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Potters Bluff, Rhode Island. may seem to be a sleepy little town. At least for the casual visitor and the local sheriff, Daniel Gillis. However, all of a sudden, there are a lot of strange murders where strangers or people passing through are killed by mobs of townspeople. Only Sheriff Gillis has no clue to what's going on. Fortunately, the town has an excellent undertaker, William G. Dobbs, who is happy to take care of this sudden death-wave which is good for his business. Gillis soon discovers clues that lead to many of the local inhabitants involved in the killings, including his own wife Janet. Written by
The films plot was re-edited numerous times throughout the production. Originally the attack on the family occurred later in the film, after the hitchhikers murder, which is why the resurrected hitchhiker can be seen among the attackers during the scene with the traveling family in the old house. See more »
The hitchhiker can be seen as a zombie before she is actually killed, reconstructed and brought back to life. This is because the abandoned house scene - where she is clearly visible as one of the dead townfolk - was originally placed in the film after her resurrection. See more »
"Dead & Buried" is a classic horror "small town with a secret" film, this time concerning a tiny little seaside town called Potter's Bluff. The formerly peaceful community has suddenly been plagued by a series of grisly murders for the town sheriff Dan (James Farentino) to investigate. Creepier still, the murder victims reappear as walking, talking, friendly townsfolk. And what does the eccentric town mortician (Jack Albertson) have to do with it?
This rarely talked about flick, above all else, is a masterpiece of atmosphere...moodily lit, foggy, with a genuine sense of claustrophobia as the horrors seem to be closing in closer and closer to Dan's own home and family, especially the strange new habits his wife (Melody Anderson) has taken up lately.
All of the actors are solid enough, but Jack Albertson steals the show as the eccentric, big band loving Mortician Dobbs. In one of his final performances, he delivers a character whose unsettling realism and reverence for the dead will make you completely forget his also classic turn as the kindly grandpa in "Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory". Rather than just play this character, he inhabits his psyche and becomes Dobbs, and it shows.
Everything from the low key bits of airy score music to the often slow and dreamlike pacing of the plot, is dedicated to heightening the viewer sense of disconnection and dread, leading up to a well known sort of "twist" climax, which in this context doesn't seem hackneyed.
My only real problem with this film is that the pacing can sometimes seem jarring, with little connection to scenes preceding it, almost to the point of breaking the well crafted mood. Also, the climax was a bit too abrupt and a few more seconds of that final anguished scene would've done a lot to increase the film's overall impact.
I'd still highly recommend "Dead & Buried", as a solid reminder of what imaginative and well made R rated horror used to be, before the parade of dull remakes and tamed to PG-13 bore fests that now clutter the genre.
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