Freedom has its limits. Gary Julian

As Edgar Allan Poe’s Buried Alive (1989) started playing, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was an American International Pictures film, but that’s not possible since they ceased operations in 1980. Oddly, the musical score sounds like something from them too, not quite Les Baxter, more like Peter Knight.

Edgar Allan Poe's: Buried AliveBuried Alive is extremely loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe’s The Premature Burial, though the only thing in common with that story is burying people alive. That’s fine, even had Poe’s name not been attached to this film, I would’ve been attracted to it for its bizarreness.

Janet (Karen Lorre, March 1982 Playmate, using the name Karen Witter for this role) comes to teach at Ravenscroft Institute, a school for bad girls. She quickly learns that not everything is as it appears and has strange hallucinations of undulating brick walls, among other things. There’s something between her and Gary Julian (Robert Vaughn), the headmaster of sorts.

As Buried Alive progresses, I’m unsure of who is bricking girls into walls, and when I thought I had it figured out, I was wrong. The strange twists and outrageous supporting staff kept me on my toes. I was a little surprised that this wasn’t considered a horror-comedy at times. The gore moments are very few, and it’s quality 80s effects. This film relied on thrills and terror and managed to pull off a decent story. Of course, there are a few unanswered questions, but I’m OK not knowing the answers.

3.5 Stars

Edgar Allan Poe’s: Buried Alive has a nice mix of cheese and thrills to keep me entertained, so if you come across it in your voyage, give it a go. I give it 3.5 out of 5 Ram Skulls.

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