UHD Review – Deathdream (Blue Underground)

Something unspeakable has come home

Director – Bob Clark (Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things, Black Christmas)
Starring – John Marley (The Godfather, Kolchak: The Night Stalker), Lynn Carlin (Terror on the 40th Floor, The Bionic Woman), and Richard Backus (Another World, The First Deadly Sin)
Release Date – 1974
Rating – 4/5
UHD Release – 4/5

Bob Clark is a filmmaker that I hold in high regard. He is up there, at least for me, with the likes of George A. Romero and John Cherry. His films Porky’s A Christmas Story, Black Christmas, Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things, and Dead of Night are absolute classics and I would argue that almost all the films I mentioned have earned their place in cinema history. Many years ago a friend of mine purchased the Dead of Night DVD release from Blue Underground. This was one of my favorite releases of the DVD era and one that I have a hard time parting with as I’ve upgraded from DVD to blu.

A few weeks back Blue Underground once again re-released the film and this time on UHD. They were kind enough to send over a copy for me to review and this gave me the perfect chance to revisit one of my favorite films. Like always, I want to thank Blue Underground and MVD for sending this over!

**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a family who just received word that their son had died while fighting in Vietnam. However, their son makes a miraculous late-night arrival to their home much to their surprise. However, he’s not the Andy that they remember. Now, he just sits in a rocking chair with a lifeless expression on his face. After a strange encounter with Andy’s father and the town’s coroner at the local bar, the coroner is convinced that Andy is responsible for the murder of a truck driver that was brutally murdered the night he arrived in town. When the coroner is gone missing and found dead, Andy’s father realizes that Andy really did die in the conflict and a monster has came in his place. **Spoiler Alert**

Deathdream is one of the many films of Bob Clark’s that I truly enjoy. However, unlike the films Black Christmas and Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things, Deathdream is one of those films that I can’t watch over and over again without getting tired of it. It’s one of the films that I really enjoy but I can only watch it once or twice a year. I also prefer the original Dead of Night title over Deathdream but I can see the appeal of wanting to use that title over the original.

The acting in this one is great and features a lot of familiar faces from previous films from Clark. Most of the Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things cast has roles in the film and they all do a fantastic job. While the cast is well rounded, John Marley and Richard Backus carry the film. Backus does a great job as the shell of a man that returned home from Vietnam. I love how patient and calm his character is before becoming rabid when he attacks his victims. Marley is fantastic as the father struggling with his son and the fact that something is different about him. He shows a lot of emotion with this role and makes the film for me.

The story for this one feels like a slasher meets pseudo-vampire in the way it unfolds. The random deaths have that same pacing and tone as the late-70s and early 80s slashers. While we actively know who the killer is we are given the deaths like a slasher of the time. That makes it rather enjoyable even though some of the scenes do tend to drag on. I also love the vampire-like spin they gave Andy. I always appreciated how they incorporated his bloodlust into his aging and night-time stalks. It’s a lot of fun if you are open to it.

Finally, the film has a lot of bright blood and decent effects. While I would have loved to see more gore and imaginative deaths, I still enjoy what the film does deliver. Overall, Deathdream is a classic horror title that has finally received the UHD treatment. I highly recommend snagging this release especially if you’ve never seen the film before.

Special Features:
Ultra HD Blu-ray (2160p) and HD Blu-ray (1080p) Widescreen 1.85:1 feature presentations
Audio: 1.0 DTS-HD MA (English)
Subtitles: English SDH, Francais, Espanol
Audio Commentary #1 with Co-Producer/Director Bob Clark
Audio Commentary #2 with Writer/Make-Up Artist (Uncredited) Alan Ormsby
NEW! Audio Commentary #3 with Film Historians Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson
A Recollection With Star Anya Liffey and Writer/Make-Up Artist Alan Ormsby
Notes For A Homecoming – Interview with Composer Carl Zittrer
Flying Down To Brooksville – Interview with Production Manager John ‘Bud’ Cardos
Tom Savini: The Early Years
Deathdreaming – Interview with Star Richard Backus
NEW! The First Andy – Interview with Actor Gary Swanson
Screen Test with Original Andy, Gary Swanson
Alan Ormsby Student Film
Alternate Opening Titles
Theatrical Trailer
Still Galleries


(Staff Writer) Lover of all things horror and metal. Also likes boobs and booze.

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