Monday, December 17, 2012

#854. Burial Ground (1981)

Directed By: Andrea Bianchi

Starring: Karin Well, Gianluigi Chirizzi, Simone Mattioli

Tag line: "The earth shall tremble.... graves shall open.... they shall come among the living as messengers of death and there shall be the nights of terror.... "Profecy of the Black Spider""

Trivia: The workshop seen in the film's climax was also used in Dario Argento's Inferno

When it comes to zombie movies, it’s usually a safe assumption their most shocking scenes will, in one way or another, involve the undead. Well, 1981’s Burial Ground bucks that trend in a big way, giving us a mother-son relationship that’s far more outrageous than anything the walking dead can muster up.

Also knows as The Nights of Terror, Burial Ground tells the tale of three couples who check into a remote mansion for a romantic getaway, only to have their good times ruined when the dead come back to life. In fact, the group barely has a chance to unpack before they’re fighting for their lives, barricading themselves inside in the hopes it will keep the zombies at bay. But as the walking dead go, this particular horde is pretty smart, which means the frightened revelers won’t be safe for very long.

Burial Ground is one of those movies you enjoy in spite of itself. The acting, as a whole, is bad, and there’s not a lot of story here (the group visits the mansion to meet up with its owner, a professor played by Raimondo Barbieri, yet aren’t the least bit concerned when he’s not there to greet them). On the plus side, things happen pretty fast, with the undead making their presence known almost immediately, and the look of the zombies, for the most part, is impressive. And, of course, Burial Ground has plenty of nudity and gore, two staples of Italian horror films from this era. While not the best of the bunch, Burial Ground is good enough.

And then we have “the scene”, a moment in the film where you simply can’t believe what you’re seeing. To set it up, Evelyn (Maria Angelo Diordano), one of the six unfortunates who decided to visit the mansion on this particular day, also brought her young son, Michael, along. Now, Michael is played by Peter Bart, a petite actor who was in his 20s when Burial Ground was made, and while Mr. Bart didn’t look as if he was twenty-year-old at the time, he sure as hell couldn’t pass for 11 or 12, either, which was supposedly the age of his character. Anyway, as the zombies are trying to break in, Evelyn and Michael find themselves alone in a room, and in an effort to comfort each other, they embrace. This is where Michael makes his move, telling Evelyn (remember, she’s his mother) he loves and admires her breasts, then shows his appreciation for them by feeling her up! That’s right, folks; in the middle of a zombie attack, with little to no hope of survival, young Michael tries to get it on with his own mother!

I’ve seen many things over the years that made my jaw hit the floor, and this brief aside in Burial Ground is one of ‘em!

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