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Dead & Buried (1981)

 -  Horror  -  29 May 1981 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 5,771 users  
Reviews: 98 user | 82 critic

A suspense horror film set in a small coastal town where, after a series of gory murders commited by mobs of townspeople against visiting tourists, the corpses begin to come back to life.

Director:

(as Gary A. Sherman)

Writers:

(story), (story), 2 more credits »
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Title: Dead & Buried (1981)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sheriff Dan Gillis
...
Janet Gillis
...
William G. Dobbs
Dennis Redfield ...
Ron
...
Linda (as Nancy Locke Hauser)
...
Girl on the Beach / Nurse Lisa
...
Harry
Bill Quinn ...
Ernie
Michael Currie ...
Herman
...
George Le Moyne / Freddie
Joseph G. Medalis ...
Doctor (as Joe Medalis)
...
Ben
...
Hitchhiker
Estelle Omens ...
Betty
...
Phil
Edit

Storyline

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 Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The writers of alien... ...bring a new terror to earth. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 May 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dead & Buried  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stan Winston's special effects went beyond creating gore for the film. The figure in the full body cast lying in George LeMoyne's hospital bed was a mechanical dummy built by Winston. The life-like detail and elaborate movements the dummy was rigged to make gives the appearance that its a real person and makes the infamous needle-eye stab all the more startling. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Harry: I was just telling these guys about that accident last night. Find out who that guy was?
Dan Gillis: Not a thing. No ID. No license plates. No nothing.
Ernie: Dan, old buddy, with that fancy salary the city of Potters Bluff pays you, and the amount of money the state spends getting you educated, you ought to be able to find some clues.
Herman: If you can't solve a traffic accident, what are you gonna do if a crime happens?
Harry: Now boys, don't be riding Danny too hard. He's out to lead this town. We're lucky to have him. A ...
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of the "best" of the "worst"...
20 February 2001 | by (Arlington, VA.) – See all my reviews

It didn't occur to me until my later years, when I became an avid 'credit reader,' to make the connection between DEAD AND BURIED and two other low-budget gems that totally blew my mind: the earlier, gorier (but not by much) DEATH LINE, released in the U.S. under the appetizing title RAW MEAT, and a nasty-but-nifty little cop thriller called VICE SQUAD, which has the distinction of sporting quite possibly the smarmiest, most memorably evil performance that Wings Hauser ever gave in his entire career.

The gore ante has been upped so much at the movies nowadays, that you literally have to take the top of somebody's head off to get a rise out of the audience, (see HANNIBAL). But there was a time, either when we were more naive, or when lower budgets demanded it, that directors of low-budget horror fare knew that if you were going for the gross-out, you had to make it effective to scare the bejesus out of moviegoers. Gary Sherman was one of the few talented directors who knew this, and he went to town on my nerves with this, which I saw for the first time on video many years ago.

Some of the plot points maybe as murky as the atmospheric photography is at times, but one thing is certainly made clear: TV-friendly character actor-turned-spooky-town M.E. Jack Albertson is definitely up to no good. Travelers and transients who are innocently passing through the little, picturesque seacoast town where he plies his trade, are being found horribly murdered, only to be resurrected...as townies! Voodoo is somehow involved, as are some of the most violently graphic dispatchings commended to film for that time period.

James Farentino and Melody Anderson, known mostly for TV movie appearances (and in Melody's case, FLASH...aaaa-aaahhh!) do serviceable jobs as the town sheriff and his wife, who become more embroiled in the mystery than they'd like, and Robert Englund joins the proceedings, usually making his formidably creepy presence more than welcome, (until he came into his own as Freddy). But this is definitely Albertson's baby, and he relishes breaking out of his casting niche after all those episodes of CHICO AND THE MAN. Good thing, too, since it was one of his last performances. Sadly, as it is with most talented character actors, he was never recognized for his stage work as much as what he left on film, but his D&B role is a nice antithesis to the kindly Grandpa George in WILLY WONKA.

Also: Dan O'Bannon wouldn't be able to catch the lightning-in-a-bottle he captured with ALIEN again, until his severed-tongue-in-cheek rendering of RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, his playfully amped-up homage to George Romero's masterpiece.

FOOTNOTE: D&B's releasing woes had nothing to do with its low-budget status. The original releasing company, Vestron, went belly-up and had to file for Chapter 11 more than once, leaving movies like this in limbo until the legal problems could be satisfactorily settled. It took a while for the video release, but it was worth the wait.

Oh, and no matter how mind-boggling the gore gets, you'll still want to watch it twice, just to see how you missed being clued in on the head-spinning climax!


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