Blu-ray Review – Burial Ground (1981)

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burial ground

Andrea Bianchi is an Italian schlock maestro who made incredibly sleazy films, just check out the synopsis for his later film Exciting Love Girls sometime. Burial Ground with the possible exception of his earlier foray in Giallo cinema Strip Nude for Your Killer is his best known film. It was also released as Zombi 3 in some territories to cash in the success of Zombie Flesh Eaters and Dawn of the Dead.

The film is your typical Italian gorefest so it’s low on plot but high on gruesome kills and as much blood as humanly possible. It’s certainly one of the most impressively gorefest to come out of Italian zombie cinema. A scientist accidentally unleashes the undead near a bourgeois mansion and naturally the zombies start having a very tasty lunch. The film can be read as a Marxist attack on the bourgeoisie but that might be giving what is fundamentally a sleazy zombie film too much credit.

The film’s real market is fans of gore and you certainly get plenty and the deaths are creative. One of the film’s highlights is a decapitation of a maid by the zombies with a sickle. The zombies are slow but they still have some brains left int them which makes them more interesting than the traditional zombie. The design of the zombies is more akin to a disease ridden corpse with maggots oozing out of them in more than one place than the Romero zombies of basically sickly green face-paint.

Bianchi was obsessed with incest and almost all of his films touch on that still touchy taboo. The incest comes here in the guise of the bizarre relationship of the 12-year old Michael (who is played by an obviously older actor who was 25!) and his mother which involves a lot of breast sucking. The performance by Peter Bark is almost like proto version of the leader of the Children of the Corn so much so it becomes unnerving. The disc includes a fantastic interview with Mikel Coven who puts the film in detailed context of Italian cinema and Bianchi’s career in general. The disc also includes a commentary and a 35MM Grindhouse version of the film.

Ian Schultz

Horror | USA, 1981 | 88 Films | 18 | 28th March 2016 (UK) |Dir.Andrea Bianchi | Karin Well, Gianluigi Chirizzi, Simone Mattioli, Peter Bark | Buy: Burial Ground [Blu-ray]