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The Night Andy Came Home A.k.a. Dead Of Night, Nightwalk, The Veteran, Deathdream
directed by Bob Clark 1972 Canada
Starring: John Marley, Lynn Carlin, Richard Backus, Henderson Forsythe, Anya Ormsby, Virginia Cortez,
Great Canadian production directed strangely enough by the man responsible for Porkys and A Christmas Story. Bob Clark can seemingly shift from genre to genre with the greatest of ease. He directs family movies such as A Christmas Story, crude juvenile comedies such as Porkys and horror classics such as the severely underrated Black Christmas. This one furthers Clark's steady directing hand with the horror field.
Not a gorefest the film relies on great atmospheric music (LOVE that music!) and an eerie mood, both of these work making the movie quite frightening. The general fact it has such a watchable quality to it also helps.
The simple plot involves a young Vietnam soldier named Andy who is killed in Nam but returns home anyway. His parents are overly joyed to see him alive since they were visited earlier that night and informed he was killed in the line of duty, Andy's mother denies it and refuses to believe her son is dead. Andy's father notices something strange about him while his mother is still ecstatic from his return. A couple of vampiric murders occur and Andy's father suspects something is seriously wrong since all the clues lead to his son. A night where Andy goes out with his old girlfriend leads up to the horrific and extremely well done conclusion.
A number of great scenes outline the film including an unforgettable one with an enraged Andy holding up and choking to death a little dog. The only question I have which is practically nonsense but I'll mention anyway, what was up with those sick sounding police car sirens? It sounded like the fuses had to be recharged.
Jeff Gillen, the director of Deranged has a small role as a bartender and he is also the assistant director to the film. Newcomer Richard Backus (this is his film debut) gives an especially creepy performance as Andy, the make-up work done on him to give that corpse like appearance is quite good. By the end of the movie he looks like a decaying zombie. The Changeling, Black Christmas and The Night Andy Came Home (better known as Deathdream or Dead Of Night) are three great Canadian horror features which are well worth the horror fan to seek out.