Tuesday, November 10, 2009
With virtually no Horrorthon ’09 game plan to speak of this year, I resorted to a broad Netflix search using the keyword “death”. The results were both pleasing and plentiful. Each title conjured up a great image - Deathtrap, Death Note, Death Train, Death Sentence, Death Kick, Death Mask, Death Click, Death Ring, Death Cage, Death Tunnel, Death Shock (how could that one miss?) and Deathbed to name a few. I selected Deathdream because of the cool name and compelling cover. It turned out to be Tom Savini’s first film as a special effects artist and is therefore worthy for the historic value alone.
I’ll keep the synopsis brief. The Brooks family receives the news that every military family fears the most – their son Andy was killed in the war. That very night they receive a knock on the door. A mistake was made and Andy is alive after all! The family rejoices but notices that he’s not quite the Andy they once knew. He's detached and has developed a peculiar new habit of sitting on a rocking chair while looking creepy for hours on end. Perhaps he’s traumatized from the war but PTSD doesn’t excuse strangling the family dog in front of children or draining the locals’ blood to help revivify his decaying flesh. It seems that Andy has become…
…some sort of serial killer ghost zombie thingy!
After a slow and surprisingly dramatic first half that touches upon the horrors of war and the dysfunctional relationships within the family, things go totally freakin’ Savini-style nuts. Andy reunites with his girlfriend at a drive-in double date. Much carnage ensues and a palatable explanation is never given nor asked. I loved it!