Video Vices

Dead and Buried Review

Tag Line: It will take your breath away…all of it.
Release Date: 1981.
Director: Gary Sherman.
Producer: Richard R. St. Johns.
Written By: Jeff Millar and Alex Stern (story), Ronald Shusett and Dan O’Bannon (screenplay), Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (novel).
Cast: James Farentino, Melody Anderson, Jack Albertson, Dennis Redfield, Nancy Locke, Lisa Blount and Robert Englund.
Running Time:
1 hour and 34 minutes.

Potters Bluff should be the tourist mecca of New England but it is not.

They have a decent hotel so that can’t be the problem.

The town is near a beach and the ocean so that can’t be the problem.

The local restaurant has decent food so that can’t be a big problem.

Oh, yeah.

THE TOURISTS KEEP ENDING UP DEAD.

NOW, that’s a problem.

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Featuring a young Robert (Freddy Krueger) Englund and Jack Albertson’s (Chico and the Man, The Subject Was Roses) last on-screen film role, Dead and Buried was supposedly written by Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett. They also both wrote Alien. Later, O’Bannon would claim he only submitted story edits to Shusett and didn’t actually write Dead and Buried.

No matter who penned it, the film is a creepy, sometimes gory tale in the vein of the Twilight Zone and Tales from the Crypt.

Sheriff Dan Gillis (James Farentino) finds himself sifting through a curious case when tourists are either murdered or disappear into thin air in Potters Bluff.

Gillis’ investigation runs into roadblock after roadblock as the townsfolk either don’t know very much or are not very forthcoming. Gillis begins to grow increasingly paranoid to the point that he even interrogates his own wife (Melody Anderson as Janet). Getting nowhere fast, Deputy Dawg reaches out to a local doctor who quickly discovers that a recent hit and run victim actually died four months ago.

From there, the strange case of Potters Bluff takes some unexpected twists and turns which would have Rod Serling smiling.

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Special effects virtuoso Stan Winston, known for his mind-blowing work on Aliens, Invaders from Mars, Monster Squad, Terminator 2, Jurassic Park III and other blockbuster films, is another reason Dead and Buried is above your standard small town spookfest. Besides the death-by-toxic-fluid scene which stars a department store mannequin spitting up Jell-O, Winston’s creations are bloody and unnerving. Perhaps the best is a transformation scene which is so startling and so unsettling you won’t be able to take your eyes off of it.

Dead and Buried has its fair share of cheese, especially the random encounter which turns into an erotic photo shoot at the beginning of the film, but if you stick with it, it will stick with you for a very long time.

Gravestones

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Choked and stabbed to death with a harpoon.
Needle through the eye, brain.
Head crushed with a rock.
Some kind of toxic fluid pumped through the body.
Three killed in car crash.
One person stabbed.
One person shot.

Naughty Bits

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One topless photo shoot.

Memorable Dialogue

Ernie: Welcome to Potters Bluff!
Dobbs: I was more than mildly insulted. Just because I’m a mortician she had the audacity to insinuate that I might have knowledge of the black arts!

Pints of Blood

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Rating

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