Director – Andrea Bianchi
Cast – Karin Well, Gianluigi Chirizzi, Simone Mattioli, Antonella Antinori, Roberto Caporali, Peter Bark, Claudio Zucchet, Anna Valente, Raimondo Barbieri, Mariangela Giordano
Release Year – 1981
Reviewed by John of the Dead
This film’s DVD cover alone is what interested me in giving this one watch, and thankfully that sweet looking zombie on the cover came with many cohorts as well. Most fans of zombie films have an appreciation for Italian zombie films simply because the Italians rely much on gore first, sleaze second, and then everything else is supplementary. I personally love these types of zombie films, and Burial Ground is the newest addition to my list of favorite and must-have/see zombie films ever.
Burial Ground follows the events that ensue when Professor Ayres discovers an ancient tomb that unleashes a hoard of flesh-eating zombies. Unbeknownst to a group of Professor Ayres’ colleagues whom he invited earlier to celebrate his discovery, they arrive at his home ready for a night of fun and celebration. Soon enough, the group is attacked by the very hoard of zombies that Professor Ayres released, and must now hole up in his home to fight off the zombie onslaught.
I really am surprised at how much I enjoyed this flick. For some reason I expected a slow-moving zombie film with only a few cool zombies due to obvious budgetary constraints, but that was not the case at all. Burial Ground takes off right away and after just a few moments of development we are thrown into an all out war of man vs. zombie, and with awesome results.
Director Andrea(not a girl) Bianchi did a superb job in providing some of the very best looking zombies and zombie action I have ever seen. This guy gives Fulci some competition in creating the sweetest looking zombies, and their mannerisms added to just how awesome they are. We do not get any fast-moving zombies in this film, but we do get zombies that are able to throw a few daggers here and there to pin their victim to a wall and do what zombies do to poor victims, and it was awesome. Mr. Bianchi threw in some crazy amounts of gore in the film, and both the zombie kills and human kills were awesome to watch and did not come with any skimpiness in bringing on the “goods”. The rest of his direction outside of the zombie-usage was favorable as well, as he gave us some very awesome looking sets and his atmosphere(including usage of a zany musical score) was on par with what I wanted to see in this film. The acting jobs were nothing above mediocre at best, but with this type of film that only adds to the fun and does not detriment from the film whatsoever.
Story-wise this flick is as simple as it gets, and it works for this film. I loved the idea of the professor unlocking a secret tomb that releases a large hoard of the living dead because we really are not told how these zombies originated. From the looks of things one thing is obvious, it is not the usual radiation or government cover-up reason behind the unleashing of the undead, and them simply coming from an old crypt looking thing was creepy enough. The rest of the film (about 70 minutes of it) follows the group of colleagues as they fight off the zombies by hiding in the professor’s home, which to me quantifies as a nowhere-to-run situation, and you know how much I LOVE such situations. This element allowed me to envelop myself in the film and think of what I would do if I were in that situation, with those exact people, and when a film allows you to do that it makes the watch all the more enjoyable. Oh! I must mention that this film does have a cult following based solely on the usage of the character Michael, a midget who lusts over doing naughty things to his mother. Yes, you read right. Gotta leave it to these sleazy Italian films to give us things we’d never expect to see in such flicks. Yeah, I love it.
Overall, this is an awesome zombie experience that brings us some of the sweetest looking zombies of all time, as well as some of the most awesome zombie scenes I have ever seen. This film’s simple plot and great direction make this sleazy Italian zombie effort an easy to love film that comes highly recommended.