Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Burial Ground (1981)

Another memory from the ole Farm Fresh video rental days comes from the land of pasta and zombies, that’s right Italy! As a fan of Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Dawn of the Dead (1978), I was always looking to expand my zombie experience. I’m not sure if I had encountered Lucio Fulci’s Zombie (1979) or not before falling victim to this entry’s block of living dead cheese. 

Burial Ground is probably one of the worse zombie films I have had the pleasure of encountering. I hated it the first time I rented it. Then, because there was nothing in the day I happened to go the video store, I rented it again. I know…I am a glutton for punishment. This time however I took a liking to the little film. The zombies kind of grabbed me for some reason and even though I knew what was transpiring on my screen was dumb as all hell, I found myself riveted with joy. Luckily we had two VCRs so I dubbed myself a copy of this stink bomb. I knew I had fully succumbed to the pleasures of stupidity when I ended up buying the Shriek Show DVD presentation a few years back.

Filmed by director Andrea Bianchi in 1981,
Burial Ground (aka Burial Ground: Nights of Terror and Zombie 3) was released in 1986 in the United States. It quickly hit video shelves around the same time as well through Vestron Video. The film features a group of friends who are visiting a country side mansion for the weekend. They were invited by the scientist who lives there. We encounter him right at the beginning while he is studying an ancient tomb located under the mansion. He accidentally reads some sacred text which unleashes the dead who are buried there and all over the property. Our visitors arrive or course after the scientist has been ripped apart by the zombies he has accidentally risen……..and after the jazzy opening credits too.

Motorboatin'.....Italian style!
Our three couples spend their first night entertaining themselves with plenty of sexiness and love making. One couple is interrupted by their son and by son I mean really creepy dwarf looking actor in a turtleneck and mom jeans. This kid is what nightmares are made of and if I was a kid you couldn’t pay me to have a sleep over at his house. The boy, Michael, has an incestuous eye for his mother Evelyn ( played by the curvy cougar Mariangela Giordano) and this factor pretty much sets the tone for the bizarre you will encounter for the next 80 minutes.
Say "Italian zombie film madness!"

The following morning the visitors set out to explore the grounds and are quickly attacked by the living dead. Michael’s parents are attacked in the basement of the mansion while checking out some artifacts. One piece of cloth even “smells of death” according to pin head….er….Michael. The father attempts to shoot the zombies but bullets do nothing aside from making holes for muddy water to pour out of. Yes…..the zombies seem to bleed mud….I don’t know just go with it. The father gets his due though and is eaten by the zombies, giving Evelyn and Michael a chance to escape. By this time everyone is back in the mansion trying to flee from the onslaught of the dead. Of course they can’t escape and are now prisoners. 

Creepy.....just flippin' creepy.
The attack continues and the zombies seem to have a leg up on Romero’s walking dead. These zombies know how to use sharp implements. One of the most glorious moments is when the maid, while trying to shut some upstairs shutters, has her hands impaled by spikes thrown at her from below (zombie has got aim and a good arm!). Another zombie uses a scythe and slowly and painfully beheads the maid, giving the hungry crowd below and snack. 
Lucio eat your........eye out!

While all this is going on Michael tries to find solace in his mother’s bosom…and thighs. His mother slaps him and he runs off only to be attacked by Leslie who has just been zombified via a glass shard through the eye via a rip off of Lucio Fulci’s “splinter scene” reenactment. Evelyn finds Leslie chomping on Michael’s arm and in a motherly rage, bashes Leslie’s brains out in the bathroom sink leaving a soupy mix of red, gray and pink that kind of turns your stomach somewhat. The remaining survivors make a break for it across the grounds and discover a monk who is entering into a monastery. They enter the monastery for shelter and to find help but only find a horde of the living dead inside. The monks have been zombified and are looking to devour anyone who enters. One of the men is attacked and eaten while 

ARRRGG! Please make the movie stop!!
Evelyn and her two companions try to escape. They are cornered in the monastery and Evelyn stops in horror when she sees her son advancing towards her. She embraces her son and lets him suckle at her breast……..yes you read that correctly……he then bites and rips her nipple off and feasts upon the tasty booby treat. The horde of zombies advance and as they attack the rest of the survivors the film freezes and we are treated to the ancient “Profecy of the Spider”……yes it is spelled wrong in the overlay on the film. 

“The Earth shall tremble, graves shall open….they shall come among the living as messengers of death and there shall be the nights of terror”.


My son does what in this movie!?
Good jebus where did my 80+ minutes go? They went straight to hell my friend. There is no plot, the acting is atrocious and badly dubbed but the buckets of blood and gore are worth the price of sitting on your couch and becoming one with absurdity. Director Andrea Bianchi delivers one of the most memorable pieces of crud to ever find its way across the Atlantic Ocean. The best thing about this movie has got to be the zombies. 
The worms crawl in.....your nose hangs out of the make-up....
They are probably the funniest looking bunch of clay faced living dead I have ever encountered and I love them with all my black zombie heart. As sorry as they look, they indeed have more character than the living. What’s fun is to take a good look at them while on screen and look for all the make-up flaws and sometimes finding a zombie with no make-up is good too. There is one…..you’ll see him, I guarantee it!

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