Arrow Video, with domestic sales and distribution expertise provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has a brand new 2K restoration of writer/director Jim Van Bebber’s 1988 cult-status revenge thriller, Deadbeat at Dawn, ready for Blu-ray distribution on Oct. 23.
This Blu-ray edition will mark the 30th Anniversary of Bebber’s bloodlust classic that has been around as VHS and various DVD product offerings over the years — the original DVD release had seven different street date changes before finally reaching retail outlets in early 2000 (it was originally set for Jan. 4, 1999 and then delayed until April … and then May … August … October and finally one year later it arrived).
This is the definitive Blu-ray edition from Arrow Video! The others are just footnotes to history now.
Van Bebber (who would go on to direct and produce The Manson Family) stars as Goose, the leader of the Dayton, Ohio-based Ravens, who are in a perpetual turf war against their crosstown rivals, the Spyders. Naturally, it is over drugs and other illicit activities.
When Christy (played by Megan Murphy — Money Buys Happiness, Freedom State, Brand Upon the Brain!, etc.), his girlfriend — with some brains — tells Goose that he has to find a real life away from the crime and violence or she is going to look for greener pastures, he realizes that she is right.
He figures that it will be one last score (to set them up) and then he will be on the path to the straight and narrow. However, during his absence a couple of the Spyders decide to have their way with Christy and end up beating her to death in the process. Goose is devastated!
What separates Deadbeat at Dawn from the normal revenge-type thrillers is that Van Bebber doesn’t do the ABC — cause and effect — pattern with his script. Instead, he takes his time as Goose is genuinely defeated by Christy’s murder and even contemplates suicide. It’s a slow boil.
Only when he learns that his Raven buddy, Keith (Ric Walker), has teamed up with Danny (Paul Harper) and “Bone Crusher” (Marc Pitman) of the Spyders for a big score, does he snap out of it and extract his many pounds of flesh!
Bonus goodies include commentary from Van Bebber, who is joined by actor Paul Harper and documentary filmmaker Victor Bonacore (Diary of a Deadbeat: The Story of Jim Van Bebber). Arrow Video is also including Bonacore’s documentary on the film, outtakes and a vintage making-of documentary (circa 1986).
Additionally, four of Van Bebber’s short films have been restored and are included here — Into the Black, My Sweet Satan, Roadkill: The Last Days of John Martin and Gator Green.