THEN: There was a time where it seemed Craig Sheffer was primed for mega movie stardom. He made teenage girls sigh as the rebel boyfriend opposite Virginia Madsen in 1986 with FIRE WITH FIRE. In 1987, he caused a bit of trouble for Eric Stoltz in the hit John Hughes teen flick SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL. And after a brief stint on the animated television series “Teen Wolf” in 1986-1988 he continued to work nonstop. In one of his most respectable films, he starred opposite Brad Pitt in the lyrical fly-fishing family drama directed by Robert Redford, A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT.
However, horror fans became very aware of the actor thanks to Clive Barker’s under-appreciated cult classic NIGHTBREED. As Aaron Boone, Sheffer made for a likable anti-hero, one condemned to live with the monsters after he was viciously betrayed by his psycho psychotherapist (David Cronenberg). Sheffer was the perfect blend of machismo and vulnerability and even had a nice romantic chemistry with his co-star Anne Bobby. The actor made a nice transition from Boone to his Midian counterpart, Cabal. This is one of those rare moments where it would have been nice to see a theatrical sequel… alas all we have is the little seen “The Cabal Cut” which apparently improves the film. I’ve yet to see the revised film, have you? You can read more about it here.
The thing about Craig Sheffer is that he has become a very consistent, if not altogether well known actor. With a couple of health scares that have been mentioned on his IMDB page (which you can see here), he has worked quite a bit over the past few years sometimes dabbling in horror or action/adventure. However, NIGHTBREED was not his last foray into the world of Clive Barker, as he later appeared in the straight to video sequel HELLRAISER: INFERNO in 2000. He also took on terrorists in more direct-to-video fare with TURBULENCE 2: FEAR OF FLYING (1999) and TURBULENCE 3: HEAVY METAL (2001). If you are looking for a cool cheapie b-movie to watch on Netflix, you can certainly find something starring Mr. Sheffer.
Much like Sheffer as Cabal, you can’t keep a good man down. In the past few years, fans of the series “One Tree Hill” got to know Craig as a character named Keith Scott. I do not watch the show, but apparently his character died on the series and came back as a guardian angel kind of sort of thing for an episode. He worked on the series from 2003 up until 2007 and his ghost came back in 2012 to lead a loved one to the light. I may not be on board for “One Tree Hill” but I give them props for casting this talented fellow.
NOW: He may be far away from Midian, and even One Tree Hill, but thankfully he is still working. In 2012 he made another b-action flick called THE MARK. The film’s sequel, THE MARK: REDEMPTION has an expected release in 2013. Other than that, he had a small role in this year’s THE STAND UP GUYS and later on next year he has a much larger role in WARDS ISLAND which is currently in post-production. As big a fan as I am of Mr. Sheffer, I’m hoping that either Quentin Tarantino or Rob Zombie has the sense to give this guy a really great role… or how about that sequel to NIGHTBREED? But even if it is a late night of watching a cheesy action movie, it is always great to see this kick ass actor in action… even if you can see the boom mic in the shot before.
If I know AITH readers, some of you have been able to check out THE CABAL CUT of NIGHTBREED? Share your thoughts below?