Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror (1981)


The Vestron Video version of this film appears to be uncut (it’s hard to imagine what might be missing). Truly, though, the creepiest part of it is the one woman’s so-called “son”, Michael, who is OBVIOUSLY not a child but, in fact, some kind of ‘little person’. Why the producers of the film decided to cast an actor who is clearly an adult as a child is beyond me, but it certainly ups the “ewwww!” factor in several scenes. Most notably is that following one of the (many) zombie attacks when Michael goes to his mother for comfort and then starts nuzzling her breasts and reaching up her dress. I’m not sure if this would have actually been creepier if the actor had actually been a child, but it is far more disturbing than any of the gore on display. The rest of the film is alright. I actually liked the fact that very little time was wasted on explanations on the source of the zombie-ism (eccentric professor raises the dead and then is eaten by them – “No, stop – I’m your friend!”), that they pretty quickly get down to the business of gut-munching and flesh-ripping. Any normal viewer will either despise or at least feel indifferent toward all of the non-zombie characters; we are aren’t in any way asked or persuaded to identify or sympathize with anyone here, so (like all of the ‘Friday the 13th’ movies and most slasher flicks) you end up hating all of the victims and cheering on the zombies, taking great satisfaction when they get their intestines pulled out or heads cut off. It doesn’t help matters that all the living humans behave, almost without exception, in a fashion that can at best be generously called moronic (no offense intended toward any of you morons out there) – which only makes you want to see them all die that much more. One complaint: the video transfer of this film is rather on the darkish side, which makes some of the best scenes (especially those at night) difficult to fully appreciate (most notably the maid’s crucifixion/decapitation). There are better zombie movies, definitely, but you can also do a lot worse.