Another 80s classic makes it to 30 Days of Terror on the 17th day, Dead & Buried (1981). This one is more obscure for the decade, but it leaves a lasting impression.
Two murders in a town no bigger than a postage stamp. Sheriff Dan Gillis
Cult Classics like Dead & Buried (1981) seem to be more available to the world in recent years with the advent of streaming video services, and premium movie channels adding more to their lineups. I remember seeing the VHS cover in the video store as a kid. The head protruding from the ground still reminds me of the statue of liberty.
The opening scene has nice soft jazz music in the background as a man takes pictures of Potter’s Bluff, giving it a beatnik, artsy feel. I wasn’t sure where the movie was going when the girl on the beach starts posing for him. I especially wondered what was happening when she began to seduce him. Then the fun started. It went slasher with a bizarre twist (I’m not going to share that, you need to see it).
The movie focuses on Sheriff Dan Gillis as he investigates several murders that have occurred in the small coastal town in a very short time. I enjoyed how they gave little clues as to what was happening, it added to the suspense and thrills. A young Robert Englund is in a few scenes — this this was a few years before he became Freddy Krueger – I always like seeing actors in roles before they made it big.
Dead & Buried brought Stepford Wives, Twin Peaks, and Wayward Pines to mind as I watched and became enthralled with the grittiness of the scenes as each murder becomes more brutal. Another thing came to mind as I viewed this delight, I’m a hypocrite. If a movie is from the 80s or later, I called it cheese, if it’s newish I call it bad acting. I don’t know what it is, but something is different with these films compared to today. It’s like the ambiance makes it OK to have bad acting. Or, maybe, it’s a combination of the visuals and the soundtrack that makes it acceptable.
This movie isn’t perfect, I’m not saying that at all, in fact there’s a part that makes absolutely no sense to me. I won’t say what, maybe you’ll catch it, too, without me pointing it out.
The sign outside of town says, “Welcome to Potter’s Bluff. A new way of life.” They got that right. Take a trip there, and see Dead & Buried. I give it 4 out of 5 Stars.