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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
Stan Winston's special effects went beyond creating gore for the film. The figure in the full body cast lying in George LeMoyne's hospital bed was a mechanical dummy built by Winston. The life-like detail and elaborate movements the dummy was rigged to make gives the appearance that its a real person and makes the infamous needle-eye stab all the more startling. See more »
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 »
I was more than mildly insulted. Just because I'm a mortician she had the audacity to insinuate that I might have knowledge of the black arts!
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Gary Sherman's horror masterpiece begins with one of cinema's best beatings (and burnings) of a fellow human being. The scene takes place on a beach in Potter's Bluff (Mendocino, No. Cal) and is a hypnotic, brutal, black shock to the system.
The beating is filmed by a mild-mannered pipe-smoking old man, a waitress, a mechanic and many other affable citizens of the area. It sets the scene for much grotesquery to come.
DEATH LINE (aka RAW MEAT) demonstrated that Sherman had the goods. DEAD AND BURIED cements him into the brickwork of the horror hall of fame.
Future Freddy Kruger (Robert Englund) makes an appearance, as does sexy Lisa Blount from AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN. But the film's real star is the (now dead and buried himself) Jack Albertson as the coroner of Potter's Bluff. Albertson's is an eccentric, layered, career-best performance.
The tone is dream-like and ethereal. Even interiors are filled with mist. A foghorn is heard constantly. Nobody is who they seem.
A stand-out is a Super-8 home video shot by some students. Its climax provides a not unexpected revelation and the film itself perfectly embodies the horror of corruption which director Sherman is pushing.
The film did zero theatrical business because it's too damn weird for most audiences, and too damn good. But it has developed a cult on video.
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