The Plague, Trying to be RebornMeh
Clive Barkers The Plague was one of the most painfull movies I have ever watched. I wanted to love it, I really did, but unfortunately putting Clive Barkers name on it did not salvage the fact that the film was disturbingly bad. The story concept was a good one and the acting was reasonable and even the story and filmmaking in parts was very well done. The problem was it felt slapped together. Scenes that collided and did not match up correctly and an ending that came out of no where and made me feel robbed. I finished the movie wondering how on earth Clive Barker put together such a poor film.
Now with that all said despite my negative views on the film the FilmMakers still reached out to me to share their input. It would appear based on an email from the Director that the film we saw,is not the film they intended for us to see.
According to the director, in the fall of 2005, the film was taken away from its writers and director during post production. After an 8 year struggle to get the film made, the footage was re-cut from scratch by the producers without the involvement of the film's creators. Stock footage was added, new dialogue recorded, and the film completely restructured. It was released to dvd in September of 2006 at a running time of 88 minutes under the title CLIVE BARKER'S THE PLAGUE, though it was not based on any of Barker's work (it was an original screenplay by director Hal Masonberg and co-writer Teal Minton) and Barker, personally, had very little to do with the making of the film, according to director Hal Masonberg.
The version of the film that was released, and that I reviewed according to Hal Masonberg in no way reflects the years of hard work, creativity, or artistic intent of the writers and director of the film. It is solely and completely a "producers' cut".
However, after having been removed from the film, director Hal Masonberg took it upon himself to finish the film with the materials available to him (the film's dailies on dvd and a Macintosh computer-turned post-production facility) The film was originally shot in Super 35 by veteran cinematographer, Bill Butler (JAWS, THE CONVERSATION, FRAILTY), who was also not invited to partake in the film's post-production process.
The response to the Writers & Director's Cut according to Hal by those who have seen it has been through the roof. However, without further support, this film may never see the light of day as the film's current distributor, Screen Gems, has no plans to release this cut. This is where you the readers come into play.
He ask's that you take a look at this site. On it you will find an hour-long documentary containing interviews with not only director, Hal Masonberg, but many others including Dee Wallace and other cast members, film authors/ journalists.
There is also a link to a petition and much more info on what happened to this film. He is as a fan of our site calling you horror fans to arms to bring his film to life the way it was intended to be seen. Go checkout the directors site ( http://www.spreadingtheplague.com/ ) and see what all the talk is about. I will wait to see the directors cut of the film and will give it a fair shake and let you know whether its any better once its avilable.