14 user 16 critic

Deadline (1980)

R | | Drama, Horror, Thriller | 1984 (USA)
A popular horror writer whose family life is falling apart struggles to write his next horror movie.


Mario Azzopardi


Mario Azzopardi (screenplay), Mario Azzopardi (story) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Stephen Young ... Steven Lessey
Sharon Masters ... Elizabeth Lessey
Marvin Goldhar Marvin Goldhar ... Burt Horowitz
Jeannie Elias Jeannie Elias ... Darlene Winters
Cindy Hinds ... Sharon Lessey
Phillip Leonard Phillip Leonard ... Philip Lessey
Tod Woodcroft Tod Woodcroft ... David Lessey
Bev Marsh Bev Marsh ... Martha Lessey
Carole Pope ... Self (as Rough Trade)
Kevan Staples Kevan Staples ... Punk Rock Band Member
Rough Trade ... Punk Rock Band Member
Mary Risk Mary Risk ... Professor
Ken Camroux-Taylor ... Moderator (as Ken Camroux)
Philip Akin Philip Akin ... Student #1
Bill Yak ... Student #2 (as Bill Yack)


A screenwriter begins to lose the ability to distinguish between his fantasies and reality, with disastrous results. As he thinks about what this could mean, he begins to lose his grip on reality, his wife and his children begin to worry if he's become insane. Written by Ørnås

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


His obsession was to create the ultimate horror story... his curse was to live it. See more »


Drama | Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The original title for this film was "Anatomy of a Horror." See more »


References All About Eve (1950) See more »


Roll Me Away
Performed by Dwayne Ford
See more »

User Reviews

Self-Commenting Horror Film Could Use More Resolute Finale
4 September 2001 | by tutbagsusaSee all my reviews

Horror movies that reference their own genre have been more prevalent lately, but it seems they come attached with a certain degree of mordant comedy, signifying that the directors probably aren't completely convinced of their own convictions. But that's not really a problem with this film. DEADLINE is a horror picture that begins like any typical slasher film would, but later becomes more laid back in an effort to reflect on itself from an idealistic point of view. The film chiefly appears to be another examination of the effects of graphic violence in cinema on its viewers, particularly child viewers. The narrative framework for all this is built upon the story of a horror movie screenwriter whose life begins to disintegrate when he begins writing for more violent and more lowbrow productions than he'd prefer. As to be expected, it eventually leads to a collapse of his sanity.

I liked the film for its first two-thirds because director Azzapardi was trying to do something different and even attempting a resonant observation or two along the way. But like so many of these self-referential type films, it paints itself into a corner in the end to where it doesn't really have an ending. It rather just trails off in the final minutes, not knowing how to tie its various story threads. Nonetheless, its worth a look since much of it does hold some promise, at least before the third act.

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Release Date:

1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Deadline See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Box Office


CAD850,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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