Monday, October 23, 2017

Awesome Horror Streams for Hallowe'en Screams on Roku - DAY 23: Dead of Night (1974) [dir. Bob Clark]

Greetings, Boils & Ghouls...

...welcome to 'Day Twenty-Three' of "Awesome Horror Streams for Hallowe'en Screams on Roku" in which I will suggest my top picks of the fright flicks from the carefully curated catalogue of macabre movies available via the 'Shudder UK' streaming service - any of which can then be streamed to your television using the magic of Roku player - so, let's dim the lights... and prepare for more frights! :-O

If you read my Hallowe'en blogathon preview - FOUND HERE - published on 30th September, then you will know that I plan to post one Hallowe'en / Horror related article every day, throughout the month of October, each featuring one horror movie from the current 'Shudder UK' content library. With recommendations for thirty-one of the best fright flicks I can find, by the end of the month, this means you should have plenty of great choices for your macabre movie viewing as we count down the days to Hallowe'en... as well as ensuring some top-notch cinematic scares come October 31st! ;-)

Lynn Carlin and Richard Backus in Dead of Night (1974) [Movie Still]

For my twenty-third instalment in this series of posts I'm going to suggest a feature-length movie from Canada, which was directed by Bob Clark, and first released in 1974. It has been known by several different names, with "Dead of Night" and "Deathdream" being two of the most common, although "The Night Walker" was the working title used during the early stages of production. The film was based on a screenplay, written by Alan Ormsby, that was inspired by a well-known short story called "The Monkey's Paw" from W. W. Jacobs. For those of you who may not be familiar with this movie, in this shattering variation on the original tale... grief-stricken suburban mother Christine Brooks (Lynn Carlin) and her husband Charles Brooks (John Marley) are shocked when they learn that their son Andy (Richard Backus) has been killed in Vietnam and refuse to accept the news. So, you can imagine how they must have felt when their son returned home soon after they heard the devastating news of his death! However, after their initial joy at his homecoming, they begin to suspect that all is not quite right with their son... and soon discover that something has gone horribly wrong! Those early feelings of relief, that their son was in fact alive and well, were soon followed by a creeping terror as the news breaks that local women are being ruthlessly murdered in the night... their bodies entirely drained of blood! Now imagine the ultimate horror... when Charles realises that his beloved son is a murdering vampire! Can he bring himself to drive a stake through the heart of his only child? Well, the answer to that question lies in one of the most shocking climaxes you will ever see... because this well-crafted thriller is the stuff that nightmares are made of! With special make-up effects by Tom Savini (Creepshow, Dawn of the Dead) it is (arguably) one of the most chilling horror films that you are likely to see - and, once you have, you are even less likely to forget it! :-O ;-) :-)

Dead of Night (1974) [Movie Poster]
PHOTO CREDIT: Decades of Horror

If you haven't seen the film before, here is a brief taster in the shape of a video trailer for this highly acclaimed zombie shocker, courtesy of an upload by 'Classic Horrors' to their 'YouTube' channel:-

If you'd like to know more... there's a full list of the cast & credits on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) listing for "Dead of Night" (1974), FOUND HERE, which also includes a full storyline / plot summary as well as box office stats, technical specs & much more. For die-hard fans, there's even more info to be had from the Wikipedia Page for Bob Clark's "Dead of Night" (1974) which is readily available VIA THIS LINK, and may help to fuel your appetite for (yet) another screening. Although, if you're as much of a fan of this acclaimed zombie shocker as I am, or happen to enjoy Bob Clark's films in general, it probably won't take too much persuading for you to watch this again! ;-) :-)

Richard Backus as 'Andy' in "Dead of Night" (1974) [Movie Still]

Anyway... you probably guessed already but, if not, this film (like the others from this series of posts) is also available via the 'Shudder' streaming service and can be easily viewed on any Roku device via their dedicated channel (app) for these streaming media players. There are other opportunities for UK Roku users to view "Dead of Night" (1974), including a brace of options from 'Amazon Video' so feel free to simply "Rent" for £2.49 (SD-only) or else "Buy & Keep" it for £6.99 (again, in 'SD' quality) - the choice is entirely yours - but, having said that, I'd suggest taking a look at the possible alternatives before parting with any money... because there might be some free sources available online that offer file formats compatible with Roku. However, as my original idea for this month-long blogathon was to suggest thirty-one great Hallowe'en / Horror themed movies from the fang-tastic 'Shudder UK', I am recommending you stream it via their channel - if possible! ;-) :-)

If you haven't already added it to your channel selection, you will find "Shudder" listed among the "Film & TV" channels in the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store. You can easily install it on your Roku by navigating to the built-in 'Channel Store' (accessed via "Streaming Channels" from the home screen on your Roku device) and scrolling through the options until you see the channel icon (pictured above). It's completely FREE-TO-ADD so, once you've located it in the list of channels, just click the "OK" button on your Roku remote to select it and then click "OK" again where it says 'Add channel' to install it on your Roku player(s). Having done that, it's simply a case of launching the channel via the 'Go to channel' option and navigating the on-screen menu to log-in (if you already have an account, but haven't yet done so) or start your free trial (if you are new to the service) and, once you see 'Shudder TV' playing on the screen, just push the "DOWN" arrow on your Roku remote to get to the main menu... from where you can "Search" for "Dead of Night", and then press "OK" on your remote to select and 'Play' this vampiric zombie horror which, for the record, runs to 1h 28mins.


