Retro Review: Burial Ground (1981)

I have been on an Italian horror kick lately, something about the beginning of the new year that brings out the Italian horror junkie.  Of course, my favorite is Lucio Fulci, I dig most, but Michele Soavi has become one of my favorites and of course, Argento.  This one is directed by Andrea Bianchi, which this is the first film, although I did begin “Strip Nude for you Killer”, just wasn’t feeling giallo that night.  But we know about the late 70s and early 80s Italian zombie craze, there are so many.  Zombie, City of the Living Dead, The Beyond, Hell of the Living Dead, Nightmare City and Burial Ground.  I think all of these have something to add to the genre and I think they could all live in the same world.

Burial Ground, also know as Nights of Terror, Zombi Horror, The Zombie Dead and it it is credited as Nights of Terror on the film itself.  Which, it takes place in the span of maybe 24 hours or so, I mean, Night of Terror would have been fine.  I like the title Burial Ground even better, even though it only kind of makes sense.  This one is a great zombie movie!

Synopsis:

Skeletal ghouls greet visitors at the mansion of a professor studying the ancient Etruscans.

I am just going to jump right in on this one and talk about what I like, because deconstructing an Italian horror movie from the early 80s is pointless almost 40 years later.  I think some of the effects were pretty good, the make up is caked on and the blood is too, paint looking.  The acting, I mean it is ok and of course every word is dubbed, so a proper review is fucked at this point.  And really the major point of reviewing a movie like this so long after its release, well to get you fuckers to watch it, its worth it!

The story is simple and the pace of the movie is fast, it only slows down a couple of times.  There are some really wonderfully cringe worthy lines in the movie that are just delightful.  Here is my favorite.

“You’re getting a raise out of me alright, but it has nothing to do with money.”

The zombies themselves look ok, I have an issue with make-up that is so thick it covers the mouth.  In Lucio Fulci’s Zombi 2, the main zombie cannot even open its mouth.  That is kind of the same thing, but these zombies are pretty fun and there are others with less make-up for sure, like the end, which a bunch are all sitting in robes around a table.

The group is pretty much confined to this mansion through the entire movie, trying to keep safe from the zombies, but eventually the last couple escape to workshop in the middle of the forest.  The best part, no one makes it through this movie, no survivors, ZERO!  I love it.

Ok, now I have to talk about Michael, the son of Evelyn one of the last survivors and she is pictured above.  This fucking kid is messed up.  First, he is played by Pietro Barzocchini or for you Americans, Peter Bark and he is 26 in this movie, yes 26!  There is a scene where he walks in on his parents who are trying to get down and his mother stands naked looking at him.  In the middle of the madness, she tries to comfort Michael and he well, makes sexual advances on his mother…yep.  When she pushes him away, he runs of yelling, “I’m your son!”  That is icky.  But at the end of the movie, Michael is a zombie and his mother opens up her shirt to offer him a suckle at her tit and he bites it off…

Burial Ground is pretty damn awesome!  I think anyone should check it out.  Rent of on Vudu for $2.99, Youtube $1.99, it is worth it.  Hell, I bought the Severn Blu Ray, I love it!

Imdb.com has a rating of 5.7

I give Burial Ground a 7.5, it’s getting a raise from me, but it has nothing to do with money.

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About Ray Marek III 518 Articles
I have been watching horror films since I was 6 years old. The story, one Saturday night, my mom and I were watching movies and she fell asleep on the couch. We had the channel set on HBO and the movie we were watching ended and the next one, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. This was some time in 1986. I watched then entire film, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. When my mom woke, she asked me what just ended and I told her, “Freddy”. That was all I talked about for weeks and finally she broke down and rented more horror films for me. She rented, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2, Re-Animator, Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives and Halloween II. I watched all and fell in love with horror films forever. 5 Horror Films to Watch Inferno (1980) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) The Beyond (1981) Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives (1986) Horror of Dracula (1958)