Dead of Night (1974)

PG | 89 mins | Horror | 18 September 1974

Director:

Bob Clark

Writer:

Alan Ormsby

Cinematographer:

Jack McGowan

Editor:

Ron Sinclair

Production Designer:

Forest Carpenter

Production Companies:

Quadrant Films, Impact Films
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HISTORY

       A 22 May 1974 Var article noted that Impact Films was based in London, UK, and that Quadrant Films was based in Toronto, CN.
       Actress Anya Ormsby, who played the role of Cathy Brooks, was married to writer Alan Ormsby at the time of the production, according to director Bob Clark in his DVD commentary for the film.
       The film carries a notice: © Copyright The Night Walk Limited and Company 1972
       An undated 1974 DV trade ad placed by Europix International Ltd. stated that the film grossed $65 thousand dollars in the first four weeks of its Tampa, FL, premiere engagement. The ad also noted a "Special Policy During Showings" of the film stipulating that no one would be admitted after the picture began. The 18 Nov 1974 Box review noted specifically that no one would be admitted after the first five minutes, which corresponds to the pre-title Viet Nam battle sequence of the film.
       Eric Distributing Co., 10830 North Central Expressway, Dallas, TX handled the film for the Louisiana territory according to an 8 Jul 1974 Box article.
       The film was released under the title Deathdream by Entertainment International Pictures, 1019 N Cole Ave # 1019, Hollywood, Ca 90038, in 1976.
       An article by Zorianna Kit in the 1 Aug 2003 HR noted that Oliver Hudson and John Stalberg of Woodshed Entertainment, a division of Cosmic Entertainment, had optioned remake rights to the film. Nothing seems to have come of this anticipated remake, however.
       Although film ads and posters from 1974 and 1976 carry notice of a PG rating for the film, ... More Less

       A 22 May 1974 Var article noted that Impact Films was based in London, UK, and that Quadrant Films was based in Toronto, CN.
       Actress Anya Ormsby, who played the role of Cathy Brooks, was married to writer Alan Ormsby at the time of the production, according to director Bob Clark in his DVD commentary for the film.
       The film carries a notice: © Copyright The Night Walk Limited and Company 1972
       An undated 1974 DV trade ad placed by Europix International Ltd. stated that the film grossed $65 thousand dollars in the first four weeks of its Tampa, FL, premiere engagement. The ad also noted a "Special Policy During Showings" of the film stipulating that no one would be admitted after the picture began. The 18 Nov 1974 Box review noted specifically that no one would be admitted after the first five minutes, which corresponds to the pre-title Viet Nam battle sequence of the film.
       Eric Distributing Co., 10830 North Central Expressway, Dallas, TX handled the film for the Louisiana territory according to an 8 Jul 1974 Box article.
       The film was released under the title Deathdream by Entertainment International Pictures, 1019 N Cole Ave # 1019, Hollywood, Ca 90038, in 1976.
       An article by Zorianna Kit in the 1 Aug 2003 HR noted that Oliver Hudson and John Stalberg of Woodshed Entertainment, a division of Cosmic Entertainment, had optioned remake rights to the film. Nothing seems to have come of this anticipated remake, however.
       Although film ads and posters from 1974 and 1976 carry notice of a PG rating for the film, the 2010 Blue Underground, Inc. DVD release (under the title Deathdream ) carries an R rating. No reason for this discrepancy is cited.
       Critical reaction to the film through the years has been generally positive, with LAT writer Kevin Thomas calling it "a primitive yet potent and compelling thriller" in a 12 Feb 2004 revival screening review.
      The end credit crawl carries the following: "Acknowledgments To: The City of Brooksville [FL]; Jordan Marsh for John Marley's wardrobe; Dolphin Truck Rentals; Thrifty Rent-A-Car; Color print by Technicolor®; Electronic Music Corporation of Amherst, Massachusetts."
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
8 Jul 1974.
---
Box Office
18 Nov 1974
p. 4735.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Aug 2003
p. 3, 6.
Los Angeles Times
12 Feb 2004.
---
Variety
22 May 1974.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Quadrant Film
a Bob Clark film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Prod mgr
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Operator
Asst cam
2d unit op
2d unit asst cam
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Props
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
SOUND
Asst sd
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod asst
Casting
"Butch" owned & trained by
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Night Andy Came Home
Deathdream
Nightwalk
The Night Walk
The Veteran
Whispers
Release Date:
18 September 1974
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Tampa, FL: Britton Plaza Theatre, 29 August 1974
Production Date:
1972 in Florida
Copyright Claimant:
Night Walk Limited and Company
Copyright Date:
22 July 1996
Copyright Number:
PA818156
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
gauge
35mm
Widescreen/ratio
1.85:1
Prints
Color print by Technicolor®
Duration(in mins):
89
Length(in feet):
7,978
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
Canada, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

