Dead of Night (1974) US 1 Sheet Poster
Bob Clark’s follow up to his breakout success with Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things (1972). From this, Clark had an incredible run of Black Christmas (1974), Murder by Decree (1979), two Porky’s (1981/83) A Christmas Story (1983) and Turk 182 (1985) with only the misstep the awkward Stallone / Dolly Parton comedy Rhinestone (1984). Dead of Night was a Vietnam era take on W.W. Jacob’s The Monkey’s Paw, where a distraught mother’s wishes for her KIA son to come back to her, results in him suddenly arriving on the doorstep. He shuns friends and family, only goes out at night, and strange incidents pile up around him, with his mother in a constant state of denial.
Shot back to back with Children, it was Tom Savini’s first feature makeup assignment, and Richard Backus’s 1000-yard stare become even more menacing and zombie-like the more he deteriorates. Essentially a horror / allegory / family drama, it succeeds in all areas, due to a script from frequent collaborator Alan Ormsby, and Clark’s brooding, claustrophobic atmosphere.
Aka: Deathdream, The Night Andy Came Home, Le mort-vivant, Soif du sang
Condition: VERY FINE
Cast: Richard Backus, John Marley – The Godfather (1972), The Car (1977), It Lives Again (1978), Lynn Carlin – Battle Beyond the Stars (1980), The Witch (1982), Anya Ormsby, Jane Daly, Henderson Forsythe