Andy Brooks (Richard Backus) is fighting in Vietnam when he’s shot by a sniper. As he falls, he hears his mother’s voice telling him to come home.
The Brooks family — father Charles (John Marley), mother Christine (Lynn Carlin) and daughter Cathy (Anya Ormsby) — receive a notice that Andy has died. Christine refuses to believe it.
Then Andy knocks on the door.
Andy seems a little different. He barely talks and acts withdrawn. Meanwhile, the bloodless body of a trucker is found and the last person seen with him was a man in an army uniform — the kind Andy was wearing when he came home.
Andy also has been spending time at the cemetery at night.
Andy’s father, Charles, is worried and suspicious but Andy’s mother Christine thinks everything is fine. Charles calls a doctor to come take a look at Andy, but Andy refuses. Then Andy decides to pay the doctor a visit at night.
Bob Clark is the American film legend behind A Christmas Story, but before that, in the 1970s, he made several Canadian horror movies including Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things and the classic Black Christmas. Dead Of Night (also known as Deathdream) was the first film for horror make-up effects master Tom Savini — he did the gore effects.
Dead Of Night is huge step up from Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things. It’s a nice, creepy, slow-building thriller that would pave the way for Black Christmas.
Hard to believe Clark’s the same guy who invented the 1980s teen sex comedy genre with Porky’s.