American soldier Andy Brooks is killed in action during the Viet Nam war. When the Army notifies the family, Christine Brooks, Andy’s mother, does not believe that her son is dead. That night, Andy’s father, Charles Brooks, wakes up to discover his wife is in another room, speaking to a candle flame, saying: “I know you’re alive, I can feel it. They lied. You’ll come back.” On the road at night, a truck driver stops to pick up a hitchhiking soldier. Later, stopping at a roadside café, the hitchhiker stays in the truck while the driver goes inside to order a couple of cups of coffee to go. The driver also mentions to the waitress that his strange passenger hasn’t said a word since he got into the cab. In her bedroom at the Brooks house, Cathy Brooks, Andy’s sister, hears something downstairs, and wakes Charles to see what might have caused the noise. With pistol drawn, Charles goes downstairs to investigate with Christine and Cathy where they are shocked to discover Andy—alive and seemingly well. When Christine gushes that Andy’s girlfriend, Joanne, will be thrilled and that they will throw a big celebration for his return, Andy says, “Let’s wait awhile, mom.” When his family informs Andy that the government had actually said he was dead, he responds, “I was.” After an awkward silence, Andy smiles and his family and he share a laugh. The next morning, the truck driver is found murdered in the cab of his big rig. During the autopsy, Doc Allman discovers a puncture mark in the victim’s arm. At a backyard picnic, Ben, the postman stops by and greets the returning ... +


