Buried Alive (1990)


Directed by: Gerard Kikoine

Written by: Jake Chessi & Stuart Lee
Edgar Allen Poe (Novel)


Robert Vaughn .... Doctor Gary
Karen Witter .... Janet
Donald Pleasance .... Doctor Schaeffer
Nia Long .... Fingers
Ginger Lynn Allen .... Debbie
Janine Denison .... Shiro
Ashley Hayden .... Bozo
Arnold Vosloo .... Ken Wade

Special Appearance:

John Carradine .... Jacob

Release Date: Direct-to-Video: February, 1990 (Sweden)



A woman named Janet (Karen Witter) goes to teach at the Ravenscroft Institute where she meets up with the head of the department named Doctor Gary (Robert Vaughn) who has a few skeletons in his closet as well she encounters ex-mental patients like Doctor Schaeffer (Donald Pleasance) as the staff there.
The students are slowly missing one by one as they are being invaded by ants and then sent down to a trap door leading to a dungeon. Then someone walls them in with bricks.
Janet hears a strange sound coming through the walls while staying at the institution and tries to discover more information about some of the missing students there as they were supposedly runaways.
Also, the students decide to party at the dungeon after hours as well hosted by a troublemaking one named Debbie (Ginger Lynn Allen) but even Debbie is going to have what's coming to her for her nasty deeds.


A nice old fashioned horror beginning to the story with one of the patients trying to escape from the institution with her friend Fingers talking to her and offering her a switchblade knife for protection which looked flashy to see all of this as well as nice dark scene's with the escapee finding a way outside and spotting a road and some traffic. Plus a great shot on a killer wearing a mask attacking her and the struggles that happen here which is of course a nice moment for a start of a horror flick as well as this gal going down a trap with a metal pipe and the great suspenseful shots on her falling as well as nice close up shots later on with this killer making bricks around her which gives a good psycholoigal feeling on her being trapped inside as well as good shots on some ants swarming around.
We spot a moment with one of the main character's named Janet trying to find her way to teach at the ward and then parks to fall asleep for the night and then the local county sheriff Ken Wade talking to her the next day which seems to borrow quite a bit from the film Psycho which makes me wonder if this was a paying tribute to the classic flick.
Nice surroundings at the ward with the nasty and crazy girls at a kitchen with sarcastic remarks towards one another as well as one of them making a meal and spitting in it while grinding something which looked perfectly gross and necessary spotting delinquents being gross as well as the head nasty one Debbie getting ready to start a fight and acting ruthless offering perfect intensity and nice camera shots on all of this happening.
Also more intense moments at a science class with Janet teaching and one of the students freaking out at a supposed dead frog with hell nearly breaking loose as well as Janet trying to be patient while this all happens as this grabs your attention as to what will happen next or if someone will get hurt. Looked powerfully done for sure.
Great close up shots with one of the patients using an electric device from the kitchen to dry and curl her hair which makes you watch carefully by how this was all done making you wonder if something here will go wrong and deadly and boy is it shocking when we find out the results which will please all you horror fans. Plus it had a perfect dark night shot setting as well as good close up shots on a black cat watching and ants surrounding her too.
A perfect twisted moment with Janet leaving her room at night and hearing a strange sound and then a good shot on her opening a closet door with a shocking situation. It does make you wonder as to how what she spotted came to be which is a nice hallucination sequence along with an eccentric
Doctor Schaeffer peeking at his room door towards her each time she suspects something outside of her room drawing more nice mysterious moments.

Perfect close up shots on ants crawling around Janet's feet outside of the asylum as well as a nice near jumping moment and a hand crashing through and pulling her down which psychs you out while watching all of this happening as well as to what she spots which makes you wonder if she is dreaming this scene or not. The settings looked good for all of this.
A not too shabby moment with Doctor Gary come on towards Janet with his discussions towards her which looked fairly dramatised and almost romantic yet seeming creepily charming while we continue to watch his persistence towards her in other scene's especially asking her to marry him which also looked perfectly twisted by how he approaches her to do so unravelling more mysterious moments into this story.
A neat fun moment with Debbie and the gang goofing around in the shower tossing someone in the air which makes you want to join in on the fun as well as another perfect hallucination sequence with Janet trapped in a washroom and a hand coming out of the toilet grabbing for her legs with ants swarming out as this looked pretty messed up.
Alot of great fun moments when Debbie leads her mates to a secret part of the ward which is a dungeon to party out to smoke dope and have fun along with snubbing the new patient there. The moments seemed quite natural for delinquents acting rebellious while partying. Also good creepy situations with the new one spying on them and the camera shots closing around her which you suspect that the killer is going to get her next and boy does it look itense when we find out on what happens. Plus a good scene with Fingers wandering the halls and spotting the switchblade she gave to her friend which also gives you the chills knowing that she's behind those brick walls.
Nice powerful moment with Fingers talking to Janet by what she found and concerned about her friend which looked strongly done and making you want to watch for more to see on what she can do for Fingers.
A good situation with Janet going down to the dungeon and spotting a chair with all sorts of torturous devices around it making this moment look perfectly unpleasant as this makes me wonder if the makers from Hostel or Session 9 saw this and used the similar elements for their films. Then a nice near jumping moment when Doctor Schaeffer catches her by surprise and acts anxious towards her which also makes you wonder about him and his mysterious attitude while the story rolls on.
Perfect rebellious scene with Debbie complaning towards Doctor Gary about Janet not wanting her there as it looked convincing on a nasty girl never satisfied and always wanting to cause trouble which makes you guess that she will get what's coming to her very soon.
A perfect night scene with Debbie sneaking out at night to see her boyfriend Tim and then good shots closing in and then BAM! A perfect brutally intense assaulting moment involving Tim which makes you wonder if he was killed off. This certainly looked painful when we see on what hit him.
A great dark moment on the killer revealed as well as what he plans to do with both Debbie and Tim when she tries to plead towards him. Plus a perfect intense struggle between Tim trying to strangle this killer but yet we all know on what's going to happen next which isn't good and was perfectly gruesome and disturbing to watch. The end results weren't a pretty sight and can make the viewer feel uneasy while spotting this since it was perfectly sick and twisted.
There was a perfect deadly battle between the killer and Doctor
Schaeffer as well as what's going to happen after this offering perfect intense madness to a killing with it looking graphic but more insane like.
Then there's the near ending with the mysterious person that was trapped behind a wall for so many years while battling against the killer which looked intense and darkly done for a horror flick and the fans can enjoy this ending battle for sure.
Bottom line is that although this film never made it to theatre's it sure deserved to have a release as it was on a descent low budget although sometimes the story is a bit slow as well as the audio sounding almost foregin while watching the dialogues with one another even if it was their own voices that were used. Direct-to-video sells better than theatrical releases since more people rent movies than go to the theatre's.
I really enjoyed this film and found it very adventureous, shocking, disturbing and twisted even if it's pretty dated and at times cheesy and a bit overly long too and also can see why this film was considered obscure. This flick was shot in South Africa which is a change since most B-film foreign horror flicks are shot in Italy or Spain.

