Sheriff Dan Gillis has a nice life with his wife, the teacher Janet Gillis, in the small coastal and friendly town of Potter's Bluff. When visitors are mysterious killed in the town, Sheriff Gillis investigates the cases carefully and finds that dead people are reanimating and coming back to life. Dan finds a book of witchcraft and voodoo in his wife's drawer and he suspects that she might be practicing black magic. Dan meets the coroner-mortician William G. Dobbs and learns the dreadful and surprising secret.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
On the day when the opening beach scene between Freddie (Christopher Allport) and Lisa (Lisa Blount) was shot, the weather conditions were too beautiful for Gary Sherman's liking. The crew constructed a huge flag to hang from a rigging on a cliff overhanging the beach to block most of the sunlight out, so the scene could be shot with the film's dim atmosphere. See more »
When the young female hitchhiker is taken from the truck, she is thrown onto the muddy ground. Her face is covered in mud, before the rock is smashed onto her face. Later when we see the videos of Dobb's "murders and creations" the young female hitchhiker is being held down on the hood of the truck, and her face is clean before they smash the rock down on her face. See more »
Although the original UK cinema version was uncut this film was undeservedly caught up in the British video nasties hysteria in the early eighties, and consequently did not receive an official British video certificate until 1990. Illegally circulated copies of the film, followed by successful prosecutions under the Obscene Publications Act, forced the BBFC to edit 30 seconds from the movie with most cuts being made to the opening burning scene and a brief sequence of a bandaged patient being stabbed in the eye with a syringe. The BBFC fully waived all the edits for the 1999 Polygram video and all subsequent releases are fully uncut. See more »
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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