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Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror (1981)

Le notti del terrore (original title)
Unrated | | Horror | 10 December 1985 (USA)
An archaeology professor discovers an ancient crypt which contains living dead corpses. The zombies go on a rampage and attack a group of people which the professor had invited to celebrate his discovery.


Andrea Bianchi


Piero Regnoli (screenplay)





Cast overview:
Karin Well ... Janet
Gianluigi Chirizzi Gianluigi Chirizzi ... Mark (as Gian Luigi Chirizzi)
Simone Mattioli Simone Mattioli ... James
Antonella Antinori ... Leslie (as Antonietta Antinori)
Roberto Caporali Roberto Caporali ... George
Pietro Barzocchini ... Michael (as Peter Bark)
Claudio Zucchet Claudio Zucchet ... Nicholas (as Claudio Zucchett)
Anna Valente Anna Valente ... Kathryn
Raimondo Barbieri ... Professor (as Renato Barbieri)
Mariangela Giordano ... Evelyn (as Maria Angela Giordan)


Professor Ayres discovers a secret in an ancient stone and when he opens a crypt, he revives zombies that kill him. He had invited three couples to visit him in his manor to reveal his discovery. However, they never get around to meeting the professor. Out of the blue, the zombies attack them and they seek shelter in the mansion. The creatures put the manor under siege while they protect themselves trying to survive to the horde of zombies. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


When the moon turns red, the dead shall rise! See more »




Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Filmed on location at a real castle. See more »


During the opening credits, several cars are seen driving along a winding two-lane road through the countryside. Several shots are POV from the passenger seat of one of the cars, with the steering wheel shown clearly on the left-hand side of the car, normal for left-hand drive. Yet the cars are all driving on the left ("wrong") side of the road, as though they are in the UK. When the cars pull up to the villa, we can clearly see an Italian number plate on the white Mercedes, so we know the scene is set in Italy (if the amphitheater ruins in the prologue weren't clue enough). See more »


James: You look just like a little whore, but I like that in a girl.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"The earth shall tremble, graves shall open, they shall come among the living as messengers of death and there shall be the nigths of terror." 'Profecy of the Black Spider' See more »

Alternate Versions

The original 1986 UK Video release on the Apex label (as "Nights Of Terror") had been heavily pre-cut by 10 minutes 6 secs by the distributors before submission and then cut by a further 3 minutes 11 secs by the BBFC, removing nearly all of the gore and reducing the running time to barely 65 mins in length. The 2002 Vipco release (as "The Zombie Dead") saw all of the BBFC cuts waived and the film fully restored to its original version. See more »


Featured in Hervanta Homicide (1998) See more »

User Reviews

Two words, one man: Peter Bark
19 October 2009 | by TomBofthelivingdeadSee all my reviews

Another zombie classic. Well, it's a classic if you happen to enjoy bad Italian zombie flicks. Me? I can't get enough of 'em. Burial Ground ranks right up there with the best of the worst. Accordingly, Suds & Buds (see my Blood Freak review for clarity) are handy to have around for your viewing pleasure. Don't be surprised if this one creeps you out at some points.... or if you turn it off right around the incest scene (more on that later).

I remember renting Burial Ground when I was, like, 15, except the box was labeled The Gates Of Hell. As any fan of Euro-horror movies knows, these flicks sometimes have half a dozen different titles (or more), depending if you've got the Italian, American, German or Laplander version. But, The Gates Of Hell was also the American title for Lucio Fulci's City Of The Living Dead. The box even had the same art as C.O.T.L.D. Yeah, nothing too relevant to the review, I just thought it was funny. As I started getting more into horror movies and heard about City... and it's U.S. title of Gates..., I thought I'd already seen it. Then, it took me awhile to figure out what I'd actually seen was Burial Ground.

OK, enough with the childhood memories. Almost 20 years later, this is still one of my faves. You hear all the time about these types of movies being plot-less and devoid of character development... welcome to exhibit A! Well, there is an idea behind the movie but, I wouldn't go as far as to call it a plot. Basically, a small group of people (two couples and a newlywed Mom and her, erm, son) are heading to an Italian villa owned by their friend, Professor Ayres. He's been working in a tomb on the property, trying to... I dunno, raise the dead? Well, he succeeds just in time for his guests to arrive and is the first to go. While he's getting munched on, his guests make themselves at home back at the mansion.

By "at home", I mean they start boning (hey, maybe it was a long drive). These scenes feature a little soft-core sex and randy dialogue. My favorite line of the movie is when one of the girls, named Leslie, is playing dress-up for her man and reveals herself to him in a skimpy (and quite fetching) ensemble and asks him if he likes what he sees, to which he responds, "You look just like a little whore but, I like that in a girl". You sweet talker, Betty Crocker! It doesn't take long for the zombies to make their way outta the tomb and towards the mansion. These aren't your average dumb-ass zombies either. They take up weapons, climb walls and even use a battering ram on the door. When a maid reaches out of a window to close the shutters, the zombies pin her hand to the outside wall with what looks like a railroad spike and cut her noggin off with a scythe. So, these are some clever cadavers.

At this point, I'd like to take a moment to tell you about Peter Bark. I suppose anyone very familiar with Burial Ground knows where I'm going with this. Bark plays the role of the son, named Michale. Now, maybe it was the sexual content or child labor laws but, this role was not given to a child. Instead, Bark appears to be a 30 year old with a bone deficiency or something, as he stands about 5 feet tall. The really creepy part is that he looks like a 30 year old. Well, a 30 year old with a obvious problem.

Michale is constantly on his Mom's jock. He gives her new husband the stink-eye something fierce. After surviving a zombie attack, Michale cuddles up to his Mom and starts.... well, he starts hitting on her. Yes friends, The Incest Scene... part 1! I mean, homeboy starts feelin' her up and whatnot. Well Mom, for some reason, freaks out and slaps him (surprised it didn't turn him on, kinky lil' s.o.b.). So he takes off, seemingly forgetting that zombies are lurking about. Michale eventually falls victim to some zombie nastiness, which sets up... Incest Scene part 2! When Mom next sees Michale, such is her relief that she clutches him to her bosom... and offers him a suckle.... which he uses as a opportunity to bite her boob off.

That's pretty much it. Zombies arise, zombies attack, zombies kill everyone in sight. That's the "plot". If someone was to ask you what Burial Ground is about, just repeat those three things... arise, attack, kill. Oh yeah, and Peter F'n Bark! The Good: They don't skimp on the gore here. As usual, it doesn't always make sense (like when a freshly turned zombie has her head bashed in, why does it leak what appears to be gray paint?) but, like, whatever. A couple of the lovely ladies get naked... not Janet, though (seriously, am I the only one that thinks that chick looks a lot like Kate Hudson). The zombies look pretty good. Some are really revolting (rotten flesh,worms hanging outta their grill), while others are kinda ridiculous (you can plainly see the screened over holes at the eyes and mouth that the "actors" see and breathe through). I like the music, very moody.

The Not So Good: All the usual suspects for this type of film. Bad acting, bad dubbing and a plot you could jot down on the back of a pack of matches in about a minute and a half. All the stuff I mentioned in The Good could be, in someone else's opinion, considered Not So Good (shock and disbelief!).

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Release Date:

10 December 1985 (USA) See more »

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Burial Ground See more »

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1.85 : 1
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