Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Horror Dead and Buried (1981)

Dead and Buried (1981)

A movie upon which effect and camera angle figure prominently in its success, Dead and Buried,  creatively exploring a subtle telling of the Jeff Millar story as adapted to screen by Dan O’Bannon.  Director Gary Sherman utilizes storyline elements in ways that take mundane practice into slaughter and group participation, offering new realms in the horror genre. The effect is to immediately draw the viewer into a, “what the hell” exclaiming that lasts to the very end. An end, I might add, that satisfies all questions and is well worth the wait.

Casting is excellent, from lead, James Farentino, as Sheriff Dan Gillis, and Jack Albertson, as the macabre William G. Dobbs, a not-just-another-mortician. The two alluring lovelies, Melody Anderson, as, Janet Gillis and Lisa Blount, as Nurse Lisa, have as a matter of their own innate beauty a stark contrast in what they have become in residence to their setting that provides the film with additional pathos. Reaching into the horror as the story unfolds this pathos mixes a new dimension to that horror. One scene in particular enhances it in a way that demonstrates Director Sherman’s talent.

The surprises are not cheap, but well lain in the storyline yet unpredictable. Great script writing. The few weak parts are insignificant in the scope of successes and every feature, acting, camera work, setting design, make-up, and scene changes are professional and pleasing.

Little touches are there as well, like a thirties style phonograph playing thirties style big band music, so not-so-appropo as to be delicious. Get togethers that are ominous and camera bug flashes of the most unsettling kind….all devised to enhance that “what the hell” flavor.

Even these twenty some odd years later, an incomparable little film. You gotta see it.

Some lovely upper torso nudity (but just at the very start) and hardly any swearing…even when awful things are happening.

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