Buried Alive (1990 TV Movie)
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Clint does not suspect that Joanna is having a love affair with the local doctor Cortland 'Cort' van Owen (William Atherton). The lovers plot to kill Clint and sell his company and his house, and then they would move to New York City. Cort gives a poison to Joanna and she spikes Clint's wine with the drug. Clint has the effect of a heart attack and is immediately buried without autopsy in a cheap coffin.
During the night, Clint awakes buried alive, but he succeeds to escape. He goes to his house and he finds the truth about his wife and the doctor. Further, he learns that Joanna was pregnant and Dr. Cort had made an abortion of his child. Clint plots a dark revenge against Joanna and Cort.
"Buried Alive" is a dark tale of betrayal and revenge for television by Frank Darabont in the beginning of his career. I saw this B-movie for the first time in the 90's on VHS and today I have just seen on DVD. The good thing is this film has not aged and is still great. Jennifer Jason Leigh is excellent as usual and Tim Matheson and William Atherton had good performances.
The plot has many coincidences, but is engaging. The unforgettable conclusion in the cemetery explains the title of this film. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Sepultado Vivo" ("Buried Alive")
The TV movie 'Buried Alive' is an exceptionally solid and always compelling atmospheric little revenge thriller with a considerable dark streak and a fitting sense of humour. The performances are very strong with Tim Matheson's hearty performance leading the way. The gorgeous Jennifer Jason Leigh's sassy, but extremely cold-hearted turn is picture-perfect and William Atherton hammers down his seamy role. Hoyt Axton is good with his short level headed part as the town sheriff.
Clint Goodman is very likable, do-it-yourself man with a very productive timber business in a small town. However his unhappy wife Joanna is having an affair with her Doctor, the weasel Cortland Van Owen. He gives her a deadly serum, taken from the ovaries of an exotic fish which will induce a heart attack. She tries it during dinner (dropping it in a glass of wine), and it comes off. Well not for long, as he didn't die and rises from his grave in anger for revenge on his wife and lover.
The brooding story sometimes moves in and out of the profound concept with it leaking some contrived aspects, but it's scheming and double crossings are pulled off in a very entertaining (if not convincing) manner. Director Frank Darabont (best known for Stephen King adaptations of 'Shawshank Redemption', 'The Green Mile' and 'The Mist') makes his directorial debut with great assurance. The direction is well-grounded and tightly handled with quite a few well-derived set-pieces of striking imagery and atmospheric tension. Michel Colombier's score is just as calculative as the story melding in a dangerously soothing current with some eerie piercing. Screaming riffs with beaming basses.
A commendably amusing TV thriller entry.
entertaining enough to keep you watching until the end. Joanne (Jennifer Jason Leigh) plays the villianess of the film, administering the poison in an attempt to kill her husband and make off with the loot. She plays the part well, right up to the last part of the film which ends in an unliely manner with the interior of the house undergoing structural changes which would take weeks to do in real life.
Notwithstanding this it does enough to be worth watching, indeed I have seen it on several occasions when there has been nothing to watch on the TV.
It shows what people will do for money and I believe a real event around this film took place in the US. Scary stuff that makes you think how low people will go.
Top marks for Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tim Matheson, believable characters.Gripping story line full of suspense.Highly recommended and I believe you can now get this film on DVD. One to treasure.
Yes, the lines they are given are corny and silly sometimes, but Tim Matheson comes across as a guy you've just gotta root for. And Jennifer Jason Leigh makes a great villain here--I boo and hiss every time she's on screen. Even though I've seen it several times now--usually when I can't get to sleep--the last scenes still creep me out a bit.
If you like the genre, catch this one next time it's on USA.
This is one truly great suspense movie. Basically, the story surrounds a couple, Joanna (Jennifer Jason Leigh), and Clint (Tim Matheson) who have moved to the country to start a new life away from the city. Joanna begins expecting a child and sees a doctor, Courtland, who is only interested in scamming Joanna out of the whole fortune Clint's carpentry business is worth. Joanna is not happy being with Clint in the country and wants out of her life. Courtland tells Joanna that he plans to build a clinic in Beverly Hills and says "this is a cash machine just waiting for us to plug into it". The only way to get the money was with Clint's business. Being a doctor, he devises a plan with Joanna to kill Clint by poisoning him so Joanna could sell his business and get the million and a half dollar fortune. Courtland's plan was almost fool-proof, except for one thing; Joanna's dead husband, only, he wasn't dead. Clint couldn't have thought up a better plan to take revenge out on his wife and the doctor.
This movie is definitely worth seeing. The ending is unlike anything anybody could have ever expected. The plot is basic and straight forward, with a spectacular performance played by the actors, and a brilliantly written script. This movie is a good example of how greed can completely poison somebody's mind and ruin the lives of other people. Joanna and Courtland definitely deserved the torment they received by Clint's revenge for trying to kill him and ruining his life forever after. Another great movie which is similar to this is "Mortal Thoughts" (1990).
Movie rating: 10 out of 10
This TV movie is most notable for it's director - Shawshank Redemption's Frank Darabont. Not exactly lofty beginnings but he does manage to bring an air of tension to the proceedings. The film is quite dark in tone and is reasonably tense. However the plot is a bit too ambitious - it relies too much on unlikely events to move the plot along and the final half-hour is a little too farfetched to be accepted easily. However it is quite clever the way Clint takes his revenge on the plotting duo of his wife and her lover.
Matheson is actually quite good here as Clint and brings an air of menace to his resurrected character. Leigh is nearly always good but falls into playing the screaming wife for most of the film. Athertone plays the creepy doctor but makes him too obviously guilty - it's partly the scripts fault but also Athertone can't help but play a creepy character (Die Hard 1 & 2).
