Dead And Buried (1981)
DEAD AND BURIED is a lesser known gem of a shocker with a script by the late Dan O’Bannon, the twisted genius behind Alien and Return of the Living Dead. A much “quieter” film than either of those, DEAD AND BURIED feels like a particularly creepy episode of The Twilight Zone, but beefed up with some grisly make-up effects by the legendary Stan Winston.
Welcome to Potter’s Bluff, an idyllic little seaside community so quaint and charming that there just has to something hellaciously wrong with it.
And there is.
The film opens with a lone photographer (wearing a spiffy Captain & Tennile-style captain’s hat!) taking some shots on a deserted stretch of beach. Suddenly, he finds himself face to…umm…face with a pouty-lipped, buxom blonde decked out in a knotted-off blouse and full cameltoe Daisy Duke’s. But don’t get fooled by the eye-rollingly bad seductive dialogue that follows….or the ludicrously over-the-top super-sexy saxophone music…or the Skin-amax style heaving bosoms. This is a trap as much for the viewer as it is for our poor Captain. Just when you start to think
you made a HUGE mistake bringing this home from Netflix, the trap springs…and it’s a nasty one.
Out of nowhere, a huge gang of locals attacks, armed with flashing Instamatic cameras and insanely cheerful grins. Before you know it, the townspeople give our unlucky photographer the Potter’s Bluff version of a “warm welcome”.
Think Wicker Man and you’ll get my drift.
See, the people of Potter’s Bluff don’t take kindly to strangers. And any outsiders foolish enough to come traipsing though find themselves staying. Permanantly.
You’ll also find a lot of familiar faces in the cast here, adding to the fun. Keep an eye out for Lisa Blount from John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness as that blonde femme fatale on the beach, a very young, pre-Freddy Krueger Robert Englund, and most noteably Jack Albertson…who does a complete 180 from his role as the cuddly Grandpa Joe from WIlly Wonka and is deliciously bonkers as the town’s very busy mortician.
What is the dark secret of Potter’s Bluff? Why do the townpeoples all seem to be stuck in the 1940’s? Why do the victims’ bodies keep disappearing? And why does that new gas station attendant look exactly like our dearly departed photographer friend?
Well, I’m not going to spoil anything here, because I think DEAD AND BURIED is definitely worth a look. While it may not appeal to everyone, I think if you appreciate a great, old-fashioned, atmospheric slow-burn chiller, you’ll get a kick out of solving the mystery of Potter’s Bluff.
Dead and Buried
Director: Gary Sherman
Cast: James Farentino, Melody Anderson, Jack Albertson, Dennis Redfield
Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, DVD, Widescreen, NTSC
Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 5.1 EX), English (DTS ES 6.1)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Number of discs: 2
– By Patrick