A cop chases two hippies suspected of a series of Manson family-like murders; unbeknownst to him, the real culprits are the living dead, brought to life with a thirst for human flesh by chemical pesticides being used by area farmers.
Based on the Ed Gein case, a deranged rural farmer becomes a grave robber and murderer after the death of his possessive mother, whose corpse he keeps (among others) as his companion in a decaying farmhouse.
A young Soldier is killed in the line of duty in Vietnam. That same night, the soldier returns home, brought back by his Mother's wishes that he "Don't Die"! Upon his Return, Andy sits in his room, refusing to see his friends or family, venturing out only at night. The Vampiric horror is secondary to the terror that comes from the disintegration of a typical American family. Written by
R. L. Strong <email@example.com>
I attended the world premier of "Dead of Night" which was held in 1974 at the Britton Theatre in Tampa. John Marley was in attendance and spoke for several minutes preceeding the showing about the making of the film and how happy he was with how it turned out. After the showing he stood at the rear of the auditorium as the audience filed past. Several people stopped to complement him saying they had really enjoyed the film and it was really scary. But the best compliment he received came from two teenage girls who proclaimed much to his delight that it was "scarier than The Excorcist!"
The film was shot in and around the small community of Brooksville just north of Tampa. The drive-in theatre that was utilized for several scenes was the U.S. 41 Drive-In in Brooksville which is now long gone. John Marley was a great character actor. You'll probably remember him as the studio head who awakens to find the bloodied head of his prized horse in bed with him in "The Godfather." He also played Ali McGraw's father in "Love Story" in addition to many other film roles.
"Dead of Night" is one heck of a sleeper that slowly creeps up on you, and its small town look and feel make it all the more frightening. Despite the limited budget Bob Clark has managed to create a quiet little film that builds mounting dread. I've looked for many years for a copy but figured it had slipped into obscurity forever. I just found out its finally on DVD. I highly recommended this one!
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