Dead and Buried - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dead and Buried Reviews

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½ April 27, 2017
As much of a drama/mystery/thriller as it is a horror movie, but it ultimately has enough violence and creepy atmosphere to be horror.
The setting is a small Rhode Island town, which makes it feel similar to salems lot or Steven King movies (based in Maine).
Super Reviewer
April 26, 2017
You know, there are sometimes when I go into a movie not really knowing what to expect and I come away from them really pleasantly surprised. Not that I was expecting them to be horrible movies or anything of the sort, you just really do not know what you're gonna get with them. And then there's times you go into a movie, particularly 80s horror, expecting a complete cheese fest with goofy deaths and even sillier plots. Sometimes there's a movie that sort of combines the two and what you end up having is pleasantly surprising with a decent amount of cheese involved. And, dare I say, this is one of those movies. I will say, however, that the cheesier aspects of the film, completely relating to James Faretino's overacting, really do hold the film back to me. Conceptually speaking, this movie is actually really fucking cool. While this movie was released in 1981, when the horror genre still hadn't figured out what it wanted to be during this decade, when you look back at it and what actually came after, this is a movie that, to me, was somewhat ahead of its time when it came to its story. Perhaps that's not really even what I mean, but when you compare it to a lot of the horror films that came out in the same decade, this movie really has far more on its mind than a lot of them. It's not just a horror movie that you watch for its gore and blood, it's a movie that actually gets you intrigued in its narrative and its setting where outsiders/visitors are murdered and then reanimated as members of Potter's Bluff, a small New England coastal town. The film sees James Farentino, who's both good and bad in this movie, investigating a series of increasingly gruesome murders taking place in town and the frequency with which they're occurring. The film is compelling enough to get by on the fact that, realistically speaking, until the climax, they don't really give you a whole lot of information to go on. They just show you the murders of the outsiders by all of the townspeople, who take photographs and film videos of these acts. They certainly give you something to work with, for sure, but there's not much. There's not really even any red herrings involved here. This isn't really a problem, since you're able to actually focus more on the motivations the villain may have. But for people who have grown accustomed to modern films, this might be a little weird, that they don't play with the possibility that it may be something else other than the first thing they throw out there. One of the flaws of the film that I found, and this may have SPOILERS so skip ahead, is the fact that everyone in town are reanimated corpses under control of this 'master'. They're aware of this and every week they go out to get a little make-up done to make their skin look perfect, as opposed to it rotting. The problem with this is the fact that Dan (Farentino's character) is also a reanimated corpse, which is the big reveal in the climax of the film, and yet he never once shows any signs of his skin deteriorating or rotting. Not to mention the fact that all of the townspeople are aware of their current status, whereas Dan isn't. And, again, that's not to mention that why, if Dan was gonna be brought back as sheriff, he would not just be under the control of the master. Why would the master run the risk of Dan ruining his entire operation? The theory goes that the master buried the corpse's heart in their casket instead of the body and that's how he's able to keep them under his control. So why would he not do that with Dan? These are all questions I had that I wish the movie would have explored or given me answers to, cause there's some holes in the film that, I think, were difficult to look over. Dobbs, the mortician, is a really interesting character in that he is absolutely obsessed with death and obsessed with reconstructing the faces of the corpses that are sent his way. He sees it as his art. So, really, the identity of the master should not be a surprise to anybody. There's a very limited number of possible suspects and Dobbs is the only one that makes sense. But I like Dobbs and his motivations for his actions. He's basically trying to perfect his reanimating techniques. He doesn't really even care about bringing back corpses, that he controls to do his bidding and murder outsiders, he just sees himself as an artist who's trying to completely dominate his art. As far as 80s horror villains, he might actually be one of the best. At least in terms for the motivation behind his actions, there's obviously far more memorable 80s horror villains. Jason, Freddy and Pinhead all come to mind. So, really, it shouldn't surprise anyone that a 70-year-old mortician might not make it on anyone's list, but he's still a great villain regardless. With that said, I really liked this movie. I'm only giving it 3 stars though. There's one reason for that and that is the fact that James Farentino's horrible overacting in the last act really robbed the film of some of its effectiveness. Because there are some downright laughable moments during the third act and they all relate to Farentino's terrible acting. If you had gotten someone that could, at the very least, tone it down a bit, I'd have no problem giving this 3.5 stars. There's also some plot holes that I felt were impossible to ignore, but that wasn't as much of an issue as Farentino's performance was. As it stands, the movie is still quite good. It's got an interesting story that has far more of its mind than horror films in the great decade and it's got a great villain to boot. In spite of its flaws, I'd still recommend this movie. I think horror geeks will enjoy it. There's certainly more good than bad here and that's more than enough for me.
½ December 26, 2016
Pretty fresh and unique little lost and buried horror flick. It's got some gonzo ideas and performances and one rad ending.
October 31, 2016
An early 80s horror/mystery from the creators of Alien. This is a pretty decent horror and mystery movie with some scares and a lot of tense moments and with a great ending this is an underrated horror from the days of mainly slasher movies.
Super Reviewer
½ October 28, 2016
Cracking little horror movie.
½ September 8, 2016
"Dead & Buried" is a surprisingly good 80s horror film, especially for how under-talked about it seems to be. I mean I don't know if I really knew about it at all, maybe only in passing (walked past it in the video store or something), but then it was handed to me by a friend, and I watched it, and it seems up there with other great horror films of the era...it has great atmosphere, good visuals, and while it has a somewhat kooky premise? It can still provide some scares and holds up pretty well. Surprised this one eluded me until it was just handed into my lap.
½ October 9, 2015
there really isn't a whole lot going on in this one
there's only bits and pieces of scary stuff happening but its all too brief
the real stuff only happens at the end and even then it doesn't amount to anything
the idea of resurrecting the dead is still very scary especially when it comes to what these townsfolk do by killing newcomers and bringing them back to look like they're a part of the population
being dead and alive at the same time has a number of ramifications like avoiding getting sick, growing old, going hungry, and fatigue
no one wants to be a living corpse though and being laid to rest for good seems like the last path to take
terrifying but the movie needed more frights to really stay with me
August 27, 2015
Dead & Buried has at times been referred to as a slow paced Zombie flick but it is far from that, take the ill fitting city cop in a small town feel of Jaws add to it the creepy tone of The Fog stir in some mad scientist stuff and cross all this with The Wicker Man and you are left with a film that plays like an eerie episode of The Twilight Zone.

