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Showing 1-10 of 26 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 55 reviews
on April 27, 2016
Bob Clark's cool, clever, and creepy little genre gem. This film brilliantly utilizes zombie lore as a metaphor for PTSD, and it's all set during the vortex of Vietnam-era America. It works on so many levels. It's gritty, darkly emotional, and engaging all the way through. Get into it -- you won't be disappointed.
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on March 19, 2009
Don't be put off by the cheesy cover or the PG rating, this is a spectacularly creepy little horror gem from the 70's.

Bob Clark(BLACK CHRISTMAS) masterfully directs this unsettling story with the less is more technique. A family is devastated when they receive the tragic news about their son Andy, who perished in the line of duty during the Vietnam War. Before the grief even settles in, they are awoken that night by an even greater shock. A late-night visitor...

"They sent us a telegram. They said my son was dead"...

"I was".

Andy then smiles to ease some of the awkward tension, but it soon becomes evident that something just isn't right. He doesn't eat, sleep, or hardly speak. He just stares blankly as he sways back and forth in the family rocking chair.
We soon realize he must inject human blood into his veins in order to survive. Or should I say, sustain his weary state of existence.

This is an extremely powerful anti-war commentary. Of course very relevant still today, nobody can escape the effects of battle unscathed. Deathdream slowly builds toward the frightening climax with thick doses of tension. Tom Savini shows his superb touches here with his brilliant early special effects work.

4.5 Stars, a must-see for fans of the vampire/zombie genre.
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on August 3, 2009
Bob clark director of Black christmas and Children shouldnt play with Dead things, Has out done himself here, Deathdream is a classy and great film, True horror fans that dont have add and need ultra gore and cgi will appreciate this film from back when Horror was Horror and had great writing, all i can say is five stars Tom savinis first film credit as f/x artist, this is a story about a veteran who returns home from vietnam, when his parents notice he's acting strange and isnt the same person, its because what has come home is dead. Horror fans this is a must for your collection.
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on August 31, 2016
First of all having been around during the Vietnam war time too young to fight but old enough to remember. This flick has very little to do with that counterculture event. And I am not going to spoil the movie other than mention that it starts in the war with the guy dyeing there that's the last time they say anything about it. The rest is a proper horror movie of that time frame. Blood gore and dumb people doing things that make you yell at the screen. So don't listen to these wanta be hippies leftist trying to tie some hidden message in this low budget fun film. Veterans did not come back all skewed up in the head ready to snap and kill. It happened but it was rare not common. It was a messed up war that liberals tied the hands of our men to make a terrible place horrible. But the movie is cool.
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on June 25, 2015
Deathdream is one of those few films that slipped through cracks of audiences and fell into obscurity when it had a very very brief run in the early 70's. In the 80's it was released by Gorgon Video on VHS. That's where I discovered it and loved it from the start but even home video couldn't bring this to the forefront of popularity. It still seemed to linger in obscurity really only finding love from the hardcore horror fans. I remember a bunch of us rented this on my recommendation during a sat night horrorthon. It was a zombie themed night so I thought it would fit in nicely as a different type of zombie film. I had already seen it twice and loved it but as it turned out I was the only one out of the 5 of us that enjoyed it. Everyone else wanted to turn it off. I didn't understand back then but I do now. It's a tuff sell to the casual horror fans that are expecting a film like Dawn Of The Dead, Fulci's Zombie or even lower budget zombie flicks like The Dead Pit. This just didn't have the gore, action and horror as those others and some argue that it really isn't a zombie flick. I can see why but it hits too many checks next to the zombie category for it to really be anything else.
The film is a simple plot. A family is told that their son died in action in Vietnam. Not long after the son shows up and the family makes the obvious assumption that the gov got it wrong. What follows is the bizarre personality change and actions the son takes on. Basically it comes down to the son is dead and in order to keep his body from rotting he has to have blood.....so he kills....but his body can never really get enough and he slowly rots away through the film.
One of things that makes this film so fun to watch is the performance of the son Andy. It's like the producers went to a mental hospital in hell and picked this guy up. His crazy stares and gazes. His mannerisms and speech and there are several scenes where he just rocks in a chair and the expression on his face is chilling. You really feel you are looking at evil.
The effects, though there are not that many, are very well done. I think this was Tom Savini's first film for effects and they are great.
The film does suffer a bit from some bad acting in spots but not enough to make this a joke or so bad it's good type. It's pretty solid for the most part. The overall look of the productions is a cheaper type film and possible to some a grindhouse look but without the grindhouse thrills.
Overall this is a decent horror film that doesn't really deserve the obscurity it's received. When it came out on DVD in 2004 I thought it would find a bigger audience and I'm sure it's been discovered by a few more, but it's still pretty much obscured. The film doesn't quite deserve a 4 star yet 3 seems to little. 3 1/2 seems more like it, but I'll give it 4 since I can't do 1/2 stars on my mobile device.
On a side note, I notice people throwing around "cult classic" when looking at reviews on here. As much as I enjoy this film, it certainly can not be considered a cult classic under the definition as I know it. Iv been into the horror scene since the late 70's. Iv been to countless conventions, read all the horror mags, know hundreds of other horror fans and I can tell you this film never had a cult status. Of course the DVD packaging states it on the back, but the distribution companies and studios know that sounds cooler to horror fans and may prompt more sells from the younger unsuspecting horror fan. I mean if it's on the label, it must be true, right?
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on November 3, 2016
If nothing else, you must own this if you are a fan of obscure horror and/or director Bob Clark (Porky's,
A Christmas Story, Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things). Clark is so influential in American horror, he might have influenced the slasher genre with "Black Christmas." Deathdream is a zombie anti-war movie with a conscience. Wow, imagine a zombie movie with braaaains! Although, low-budget, Clark makes this story count, and it's a fond remembrance of what horror use to be.
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on June 27, 2014
spoilers to follow

