Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Horror Movie Review: I Bury the Living

I Bury the Living

Starring: Richard Boone, Theodore Bikel, Peggy Maurer, and Howard Smith

Directed by: Louis Garfinkle

Written by: Albert Band

Production Company: Maxim Productions

Release Date: July 1958

In the 1950s and 1960s, horror films were bringing us terror from the stars (The Blob, The Thing from Another World), giant critters (Them!, The Giant Gila Monster), and science gone awry (The Fly, Donovan's Brain). Amidst all this futuristic horror came an unique villain in cinema, the map in I Bury the Living.

Robert Kraft, played by Richard Boone, becomes the new head of a cemetary. In his office hangs a map of the cemetary with black pins showing plots which have bodies buried there and white pins showing plots which are owned by people still living. It all seems mundane until Robert accidently puts black pins on the plots for a living couple. When the two turned up dead the next day, Robert and cemetary caretaker Andy (Theodore Bikel) figure it's just a spooky coincidence. To prove it, Robert removes a white pin and puts a black pin in its place. When that person winds up dead the next day, Robert's convinced somehow he is responsible.

I Bury the Living is a fascinating tale of mystery held back only by the deaths being off-screen (possibly a budget issue), the movie making limitations of the 1950s/60s, and an ending which doesn't completely make sense. But the premise is intriguing and the movie enjoyable despite its limitations.

This is a film I would love to see redone with gory deaths, breasts (we don't see attractive Peggy Maurer's), and a conclusion which better matches the rest of the story's promise.

If you like horror films of the 1950s and 1960s, then you should check out this overlooked gem. The first two acts can be held up as a unique tale in the horror genre which has a dearth of originality.

Related Videos

Zoltan, Hound Of Dracula

Albert Band also directed Zoltan, Hound Of Dracula. Russian soldiers accidently unleash the servent of Dracula, as well as his dog, during excavationss of Romania. Together, they set out for America, to find the last descendent of the great Count.

Ghoulies 2

Another Albert Band directorial job is Ghoulies 2. Ghoulies 2 picks up a short time after the first movie, a few of the little nasties stow away on an amusement park ride and bring big bucks to a dying fair. The creatures are mad after an attempt to kill them, so the creatures go on a rampage through the fairgrounds, ultimately leading to an explosive conclusion!

No comments: