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Dead & Buried [DVD] [1981]

Release Date:07/29/2003
Dead and Buried is the perfect example of the kind of underground genre releases Blue Underground have built their reputation upon. The little known Dan O'Bannon/Ronald Shusett pseudo-zombie flick was originally dumped on the U.S. market with little to no fanfare, which makes this two-disc special edition a well-deserved testament to its following and lasting impression on the horror scene. The 1.85:1 video still holds a few cracks and grain, but never before has cinematographer Steve Poster's diffused shots looked this good, especially when compared to the long out-of-print videos that've been floating around collector's hands these last 20 years. Keeping up their dedication to fine audio quality, Blue Underground includes not one, but two Dolby tracks (5.1 Dolby Digital Surround EX and 2.0 Dolby Surround) and a crisp 6.1 DTS ES track for those lucky enough to utilize it. As fine as the audio and visuals are, it's the extras that truly make this release the definitive DVD for the film. For starters, there are three commentaries for the viewer to chew on. Underground's own David Gregory moderates each one, as he shares the time between director Gary A. Sherman on the first, Ronald Shusett and his wife, actress Linda Turley, on the second, and Poster on the third. Sherman's track comes off the best as he discusses the changes forced on him by the various distributors, including the cutting of much of the original humor and the addition of more gore scenes. Interestingly, Poster's track doesn't come off as dry as you'd think, and is a detailed account of how they stretched their resources to achieve the stylish look of Dead and Buried. Also included on disc one are the international, U.S., and teaser trailers, along with a packed poster and still galleries. Disc two gets into the meat of this special edition, with three featurettes covering various pieces of the production. First off, there's "Stan Winston's Dead and Buried EFX," a brand new interview with the effects maestro as he reminisces about the gruesome death scenes which made the film infamous. Proving even then that he was one of the best magicians in the art of effects, the clip shows how Winston created most of the work himself and how they've stood the test of time (as evidenced by the incredibly realistic full-sized puppet created for the "needle in the eyeball" scene). The second featurette focuses on Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger, to those not in the "know") and his early career in the genre. Always entertaining to listen to, his anecdotes flesh the production out from the actor's point-of-view and help showcase such other well-recognizable faces in the supporting cast -- like future Northern Exposure's Barry Corbin. "Dan O'Bannon: Crafting Fear," the third featurette, finds the quick-witted director delving into what makes horror stories tick and downplaying his involvement in the writing of the film (countering some of Shusett's remarks in his own commentary). O'Bannon is never anything less than a joy to listen to (see MGM's Return of the Living Dead disc for further proof), and he doesn't disappoint here. Finally there is yet another extra waiting for viewers in Steve Poster's "Location Stills," a gallery of never-before-seen original photographs taken by Poster while location scouting around Mendocino, CA. For fans of the film, you couldn't ask for a better treatment of this gloomy gem. For those who haven't had a chance to dive into the story of Potter's Bluff, there's never been a better time, thanks to Blue Underground.

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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    75% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (3 out of 4)

    Special Features

    • Audio commentary with director Gary A. Sherman
    • Audio commentary with co-writer/co-producer Ronald Shusett and actress Linda Turley
    • Audio commentary with cinematographer Steve Poster
    • Theatrical trailers
    • Poster & still gallery
    • "Stan Winston's Dead & Buried EFX"
    • "Robert Englund: An Early Work of Horror"
    • "Dan O'Bannon: Crafting Fear"
    • Steve Poster's location stills


    Dead and Buried
    Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett, the screenwriters behind the highly successful Alien, turned their attention to earthbound terrors with this creepy horror tale. Dead and Buried focuses on Dan Gillis (James Farentino), a man who has recently returned to his hometown of Potter's Bluff to be its sheriff. His job becomes difficult when a series of strangers who visit Potter's Bluff begin dying in violent and mysterious ways. To make matters worse, his wife, Janet (Melody Anderson), has begun to act strangely, taking an odd interest in voodoo and acting like she might be having an affair. As the murder victims pile up, Gillis discovers that all his troubles have an occult origin that has to do with the town's elderly mortician, Dobbs (Jack Albertson, in his final feature film role). Gillis gets to the bottom of the mystery, only to discover that the truth is much worse than he imagined. Despite effective direction and solid acting, Dead and Buried got lost in the shuffle of the early '80s horror boom and failed to click with the movie-going public. However, it later gained an audience via home video and cable and remains a minor cult favorite today thanks to its singular blend of creepy atmosphere and gruesome shocks. ~ Donald Guarisco, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • James Farentino
      James Farentino - Dan
    • Melody Anderson
      Melody Anderson - Janet
    • Jack Albertson
      Jack Albertson - Dobbs
    • Image coming soon
      Dennis Redfield - Ron
    • Image coming soon
      Nancy Locke - Linda

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.