80's gore galore sharp as a needle to the eye an underrated gem.
½ April 10, 2015
A nice little surprise of a horror movie with interesting twist and turns.
October 28, 2014
A fairly slow moving plot, but this movie has plenty of sick kills and a creepy atmosphere to keep any viewer interested till the end. The twists are pretty good and while it is VERY predictable, it is still a proper ending that works. The acting is also very good and Jack Albertson (grandpa from Willy Wonka) is especially great. Definitely recommended.
October 28, 2014
Welcome to Potter's Bluff! A creepy small town with a secret... A great place to visit, but a terrible place to die--Depraved, Shocking, and Soul-Searing. The best John Carpenter movie John Carpenter didn't direct... Dead and buried, but not forgotten!!
½ May 30, 2014
Dead & Buried is a peculiar horror film. Hell, it's hard to describe it without spoiling plot twists. It's also a strange blend of various elements, as it is not only a horror film, but also has elements of drama, mystery, comedy, and sci-fi all rolled into one gruesome, demented, creepy, and really fun package.

The town of Potter's Field is a nice place to live...but only if you're one of the residents. Anyone who dares to visit or is just making a pit stop will find themselves murdered at the hands of the frightening townspeople who also love to take pictures of their deeds.

As more people turn up dead and strange things begin happening (Like seeing the dead visitors alive and well again, only they seem to be part of the town), the sheriff, Dan Gillis must unravel what is really going on in his beloved town and who is really behind all these murders and what the motivations of the demented townspeople truly are.

What makes Dead & Buried so much fun to watch is that it makes you keep guessing what's going to happen and what's really going on. It's filled with many surprises and twists, making for a very engaging and intriguing mystery of a horror film that has a great deal more depth than most other horror films. Plus, I feel that it is a very successful blend of various genres and it succeeds at all of them.

Bolstering the scary atmosphere and mystery storyline is the solid acting across the board. The cast members threw themselves into their roles and gave life to their quirky characters in the best ways. They really seemed to come to life and it was always fun to watch their performances. You're always left wanting to know even more about them.

Plus, it's a very creepy film, especially as the plot twists begin to unfold. There's suspense, there's tension, there's gruesome violence, and the characters become scarier as their motivations are revealed, or are faced with shocking revelations that could tear them apart.

In the end, Dead & Buried is a kick-ass horror cult classic. It's weird, engaging, creepy, menacing, surprising, and a hell of a lot of fun to watch from start to finish. If you love a good cult classic horror film, this is not one to pass up.
April 11, 2014
One of the best old school zombie flicks.
½ January 3, 2014
"Dead and Buried" is bizarre, the effects are a bit dated and obvious, and star James Farentino goes a bit over the top at times, but despite minor quibbles, it never holds back on tension and bolsters a delightfully creepy score by Joe Renzetti.
½ October 23, 2013
"Dead and Buried" is a creepy, grimy, and unique horror film punctuated with fantastic and grisly makeup effects by a young Stan Winston. There are a few cheesy moments but overall the film is quite dark and disturbing. Jack Albertson (Grandpa Joe from "Willy Wonka") gives a great final career performance as the quirky mortician, Dobbs. This hidden horror gem is a classic, in my opinion.
½ October 20, 2013
A really cool invasion/body-snatcher flick from the writers of Alien. Plays out really nice and slow. RECOMMENDED
July 20, 2013
Though it may look and seem dated, Dead and Buried is a solid horror film with moments of unsettling dread and tension. It trudges along like the undead, unsuspecting and unknowing, slowly dragging you in until you reach it's climax when your feeling quite disturbed and pleasently surprised.
½ March 20, 2013
Creepy horror with similarities to Strange Invaders. Robert Englund has a small role.
½ February 10, 2013
an ok movie, good twist at the end, star studded cast, which was good. freddie kruger, the bird from flash gordon, and the grandad from charlie and the chocolate factory to name but 3.
½ January 17, 2013
There's some gore scenes, but not enough to really recommend it based solely on that.
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