How about some more Richard Matheson-related goodness? Fuck it, why not? The difference this time, however, is that I’m pointing the spotlight toward 1977’s made-for-TV anthology Dead of Night, stringed together with three 25-minute, Matheson-written shorts all directed by Dan Curtis.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll continue to say it until I one day scribe one of my own—-I’m absolutely gaga for horror/genre anthologies, whether it be Night Gallery-like television programs or Creepshow-esque movies. I’ve seen them all, and even the inferior ones still keep me pleased enough. Dead of Night falls on the bottom spectrum, unfortunately. The first two tales, the time-traveling melodrama “Second Chance” and revenge yarn “No Such Things as Vampires,” aren’t terrible, but they’re ultimately forgettable. Dead of Night‘s final entry, however, is a closes the curtains with an evil game-changer—–it’s called “Bobby,” and it’s about a grieving mother who uses dark forces to bring her son back from his watery grave, only to find out that her precious Bobby isn’t the innocent kid he once was anymore. Confined to the walls of their oceanside home, “Bobby” becomes a hide-and-seek game between scared mother and psychotic reanimated son.
“Bobby” isn’t in the same league as Matheson’s best work, but it’s still quite memorable. Particularly the story’s final shot, which, Spoilers Abound, can be watched after the jump. Back in ’77, this must’ve caused soiled-pants nationwide; today, the makeup effects and goofy small-man approach will probably make you giggle. Regardless, this is one mean endgame twist: