6.6/10
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Dead & Buried (1981)

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:

Gary Sherman (as Gary A. Sherman)

Writers:

Jeff Millar (story), Alex Stern (story) | 3 more credits »
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Farentino ... Sheriff Dan Gillis
Melody Anderson ... Janet Gillis
Jack Albertson ... William G. Dobbs
Dennis Redfield ... Ron
Nancy Locke ... Linda (as Nancy Locke Hauser)
Lisa Blount ... Girl on the Beach / Nurse Lisa
Robert Englund ... Harry
Bill Quinn ... Ernie
Michael Currie Michael Currie ... Herman
Christopher Allport ... George Le Moyne / Freddie
Joseph G. Medalis Joseph G. Medalis ... Doctor (as Joe Medalis)
Macon McCalman ... Ben
Lisa Marie ... Hitchhiker
Estelle Omens Estelle Omens ... Betty
Barry Corbin ... Phil
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 October 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Look Alive See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$216,166, 15 November 1981

Gross USA:

$216,166, 15 November 1981
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Due to child labor laws, the filmmakers could not get permission to use the boys who played Jamie at night. Because the kids' entire part took place at night, a huge tent was constructed that completely covered the family car and the haunted house, making it look like it was nighttime underneath it. To properly ventilate inside the tent so that the cast and crew could breathe, fans were set up. But they made so much noise, that the live sound that was recorded during filming was unusable. So all of these scenes had to be dubbed by the actors and actresses in post-production. This is why Nancy Locke's mouth is frequently moving when she's not talking. 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

Dan Gillis: How do you do it? How did you bring them back to life?
Dobbs: Call it black magic. Call it a medical breakthrough. I'll take my secret to the grave.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The end credit music is different on all video and the recent DVD release when compared to the theatrical and the HBO/Cinemax airing in the '80s. The theatrical and HBO had on the end credits the suspense music from the film, which then changes to a Glenn Miller jazz score, while the suspense music is heard in the background, creeping up faintly, until when the cast names start rolling, then the suspense music takes over, ending exactly when the credit ends. However, all video release of this, as well as the DVD, the end credit music is now the rehash of the beginning credit sequence music, you can tell its tacked in, for they fade the music early when the credit ends. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Night of the Seagulls (2017) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the "best" of the "worst"...
20 February 2001 | by cchaseSee 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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