Buried Alive (TV Movie 1990) Poster

(1990 TV Movie)

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"Dispensed of" husband gets imaginative, yet down-to-earth revenge on scheming wife and her sleazy lover.
freebird-102 September 2001
This film is certainly not run-of-the-mill. The director of Shawshank Redemption shows how, once more, he knows how to tell a story. The soundtrack is one of the best in creating mood and ambiance, communicating without telegraphing. The casting is great and Tim Matheson is what he's best at--a TV actor who fits the small screen as well as, well, some guys fit their jeans. He's watchable. The first time I saw it, the end was a total shocker. After numerous viewings, it's still one of those compelling tales, admittedly not deep, but filled with little details and nuances, like a good Stephen King short story. Definitely deserving of at least a loyal cult following.
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A Dark Tale of Betrayal and Revenge
Claudio Carvalho6 February 2012
The joiner Clint Goodman (Tim Matheson) is a man that has built his comfortable house and his construction company in his hometown with hard work. He loves his wife Joanna (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and they have been unsuccessfully trying to have a baby. Clint's best friend is the Sheriff Sam Eberly (Hoyt Axton) and every now and then they spend the night fishing in the lake.

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")
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Great and timeless movie!!!
ritaskeeter-121 April 2006
This really is one of my favourite films and is definitely the best Tim Matheson film I have seen so far. If you haven't seen it then I can't recommend it enough! The sequel to this film isn't as good but worth watching if you enjoyed the first. Scenes where Tim Matheson's character is seen to move when inside a zipped up body bag in the morgue, and when he is on the undertaker's embalming table are chilling, and when he eventually wakes up after he's been buried and subsequently digs his way out, the film totally delivers on its promise to thrill. The music when he's stumbling through the cemetery is just perfect and will have you rooting for him as he plots his revenge on his uncaring wife. MUST SEE! :-)
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Well made B-movie from director of Shawshank Redemption.
bluetwin9 November 1999
Frank Darabont went on to make the brilliant Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. Here is an early effort which is a nice combo of film noir, horror and revenge pictures. Jennifer Jason Leigh, a very underrated actress, plays the wife who along with her lover plan to murder her husband Tim Matheson. After the plan doesn't go according to plan, it's the husbands turn to turn the tables. Jennifer's character is so bad that the viewer wants her to get her just reward. Well worth seeing and rates 8/10.
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Above average TV shocker...
Chromium_529 October 2005
Interesting revenge movie, with a dark tone that sucks you in from the start, a creepy soundtrack that fits the movie perfectly, beautifully designed sets, and great acting from the three leads, especially Leigh as a truly despicable person. You really feel for Matheson's character and are rooting for him to take revenge on his evil wife... until he actually takes revenge on her. Then the movie gets weird. All of a sudden Matheson dons gloves and a welder's mask, turning into a Jason-like movie monster, and we have no idea what he's up to. After being on his side throughout the movie, we're suddenly watching from the perspective of his wife and her lover, wondering what the heck is going on. When his revenge is finally revealed, it's mighty far-fetched (it involves completely remodeling the house, which he manages to do in a few hours), and somehow out of place for his character, at least as we've seen him so far. He's even more sadistic than his wife. Still, it's meant to be a shocker, and it shocks. Definitely worth watching, if you're into that sort of thing.
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Greed loses out.
mylimbo19 August 2009
Imagine the nightmare of being buried… alive! Suddenly opening your eyes to find yourself in such a condense space… to only realize where you are. In a panic, heavy-breathing kicks in and you begin scratching the inside top of the coffin in frantic desperation. Then you punch continuously as your fists go numb not feeling the pain as the adrenaline rushes to your head. Screaming out your lungs with no prevail, until you break through the coffin to have dirt pouring in. But the remaining strength you preserved, you go for bust as your hand breaks through the top layer of dirt followed by the rest of the arm to eventually pull yourself up, as your head arrives to take a big grasp of air and to finally end it yelling in growing pain. Resurrection… ready for vengeance!

