DEAD AND BURIED
Directed by Gary Sherman
Produced by Ronald Shusett
Written by Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett, Jeff Milar and Alex Stern
Music by Joe Renzetti
Cinematography by Steven B. Poster
Starring: James Farantino, Melody Anderson, Lisa Blount, Jack Albertson, Robert Englund, Nancy Locke & Dennis Redfield
1981/94 mins/Color/DTS 6.1 surround
1.85:1 anamorphic/English/USA/NTSC Region 1
Review from the Blue Underground DVD
Potters Bluff is a small fishing town somewhere on the West Coast. It appears quite normal, quiet and serene and even attracts the occasional tourist. However, these tourists will soon learn that something is horribly wrong with the place, as the people of Potters Bluff brutally murder their visitors. Sheriff Dan Gillis (James Farentino) is desperate in finding the psychopath seemingly roaming the streets of his town as the bodies pile up. Mutilated, incinerated, eviscerated, it is hard to believe that someone capable of such atrocities should walk among his friends and neighbors. He tries to get to the bottom of this case but by doing so his whole world seems to collapse around him.
It's been years since I saw this movie and after viewing it on Blue Underground's new S.E. release, I was reminded what a little gem this is. It was gratifying to see such as Robert Englund, Lisa Marie, Melody Anderson, and Lisa Blount in their early days not to mention that grand old man, Jack Albertson. James Farentino also puts in a credible performance.
Filmed on a shoestring budget, DEAD AND BURIED is a quality horror movie thanks in great part to the special effects of some new guy named Stan Winston, Sherman's insightful directing, and gorgeous cinematography from Steve Poster. his is a movie that combines classic gothic and contemporary gore and grusome-ness in one package. The burned man in the van and the needle in the eye scenes still evoke a sense of horror and dread. This is an effective and atmospheric movie that was certainly one of the best from the 80's and still holds up today.
While the acting is less than stellar, the characters are believable and contribute to the chilling effectiveness. The cinematography is brooding and gorgeous which contributes a feeling of dread and fear that will keep you on edge throughout. DEAD AND BURIED was filmed in Mendocino, California which is a quaint, old fishing town full of real-life quirkiness and is a perfect set for this movie.
Blue Underground has prepared a brand-new re-mastered transfer for this movie and they made it look like it was made yesterday. I started watching this on my computer but there was so much grain that is was distracting. Switching to my 36" monitor, the grain all but disappeared. While still slightly noticeable in a couple of scenes, it was not an issue on the larger screen. The graininess is, no doubt, an inherent property of the film stock. The 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer is flawless with no nicks, scratches, dirt, or stains. The colors are well saturated and correct with just an occasional weak shadow scene. A truly excellent transfer obviously made with loving care.
BU has also given the movie new soundtracks presented as a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital EX and a full blown 6.1 DTS ES track, along with a Dolby Surround and the original mono track. The remix is subtle and expansive but not harsh or aggressive. The dialog is clear and static-free.I would ony want subtitles available but there are none.
No less than three commentary tracks can be found on the DVD.
The first one features director Gary Sherman as he reminisces about the production, moderated by Blue Underground's David Gregory. It is a very informative track that doesn't shy away from getting technical at times and thus relays a lot of valuable insight.
The second track is with co-writer/co-producer Ronald Shusett and actress Linda Turley now Mrs. Shusett. The track is also moderated by David Gregory who does a good job in keeping the conversation going throughout the film, though there are a few gaps where the participants rather let the movie speak for itself.
The third track is featuring cinematographer Steve Poster and David Gregory as they discuss the film from an almost purely technical standpoint. You don't get to hear many of these tracks any more as bonus materials become increasingly watered down and as such this one is more than welcome. Very detailed and insightful.
On the first disc of the set you will also find the movie's theatrical trailer and a photo gallery with posters, publicity shots, and a closer look at some of the special effects.
On the second disc you will find some additional gems in the form of new featurettes. The first one covers Stan Winston's work on the movie. Running for almost 20 minutes, it starts out with an overlook over Winston's career and his background, as told by himself, and then covers "Dead & Buried" in more detail.
Robert Englund is the center of the second featurette. Englund, of course, plays a supporting part in the film and he seems more than happy to talk about the experience of making this film. Talking about how he got involved, how the production came along and his fellow cast members, this featurette more than any other underscores and captures the enthusiasm that must have gone into this low budget movie with everyone trying to give 110% to make this a memorable film.
Dan O'Bannon, one of the writers of the film, is the focus of the third featurette. O'Bannon, who is probably best known for his work on "Alien" and the horror comedy "Return of the Living Dead," gives us a good glimpse into the origins of the film, the ideas and the influences, as well as the hurdles to get it made.
The disc is rounded out by a photo gallery of pictures taken by the director of photography, Steve Poster, as he was location-scouting California for the film. They are great pictures capturing the quirkiness and atmosphere of this small town that make it such a wonderful location for a film of this genre.
Blue Underground did a great job with this presentation of DEAD AND BURIED. The main menu screen looks similar to the cover art but has the head rising out of the ground and a delightful red teardrop falling from the eye. The transfer is top quality, uncut, and uncensored bringing back, in fine style, a movie that's stylish, imaginative, gruesome, atmospheric, chilling and terrifying. This, combined with a set of great extras, make DEAD AND BURIED a must own for all horror fans. Very highly recommended.
(would have been 5 except for that
damned security sticker that tears the package when removed)
This Film Features:
Review by Brad Vautrinot. All Right Reserved. 2003. ©
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