This is not as bad as I expected. It is quite clever and tense for the majority. But it is what it is - and it is a cheap TV thriller. The two leads are good but it's a bit too far fetched to totally suck you into believing it. Although if you can get carried away by the story then you'll probably enjoy it.
Wanting to have a child to add to his family Clint has been very disappointed in not having Joanna conceive feeling that maybe it was his not her fault, thats about he only bad thing that has happened to him since he married her. What Clint doesn't know is that in fact he did get Joanna pregnant but she had the fetus aborted by, you guessed It, her secret lover Dr."Court". Dr. Court, a Japanese fish and food gourmet, gives Joanna a vile of this poison from a tropical fish that he had, together with her, for dinner. Telling Joanna that it, by putting poison in his wine, will not only kill Clint but make it look like he had a sudden and fatal heart-attack. The next day Joanna, after having second thoughts about doing it, slips the poison into Clint's wine as the two have a toast to their great and happy marriage. Within seconds Clint suddenly goes into excruciating convulsions and falls to the floor as dead as the tropical fish that Joanna, and Court, ate the previous evening. Joanna is to inherit almost two million dollars from her late husbands estate but is so cheap that she doesn't even want him to be embalmed and buys the cheapest and flimsiest coffin, that you can easily put your fist through, that she could find at the funeral home which in the end will do her not Clint, who it later turns out is not really dead,in.
The story reminds me of something that I read in an old "Tales from the Crypt" comic book where Clint raise from the dead, and his grave, and comes back home for a surprise visit to both haunt and finish off his two "killers" Joanna & Court. With the help of the family dog Duke Clint has the two, after he put them both to sleep, locked in the house with Duke keeping them at bay as he sealed all the doors and windows to make sure that they don't escape. The ending is just too much even for a couple of swines like Joanna and Court when Joanna finds out that her "Lover" Court is really trying to do her in, and take off with all the money. The claustrophobia of Court & Joanna being locked in the house, like rats in a maze, had the two play right in to Clint's, wearing a black visor covering his face, hands.
Gut wrenching and horrifying ending that even made you feel sorry for the two slime-balls, Joanna & Court, who ended up where they wanted to put their intended victim Clint Goodman together with the money that was the motivating factor for them wanting to murder him.
Originally posted to Orion Age (http://www.orionphysics.com/?p=2475)
While the plot is nothing new the execution is pretty good, with a fast pace and lots of interesting zooming camera shots. The strength of this film lies in the central performances of the three leads - all good. Tim Matheson gets to ham and chew the scenery with relish as he exacts his revenge while Jennifer Jason Leigh enjoys her role as an evil woman - and is surprisingly good as one, too. However, it's always the underrated William Atherton who excels as the guilt-free, stop-at-nothing manipulator who wants the rewards all for himself.
The film really picks up in the final half hour, as up until then not a lot really happens. The killing happens early on but from then on, Matheson is content to lurk around in the shadows for a while. One scene - of Matheson rising from his grave - is obviously inspired by countless zombie films, especially the hand rising from the earth framed in lightning. There's even some spooky music to go with it. When Leigh and Atherton find themselves trapped in a basement, the fun really begins as the atmosphere and tension begin to build up to breaking point - and thanks to the acting, the atmosphere does get thick. Matheson then goes on to devise a maze in his house which his enemies must face - a plot device seemingly lifted from the final segment of 1972's TALES FROM THE CRYPT, or possibly the original source comics. These final moments are very good and flawlessly done. It's just a shame that the rest of the film never breaks from its television movie origins.
Way above average in terms of both direction and acting for a made for TV movie, with some genuinely disturbing ideas, and some pretty creepy scenes, this is a chiller of surprising quality.
The waking in the coffin scene is superb, as is the 'zombie' awakening sequence, and the last 20 minutes or so are excellent once the trap is set.
Decent performances from the lead guy, Tim Matheson and Jennifer Jason Leigh is as reliable as ever.
Check it out - it won't blow your mind but it certainly will entertain.
The actors are all fun to watch; all are cast in what are typical roles for each of them. William Atherton as a duplicitous slimeball, Jennifer Jason Leigh as a self centred, scheming wife, Tim Matheson as a slightly clueless everyman who is pushed too far. They do these roles well and have some fun with them. The plot is somewhat thin to say the least, with numerous contrivances and absurdities. The ease with which Clint Goodman is able to escape the grave is a bit hard to take, even if the wood in his coffin was rotten and the escape only seems possible as it was buried in a very, very shallow grave. Perhaps nobody making the movie had heard the phrase 'Six Feet Under' or they at least mistook it for inches. The nature of Goodman's ultimate revenge is also incredibly silly. Even with the skill we are repeatedly informed that he has with wood the contraptions he rigs up are quite elaborate, especially given the limited amount of time he would have had. At the end of the day, despite its failings, Buried Alive is fun, macabre little movie.
Moral of the story: don't use poisoned fish if you want to kill someone! Homer Simpson didn't die after eating the allegedly poisoned dish of sushi, either.
Tim Matherson -- I hated him at the beginning (he sounded as John Ritter in "Child's Play") Leigh -- perfect as the witch (although sometimes her good side drops) and she's hot like Hell! Atherton -- stereotyped bad guy, who loves animals (fishes!) he didn't convince very much Axton (sheriff Sam) -- the worst person in the whole movie! I mean, what the Hell was him? He isn't tough for a sheriff, he isn't funny (is that supposed to put fun at all movies' fat cops?? well it didn't work!)...I'd put more here, but it could be spoilers. All the others characters are unnecessary.