Burial Ground (1981)
Company: Severin Films
Starring: Karin Well, Gianluigi Chirizzi, Simone Mattioli, Antonella Antinori, Roberto Caporali, Claudio Zucchet, Peter Bark, Anna Valente, Raimondo Barbieri, Mariangela Giordano
My Review and Thoughts:
First off when I heard this was coming to a Special Edition Blu-ray I was giddy like a child on Christmas morn. The Italian B-movie lover inside me jumped for joy. Yes it had been released before but in my viewpoint not to the wonderment and clarity in knowing the awesome reality that one of the coolest Film companies, Severin Films was the one, bringing it out. Severin Films never lets the fans down with great choices of hardcore horror or Drive-In glories of the past, and the ultra-weird. Well the choice of this cheesy Zombie film Burial Ground is that perfect, prime example of a choice for all us diehard 80’s fans.
Behold one of the classic Italian Drive-In Style B-grade Zombie films of the early 80’s. I first saw this film when I was 10 at an all-night Drive-In horror festival in the South. It was billed with Night of the Living Dead followed by Fulci’s Zombi, Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things, Hell of the Living Dead and a few others. It was an amazing experience to a 10-year kid who was a diehard horror fan, and Zombies to me as a kid was all the more gross and fantastic. I would often ride by graveyard's on my bike, very fast thinking the creatures had risen to chase me down, and eat my brains. Burial Ground is one of those films I often return to because of my childhood memory of watching it on the Drive-In. It’s truly one of those late night Cheesy, B-movie glories, that ooze stupid-ness and yet that’s its ultimate beauty.
This is one of those Italian horror films that the name has been changed so many times over the years. It’s been under the title, Nights of Terror, Zombi Horror, The Zombie Dead and even Zombie 3. But the ultimate title is Burial Ground. In fact, when I saw it as a kid, it was under the title, Nights of Terror.
This is directed by the very memorable Italian director Andrea Bianchi. Not only a director but an editor and writer. He left his stamp on the cinema world with many out their experiences. He wrote and directed the 1972 crime, horror, What the Peeper Saw, starring Mark Lester, yes that Mark Lester, a.k.a. Oliver from the musical 1968 Oliver! What the Peeper Saw was Bianchi’s first directing job, he co-directed it. I think his next most important film after What the Peeper Saw was the Giallo horror 1975’s Strip Nude for Your Killer starring the one and only, sexy and amazing goddess Edwige Fenech. Next in line was the one I am reviewing now Burial Ground. After Burial Ground he did direct many more films, two that stand out is the forgotten horror 1987’s Maniac Killer starring Bo Svenson and the one and only Chuck Connors. The only other film that stands out to me from him is the Italian slasher 1989’s Massacre.
I suppose what really makes Burial Ground stand out is the ultimate special effects by Gino De Rossi and Rosario Prestopino. For all you horror fans and Cult film followers, Gino De Rossi is a common name for fans of this style of cinema. He worked on the one and only City of the Living and also the one and only Cannibal Ferox among others. The special effects are basically the whole budget to this film or the lack of budget. The gore and zombies and blood all run rampant with a sense of classic Drive-In over the top, grindhouse style of filmmaking. If you’re a fan of Italian horror. A fan of Drive-in Late Night Ghoul Hosted mayhem then Burial Ground is your total cup of tea.
Now I think something else that ultimately sticks out with this feature is actor Peter Bark. The movie called for a young boy playing the character of Michael. It is said because of Italian laws children in shots of extreme violence and sex is not permitted, and so they decided to hire and put in place of Michael, Peter Bark who happened to be 25 years old in real life giving that odd look, odd reality to the character. I think the character of Michael or specifically his look is like the character of Isaac played by John Franklin in the film Children of the Corn. Peter Bark like Franklin has an interesting look about him mainly I guess for the reality Bark’s characters is supposed to be a child.
Like all Italian horror films, or films of the grindhouse nature, it can come down to the ultimate music score. The score for this one is by Berto Pisano. Pisano is no stranger to the cult film world with such films like the Giallo 1974’s The Girl in Room 2A, 1973’s Death Smiles on a Murderer starring the amazing one of a kind Klaus Kinski. 1975’s Strip Nude for Your Killer, and so many others. Also co-composer is the one and only Eliso Mancuso. Mancuso had many wonderful Cult Spaghetti Western films such as 1969’s God Will Forgive my Pistol, 1969’s Django the Bastard to 1969’s Sartana the Gravedigger, 1971’s Kill Django… Kill First, and many wonderful others. Both Berto Pisano and Eliso Mancuso worked together on many films.