I admit it, I'm an impulse buyer when it comes to VOD horror, and the title of this one convinced me that it would be something dreamlike and psychedelic, in the vein of Visions of Suffering. Turns out the movie's "real" name is Dead of Night, and it's not a strobes-and-lava-lamp production but a horror movie about a Viet Nam vet named Andy who gets killed in the war...and then comes home.
Does it sound like The Monkey's Paw to you? Well, I guess it is pretty much a direct adaptation of the plot to contemporary times, although I only learned that on the internet; I've never read The Monkey's Paw. But maybe I will after seeing this.
What it reminded me of was Fred Vogel's Sella Turcica, a movie I really liked, despite its stilted acting. The acting in this one is stilted to, especially that of Andy, played by Richard Backus in a psychotic flat affect that grew on me as the film went on until I was just about busting a gut at the scene were he goes out on a double date and the three around him are all trying desperately to pretend he's normal.
This is a great slow build movie. I liked the old time production values and the video restoration or whatever is very good except early on there are a few sound flaws. The violence, when it comes, is very intense and well choreographed.
And I love the gutsy political statement. I was born at the tail end of the Nam era and am hence very curious about it. That's one reason I really enjoyed this.
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on April 12, 2014
I first saw this anti-Vietnam movie on a local station in 1978. The quality when I first saw it was poor, but the take on Zombies was unique. It was called "The Homecoming" at the time. A son is reported killed in action to a distraught family only to show up at the home a few days later.

Well, you can guess what happens as he decays and seeks blood from the living. The movie was made in 1972 and the only copies came from prints. This version was made from the original negative discovered a few years back and is in 9:16 format. It comes with two commentaries, I believe the director and screenwriter, and some extra features.

Made on a low budget this movie was not bad at all. The same producer/writer also made, "Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things." Although, it is a bit dated if you were not around during the Vietnam War, it is a good commentary on the uselessness of war in general. The moral of the Story is a bit like "The Monkey's Paw" Be careful what you wish for.

Overall this official release of an old movie lost in some vault brought back memories. The price is right, but don't expect computer generated special effects. It is not your typical slash-horror for the sake of gore movie. This movie has a message as well as some frightening scenes for its time. If you're a Vietnam Veteran you may appreciate this movie. If you are a young "Walking Dead" fan you may be disappointed. As a Vietnam era Veteran I give this movie a thumbs up.

What a useless wasteful War, but then aren't all wars a waste of young men and women?
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on November 8, 2016
Really slow moving and horribly acted. Poorly lit and low budget. I ended up fast forwarding through it. I had some great laughs near the end because it was so bad it was funny. Might be fun to watch with a group of friends to laugh at or to have MST3K do a take on. One note: This is an early film of make-up effects wizard Tom Savini, but he is clearly just learning the craft here- the effects are not very good.
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on June 6, 2011
Pick this movie up! You can read the plot already so I won't go into that. Bob Clark was a great director and he did a great job of combining horror with drama in order to symbolize what war does to families. The last 25 minutes of this film will have you on the edge of your seat and then leave you with a sense of despair. Hardly any gore but that doesn't matter, this movie is very entertaining. Some notable scenes deal with Andy killing the family dog, going to the drive-in with his girlfriend whom he dated before war and the final confrontation between Andy and his father. 5 stars!
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