Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Movie Review: "Dead & Buried" (1981)

Director: Gary Sherman
Year: 1981
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 34 minutes

A sheriff investigates a string of murders in the small town of Potter's Bluff. What he doesn't know is these killings have been committed by his fellow townspeople. The real mystery isn't who committed the murders but why they committed them in the first place.

Next time you visit a small seaside town, just remember, it could be full of psychopaths who want to murder you! At least that's the case in director Gary Sherman's film "Dead & Buried." The movie stars James Farentino as Sheriff Dan Gillis. Some of the various members of the town are played by the likes of horror legend Robert Englund, Jack Albertson, Barry Corbin, and Melody Anderson. The Sheriff is investigating a string of murders in his small town of Potter's Bluff. As the audience, we already know numerous members of this tight-knit community are involved from the get-go. Sheriff Gills has to try and figure out what's going on as he slowly pieces together the information slowly but surely. He often asks for help from many of the people already involved in the murders. This film also has a mystery element as well. The real question isn't who committed these murders, but why these killings are being committed in the first place. This is by far the most interesting aspect of the story.

We didn't know anything about this movie going into it. We needed some horror films for our October marathon and picked this one at random on Amazon Prime. For a movie we just happened upon, we wound up really enjoying it. There are a lot of cool, creepy effects done by master makeup artist Stan Winston, who has done makeup effects for "The Terminator" series, "Aliens," "Predator," "Monster Squad," and even comedies like "Galaxy Quest." The makeup work is often extremely disturbing, particularly on the burn victim. It is so realistic and disgusting looking. Winston has also done a helluva job on the rotting corpses, and these effects add to the overall terror and gore factor.

There are numerous genuinely spooky moments and others that are unsettling and downright gross. For a low-budget horror flick, the story itself isn't bad and we were drawn in by the mystery of it all, trying to guess who the mastermind behind all of these murders really is. Even after those elements are revealed, there are still surprises to be had. We won't say "Dead & Buried" is an absolutely magnificent film, but it kept us engaged as the secrets are unraveled. We were pleasantly surprised by this one.

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 73%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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