The acting is good as we have a few known faces in the film such as Robert Vaughn (Doctor Gary) whom comes off as someone who seems deceivingly laid back as the headmaster of the ward seeming to be believeably overly protective by what he does there yet acts very strange and mysterious in other moments. Also acted convincingly obsessive as well as coming on very strong which he shows off nice negative energy while doing this too. Was great with his wicked words and actions and knew on how to act cold and disturbed with certain situations too. Yes he was for sure a nice character actor and often was good playing these types in other shows too.
Karen Witter (Janet) does well for herself too as the nice teacher by having a good calmness to her speaking and focusing well while speaking her instructions and trying not to lose it alltogether. She was good acting anxious at some spots as well as doing a great job freaking out with the attacking hallucination sequence or getting spooked out by others too. Definetely studied this part pretty well for what we see her do here.
Donald Pleasance (Doctor Schaeffer) was great with his craoky type of speaking and portrayed a perfect suspect in the film and drew off a nice nosey type of behavior and almost acting stalking like. He knew on how to present himself as someone whom is typically eccentric and mysterious like too. Also does a great job acting anxious or tripping out near the end of his performance too. He for sure made his appearance look different compared to his other horror films like in Halloween for example and will be greatly missed for his natural talents throughout the years of his acting career.
We also have Nia Long (Fingers) in one of her first films before she became a known celebrity and she does a splendid job in this one as the innocent teenager who needs to act tough when it's necessary. Does a good job showing her no nonsense attitude and good aggressions when she had to act like this. Does well when stressing a situation in a certain scene showing a perfect worried and uncomfortable type of attitude which really showed off. She for sure studied this role nicely and was one of the many cast members who stood out the most into the film.
Ginger Lynn Allen (Debbie) lived to play a nasty girl role which was perfect for her. I found this one to be her best performance to date and should've won a b-film award of some kind for best supporting actress. Was great at getting in someone's face like she was going to punch someone out and getting to the point with stuff. Also was perfect acting wild and obnoxious too when she loses it or acting convincing with her nasty sarcasm not making you feel wanted. Did great with her blocking too while swaggering around or being quick about something. Does a great job near the end of her performance while screaming in terror and pleading which made you feel sorry for her. Yes she was a great bully in the flick and it was a shame she didn't make it big in legit films like she did in pornography as she had the hot moves in this one.
Arnold Vosloo (Ken Wade) seemed to act perfectly sharp for his portrayal as the head sheriff of the area in which he spoke perfectly well and was well alerted by what he had to do. Plus offered a nice type of charm and charisma into his part too which was another nice bonus for his supporting role. He had this part nailed down a great deal and deserved a good pat on the back and lead a bigger career in future shows afterwards which isn't surprising.
Bill Butler (Tim) didn't have a huge part in the film but was worth mentioning as the goofy punk who likes to smoke up in which he seemed to do not too shabbily while watching him perform. Seems to do okay with his sarcasm making him look like a perfect doofus adding nice dark humor into what he does. Plus does a good job acting intense while struggling against someone near the end of his perfomance.
We also have a cameo by former b horror film celebrity John Carradine (Jacob) in his last film before he died.
Does a good job with his moaning and acting ghostly as well as lunging in for the attack showing off a perfect level of creepiness into his part which can be well remembered for anyone who saw this flick. Bless his soul indeed.

While the teens party out at the dungeon there is a topless one.
Also there's a shower scene with some girls showing off their breasts and butt.

While someone was trying to curl her hair her scalp was ripped off.
A gruesome bloodied skeletal corpse is lying in a room surrounded by bricks.
A cement smoother was cut in a guy's face which is gruesome and quite graphic which looked genuinely disturbing too.
Corpses are revealed in the dungeon.

The music is composed by french composer Frederic Talgorn as he has a real descent score with the music with the heavy violin tones etc and a perfect orchestral feel to everything as well as hearing the odd deep piano poundings which almost sounds similar to what you'd hear in Black Christmas. There's even spooky synthesizer playing too which doesn't sound cheesy at all as well as perfectly smooth too. Some good beats here and there in certain segments. There's also some nice mellow tones for a suggested romantic scene. Lots of hissing sounds and heavy breathing effects adding great suspense throughout all of this.