6.8/10
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77 user 67 critic

Dead of Night (1974)

PG | | Horror | 29 August 1974 (USA)
A young man killed in Vietnam inexplicably returns home as a zombie.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Charles Brooks
Lynn Carlin ...
Christine Brooks
Richard Backus ...
'Andy' / Andy Brooks
Henderson Forsythe ...
Doc Allman
Anya Ormsby ...
Cathy Brooks
...
Joanne
Michael Mazes ...
Bob
Arthur Anderson ...
Postman
Arthur Bradley ...
Army Captain
David Gawlikowski ...
Truck Driver
Virginia Cortez ...
Rosalie
Bud Hoey ...
Ed
Robert R. Cannon ...
Drunk (as Robert Cannon)
Raymond Michel ...
Policeman in Diner
Jeff Becker ...
Young Boy
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Storyline

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 <rs080455@pacbell.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It wrings the victims out and then hangs them out to die See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

29 August 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Deathdream  »

Box Office

Budget:

$235,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (video)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 'decaying' makeup for Richard Backus took six hours to apply. See more »

Goofs

The sign over the cemetery gate is misspelled as "Brooksville Cemetary." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Camptown Races
(uncredited)
By Stephen Foster
Whistled by Arthur Anderson
See more »

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User Reviews

Superb horror
14 January 2004 | by (Mountains of Madness) – See all my reviews

This is a horror film that expands the boundaries of the genre.

Put simply, it is a film about a dead man walking, but this dead man "died" in Vietnam before he returned home and his unexpected arrival opens many wounds within his family and amongst old flames and acquaintances.

Director Bob Clark is not satisfied depicting returned vet "Andy" as a zombie. Although he does crave human flesh and speaks infrequently, part of the film's charm is the reaction of people to the dead man's less-than-chipper mood.

Shots of Andy rocking like an autistic child are priceless, as is a "conversation" Andy has with the mailman who laments the returned boys "we should have lost". The family pet is not exactly Andy's best friend anymore, either.

John Marley as Charles Brooks, Andy's dad, is really great here. Although he tries hard to accept the new Andy, we really experience his gradual realization and disappointment that Andy is not the same Andy anymore.

Jim Backus is brilliant as the undead vet. He uses his voice to convey Andy's apparent indifference to life back home and adopts a strange, somnambulistic gait.

Technically adequate for a low budgeter, the film's richness of character and situation never shifts our attention to any production deficits.

One of the best horror films ever.

Truly creepy and, ultimately, very sad.




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