Grace MacDonald is a child who loses her parents and is adopted by a traveling Evangelist church in California that performs entertainment acts as part of their preaching. Grace grows up to be a loyal assistant to Reverend Paul Jessie Bundy, who leads the church’s Hell-themed shows. Grace also has a fiancé named Patrick Bundy, who is a medical student in Los Angeles and lives apart from the church, but still loves her.
Patrick drives to the desert to see Grace at one of the church’s events in the Antelope Valley. Grace, who is a virgin, rejects Patrick’s sexual advances, but she secretly struggles with her own sexual desires. Grace also tries to find her biological father, Timothy, who she is obsessed with. She finally finds him after he dies and is taken to the local morgue as a John Doe. When Grace sees his body, Timothy miraculously comes back to life, killing the mortician in the morgue.
Grace takes her father with her to a rundown farm where she and the Reverend are staying. Timothy is rude to the Reverend, but Grace insists that her father stay. Meanwhile, the Reverend confesses his love for Grace, and they start to kiss in the barn. Timothy sees them, and kills the Reverend with an axe. Later, Grace wakes up in an empty farmhouse on the property. She thinks that the Reverend’s murder might have been a dream, but she goes back to the barn and finds his bloody body hidden under hay. She gets rid of his body in a garbage dump near the property. Grace begins to doubt her sanity, thinking that her father might be just a hallucination.
Back in Los Angeles, Patrick tries to take care of one of his medical school peers, Shirley, a woman with severe depression. The two, who live in the same apartment building, become friends. Patrick becomes worried about Grace, and follows her to the farm. He opens the trunk of his car, and finds the corpse of Grace’s father. He realizes that Grace is delusional, and that she has been killing people in the name of her father. He tries to talk to her, but she attacks him with a pitchfork. She tells him that her father told her to kill him, and that he is the only one who loves her. She stabs Patrick in the chest, and leaves him to die.
The movie ends with Grace going back to the revival show, where she joins Jesse on stage. She tells the audience that she has a special guest for them, and that he is the greatest miracle of all. She then brings out the corpse of her father, and introduces him as her father. The audience is horrified, and screams in terror. Grace smiles, and hugs the corpse, saying that she is finally with her father.
- Edmond O’Brien as Reverend Jesse Bundy
- Brooke Mills as Grace MacDonald
- Marc Lawrence as John MacDonald
- Michael Pataki as Paul
- Arthur Franz as Dr. Phillip
- Harry Lewis as Sheriff
- Eda Reiss Merin as Sarah Bundy
- Elizabeth Thompson as Cathy
The movie Dream No Evil (1970) was originally titled The Faith Healer, and was intended to be a satire of religious exploitation and fanaticism. However, the producer, Jack H. Harris, re-edited the film and added scenes of violence and gore, turning it into a conventional horror film. The director, John Hayes, was unhappy with the changes, and disowned the film .
The movie was shot on a low budget, and used locations in California and Arizona. The farm where Grace finds her father’s corpse was actually an abandoned movie set, which had been used for several western films .
The movie was released theatrically in the United States in 1970, and was later distributed in other countries under different titles, such as Daddy’s Deadly Darling, The Night He Came Home, and Psycho Nightmare. The movie received mostly negative reviews from critics, and was a box office flop. It has since gained a cult following among fans of obscure and bizarre horror films .
Here are some reviews of the movie Dream No Evil (1970) from different websites: