12
Oct
14

Dead and Buried (1981)

Pretty scenery in Potter's Bluff...

Pretty scenery in Potter’s Bluff…

For day 11 of 31 Days of Horror, we check out what kind of horror Alien writer Dan O’Bannon can dream up right here on earthly soil. Dead and Buried is a seriously creepy story exploring the weirdness of the American small town, and what big secrets all those seemingly happy and smiling faces can be keeping from you!

Welcome to Potter’s Bluff, a tiny town on Rhode Island’s shore. What better place to get some leisurely photography in? George Le Moyne sure enjoys shooting the scenery, but he never dreamt it would get as sexy as it did! A beautiful blonde walks into his camera’s frame and starts taking her clothes off. Hot damn, looks like Le Moyne’s hit the jackpot! That’s what he thinks, of course until some ominous-looking locals close in on him, cover him in a fishing net, tie him to a post and burn him alive all while snapping photos of his face. Bummer!

Sheriff Gillis (James Farentino) wonders what the hell could be going on in his hometown.

Sheriff Gillis (James Farentino) wonders what the hell could be going on in his hometown.

Cut to Sheriff Dan Gillis (James Farentino), a local boy who left town to get an education (shame on him) who’s come back to re-plant his roots in Potter’s Bluff. He’s on the scene of a terrible car accident, and though the victim has no identification, you and I know that it is Le Moyne. Unfortunately for the locals, it looks like Le Moyne has survived. Unfortunately for Le Moyne, our beautiful blonde is out to get him yet again!

More out-of-towners start dying, and Gillis smells a rat; especially when one of the locals comes knocking on the door saying Freddie, the smiling face at the gas station, looks exactly like Le Moyne. Are the dead coming back to life? Suddenly everyone is looking suspicious, even his wife. Can the sheriff solve the mystery before it’s too late?

The local mortician (Jack Albertson) has been getting a lot of work lately.

The local mortician (Jack Albertson) has been getting a lot of work lately.

Dead and Buried is a surprisingly good and effective horror movie. I think I must be so used to watching movies for style and comedy that I forget how nice it is to watch a legitimately chilling movie. I definitely spent the entirety of the movie wondering what the hell was going on, and was pretty surprised by the ending. I rarely experience this nowadays; usually I can see where a movie is headed from the very beginning, and so I expect the movie to wow me in other ways.

I’m hesitant to say much more about the film for fear of spoiling its surprises. If you’re looking for a film that might actually freak you out, this one is your man. It’s also got pretty good make-up effects that are worth seeing. It’s not the most amazing movie I’ve ever seen, but it achieves the job it sets out to do, and it works. Additionally, the cast includes Robert Englund and Jack Albertson (Grandpa Joe from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) in his last film role. Worth a watch!

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