Dead & Buried (1981)

Dead & Buried

Directed by Gary Sherman [Other horror films: Death Line (1972), Mysterious Two (1982), Poltergeist III (1988), 39: A Film by Carroll McKane (2006)]

I’ve now seen this film twice, and it has thoroughly been cemented into my favorite horror flicks of the 1980’s.

Dead & Buried is a moody and atmospheric classic, one that I think every horror fan should give a shot. The plot takes you for a ride – you might think you see what’s coming, but you may be in for a surprise. The atmosphere is wonderfully tense and mysterious, and like the main character, Sheriff Dan Gillis (played by James Farentino), you’re wondering what the hell is going on.

Dead & Buried is an innovative movie that is held back only by leaving a few too many unanswered questions at the end, along with some moderately hokey acting by Farentino later on in the flick. But the positives far outweigh the downsides.

James Farentino and Jack Albertson (playing a very memorable coroner/mortician) did amazing throughout the film, and although, like I said, Farentino got a bit iffy toward the end, he still did a damn fine job. Also worth noting: while he didn’t appear much, Robert Englund was also in the flick, playing one of the townsfolk. Always fun to see him, no matter how unsubstantial the role.

The gore level isn’t all that high, but there are amazing special effects throughout (Stan Winston did so well here), and really, just for those alone, it’s worth watching.

It’s hard to overstate how amazing this film is, even with the drawbacks. It may feel like a Twilight Zone episode at times, albeit a violent one, but that just adds to it’s charm. A fine movie in any horror fan’s collection, Dead & Buried has been overlooked for far too long. This movie certainly did it for me, and that ending is not one I will be forgetting anytime soon.


Author: Jiggy's Horror Corner

Fan of the horror genre, writer of mini-reviews, and lover of slashers.

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