Dead and Buried (1981)

Some films develop cults around them and some films wash away in the tide of film history so quickly that they never have time to develop a proper following. Directed by Gary Sherman and written by Dan O’Bannon (who directed one of my all time favorite flicks Return of the Living Dead), the low-budget chiller Dead & Buried probably should have been more popular than it was. However, now is as good a time as any to get acquainted with this minor masterpiece. Dead & Buried was largely ignored during its original theatrical run and it’s a shame it isn’t more widely known today. The film has so much going for it including some atmospheric cinematography and some grisly gore effects by the late and great Stan Winston. The storyline is also an interesting and original concept especially considering the slasher film was all the rage at the time. Sherman’s movie has quite a lot going for it and the performances only reinforce this notion. The three main principle leads are all very good here and bring with them an air of believability to the creepy supernatural shenanigans permeating the plot.

Potter’s Bluff, Rhode Island: a quiet little New England burg where everybody knows your name, where going out to eat invariably means the greasy spoon on Main Street, and where you’re likely to meet the most eccentric personalities. Of course, if you’re an outsider, you’re also likely to meet your untimely demise. Sheriff Dan Gillis (James Farentino) has two grisly murders on his hands, and the pieces just don’t add up. With the assistance of local coroner (Jack Albertson), Gillis finds himself inexorably drawn to questions with deeply unsettling answers.

Dead & Buried is a film that, thankfully, no longer reflects its title. It’s alive and out there, waiting to thrill the next unsuspecting viewer. After sitting down and watching this film again, it truly is a great piece of celluloid. Such a quaint and enigmatic film is rare and should be appreciated now in case it falls off the radar once again. Please check out this flick, and once you do, send me an email and let me know what you though about the ending!


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