.

All in all, this is a nice­ly assem­bled pack­age for Barker’s fans — and those who like his films will want to add it to their home video col­lec­tion.