Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Burial Ground (1980)

Ah, the early eighties, when the Italian film industry decided that it had nothing better to do than churn out a series of rip-offs of George A Romero’s DAWN OF THE DEAD, phenomenally successful on its release in Italy as ZOMBI. Lucio Fulci was quickest off the mark and so his film became ZOMBI 2 in his homeland and ZOMBIE FLESHEATERS in the UK. 
      There were several candidates for the title of ZOMBI 3 including another Fulci effort and the film under review here, which went out under the title of BURIAL GROUND in the US and THE ZOMBIE DEAD in the UK, when it was released a few years ago in an uncut print for those two or three people who had been awaiting its arrival. 
      It’s directed (to use the term in its loosest context) by Andrea Bianchi and it wins hands down as the worst of this specific sub-sub-sub genre of film (except maybe for Jean Rollin’s ZOMBIE LAKE, but that’s a different story). The plot involves that well known and time-honoured set-up of a group of people trapped in a country house because flesh-eating warrior monks have been brought back to life by the Professor who lives there. If this encourages you to see this film then believe me, reading about it is a lot more fun, and quicker, than subjecting yourself to the 81 minute running time. 
      This being a European horror film these characters behave like X-Rated soap opera rejects with various marital disharmonies, perversions and one very, very strange mother-son relationship (popular Italian actress Mariangela Giordano at a career low). Cue a series of boringly-directed close-encounters with the zombies accompanied by that strange wheezing and burping synthesiser soundtrack so popular in films of this type. “They move so slowly,” say a character at one point “we might as well let them in!” leading to the predictably inevitable disembowelments with an especially bizarre fate in store for Mariangela. 
      The film rounds everything off with a final act of hilarious ineptitude. As the monsters wave their rotting hands over the face of helpless (but really rather pretty) Karyn Weil we are treated to a caption which claims to be an excerpt from the ‘Profecy (sic) of the Black Spider’, which amongst others thing promises us ‘Nigths of Terror’. 
       Presumably the budget couldn’t stretch to correcting typos. Or perhaps the Nigths are something completely different that this film has somehow neglected to explain. I see that this film has recently been re-released on BluRay in the US and I have to say that if there is one film in the world that might benefit from that technology’s improved clarity of sound and vision BURIAL GROUND is not it.


  1. One of the worse zombies movies made even rivalling Mattei's Hell of the Living Dead in ineptitude.

    I found the 30 year old midget playing a 10 year old kid to be very funny.

    Also the zombies had incredible dexterity throwing accurate daggers.

  2. Oddly enough out of all the zombie movies from that era Mattei's movie is one I've never felt the need to revisit!

  3. For me Mattei's Hell of the living dead could be rewatched but very painfully.

    Interestingly Zombie 3 which is a Bruno mattei/Fulci movie was filmed in the Philippines(specifically the Pangsanghan falls area). Another very bad zombie movie.

    Fulci considers Mattei a hack, in fact he refers to mattei as that "house painter" LOL.

  4. As for the director of Burial ground, Andrea Bianchi, I actually liked Strip Nude for you Killer.

  5. Well Mattei said in an interview once that he didn't like any of his own films, thus echoing the sentiments of film fans the world over! STRIP NUDE FOR YOUR KILLER is quite unbelievably sleazy. I've seen it at least twice ;->

  6. Yeah Mattei is a hack, his other movies Rats is also very funny esp. the guy who dressed up like Napoleon. The ending was very stupid.

    I also saw his foray into nazisploitation with SS Girls...the main villain tried to do an imitation of Malcolm Mcdowall(from the movie The Passage) prancing around in swastika art underwear LOL.