DEAD OF NIGHT is an obscure little TV horror anthology directed by DAN CURTIS (“DARK SHADOWS”) and written by RICHARD MATHESON in 1977. I can’t remember exactly how old I was (probably around 10 or so) but one Saturday afternoon, a local station played this trilogy of horror stories. I’ll be damned if I can remember the first two segments but the final 30 minute tale made quite an impression on me. Holy crow, it completely terrified the living shit out of me! In the story, a woman uses a magic ritual to resurrect her son Bobby who drowned accidentally. Bobby comes back but it ain’t exactly a joyful reunion. I will never forget how much I jumped when Bobby reveals his true nature to his mother while slowly creeping down that darkened stairway. For years, the memory of that moment would pop into my head and I would get chills. I found the final 40 seconds at YOUTUBE. Sure, it looks silly now but the creepy atmosphere and the sense of dread that builds throughout the segment are undeniable. Hopefully, DEAD OF NIGHT will finally make its way to DVD and I can see this excellent short horror tale in its entirety.
Unkle Lancifer: Thanks Richard, and congratulations on celebrating DOOMED MOVIETHON‘s third year of public service to horror aficionados. I’m sorry to say I’ve missed this particular nugget thus far but really, how can you go wrong with the A-team of DAN CURTIS (BURNT OFFERINGS) and RICHARD MATHESON (DUEL), the duo responsible for the trauma legend TRILOGY OF TERROR? I gotta get something off my sunken chest though, DEAD OF NIGHT sure is an often enough used title isn’t it? Besides this 1977 television movie, you have the classic 1945 anthology film that gave ventriloquist dummies a bad name, the 1974 BOB CLARK night of the living war vet flick AND the criminally under appreciated 2000 SIMON HUNTER chiller (known outside the U.S. as LIGHTHOUSE) all sharing the same title. No wonder this bad boy slipped through my claw like fingers. If that YouTube clip is any indication, regardless of title, I’ve been missing something definitely worth tracking down!