Watch: Dead of Night 1974 123movies, Full Movie Online – 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..
Plot: A young soldier who was thought to be killed in the line of duty in Vietnam returns home shortly thereafter, much to the confusion of his family. Upon his return, he exhibits strange, withdrawn behavior and begins wandering the streets at night.
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|6.6/10 Votes: 5,396
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|N/A Votes: 95 Popularity: 6.524 | TMDB
For the soldier they always dream of coming home, for the family and friends of that soldier they always dream of the return; but the sad reality is no matter how far away home and war are from each other, time is what makes them close for war changes everything in just a heartbeat.
This is another under the radar gem that is another horror film made by one of my favorite horror directors Bob Clark; and believe it or not this is one of my favorite films in the zombie horror subgenre in my book anyway.
It’s one of those rare films in that subgenre but that what makes it all the better because it shows you can still do more with it and not repeat tired formulas. This to me one of the saddest horror films I’ve seen which is rare in the horror genre; but I like that as it shows that the genre can do a lot more other than shock and scare but can actually make you feel.
I really like the story which was inspired by the short story “The Monkey’s Paw” which has became a story that has universally inspired many horror films and stories most notably Steven King’s “Pet Cemetery”.
I like the production value as we see the Neighborhood and town in the movie which pretty much looks like any of the place that some of us might have lived and grew up in; for me it’s places in WA like Yakima, Kent, and Auburn. This really helps in the relatability factor and just makes the emotion all the harder hitting showing how close tragedy can truly hit.
The make up effects are top notch as they are done by my favorite make up effects man Tom Savini. I really like the look of Andy as we see him just slowly but surely look more inhuman from pale and dry skinned down to just a plain decaying zombie. There is a good amount of suspense from just the use of the darkness, not just in showing that danger is near but sort of makes the everyday settings unsettling and unwelcoming as if some force of evil has corrupted everything that is good and familiar.
The music I really like as it’s atmospheric and spooky, it really gives you a feeling that as pleasant as everything looks something feels wrong. But also, just the sense of dread as if a stranger has just entered the neighborhood or even an intruder has came uninvited to your house.
But also gives this film sort of this nightmarish tone like things are real but unreal at the same time. Which makes sense hence the title “Deathdream” as what is happening might not be really happening but really a nightmare from someone, could be the mother or simply from anyone else going through wartime trauma.
What I like about the film is how it’s not afraid to deal with issues of war without being preachy or heavy handed but actually with suttle and heart as the film tells an actual story. And it really was a daring subject matter at the time as the film came out in the closing years of the Vietnam War, though the issues are still relevant today as soldiers along with family and friends deal with the same issues with some of the other wars we’ve unfortunately had afterward.
The film is allegorical on Post Traumatic Stress, how much the experiences and tramas of war can truly change a person but also how the loss and even return can truly affect and change the lives of everyone. But also, on just the concept of loss itself from a person’s live, innocence but also just the past itself and how lost a person returning home can be in the ongoing present.
We also get a little depth on the family and the emotional turmoil their going though. You just have a sense of both dread but also pathos from beginning to end as we see things the emotional weight just gets heavier.
From the mom whom is obviously a little on the overprotective side, misses her son like crazy and as we see is just grasping onto any small pieces of hope that exist which are all unfortunately like the candle, she hold are slowly but surely burning out. There is also some resenting anger toward her husband as he was the one that might have talked Andy into going into the war as it meant risking the loss of her son.
We see a little on the Dad whom you get the feeling might have been too hard on Andy as he has always lived by a certain macho masculinity mentality which got him to talk his son into going into the war because he figured it will make a man out of him. But from seeing how Andy is not the same, he slowly disbelieves in that mentality realizing it was all a lie which it is because in war all that is meaningless.
There is a scene where we see the dad, he is looking through a photo album and we seem some photos of him and Andy. It’s really sad as we see all of the good times in the past with his son which are now gone and worst of all isn’t going to be able to make new memories with his son.
There is also once scene when the dad confronts Andy and tells him to face him which of course is what a man is supposed to do from the Dad’s masculinity mentality. Andy then faces him with his cold and ugly zombie face sort of Andy’s way of saying “this is the son you always wanted well here I am.” That scene to me sort of shows why parents must never make expectations their first love for they are nor real nor know love; but also, expectation and reality don’t always go well together.
But I also want to point out one favorite shot of mine in the film that is sort of iconic is when we see the Dad with his gun along with his family walk in a section of the house and you see the shadow of a stairwell reflected in the light on the ceiling. It’s a very interesting cinematography shot and even setting sort of looks German Expressionist style which I feel reflect the mental state of all the family members just as their lost in their emotional turmoil they are lost in their own home, everything that is familiar and comfortable is suddenly strange and disorienting.
But of course, the film is also driven by Andy himself, I really like how creepy he really is as throughout most of the film he just has this vacant stare. You really do have the feel that he’s a zombie as you see his body, but his soul isn’t visible. In a way this is obviously metaphor for people with PTS who have came back completely changed and his craving for blood how some go into drug use and addiction as an easy solution to lift the psychological trama that has became a great weight, but as we see it never the answer because that weight always comes back down harder.
We see just as Andy’s skin decays so does the life he left behind and came back to, like attacking his girlfriend for her blood along with some of his friends, this really adds to the emotional weight. In a way it shows another of the awful things War does, it steals away not just their life from their past but also their time to build a future.
There are moments though when we do see some of the human side of Andy surface in places. From a moment when he is looking at his house in his vacant stare it’s a little different as there is sadness there, like he’s looking at home but he’s not sure there is a home for him to go back to anymore.
And even a scene when he is walking past memorial gravestones, it’s a slow and sad walk like deep down he knows he doesn’t belong in our realm but with the rest of his friends taken before their time.
It all comes down to an ending which is haunting and really put a tear or two in my eye as it’s the final driven nail of true loss.
In times of war, war is never truly far away and from anyone coming back never far behind.
Rating: 4 stars.
Original Language en
Runtime 1 hr 28 min (88 min), 1 hr 38 min (98 min) (video) (Belgium)
Genre Drama, Horror, Thriller
Director Bob Clark
Writer Alan Ormsby
Actors John Marley, Lynn Carlin, Richard Backus
Country United Kingdom, Canada
Awards 1 nomination
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix Mono
Aspect Ratio 1.85 : 1
Camera Panavision R 200
Laboratory Technicolor, Hollywood (CA), USA
Film Length N/A
Negative Format 35 mm
Cinematographic Process Spherical
Printed Film Format 35 mm