Dead & Buried (1981)

   
Directed by: Gary Sherman

Written by: Dan O'Bannon & Ronald Shussett

Story by:
Jeff Millar & Alex Stern

Starring:

James Farentino .... Sheriff Dan Gillis
Melody Anderson .... Janet Gillis
Jack Albertson .... William G. Dobbs
Dennis Redfield .... Ron
Lisa Blount .... Nurse Lisa
Robert Englund .... Harry
Bill Quinn .... Ernie
Michael Currie .... Herman
Christopher Allport .... George LaMoir / Freddie
Barry Corbin .... Phil
Linda Shussett .... Midge the Waitress

Release Date: Theatrical: May 29, 1981

*Images courtesy at: www.dvdbeaver.com

 

 

 

Rating:

 

There is a small town called Potters Bluff on Rhode Island which seems like a sleepy town and very peaceful as a photographer named George LeMoir (Christopher Allport) is taking pictures and then meets a beautiful woman named Lisa (Lisa Blount) who volutneeers to model for him but afterwards a gang of townspeople beat him to a pulp and then tie him on a net. Next they set him on fire as he ends up in a hospital as scarred up.
Sheriff Dan Gills (James Farentino) and William G. Dobbs (Jack Albertson) tries to find out who created this madness.
Some of the townspeople are disguised as employees at hospitals or at a diner finding any way to get to the people they have plans for their evil deeds.
Later on Dan discovers some of the other strangers in the area left for dead and yet realises that William seems to be responsible for all of this finding a key to resurrect them due to black magic witchcraft making them bloodthirsty killers and finds the whole city has gone mad.

 

We spot a cheesy discussion between Nurse Lisa modelling with George LaMoir taking pics of her and then having a supporting group of people beat him to a pulp which was a bit lacking but still disturbing enough. Along with them tying him up in a net.
We spot a perfect moment with both characters
Sheriff Dan Gillis and William G. Dobbs discovering a burnt up car upside down with a burnt up person as they reach their hand and the person screams as it nealry makes you jump. Good stuff there.
We have a nice dark camera shot on a fisherman acting drunk on a pier wobbling around as the direction here shows some good humor there and then a nice shocking moment with hands breaking out of a wall and grabbing him along with him constantly being stabbed and people taking pictures of him with the odd 3D effect which looked very well done too.
We spot many interesting conversation sequences between Dan and Janet Gillis making this scene on it look mysterious.
We have a nice shot on George wrapped in bandages on a hospital bed with Lisa coming in disguised as a nurse and speaking softly to him in an intimidating way with a good shot on him with his eyes looking wide and terrified and then a good shot on Lisa herself stabbing him in the eye with a needle.
We have one of the best moments of all which includes Ron and Midge the Waitress with two twin children entering a cafe for directions with George and Midge helping them out leaving a cringe that this isn't gonna be good for them.
There's many great shots on a large group of people walking towards their car with knives and cameras as well as a struggling chase scene with them trying to get away in a creaky old house too.
There's a good moment with a hitchhiker having a discussion with Phil while driving his truck although the situations seems a little too goofy. But it changes once we spot camera shot pics of her while opening the door and she falls into the mud but her pleading didn't seem convincing. But we have a nice camera shot looking up on Phil when his picks up a rocks and heaves it back down.
We have a nice camera shot on Janet on top of her coffin in the burial ground emotionally telling Dan to bury her as we have good shots on him putting dirt onto her.
Bottom line is that this flick was very creepy with the fog and the cult of people doing the sinful deeds which looked like a pre Children of the Corn and Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Personally I could imagine both Stephen King and John Carpenter watching this and getting their ideas to make their stories by this film. It almost reminded me a cheesy version of The Fog to top it all off except for the pirate ghosts killing people.
This film was out the same year the horror boom of other low budget flicks but this one I found to be quite original and very twisted too. You wonder if it's a zombie flick or not as Dan O'Bannon kept his writing very mysterious and suspenseful. I'd say it was like a total Frankenstein invasion. Just imagining killing people and resurrecting them with witchcraft now that would scare anyone who would want to mess with that stuff period!
By all means grab some popcorn with your fiends in a quite place, turn out the lights and watch the movie. It will creep you out for sure.

The acting is dated but still passable in which lead actor James Farentino (Sheriff Dan Gillis) had a good gruff look as a lawman acting tough when he needs to be as well as a great seriousness to his part playing those good guys in a horror flick. There's a great intense moment with him really getting aggressive and losing his mind towards Albertson and poitning a gun at him as he does well behaving like a mad scientist all of that was terifically and energetically directed.
Melody Anderson
(Janet Gillis) was incredibly mysterious as the housewife in the film as she really draws attention to the screen in a good way. It makes you wonder if she's behind on what is all happening throughout the film. We have a very impressive moment involving her teaching a class about voodoo and witchcraft trying to act charming by acting creepy but in a fun way too.
Jack Albertson
(William G. Dobbs) really knew how to behave strange and intimidating with what he had and knew how to make his point across that he is another suspect to the madness going on. He had the prefect creepy looks too.
Lisa Blount
(Nurse Lisa) really came across as evilly soft spoken really bringing out her horror character having a sweet like attitude before her killing making her part not someone to trust at all. Her role wasn't huge but was well remembered.
Of course we can't forget about Robert Englund (Harry) as this was before his days of Freddy Krueger and performed very creepuily in his role which probably impressed Wes Craven a great deal.
We get a goofy performance by Barry Corbin (Phil) as he seemed a little too melodramtic and over the top. However, it came across well when he acted terrifying later on.

Lisa Blount exposes her breasts while having her pictures taken.

There's throats slit
Faces slashed
Faces burnt off
Face melting off
A heart is revealed wrapped in cloths

Some good low pounding piano as well as organ playing for the creepiest moments along with a deep sounding effect in many scene's which sounded like a gloomy fog horn. We also have the low violin orchestra playing and at times real sqeauly violin soundings too which almost sounds echoey too.

[repeated line]
Ernie: Welcome to Potters Bluff!

Dobbs: You can try to kill me, Dan. But you can't. You can only make me dead.

Janet Gillis: Dan, I'm dead! Please bury me!