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From the Dead of Night (1989)

Not Rated | | Thriller | TV Movie 27 February 1989
After having a near death experience Joanna finds her life in constant danger. She begins to believe that certain forces are trying to bring her back into the world of the dead. Her ... See full summary »

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(novel), (teleplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Joanna
...
Peter Langford
...
Glen Eastman
...
Doctor Walter Hovde
...
Rick
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Dr. Ann Morgan
Dani Minnick
...
Elena
...
Maggie
Jeanne Bates ...
Nurse
John H. Evans ...
Patrolman (as John Henry Evans)
...
Kevin
...
Dr. Breedlove
Sheldon Feldner ...
Gus
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Storyline

After having a near death experience Joanna finds her life in constant danger. She begins to believe that certain forces are trying to bring her back into the world of the dead. Her boyfriend Glen thinks she's crazy so Joanna turns to her ex-boyfriend, Peter. It just so happens that Peter is a strong believer in the supernatural and even teaches a course on it at a local college. Together they must confront the "walkers" so that Joanna can live to see another day. Written by Anonymous

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Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

27 February 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El enviado de la muerte  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
near-death experience brings more of same; boring and cheap
24 February 2005 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

A fashion designer trips over a cat and falls into a pool, hitting her head on something floating on the surface. With rather cheesy effects (this was a TV movie) she floats up out of her body. She floats through a tunnel of rings of swirling orange smoke, and black rigid figures tip into her view (they look like the mannequins in her apartment). I almost thought I was watching a Jess Franco movie.... As her friends revive her, a black arm grabs her by the wrist, and she has to struggle to get loose. When she is revived, she remembers everything, and has a nasty bruise on her forearm.

Shortly thereafter, she nearly gets hit by an out-of-control car that comes up on the sidewalk behind her. On Halloween, she decides with her boyfriend to go to Mexico for a vacation. When she gets there, she's surprised to find it's the Day of the Dead. They're annoyed by another American tourist who keeps following them, and he almost drowns them.

The designer is encouraged to join a group of people who've had near death experiences. They've all experienced the tunnel, but not the black figures or the repeated near escapes from death. One of them has, and he's very anxious. She's also encouraged to meet with a psychic.

A Doctor tells her about people he calls "Walkers" (the name of the novel this was based on). They're people who supposedly died of one cause that, when examined, prove to have died of another cause. Thus it's like they continued walking around after dying until they died again, but he blames it on poor record-keeping.

I watched this on the 102 minute video, and it felt awfully long. I can't imagine that there's actually a 192 minute version! Perhaps if it was meant to be watched over two or more nights on TV it would better be watched that way than in one sitting.

I've only read one Gary Brandner novel, Floater, and if it is representative of his work, he's not the most original of writers. Floater had the common plot of: picked on kid kills people in revenge. Even the variation was pretty common: picked on kid dies and kills people years later in revenge from beyond the grave. And in fact it has a point in common with this movie, in that the kid practices astral projection, and when he is drowned he floats up out of his body as here. I don't know how closely From the Dead of Night follows his novel Walkers. I understand the Howling movies don't bear much resemblance to his novels.

It's quite a slow movie, and the special effects and cinematography are really held down by the (presumably) low budget and made-for-TV shortcomings. There are a lot of easily recognizable character actors in it. It also feels very dated, more early to mid 1980s than 1989. I found it to be boring. A much better low-budget movie covering similar subject matter that I don't think has dated as badly is Sole Survivor (1983) (arguably the inspiration for the 2000s Final Destination movies). It blows From the Dead of Night away.


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