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This anthology tells three stories: a man buys a car that takes him back and forth through time; a tale of vampires; and a distraught mother asks for her drowned son to come back to life and gets more than she bargained for. Written by
You lied, "Mommy!" Bobby didn't drown by accident. You knew that. Bobby drowned himself to get away from you. You see, Bobby didn't want to come back, "Mommy." No... Bobby hates you, "Mommy!" So he sent ME instead!
["Bobby" turns into a monster and she screams]
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Summary taken from IMDb.Com: This anthology tells three stories: a man (Ed Begley, Jr.) buys a car that takes him back and forth through time; a tale of vampires; and a distraught mother asks for her drowned son to come back to life and gets more than she bargained for.
This film comes to us from director Dan Curtis and writer Richard Matheson. If you're not familiar with Matheson's name, you are missing out. His work with Roger Corman adapting Poe stories is legendary, he's the genius behind the various "I Am Legend" adaptations (and the original story) as well as other work (notably "Stir of Echoes"). Curtis is also a veteran horror director and his work ("Trilogy of Terror") is now classic in its own right.
This collection starts off slow, with a time-traveling car. The story itself has no horror elements to speak of, but is interesting just the same. Those who like science fiction or time travel tales will be in love, though I don't suggest thinking too hard or you might find some serious plot holes.
The second tale is weak, and offers little more than a buffer. While it certainly fits into the horror genre (it is about vampires, after all), there's not much of a story to tell. Perhaps if it had been expanded to feature length, but as is the story just doesn't seem to go anywhere and we don't get to know any of the characters well enough to care about them. If you're short on time, skip this middle section.
The third and final section also happens to be the best without a doubt. Called "Bobby", it is a variation on the old "Monkey's Paw" story where a mother wishes her son back from the dead (not unlike Bob Clark's "Dead of Night", coincidentally), with not so amazing results. The difference here is that instead of wishes or prayers, the mother turns to black magic. I can't say I was scared by this story, though I rarely am. I can say, however, that this might terrify other people. The mother's performance was respectable, and the boy's was downright chilling. If you watch only one section, watch this one. It will burn into your memory.
Dark Sky Films is fast becoming my favorite film distributor, bringing back old classics or films that time forgot. They're bringing back some impressive editions, and "Dead of Night" is no exception. The DVD includes another almost feature-length story on it worth seeing, and plenty of bonus features that have never been seen before by audiences. With horror being somewhat disappointing lately, it's great to see a company devoted to make the best years even better upon their return.
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