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.
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If you park logic at the door it's not a bad movie .........
merklekranz7 February 2011
'Buried Alive" is one of those films that has some different ideas, but problems arise in transposing those ideas to the screen. While the performances by Tim Matheson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, William Atherton, and Hoyt Axton are totally acceptable, there is a gnawing distraction called lack of logic, that permeates the film. The shallow burial, and the amazing carpentry work, to name just a couple things that are bothersome. Nevertheless, if you suspend disbelief, the movie maintains interest, and the ending is very satisfying. Sometimes it's worth sacrificing logic in the name of entertainment. ........................ - MERK
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Worth a look.
Mick Johnston22 December 2003
This is a film, which although having a somewhat implausable story line, is

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.
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Buried Alie.. Brilliant
info-69-1963561 June 2011
I remember seeing this on VHS video, scared the pants off me. Great acting and totally believable. Not suggested for people who don't enjoy that suffocating feeling. Highly recommended for those who love horror films.

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.
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Not a bad movie, but had that "movie of the week" feel...
ptripp2922 June 2005
I remember seeing this movie years ago, flipping through the channels and landing on it about 10-15 minutes into it. I got interested as it progressed, kind of keeping me on the edge of my seat. It was pretty believable until you see the way Tim Matheson's character exacts his revenge on his cheating wife and her doctor lover, kind of far fetched but fun non the less. Hoyt Axton plays a good role as the sheriff. This movie is not bad late night tube fodder, and I think is worth taking a look at. Tim Matheson (Otter from Animal House fame) plays a hapless hardworking husband who does not expect that his wife is having an affair and her and her lover are plotting his demise. Tim Matheson is a great character actor and was actually the voice of Johnny Quest the Hanna Barbera action adventure cartoon of 1964-65.
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"Honey. . .I'm HOME!"
Missy C27 June 2001
Warning: Spoilers
***SPOILERS*** ***SPOILERS*** The USA Network re-runs this one along with the sequel every few months or so on Friday or Saturday night. Tim Matheson is one of the handsomest men in Hollywood--and he just gets better looking with age. But here he is, stuck with a wife he's crazy about who doesn't love or appreciate him. She's having an affair with the county coroner, and they plot to kill him. Well. . .I don't know where this guy went to med school, but it's obvious he flunked his toxicology class. When they go to poison Tim, he's only in a deep sleep. The real fun of this flick is watching what happens after he gets out of the grave and goes back to his house. (The house is a beautiful one, by the way--some of the prettiest architecture and decor this side of Steve Martin's "Housesitter")

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.
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What people won't do for one and a half million dollars...
SentraWagon198216 August 2001
Warning: Spoilers
*This contains spoilers*

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
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Average revenge movie
bob the moo6 November 2001
Clint (Tim Matheson) is a successful businessman living with his wife Joanna (Jennifer Jason Leigh) in small town USA. However Joanna is not so happy and starts an affair with her Doctor, Cortland Van Owen (William Athertone). They poison Clint and start to sell up and move away rich. However Glen rises from his grave and begins to plot his revenge.

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.
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Grave Matters
sol13 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
**SPOILERS** Breaking his back by working long and hard hours at the construction site to make things fine and wonderful for his ungrateful wife Joanna, Jennifer Jason Leigh, the good natured hard working but somewhat naive, in what Joanna is planning for him, Clint Goodman (Tim Matheson) is unaware that his wife has been cheating on him. Joanna's having an affair with the family doctor Courtland "Court" Van Owen, William Atherton.

