Returns home from Vietman as a zombie
In 1982, the tax court decided Siegel v. IRS in which the court examined deductions, depreciation and tax credits arising from a partnership’s failed movie venture.
Charles H. Siegel and Mary Ann G. Siegel, Petitioners v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Respondent; Edgar L. Feininger and Grace K. Feininger, Petitioners v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Respondent
Docket Nos. 8571-79, 8704-79
UNITED STATES TAX COURT
Filed – April 26, 1982
I am not going to explain the details of the tax dispute and law in this case but simply quote this one paragraph about the movie:
“Dead of Night” is a low-budget “horror” film involving a young soldier, Andy, who is killed in combat, in an area that reminds the viewer of Vietnam, and returns home to a small town as a “zombie.” Acting very strange and detached, Andy proceeds to kill a truck driver, a neighborhood dog, the family doctor, whom he stabs repeatedly with a big hypodermic needle, and an old girlfriend, whom he kills at a drive-in theater. The film ends with Andy’s climbing into a hole in a cemetery where he expires beneath his own predated headstone. The film’s stars are John Marley and Lynn Carlin, both of whom have received academy award nominations. The two other principal actors are Richard Backus and Henderson Forsyth. The copyrighted film was shot in 35mm and was 90 minutes in length. It had a PG rating because the intended market was for viewers in the 15- to 20-year age group. The film was produced and directed by Bob Clark. Mr. Clark’s only other directorial effort at that time was a film which was completed just before “Dead of Night” entitled “Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things.” The executive producers were John Trent and Peter James. There were no obvious technical problems with the film. When the film’s title was subsequently changed to “Deathdream,” the advertising slick stated that “it wrings the victims out * * * and hangs them up to die!!!” Prior to the completion of the film, it was referred to as “The Veteran,” “The Night Walk,” and “When Andy Comes Home,” in that order. After the film entered distribution, it was entitled “Dead of Night” and “Deathdream,” in that order.
Interestingly, the Wikipedia page is titled “Deathdream” but has the “Dead of Night” poster image whereas the IMDB page is titled “Dead of Night” and has the “Deathdream” poster. Also Wikipedia says it is a 1972 movie and IMDB says 1974. Based on my read of the Siegel case, I think the movie was originally released in 1972 and then purchased in 1974 for rerelease by the partnership that is subject of the tax case.
For the moment the only point I would like to highlight is the idea of war veterans returning as zombies. I think there is a link between war guilt and the zombie feeling.