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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)

Reviews                                                                                          More Reviews                                                                              DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Nucleus Films - Region 0 - PAL vs. Blue Underground - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the DVD Screen Caps!

1) Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Nucleus Films - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT

3) Blue Underground - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

 

Distribution

Blue Underground

Region 0 - NTSC

Nucleus Films
Region 0 - PAL
Blue Underground
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:27:57 1:24:39 (4% PAL speedup) 1:28:28.720
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

Disc Size: 41,553,784,845 bytes

Feature Size: 26,005,843,968 bytes

Average Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC 1080P

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

Bitrate:

 

Blue Underground

 

Bitrate:

 

Nucleus Films

 

Bitrate:

 

Blu-ray

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1213 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1213 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps

Subtitles none English, none English (SDH), French, Spanish, 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

Release Information:
Studio: Blue Underground

 

Disc Size: 41,553,784,845 bytes

Feature Size: 26,005,843,968 bytes

Average Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC 1080P


Edition Details:
Audio Commentary #1 with Co-Producer/Director Bob Clark
Audio Commentary #2 with Writer/Make-Up Artist (Uncredited) Alan Ormsby
A Recollection With Star Anya Liffey and Writer/Make-Up Artist Alan Ormsby (29:29)
Notes For A Homecoming Interview with Composer Carl Zittrer (19:08)
Flying Down To Brooksville Interview with Production Manager John Bud Cardos (5:21)
Tom Savini: The Early Years (10:00)
Deathdreaming Interview with Star Richard Backus (11:43)
Alternate Opening Titles (3:28)
Theatrical Trailer (3:48)
Still Galleries
Alan Ormsby Student Film (10:12)

Screen test with original Andy, Gary Swanson(12:31)
BONUS Collectable Booklet with new essay by critic Travis Crawford

DVD included

 

Blu-ray Release Date: November 28th,
Transparent (thick) Blu-ray Case

Chapters 23

 

 

Comments NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION - Blue Underground - Region 'A' - Blu-ray January 2018: The new 1080P transfer of Bob Clark's Deathdream is a welcome upgrade for fans of the film.  This is the best representation of the film available on digital to date.  Grain is prevalent and most likely a product of the original film quality and is not distracting. 

The English DTS HD 2.0 audio track is completely reasonable with various levels of dialogue and sounds. It is not a particularly impressive audio track but is probably as good as it is ever going to sound. There are optional subtitles (see sample below) and this disc is Region 'A'. 

The two commentaries are carried over from the previous Blue Underground DVD and are fairly informative, laid back affairs. It was interesting to hear how the Bob Clark / John Carpenter friendship turned into a feud regarding Halloween's suspicious resemblance to an uncredited, perhaps even stolen, idea from Clark.

There are many new featurettes featuring many interviews with people from all aspects of the film's production.  Carl Zitter, Alan Ormsby, Tom Savini and many other people are prominently featured.  These featurettes provide a fair amount of new information and are a great addition in this set.  There is also a nice 20-page insert included in the set with an essay by Travis Crawford and a second disc DVD of the feature.

Fans of Bob Clark, myself included, will surely find much to love about this long overdue upgrade to Blu-ray.   Clearly a lot of effort has been put into this release and I can solidly say that this is a worthy purchase for anyone interested.

 - Colin Zavitz

***

ON THE DVDs: 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)
 

 

 

 

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample - Blue Underground - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 

1) Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Nucleus Films - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Blue Underground - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Nucleus Films - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Blue Underground - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Nucleus Films - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Blue Underground - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Nucleus Films - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Blue Underground - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Nucleus Films - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Blue Underground - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Nucleus Films - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Blue Underground - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Nucleus Films - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Blue Underground - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray

 
Box Covers

 

 

 

Distribution

Blue Underground

Region 0 - NTSC

Nucleus Films
Region 0 - PAL
Blue Underground
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray


 




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