Dead and Buried (1981 film)

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Still from Dead and Buried (1981 film)...

Summary

A suspense horror film set in a small coastal town where, after a series of gory murders committed by mobs of townspeople against visiting tourists in which the corpses begin to come back to life, a small-town sheriff begins to suspect that the town coroner has been creating an army of rural zombies.


Details

  • Release Date: 1981
  • Country/Language: US, English
  • Genres/Technical: Horror
  • Runtime: 1 hr 34 min
  • Starring: James Farentino, Melody Anderson, Jack Albertson
  • Director: Gary Sherman
  • Writer: Jeff Millar and Alex Stern (story), Ronald Shusett and Dan O'Bannon (screenplay)
  • Producer/Production Co: Barclays Mercantile Industrial Finance
  • View Trailer: (link)
  • IMDB: (link)


Ratings

MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: R (graphic Violence, Adult Content, Profanity)

It might just be due to my not being as familiar with this film as I am with other films of its time, but this film's flesh-burning, eye-gouging gore effects seemed pretty gruesome by the standards of similar horror films of its era.

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • S____ (One Tentacle: Debateably Lovecraftian; has almost no direct connection to Lovecraft's work)

This appears occasionally on lists of "Lovecraftian" films; there's not a lot here that I might describe as "Lovecraftian", but the plot is like something based on a nightmare, it does take place roughly in the neighborhood of Lovecraft Country, and there are witches, zombies, and an evil tome. Though your mileage may vary, for some reason, this film does remind me just a bit of some contemporary films that I might be more willing to describe as "Lovecraftian", such as The Fog (1980 film), Phantasm (1979 film), and Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982 film), with perhaps just a drop of The Stepford Wives (1975 film).

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.

Reviews

Review Links:

  • Fred Anderson at Ninja Dixon link - "The atmosphere is stunning, foggy and filled with an interesting feeling of dread - right under the charming American gothic. Everything feels dirty, dishonest, and still so cute and cuddly. ... It's a very good and original movie and a perfect midnight matinee, maybe a double bill together with Messiah of Evil..."
  • Mitch Lovell at The Video Vacuum (2.5/5 Stars) link - "...their efforts aren’t enough to make the uneven script (which was written by Alien’s Ronald Shusett and Dan O’Bannon) come together in a satisfying way."
  • Richard Scheib at The Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review (2/5 Stars) link - "The film is a well-budgeted production but it is wrecked by the stupidity of the script. The most annoying aspect is the twist ending, which makes no sense in terms of what has gone on before. It makes the actions of the characters in the film seem senseless..."
  • Richard Winters at Scopophilia: Movies of the 60's, 70's, 80's (5/10) link - "The film, which was directed by Gary Sherman, starts off well as the big band era music and picturesque small town scenery makes it seem like something straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. ... The story though can’t match the atmosphere and the interest level wanes pretty quickly. ...The film’s tone is yet another issue. Sherman had wanted to approach it as a dark comedy, but one of the film’s investors PSO International pushed for the gore to be emphasized more. The result is jarring..."
  • Y.Whateley - "This relatively unknown horror film might never be mistaken for one of the best horror films of the early 1980s, but it wasn't a bad one, and I suspect that most fans of other horror films from this era will enjoy this one, too. Try not to think too hard about the basic premise: it doesn't really make any sense, and I suppose that a film like this really doesn't need to make any sense, since it comes across more like an irrational nightmare than anything else. It might just be due to my not being as familiar with this film as I am with other films of its time, but this film's flesh-burning, eye-gouging gore effects seemed pretty gruesome even by the standards of these similar horror films of its era, so I'd suggest a little extra parental discretion where younger or more sensitive viewers are concerned. There's not a lot here that might be described as "Lovecraftian", but the plot is like something based on a nightmare, it does take place roughly in the neighborhood of Lovecraft Country, and there are witches, zombies, and an evil tome. Though your mileage may vary, for some reason, this film does remind me just a bit of some contemporary films that I might be more willing to describe as "Lovecraftian", such as The Fog (1980 film), Phantasm (1979 film), The Thing (1984 film), and Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982 film), with perhaps just a drop of The Stepford Wives (1975 film)."

Synopsis

 Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)

A small-town sheriff begins to suspect that the town coroner has been creating an army of rural zombies.


Notes

Comments, Trivia, Dedication

Associated Mythos Elements

  • Tome: Witchcraft and Witches[?] (I'm not completely sure I remember the title right)
  • Race: Zombies
  • Race: Witches


Keeper Notes

External links, See Also