31 Days of Horror: Dead & Buried

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Dead & Buried (1981)

Synopsis: The small town of Potter’s Bluff is experiencing a rash of brutal murders with a twist. The victims show up a few days later looking normal and acting fine. Sheriff Gilles is tasked with finding out who’s behind the killings, and is shocked to discover the secret linking the townspeople to the crimes. And what’s going on with the mortality-obsessed mortician played by Jack Albertson?

Killer Scene: A blond nurse who previously lured a man into being tied to a stake and set ablaze visits him in the hospital. His entire body is wrapped and restrained with the exception of one solitary eye. She talks reassuringly to him before pulling out a hypodermic needle and jamming it into his eyeball. Eye violence is more cringe-worthy than a hit to the ball sack any day.


Violence: Multiple beatings, stabbings, slashings, burnings, impalings, and a severed limb or two. Plus the emotional violence that comes from being betrayed by your friends and lovers.

Sex: A beach photographer thinks he’s about to get lucky when a hot blond flashes him her boobs. Things do heat up for him, but not quite in the way he hoped. See, instead of sex he gets burned alive. It was a play on words. Boobs.

Scares: There are a couple jump-scenes, but for the most part this is a movie that spooks with atmosphere and unpredictability. Who’s a killer? Which one of your smiling neighbors is going to stab you in the back of the head when you look away?

Final Thoughts: Dead & Buried is a fun, oft-forgotten gem that delivers with the violence, mood, and plot twists. The ending is smart and surprising on the surface… just don’t think too much about the logic of it all. It makes a nice double feature with Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. You’ll never look at Grandpa Joe the same way again.

Which is more painful to watch… eye torture or violence to the balls?

Rob is the Chief Film Critic of Film School Rejects. He doesn't eat cheese on weekdays.

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