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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Deathdream" or "The Night Andy Came Home" or "Whispers")

 

directed by Bob Clark
USA 1974

 

Charles (John Marley, BLADE) and Christine Brooks (Lynn Carlin, SUPERSTITION) are devastated to learn that their son Andy (Richard Backus) has been killed in Vietnam. When he suddenly reappears on their doorstep, they are elated; but all is not well. In addition to the expected anti-social behavior of a traumatized Vietnam veteran (all the more disturbing because of the fresh-faced Backus' lack of affect), Andy also has developed an insatiable thirst for human blood. As the bodies begin to pile up and Andy's behavior becomes more violent as his family and friends try to reach out to him, his father. CHILDREN SHOUDLN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS vets Anya Ormsby, Jane Daly, and Jeff Gillen also star, and Alan Ormsby scripted. DEAD OF NIGHT (or DEATHDREAM) is somewhat of a "what if" alternate ending to W.W. Jacobs' story "The Monkey's Paw" in which a mother uses her second wish (granted by the titular talisman) to wish her dead son back from the grave; although Clark's and Ormsby's film is more concerned with depicting the disintegration of an already dysfunctional (though outwardly perfect) family than playing with the themes of the Jacobs story. Although Andy's ghoul make-up was created by Alan Ormsby (who designed the zombie masks on CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS), the gore effects are the first professional work of Tom Savini pre-dating his collaborations with George Romero - Savini's own tour of Vietnam prevented him from working on NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD - and Savini would also work with Ormsby (and Jeff Gillen) on the Ed Gein biopic DERANGED. Although made only a year after CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS, the writing, directing, acting (not to mention the casting), and pacing are vastly improved over Clark's debut, and the finale is moving and devastating.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 30 August 1974 (USA)

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DVD Comparison:

Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Nucleus Films - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the Screen Caps!

(Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Nucleus Films - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

Distribution

Blue Underground

Region 0 - NTSC

Nucleus Films
Region 0 - PAL
Runtime 1:27:57 1:24:39 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.84:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.63 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.83:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.6 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Blue Underground

 

Bitrate:

 

Nucleus Films

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Subtitles none English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Blue Underground

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.84:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with co-producer/director Bob Clark
• Audio Commentary with screenwriter/make-up artist (uncredited) Alan Ormsby
• Tom Savini: The Early Years (16:9; 9:59)
• Deathdreaming - Interview with star Richard Backus (16:9; 11:41)
• Alternate DEATHDREAM Opening Titles (16:9; 3:27)
• Extended Ending Sequence (4:3; 2:59)
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 3:50)
• Easter Egg: Alan Ormsby displays make-up effects appliances (16:9; 1:35)

DVD Release Date: 29 June 2004
Amaray

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: Nucleus Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.83:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; )
• BONUS FEATURE: CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS (see above

• Liner Notes Booklet by Julian Grainger
 

DVD Release Date: 21 May 2012
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Blue Underground's dual-layer, progressive anamorphic transfer and its stacked extras would be the way to go for fans of the film. Nucleus' transfer of the same master is okay (although some stair-stepping is visible - see cap 2), perhaps not bad as the B-feature on a budget double-bill disc. The entertainment value might have been heightened had there been an additional "Play All" option for the two features and trailers. An extended closing scene was present on the Gorgon VHS edition, and that was included as an extra on Blue Underground disc from parent MPI's home video master. Nucleus has also included this extended ending, but they have incorporated it into the feature.

 - Eric Cotenas

 


DVD Menus
(
Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Nucleus Films - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)
 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Nucleus Films - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Nucleus Films - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Nucleus Films - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Nucleus Films - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Nucleus Films - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Nucleus Films - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Nucleus Films - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blue Underground

Sound:

Draw

Extras: Blue Underground
Menu: Draw

 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

Distribution

Blue Underground

Region 0 - NTSC

Nucleus Films
Region 0 - PAL


 




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