Sheriff Gillis (James Farentino) gets enveloped in an outbreak of murders in the small, sleepy town of Potters Bluff, Rhode Island. The bodies of miscellaneous drifters and tourists are quickly stacking up throughout the small town within a matter of a few days. As sheriff Gillis invesigates these savage murders, he discovers clues that suggest William Dobbs (Jack Albertson – Grampa Buckett from the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and some of the town locals may be the cause of these grotesque crimes – So begins director Gary Sherman‘s 1981 film Dead & Buried.
Raz: This movie starts out pretty quick when “Freddie” (Christopher Allport) visits Potters Bluff to snap some pictures of the local scenery. He gets some really nice shots of “Lisa’s” (Jill Fosse) breasts. Unfortunately for him, those will be the last pictures he will be taking because he is brutally beaten and burned alive by the local towns people after seeing this wondrous sight.
Sean: This beginning is pretty creepy with poor “Freddie” getting taken out just when it was about to be “boner time”. You have to feel bad for the guy, talk about blue balls from hell. He gets invited to a game of hide the salami, and just as he’s going full mast, a crowd of townspeople suddenly show up and pummel him with shovels and other assorted weapons about the head, neck and shoulders area… Talk about a cold shower, jeez.
Jenny: What’s funny is the way the crowd gathers around this grizzly sight and begin to take their own pictures with an array of random cameras. One guy has a flash bulb about two feet long. Is this a phallic reference?
Raz: At first I thought this movie was going to be pretty bad then the story drew me in. It gets a little slow at some points the suspense ends up drawing you back in. There is not too much gore, blood, or guts so the movie relies on its strange story to draw you in. As you start seeing various people getting killed you kinda wonder what is this leading up to? Then you start noticing things around the town and some of the characters talk about stuff that hint towards what is happening.
Jenny: I have to agree that this movie actually has an interesting storyline. There is a mystery here that must be solved. At one moment you think that you have it figured out, but then something screwy happens and you’re wondering “Where’d that come from?” For instance, a family comes into the gas station and it is Freddie, who died in the first five minutes of the film, who is pumping their gas. I wondered if I had missed something. But ultimately, most things make sense.
Sean: I have to disagree with Raz on this gore point. You have to remember, this movie was released in 1981. Within the first 15 minutes, a guy gets burned alive – then stuffed into a burning car, and a fisherman gets sliced and diced on his face and throat with the end of a harpoon. Maybe we’re all just a little desensitized to violence, but that’s pretty graphic and gory in my book. I also found the movie fairly predictable. While I didn’t really pick up on things way early, it seemed like just before a major plot point came out, I was saying out loud “I bet so and so is gonna pop up” or “Oh, it’s gonna be the waiter” or whatever. Thankfully, the story was good enough that those points didn’t detract from it in the grand scope of things.
Raz: I liked this movie a lot, although it was slow at some points the story was fairly good to get me threw those points. The reoccurring piano music was nice but creepy at that same time, and the movie ends with one of those old horror flick twists.
Sean: Hate to sound like I’m beating a dead and buried horse, but I enjoyed this movie too. It had some plot holes, it was a little predictable, but the suspense and the genuine scares and special efx made up for all those problems. I also had to get a little excited when I saw Robert Englund in a small, but appropriate role for him.
Check below the break for more pics, and the long run trailer for DEAD & BURIED!