American soldier Andy Brooks is killed in action during the Viet Nam war. When the Army notifies the family, Christine Brooks, Andy’s mother, does not believe that her son is dead. That night, Andy’s father, Charles Brooks, wakes up to discover his wife is in another room, speaking to a candle flame, saying: “I know you’re alive, I can feel it. They lied. You’ll come back.” On the road at night, a truck driver stops to pick up a hitchhiking soldier. Later, stopping at a roadside café, the hitchhiker stays in the truck while the driver goes inside to order a couple of cups of coffee to go. The driver also mentions to the waitress that his strange passenger hasn’t said a word since he got into the cab. In her bedroom at the Brooks house, Cathy Brooks, Andy’s sister, hears something downstairs, and wakes Charles to see what might have caused the noise. With pistol drawn, Charles goes downstairs to investigate with Christine and Cathy where they are shocked to discover Andy—alive and seemingly well. When Christine gushes that Andy’s girlfriend, Joanne, will be thrilled and that they will throw a big celebration for his return, Andy says, “Let’s wait awhile, mom.” When his family informs Andy that the government had actually said he was dead, he responds, “I was.” After an awkward silence, Andy smiles and his family and he share a laugh. The next morning, the truck driver is found murdered in the cab of his big rig. During the autopsy, Doc Allman discovers a puncture mark in the victim’s arm. At a backyard picnic, Ben, the postman stops by and greets the returning Andy, who is non-responsive. Ben reminisces about his own experiences during World War II, and how he had to make up a story for the family of a battle comrade who was killed when he got shot in the ass. Ben also asks if Andy served with another local boy, Darren Wilson, and mentions that Darren has not written his folks in two months. Silently, Andy stands up from his lawn chair in a rage, and storms into the house. Back at the café, investigating police officers learn that the truck driver had picked up a hitchhiking soldier who was a “weirdo.” At home, Andy spends endless hours upstairs sitting in a squeaky rocking chair. The squeaking chair drives Charles nuts, but Christine tells him he has to expect that it will take some time for Andy to get back to normal after his wartime experiences. Andy’s father wants to know why his son is so different—not speaking to them, not eating with them, sitting all day in his room, and not wanting the family to tell anyone he is home. Charles tells Christine that he experienced war, too, but he didn’t act like that when he came home. She responds by saying that Andy is more sensitive, and would not have enlisted if Charles hadn’t urged him to do so. Charles responds that Andy joined the Army to get away from his mother so he wouldn’t turn into a mama’s boy. Andy comes downstairs, telling his parents that he has to go out, but not telling them where he is going. Butch, the family dog, snarls and growls at Andy. That night, Andy goes to the cemetery, kneels before a headstone, and starts scraping the surface with his hands. The next day, some neighborhood kids stop by to greet Andy. Curious about his experiences, one kid asks if he knows Karate and makes a chopping motion with his hand. Andy grabs the kid’s hand, causing pain, and when Butch growls, Andy picks up the dog and strangles it to death with one bare hand. To drown his grief over the loss of his dog, Charles goes to a local bar. There he meets Doc Allman, who suggests that it might be useful if he paid Andy a visit, and Charles agrees. At the Brooks home, Cathy tells her mother that she and Andy will be going out on a double date with Bob and Joanne—and Joanne is as yet unaware that Andy is home. When Charles arrives home with Doc, Christine attempts to keep the doctor from seeing her son, but Charles prevails. Andy is sitting in his room in the dark when the doctor comes in to “say hello.” Under questioning, Andy eventually reveals that he hitchhiked into town the same night the truck driver was murdered. Putting the pieces together, Doc excuses himself. Outside, he tells Charles that even though he hopes it is just a coincidence, he is going to have to go to the police with Andy's information. Charles asks the doctor if he will wait until tomorrow, and Allman agrees. Andy takes the family car and sets out after Doc Allman. Back at his office, Doc picks up the phone and calls the police; then, remembering his promise to Charles, he hesitates to speak, and suddenly the phone line goes dead. Hearing footsteps and seeing the shadow of a man, Allman goes to investigate. He is confronted by a visibly aged Andy who says that no one alive is in more perfect health than he is. He does not have to worry about eating, being tired, or growing old. He says he has only one thing to worry about. Attacking the doctor, Andy kills Allman by repeatedly stabbing him with a large hypodermic needle, then uses it to extract the doctor’s blood from his body and inject it into his own arm. At home in the morning and looking young again, Andy learns about the proposed double date, and agrees to go. Then, Charles talks with his son about Doc Allman’s suspicions, but Andy assures his father that he has no problems in the world. Charles goes to Allman’s office to speak with him, and discovers that the doctor has been murdered. When Joanne arrives for their date, Andy comes downstairs wearing dark glasses and leather gloves, and refuses to be touched. Meanwhile, at the police station, Charles reluctantly begins to tell the sheriff of Doc Allman’ suspicions—but instead lies and states that the doctor thought the killer was a soldier who lived out of town. Later, the dating couples grab a bite to eat then decide to go to a drive-in movie. At home, Christine hears the news of Doc’s death on TV and realizes that Andy must be the culprit. Charles returns home looking for Andy, but Christine sends him off track by telling him that Andy, Joanne, Cathy and Bob went dancing. Charles gets his pistol and goes looking for his children. At the drive-in, Cathy and Bob go to the concession stand to allow Andy and Joanne to be alone. While Joanne tries to find out why Andy stopped writing her months ago, Andy starts bleeding from his scalp. When she attempts to get away from him, he attacks her. In the struggle, his glasses come off and now his eye sockets are heavily wrinkled and his eyes have a dead look. When Cathy and Bob return and get back into the car, they think the “lovers” are making out in the back seat, but when Andy comes up behind them his skin is wrinkled, his eyes crazed and he attempts to strangle Cathy. Bob manages to hold Andy off and tells Cathy to get out of the car. Andy strangles Bob to death with the cord from a drive-in sound box, and then attempts to run down Cathy with the car. She trips and is nearly run over, but another attendee pushes her to safety only to be run down by Andy, and repeatedly crushed as the undead soldier repeatedly rolls over him. After killing the boy, Andy drives home. Christine seeks to comfort her son, and sits him in his rocking chair; but Charles returns home, gun pointed, demanding to know where Cathy is. Christine attempts to protect Andy, but Charles shoves her aside. When Andy stands up and turns to face his father, his flesh is gray and decayed. Charles cannot pull the trigger as Andy advances upon him. As Christine leads Andy out of the house, Charles commits suicide. Police arrive, and shoot Andy but Christine keeps moving him toward and into the family car. As the car drives away, an officer attempts to grab Andy, but is dragged along. The first officer shoots at the retreating car, setting the gas tank afire. As his mother asks, “Where, Andy, Where?” Her son grabs the wheel and sends the car crashing into the entry gate of the cemetery. As his mother tries to stop him, Andy crawls toward a grave that is revealed to be his own. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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