Thursday, April 25, 2013
DEAD OF NIGHT (1977)
Curtis followed up his ratings-successful telefilm Trilogy of Terror with this second anthology of horror stories, which was also the pilot for a projected series. In "Second Chance," scripted by Richard Matheson from a Jack Finney story, a man (Ed Begley Jr. of Eating Raoul) restores a car in which a couple was killed years ago, and discovers that it can drive him all the way to the past to prevent their deaths. Ann Doran from It, The Terror from Beyond Space has a supporting role. "No Such Thing as a Vampire," which Matheson scripted from his own short story, features a fake vampire murder plot, and boasts some very good performances from Patrick Macnee and Horst Buchholz. "Bobby," written by Matheson, also has fine performances from Joan Hackett and Lee H. Montgomery in a story about a grieving mother who thinks she's called her drowned son back from the grave. The story has a good ending, but it is neither frightening nor moving, which you can pretty much say about the movie in general. Curtis remade "Bobby" even less effectively in Trilogy of Terror II. Robert Cobert's score is mediocre and does nothing to help the telefilm.
Verdict: Reasonably entertaining if very minor horror anthology. **1/2.