Movie Reviews 105 – Dead and Buried (1981)

Dead and BuriedDead and Buried is one of those movies harder to categorize than one would think. At times, it stands with the best of horror movies featuring blood curdling shock and fright. Other moments play out like a 70’s TV show, and even then it wavers between dramatic cop show and a light comedy.

Undoubtedly, the very beginning let’s the viewer know that this is not going to be some soft,easy going horror. In fact, the first bloody sequence is deftly set up, comes out of nowhere and comes out swinging hard. It was one of those truly rare moments that catches me by surprise, and really wowed me.

Dan Gillis (James Farentino)  has recently returned to his coastal home town roots and is now the Sheriff running the place. When he arrives on the scene a the fiery van wreck he calls in the town mortician (Jack Albertson, A.K.A “The Man” from “Chico and the Man”) to assess the burned out body inside the van. This is when we get the second biggest shock in the movie and we’re hardly five minutes in.  From there, people keep on dying, but there are other facts niggling the cases and Dan’s wife, an elementary school teacher (Melody Anderson) is somehow always associated with the events of people involved. When Dan finds a book on witchcraft and a dagger in his wife’s drawers even her lame excuses no longer hold. The town has a dirty secret all right but it’s more than just a shocking one.
It certainly is a ‘different’ movie in many respects and I would say that I most fans will enjoy it for one reason or another. I got a big kick out of waiting to see what happens to the Mummy man who was at the focus at the beginning of the movie. Then there was Albertson’s lab where you never quite knew what he was cooking up with those cadavres. All good stuff. Also keep and eye out for Robert Englund in a minor role sans his Freddy makeup.


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