Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror (1981): 35th Anniversary – By Baron Craze

 

There is no other way to describe Burial Ground, except by noting it is a sleazy, gross, and contains likely the first Opedius zombie complexion, in the entire genre and perhaps even in the cinematic world, and yet this movie has a passionate blood and gross core of fans that hunger for a return to true zombie horror. Those that find the current field of the undead as dull and boring missing the impending doom and gloom of the of serious gut munching and limb feeding salivating for this film from director Andrea Bianchi, known also for the thriller movie Strip Naked for Your Killer (1975) and the horror movie What the Peeper Saw (1972).  The late screenwriter Piero Regnoli, responsible for Lust of the Vampire (1957), Demonia (1990), and Nightmare City (1980) – which apparently being remade by Tom Savini, using the same screenplay, created this macabre tale to rival many other in genre then and future works.  A fitting aspect of this movie is that it also had the benefit of free usage of an actual castle (villa) known as Villa Parisi, in Monte Porzio Catone, Italy, that one might visit; too.

A scientist (Raimondo Barbieri) studying a dead language and the Ancient Etruscan Magical Practices, inadvertently summons the dead, who arise on command and convert the dear professor into a follower of theirs, meanwhile on the surface a group of elitist individuals arrive at the villa for relaxation, celebration, and some debauchery after all this is an Italian Horror Film. The script feels a bit off, and yet no one really cares, early on the movie has witty double innuendos, and everyone seems in a hurry to get the gore, and why not this movie has much for a horror fan to enjoy even with a troublesome script. In fact, the cast of characters brush off the issue of what happened to the professor, and question no one seems interested in answering, all rather enjoy each other and drink themselves into a stupor or work scenes for upcoming roles. There many moments of sequences in the movie diving further into weirder and for some tasteless horror, however when the dead make it from the caves to the surface the panic sets. The dead look stumbling and silly, though many times the dead reference Fulci’s Zombie (1979) from maggots on the makeup covered faces to dangling live worms clinging to eye sockets and great feature. In the early stages of the attack the few of the dead are visible and yet the cast stares them down with one, Janet (Karin Well) steps into a small bear trap in the garden and then only screams at the horror impending around her. First why is this device in the middle of the garden and second why the contraption even there is to begin with, never mind, the zombies don’t mind the issue. Soon with help the small group of partier’s returns to the main residence and instead of easily making the way to the vehicle the abandon the plan and retreat the building of many doors and windows. Fret not, the cast is far too large to remain alive, and soon enough they begin to split up with maid Kathryn losing her head in the madness of the zombie horde, and others go down fighting for survival, but then there’s infamous “the scene”.

This point needs its own references the ultimate sin and wonders how the relationship ever develops between Evelyn (Mariangela Giordano) and her son Michael (Peter Bark), it starts innocently a close embrace as the horror swirl outside, and soon Michael advance with a hand high above his mother’s knee and deep kisses and lower his head to her breasts. She realizes the issues, and rebuffs him, and she stands confused and runs off upset and confused. Now, this is very distributing and yet shows the depths of depravity the director went, though unsure why. Peter’s small build made him able to pass for a young teenager but in reality he was 26 at the time, his creepy features made him interesting version of Dario Argento and his portrayal of an unhealthy relationship with a hinged psychosis makes him his own horror story.  A lot of discussion comes from this moment in the movie, and it is the most extreme love interest in a zombie flick, never recreated in any other movie. Now there have been moments in movies where love ones embrace the dead, Night of the Living Dead (1968) Barbara willingly gives herself over to Johnny and Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Dawn of the Dead (1978). Karma takes revenge always and Michael meets a demise that will bring him closer to his mother. Soon the zombies learn of tools and begin using them to break down doors, by using a battling ram similar to the one in Army of Darkness (1992) yes 11-years later. One must look for the classic homage scene of with glass to Leslie’s eye and temple, a wonderful treat for any horror fan.

One must admit the film contains numerous flaws, but with many zombie films one truly willing to overlook errors, the cheesy and campy dialogue. Some elements are not permitted an excuse the words are the end of the movie that appear on the screen “The Profecy of the Black Spider” yes the word Prophecy was misspelled and as well as another one look for that; too. Also, the movie never knows when to stop the carnage yet takes care of the final four with pleasure, and extreme distaste, hint it involves Evelyn and the baring one of her breast for that special person. The version I had the pleasure of enjoying dubbed in English, and gave all of the gross out wonderment for a horror fan willing to engross themselves in the corny lines and strangest elements combined together for a gory enticing ride of extremism.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081248