Bob Clark's 1974 film Deathdream is a very good try at an American horror movie with a great idea that somehow does not quite gel. Fusing the Vietnam War with the classic tale "The Monkey's Paw", Clark here creates what could have been a minor masterpiece but unfortunately falls short.
The main character, Andy, is a young soldier in the Vietnam War. One day his parents receive the tragic news that he has been killed. They are grief-stricken, of course, but cling to the hope that somehow he may still be alive. The mother, in fact, keeps saying to herself, "You promised me, Andy"--to return, that is.
And one night, he does. Naturally his parents are overjoyed. What they don't know is that Andy has come back as, unfortunately, a walking dead man--a zombie. At first things seem to be relatively normal, but soon enough Andy's condition starts deteriorating and he needs a lot of blood to keep things healthy, so to speak.
The film starts to fall apart as the Andy's condition itself deteriorates and it becomes basically a gorefest--which for gorehounds is fine, but for those of us who want more can be frustrating. While the first half of the film is excellent, the second half sags and that's really too bad.
I would really have loved to give this four stars, but it's just not quite there.