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Blinded by the Light
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Deathdream is a personal favorite: showing the effects of war on soldiers and tragedy ,the grief of a family. But the retelling of the Monkey's Paw fable is accentuated with gruesome results.Worth showing in theaters ,even for today's audience.
Now this is definitely the definition of a hidden horror gem. From Bob Clark, who directed on that same year the classic Black Christmas and the all-time Christmas classic A Christmas Story (1983), comes a surprisingly creepy and effective film. The ending is strange, and so little is explained in the story that it actually reinforces the effectiveness. The pic also has some interesting and provoking satire about the Vietnam war and soldiers affected by PTSD. Overall, Dead by Night is a pleasant low-budget horror treat, and a good one. It deserves more between three and three and a half stars, but anyways. Recommended!!
Take it with a grain of salt but this was quite good (for a classic). There was a character that was very unlikeable which kept me emotionally invested. The premise is a bit stupid but the acting was good so that helped.
The concept is a bit outlandish, but once you buy into, it's a pretty effective, creepy little chiller. It was also one of the first movies to delve into the after-effects of the Vietnam War. The vampirism was a nice touch too.
A soldier is killed in Vietnam, but his mom wishes him back, and he returns, but now he is weird and distant, and he is also murdering people and injecting their blood into him to keep himself from decaying. You know...that old chestnut! It is a mildly entertaining 70s horror film, it works in someways, feels dated and cheesy in others. Good premise though, just the execution feels a little cheap and dated.
Andy home from the war and it turns out he's a zombie! Another forgotten 70s horror classic!
Definitely a horror movie to see before you die if your into the genre. Hoping Blue Underground gives this Blu Ray treatment soon.
Glad to see this one finally get more exposure. Thanks Shudder.com
What's with this poster on Flixter!?
This is technically a "zombie" movie, but it's one that leans more on allegory than most I can think of. It's about a young soldier, played by Richard Backus, who at the very beginning gets shot and killed in Vietnam. And, appropriately, his family gets notice from the army that he died in combat. The father (John Marley) and his daughter (Anya Ormsby) give their response of immediate grief, but the mother, played by Lynn Carlin, is refusing it, it can't be so, no way no how, they're *lying*, in fact. That very same night, the son, Andy, returns home... but as WHAT, you may ask?
How did Andy come back to life? No answer, and there's no effort on the part of Bob Clark, the director (one of his very few entries in this genre), and Alan Ormsby the writer (I assume related to the actress playing the daughter by the way), to explain this even in the brief 'radioactivity/satellites/voodoo' or so on. It's meant, I think, to be a pure metaphor for the time: this was Vietnam, of course, when Americans, as well as many more Vietnamese, were being killed by the thousands, and if people did come back they often were never the same again. Andy coming back to the family as a symbolic zombie first - he talks to his 'so happy to see you!' parents and sister in a plain monotone, with Backus looking like you sucked any of the life out of a Montgomery Clift type of actor - and then as a 'real' one, as the horror comes from Andy having to kill people and take their blood (this latter part reminded me of Martin, the Romero film, but that's another story altogether so let's not go there).
I think that there's a good amount of, frankly, cheese to this picture. There's a scene where, to show that Andy is fully disconnected from humanity when some local boys come around and the dog is bothering him and them, he picks up the dog (this is after badly testing his 'strength' against one of the boys) and strangles it to death. And while the intention is for it to be a serious moment, it's purely laughable. What does work is that Marley and Carlin - of all things re-teamed as a married couple following the John Cassavetes masterpiece FACES - play it straight and play it all sincerely, and bring real drama out of it (up to a point, to varying degrees for both of them), and that Backus also fiully commits and is genuinely creepy and terrifying when he has to be.
In the last stretch, especially the last like 20 minutes, it gets progressively sillier, or just more demented or WTF or whatever, as Andy is literally melting away with maggots taking up his innards. It gets to the point where his character is set up on a double date with his sister and he has to put on sunglasses just so everyone else doesn't see how he's melting away, like a literal *walking dead* figure. The message is not exactly subtle, but aside from the grief of a parent over a child, which is made especially clear with Carlin's mother and she is delivering the real goods, yes, even when it goes more bats*** in the final stretch, it's also kind of, well, misoginystic (Marley, the dad, sort of just pushes aside his wife and daughter whenever he feels like it as an excuse of being angry about his son, to the point where he pushes one character off the screen!)
Clark and the writer have something noble to say about how families dealing (or decidedly *not* dealing) with grief over their fallen family members, especially with a war as tumultuous and wrong as Vietnam was, and some of it shows. At the same time it's also an excuse to see Richard Backus act extremely creepy and detached for 90 minutes, and while he's certainly not bad at it, he makes it today seem mostly kind of silly. I'm not sure if the filmmakers intended that, but it does make for a highly entertaining sit, especially with a packed audience.
a horrific yet tragically-told story about a zombie coming home to his family
everyone has trouble letting go and when this soldier comes back from the Vietnam War all seems well as his family is joyous to see him but the results are less than pleasant
poor Andy has become a member of the undead and he has an uncontrollable urge to kill
the father sees something is very wrong but his wife is very reluctant
I like how somber the music is and the grisly makeup effects
a small underappreciated horror film that shouldn't be glossed over
Totally underrated. A simple but brilliant idea is absolutely exploited and turned into a shocking horror allegory regarding the family and society decay. Bob Clark is an amazing horror director (The exceptional Black Christmas is another unsettling film in his filmography) and it's a pity that he didn't deal more with the genre. 9/10