Unfortunately for readers outside the UK, at the time of writing, this acclaimed zombie shocker does not appear to be available via 'Shudder' in either the U.S. or Canada. That said, there are many other streaming resources at your disposal so, as suggested in previous posts from this series, it might be a good idea to check for any free alternatives that could be available for watching this film on Roku. If you get stuck, message me via Twitter: @ukrokuchannels and I'll see if I can sort you out a link! ;-)

Richard Backus as 'Andy' in "Dead of Night" (1974) [Movie Still]
PHOTO CREDIT: Scared Stiff Reviews

Meanwhile, for that full cinema experience, here's a few more posters and other images that movie-goers in 1974 (and more recently) would have encountered depending on their location in the world:

Dead of Night [aka Deathdream] (1974) [USA Poster]
PHOTO CREDIT: Horrorpedia

Dead of Night [aka Deathdream] (1974) [Gorgon Video VHS Cover]
PHOTO CREDIT: Cinema Arcana

Dead of Night [aka Deathdream] (1974) [Skyline Video VHS Cover]
PHOTO CREDIT: The Telltale Mind

Dead of Night [aka Deathdream] (1974) [Spanish Poster]
PHOTO CREDIT: Club des Monstres

Dead of Night [aka Deathdream] (1974) [Blue Underground DVD Cover]

Dead of Night [aka Deathdream] (1974) [Fan Poster]

Dead of Night [aka Deathdream] (1974) [Japanese Victor VHS Cover]
PHOTO CREDIT: Horrorpedia

Dead of Night [aka Deathdream] (1974) [Gargoyle Video Cover]
PHOTO CREDIT: Bloodbuster

Dead of Night [aka Deathdream] (1974) [Italian Poster]
PHOTO CREDIT: Horrorifandom

Dead of Night [aka Deathdream] (1974) [Danish Krone Video VHS Cover]
PHOTO CREDIT: Cinema Arcana

Dead of Night [aka Deathdream] (1974) [Dutch WM Video VHS Cover]
PHOTO CREDIT: Cinema Arcana

Dead of Night [aka Deathdream] (1974) [Pressbook Cover]
PHOTO CREDIT: The Telltale Mind

Finally, to round-off the twenty-third instalment in my month-long blogathon on 'Day Twenty-Three' for this edition of 'Countdown To Halloween', here's more FRIGHTENINGLY FUN FILM FACTS... for example: did you know that this film and it's various themes can be seen as an early reflection on popular awareness of the effects of combat trauma that soldiers in the Vietnam War helped bring to light? Much of Andy's disposition and symptoms, e.g. sudden violent behaviour due to the re-living of traumatic experiences, would later be associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, defined by the American Psychiatric Association in the Third Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (1980). For the opening Vietnam scene additional footage was shot of a traumatised 'Andy' walking through the jungle amidst the bloody carnage. However... it was cut, in favour of a quicker intro to the story. There was also meant to be a similar scene later where Andy walks through the streets at night and comes across a blind veteran sitting on a porch. This was also cut, for time.

Other interesting tidbits of trivia include the fact that Christopher Walken was also considered for the part of 'Andy'. Ultimately, however, Richard Backus was cast as 'Andy' because he was able to create a silent stare of intense hatred for the casting agent! This rather creepy expression can be seen quite frequently throughout the film, as you will soon discover if you're about to watch for the first time. I already name-checked Tom Savini, earlier in this post, for "Creepshow" and "Dawn of the Dead"... but, did you know that this film, "Dead of Night" [aka Deathdream] (1974) was actually his very first as a make-up artist? Apparently, the 'decaying' makeup for Richard Backus took six hours to apply! Also, for those who enjoy spotting such things, the movies playing during the scenes at the drive-in are "Death in Space" and "The Spacenauts"... in case you were wondering! And, the tombstone which can be seen over Andy's shoulder (during the final scene shot in the graveyard) was also featured in a previous film by Bob Clark... namely, "Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things" from 1973! ;-) :-)


Anyhow, that's all I've got time for today... but do remember to come back again tomorrow, for my next macabre movie recommendation from the 'Shudder UK' streaming library, when I will suggest a film for 'Day Twenty-Four' of "Awesome Horror Streams for Hallowe'en Screams on Roku" right here on this blog. Meanwhile... please be sure to visit the Countdown To Hallowe'en website & show your support for this annual online Hallowe'en extravaganza PLUS don't forget to use the links you find there and check out all the other 'Cryptkeepers' taking part this year. I know they'll appreciate it, if you visit their blogs and share your thoughts on the contribution(s) they've made.


ONE LAST THING, BEFORE I GO: Don't forget that, aside from the Hallowe'en / Horror-themed ghastliness going on around these parts for the next month, you can also keep up with the UK Roku action (as it happens) by following the companion Twitter Feed: @ukrokuchannels where you will find that up-to-the-minute info on all things Roku-related is posted on a daily basis (well, almost).

Until the next time, then...

That's all folks !!

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