4K UltraHD Review: Dead & Buried (1981)

July 10, 2021

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

People keep rollin’ on up to small coastal town of Potters Bluff to find themselves tortured and murdered by some of the locals… who also happen to be film buffs judging by the amount of photo’s they take of their dastardly deeds!
Enter: Sheriff Dan Gillis (James Farentino), who is gettin’ a tad bit worried that folks are turning-up looking like raw ass… plus his wife (Melody Anderson of 1980’s Flash Gordon fame) is acting bizarre as well.
Speaking of “bizarre”, Dobbs (Jack Albertson) the town mortician is one hell of a weirdo as well, and he is absolutely balls deep into his job (not literally… this isn’t a Jörg Buttgereit jam), but he’s more than eager to help our hero solve this monstrous mystery!
Oh, you know what else is odd? Some of those dead folks turn up alive and well around town!
As you probably have guessed, Dead & Buried is some serious Twilight Zone by way of H.P. Lovecraft shit, believe you me cats n’ creeps! We have our small, remote town… surrounded by the sea, and filled with a deep, dark secret that makes this one one hell of a ghoulish good time!
Of course, that secret simply can not be revealed in this revoltin’ review, so I’ll have to jaw at ya about the other plusses on display here… such as the fact that this flick is comprised of a top-notch cast (including an early turn from none other than Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund), gobs of atmosphere and suspense, splashes of pitch-black humor, and most jarring; and incredibly mean streak a monstrous mile long!
It’s that last point that stuck with me the most after watching this fright flick… there are some truly brutal kills on display here (created in part by ol’ Stan Winston himself) and the gorgeous gore often flows freely indeed!
While the main event is beyond worth your hard earned demonic dollars, this one has much more in store in the form of special features… and you might want to grab a few pillows to plunk your ass down on because you are going to be here a while!
First up comes four audio commentaries (featuring director Gary Sherman, co-writer/co-producer Ronald Shusett & actress Linda Turley, director of photography Steven Poster, and horror flick historians Troy Howarth & Nathaniel Thompson… and for the record the first three are archival, and the last is brand new to this 4K UHD release from Blue Underground and MVD Entertainment) which cover just about every conceivable aspect of this film’s production and legacy that one could imagine!
Following that we get a look at newly released behind-the-scenes footage from the filming of Dead & Buried (a real early ’80s time capsule if ever there fuckin’ was one!), a modern look at the shooting locations utilized by the production, interviews with Sherman (along with composer Joe Renzetti) and the author of the film’s novelization, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and archival pieces focusing on Winston’s special effects (a fascinating watch!), Englund’s involvement with the film, and a chat with “co-writer” Dan O’ Bannon.
Bringing up the rear we get a trio of trailers, poster and still galleries, and a collection of Poster’s location stills.
Also included are the film’s original motion picture soundtrack on a separate CD, a collectible booklet featuring a new essay by Michael Gingold, and if you snag yourself a first pressing of this baby you’ll get a moving lenticular slipcover!
So there you have it; Dead & Buried is drenched with tension, atmosphere, and plenty of that sweet, sweet crimson… and it’s one hell of a unique and brutal time in our beloved horror biz!


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