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.
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Jennifer Jason Leigh, enough said!
Bob Peterson13 November 2004
I seen this movie on a late night one night. It was kind of predictable at first but then it had some twists. There was some notable actors like Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Matheson, and the Hoyt Axton guy! I didn't know they had a sequel to it until after it was over, the channel I was watching, showed the sequel. Unfortunately, it was already to late when the first movie was over. I really liked Leigh's character having an affair with the Doctor who tries to get her husband but he returns later on in the film! My favorite character in this movie would be the guy doing the autopsy. I forget his name but I thought he was good. He made the movie pick up some!
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Impressive at points, but also stupid and slow
David Roggenkamp7 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Teen slasher alert, repeat, teen slasher alert. This movie starts out innocent enough – college students are on their way to some much needed R&R and what better way than to spend it at a haunted mansion. They fit the moniker of students and teenagers found in a teen slasher – we know where this is going – a nerd has been thrown into the mix. But before the movie can even get to the gore scenes, it already has haunting visions hitting the characters. While not necessarily scary, don't let that fool you – these scenes are just a precursor of things meant to come. The guy from 'Saw' also makes an appearance as a lecherous old man that bumbles around in search of some fun. The mandatory makeout scenes is here, as is nudity, and a few scenes showing off the curves of the girls. If this is too much of a gender stereotype, a few of the guys get the girls hitting on them and otherwise fooling around. This is all just to fit the moniker though, there's an old legend that the house they are at is cursed. It's only a matter of time before the slashing begins. Be warned, there is gore and as usual, if you fall for any of these characters, most of them are going to die.

Originally posted to Orion Age (http://www.orionphysics.com/?p=2475)
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Certainly above average for a TV movie
Leofwine_draca19 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This variation on Poe's theme downplays the horror aspect - except for one key moment - instead opting for a more traditional psychological thriller. The main problem with it is that it's a TV movie - meaning that there's no violence to speak of. However, for a TV movie, it's pretty good, with nice production values and a good cast who really get their teeth into their roles. This was one of a slew of films which came out at the same time dealing with premature burial - check out the film which came out at the same time as this, with the same title, starring Robert Vaughn, plus Fred Olen Ray's HAUNTING FEAR.

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.
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Dead but not so much
Raul Faust9 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
After a big Brazilian channel showed this movie and many people liked it, I decided to give it a chance. From it's title I imagined it would be a movie with a guy agonizing after being buried alive, in the style of 2010's "Buried". Fortunately, Clint being buried alive is just a detail and a short scene-- thank god. Clint's wife tries to kill him to have his money-- which would be a homicide qualified by a vile reason in Brazilian's law. Story is pretty much vindictive, since the main character (Clint) ends the movie burying her wife alive, just like she did to him. Although it looks pretty evil in a first moment, if you watch the movie you'll feel he did just the right thing. Joanna deserved that. "Buried Alive" doesn't have anything special, but writing, directing and acting are professional enough to make this whole picture entertaining, convincing and with a "happy" ending. Frank Darabont's debut couldn't be any better, and I have to confess I find this picture more believable and interesting than "Shawshank Redemption"-- yes, I have such weird taste. To sum it up, "Buried Alive" is a good low-budget movie that you will probably enjoy if you prefer realistic stories to Hollywood clichés.
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Revenge tale
Master Cultist15 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Pretty decent horror cum thriller from Frank Darabont, director of the critically acclaimed The Shawshank Redemption.

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.
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Oh the thought of it
johnhall89 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I recently bought BURIED ALIVE recently at a two dollar shop as I was attracted by it's title.Often these movies can be complete duds or quite good.BURIED ALIVE is one of the better ones.The plot is good,it's well directed and the actors are very well cast including the dog. There is plenty of suspense and creepiness along the way with some humorous situations as well.Bsically BURIED ALIVE is all about deceit,money,and revenge.Tim Matherson plays Clint and is the nicest bloke one would wish to meet and he absolutely adores his wife Joanna played by Jennifer Jason Leigh.Joanna is one real horrible number and is having an affair with the doubly horrible doctor and encourages her to kill Clint with one very bazaar toxin.The movie rolls on and locks the viewer right in.The shallow grave scene had me worried although if it was any deeper the movie would have ended real early as it would have lessoned Clints chance of digging himself free.The ending had me a little frustrated as I feel Clints decision not to go straight to his sheriff mate cost him dearly.Good movie 7 out of 10.ENJOY!
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An okay revenge movie.
Skutter-29 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Buried Alive is a simple little film, which is a passable way to spend an hour and half. It's basic plot- man buried alive by wife and lover and seeks revenge is fairly bare bones and running at a slight 90 minutes the story feels like it was stretched as far as it could go. The story as it is seems like it might well have worked better as a segment of a horror anthology or an episode of a Tales From the Crypt type show. There is some fun to be had but there simply isn't enough meat on these bones, resulting in a somewhat enjoyable but anaemic movie.

