director Bob Clark
From Bob (Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things (1972), Black Christmas (1974), Porky’s (1982), A Christmas Story (1983), Baby Geniuses (1999)) Clark, Deathdream a.k.a. Dead of Night is another early horror film he made in the 1970’s in collaboration with Alan Ormsby. Like Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things before it, it’s PG-rated horror, though unlike Children, it’s a more serious horror film with a more earnest story to tell.
Essentially, inspired by the W.W. Jacob’s short story, “The Monkey’s Paw”, it’s a supernatural “be careful what you wish for” scenario. The Brooks family wishes that their son who died in Vietnam would come home to them. And so he does, just as a weird, blood-drinking thing from beyond the grave. Actually he’s one who wouldn’t know whether to check “vampire” or “zombie” on his job application.
The film deals a lot with his strange, withdrawn behavior, more so than all out blood and guts and ends up telling a parable about a soldier returning from war at odds with his world, perhaps suffering PTSD, unable to readjust to small town family life. This adds to the story and its earnestness, if hewing away from the shocks and exploitation that some yen for in a horror film.
Bob Clark, may he rest in peace, had quite the career. I need to see that documentary about it tout suite.