The screenplay writer of Burial Ground Piero Regnoli is also tied to many Cult Drive-In, grindhouse films, such as, I Vampiri from 1957, to the one and only 1980’s Nightmare City, which might I add as of this writing is in production to be remade by the one and only special effects master Tom Savini. I personally love Regnoli's work on the 1987 Urban Warriors and The Bronx Executioner from 1989.
The makeup and effects, music, direction, odd and weird sleaze and gore all come together to create a very memorable, Drive-in, grindhouse gory classic, that to me, being a fan of this style of entertainment stands the test of time. Severin created perfection with this Blu-ray. A wonderful transfer that showcases basically a brand new film in look, and in audio.
Stunning 2k restoration High Definition. A perfect example of how to treat these old Cult style films. Expressing to a newer generation the oldies of the 80’s, and expressing to the old folk who grew up in the 80’s, a sense of a classic, made new.
My Rating: 5 out of 5
Burial Ground has never looked any better. This is a flawless transfer restoration of a Drive-In cheesy, B-movie classic. The audio is spot on. Crisp. The video is vibrant, colorful and brilliantly restored. Seems new. There is no complaint from me in this setting. This new 2K scan restoration is a full shot by shot color correction. It to me, is perfection.
Aspect Ratio of 1080p with an original aspect ratio of 1.85:1.
English and Italian Language Audio Tracks
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
My Rating: 5 out of 5
There is an amazing set of special features to thoroughly entertain the fan of this film. First there is an awesome Slipcover in the original pressing of the first 3,000 Units. Artwork by the amazing one of a kind, Wes Benscoter. There is also a Reversible cover insert.
Next you get the program titled:
Villa Parisi – Legacy of Terror: Featurette on the historic house location which has a running time of close to 16 minutes. Which is what it describes. You get to visit the location of the film, which to me is truly always awesome to experience, anything related to the film, one is watching.
Peter Still Lives: Festival Q&A with actor Peter Bark with a running time of 7 minutes and 35 seconds. I enjoyed this interview for the fact I really don’t claim to know much about Bark, and so it was fantastic seeing, and hearing his personal reality. He talks about how he is writing a book. He also also talks about his other films.
Just for the Money: Interview with actor Simone Mattioli with a running time of close to 9 minutes. This is about the overall experience on the set. Basically accepting the role just for money.
The Smell of Death: Interviews with Producer Gabriele Crisanti and Actress Mariangela Giordano with a running time of a little over 9 minutes. This is a wonderful watch. You get to learn a lot about the film’s low budget, special effects. About how they are shocked at the overall popularity of the film. Also talking about Peter Bark and the director Andrea Bianchi.
A fantastic interview section.
Deleted/ Extended Scenes/ Shots with a running time of a little over 10 minutes.
Theatrical Trailer with a running time of 3 minutes and 31 seconds.
Awesome 80's re-adventure. A perfected Drive-in B-movie, Cult Classic that never gets old in all its Popcorn, cheesy, gory entertainment.
A fun, wild ride.
A new fun wild ride through the amazing restoration and special edition of this ultra-zombie classic.
Severin Films gave us all Willy Wonka's Golden Ticket. This was a total treat. Great special features. Wonderful new audio and vibrant imagery. The special art slipcover (which you can see at the top of the page) to the first 3,000 Units, is amazing. To me this is a must own Blu-ray for any diehard Grindhouse, Italian Horror fan. Zombie lovers look no further than this ultimate B-grade, special effect, bloodfest of decay.
Weirdness, sleaze, blood and guts, what more could a horror fan want. If you grew up in the 80's you will be treated all over again. If your new to the adventures of diving into classic ultra-Drive-In cheese entertainment, then you are going to have a perfect blast from the past.
Make sure you head over to https://severin-films.com/ to buy all the wonderful Blu-rays. The main page that gives you these beautiful releases on top quality Special Editions.
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