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.
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jimat94 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Good film but could have been more plausible with a bit of forethought, i.e: Clint reaches up from the coffin & reaches the outside, the grave couldn't have been 6 foot deep, also did the sheriff at the end recognise Clint? apparently so, wouldn't he have wondered why he was standing over his own grave with a shovel & given the recently excavated area was clearly much bigger than a standard grave an immediate exhumation would be in order, thus rescuing the errant wife, recovering the money and giving the recently deceased slime-bag doctor a Christian burial but perhaps the ending was deliberately structured that way, being buried alive being probably number one on everybody's list of ways NOT to die the director wanted people to say " maybe the sheriff went back & dug.." I disagree with some of the other reviewers about the joinery though, it was basic partitioning and could have been accomplished in a night. All in all worth a look, reminds me of the old (1970s) Hammer 'Tales from the crypt' films.
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Love is … "Die! Damn you! Die!"
Coventry4 August 2009
The plot of this film actually would make a wondrously extravagant "Love is …" cartoon! You know, the drawing of that cute little naked couple holding hands and looking into each other's eyes with a text underneath stating: "Love is … poisoning him with Japanese fish fluids, refusing to pay extra for his embalming and burying him in a rotten coffin barely two feet under the ground!" This modest and well-directed early 90's made-for-TV thriller guarantees decent suspense and entertainment as long as you don't set your expectations too high. The plot, which is absolutely unrelated to the similarly themed Edgar Allen Poe story, is full of far-fetched and utterly implausible story elements and you better don't contemplate about it too much, but it's definitely compelling enough to keep you on the edge of your seat for an hour and a half. Hard-working family man Clint Goodman *thinks* he has a good marriage going on, but his spoiled wife Joanna is actually sleeping with her doctor and planning to run off to California with him. They need money first, though, and so they conceive a plan to kill Clint and sell his profitable business to a frequent bidder. Their plan kind of backfires, because tropical fish-poison is a worthless murder weapon, and Clint literally crawls back among the living. He wisely decides that killing his wife and her lover with a shotgun is "too easy" – and right he is – and prepares an inescapable death trap of his own. The implausible part of "Buried Alive" is how sloppy the murder scheme is. Here you have a formula for murder that you could actually get away with, but it almost seems as if they want everything to fail. You make sure the last words your husband is supposed to hear aren't "Die! Damn you! Die", you pay for the embalming because it means extra security he's dead and you make sure everybody in town witnesses a proper funeral with an expensive coffin! Other than the occasionally lacking plot, "Buried Alive" does contain a surprisingly large amount of intense fright-moments, superb acting performances and tight direction from Frank Darabont (acclaimed director of "The Shawshank Redemption" and "The Green Mile") in his long-feature debut. Tim Matheson is good, but the always very sexy Jennifer Jason Leigh is terrific as the battle-ax wife and William Atherton is simply brilliant as the sleazy scumbag lover. Since this is a TV-movie, we unfortunately don't get to see a lot of gore. Certain moments are reasonably icky, like the image of Clint's scratched-open fingertips and a sink full of hydrogen peroxide, but Darabont merely keeps the emphasis on atmosphere

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.
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Do not bury this movie
FULL-GORE31 October 2003
Warning: Spoilers
I liked the premise. This flick is more a thriller than a horror (in fact, it's _just_ a thriller) like many may think.

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.
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